Vogue 1241: sew along day #2

Let’s get to work! Today we’ll assemble the upper front and side front pieces. Since these steps might involve some new skills for some of you, I’ll stop there and pick up with the next steps tomorrow.


1. To make pleats in the UPPER FRONT (1) on outside, crease along lines of small circles. Bring creases to lines of large circles. Baste. Baste across upper edge. Press.
I don’t really know what the first basting step is. I only basted once. See the photos below.

Fold the pleats along one line (marked with a small circle) and then adjust the fold so it rests along the line marked by the large circle. You’ll be pointing your folds toward the center front when you fold them down. Pin them in place, and make sure the fold follows the line you traced onto the pattern.
After folding all your pleats, baste them in place. This means you should use the longest stitch your machine has to offer. I tend to baste about 3/8″ away from the edge so I don’t have to worry about the stitches showing/needing removal after I actually make a seam.

1a. Staystitch side front edge of upper front, from armhole edge to small circle.
Using a regular stitch length, just sew ~1/4″-3/8″ from the edge between the armhole edge and small circle.

My staystitching isn’t perfect here, but you get the idea. It just prevents the fabric from stretching, since this is on the diagonal. The staystitching 1/4″-3/8″ from the edge.

2. Gather side front edge of SIDE FRONT (2) between small circle and square.
I really questioned why we were gathering now when we’re not working with the gathered section until much easier. I think it’s just because putting the stitching in place is easier before you attach the upper front. So gather now, but don’t worry about adjusting the gather until later! Gathering involves sewing a long stitch (as long as your machine will allow) and pulling on the threads to make the fabric scrunch up. If you have a thicker fabric, it will help to do two lines of stitching. Be warned, though, that two lines of stitching sometimes makes it a little harder to adjust. The pattern recommends two lines of stitching. I used one.

Sew a really long stitch ~3/8″-1/2″ from the edge along the curve (between the small circle and square).
Pull on one thread (usually the bottom, but you could try either to see which works). The fabric should bunch up around the thread. Do this from both ends. Just pull it lightly for now. You’ll come back to this section later.
3. Pin side front to upper front at side front seam, matching notches and small circles. Stitch from armhole edge to small circle, clipping upper front where necessary.
The part you gathered isn’t included in this! The upper front pieces attach just above the gather. I didn’t need to clip the upper front, but you might have to. This just means you can make little snips along the seam, perpendicular to your stitching, that don’t reach the stitching itself. This will generate a smoother curve if your fabric is thicker. After you sew this seam, press it well to smooth the curve.

Here’s what it will look like after sewing and pressing. Notice that the gathered section is BELOW where we sewed the upper front to the side front. You’ll deal with this later.

4. Trim corners of FRONT INTERFACING (3) as shown. Fuse interfacing to wrong side of upper and side front, following manufacturer’s instructions.
I chose not to use interfacing, so I didn’t do this. If you do use interfacing, make sure to “prewash” without getting it hot enough to melt the adhesive. This will help prevent bubbles from forming on the fabric later when you wash it. I’ve found that leaving the interfacing out makes a nicer product (for my tastes), in part because putting an article of clothing through the dryer will almost always shrink the interfacing a bit and cause bubbles, and you CAN’T do this ahead of time because the dryer will melt the adhesive. I guess a solution is simply line drying (which I’m doing with this fabric anyway), but I just got in the habit of not using interfacing and like it.

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