Sunday 29 March 2015

Lottie Blouse Sew-along Week 4 - Neckline binding and sleeves

Are you ready for some more steps? I've had a pretty hectic week, so have only managed to get a moment at the sewing table this afternoon - thankfully I managed to squeeze in a few photos when the sun was still up, but you will see that the pictures got darker and darker later on...

Right, today we are going to bind the neckline and also set the sleeves. Let's begin!

The neckline is bound with self-fabric bias binding. You will have cut out a strip of fabric on the bias based on the pattern, and it should be more than enough for the neckline. I made mine using this gadget, but if you don't have one, you can still fold it manually following this tutorial. Do make sure you have the correct way up when it begins the fold. 
Next, we are going to pin the right side of the bias tape (with one side unfolded/opened up) to the wrong side of the neckline, matching raw edges. You will see that I'm starting from half way up the neckline, and there's a long tail end on the other side where I will not be sewing. This is because we will be sewing a neck tie next week, so only the bottom part of the neckline will be left exposed. 

Sew in the fold line, or "stitch in the ditch" if you fancied a rhyme. Go extra slowly round the curves. Clip off the tail end. 

Turn the blouse right side out, and fold the bias over the edge on the right side, overlapping ever so slightly the first line of stitching. Pin and sew close to the edge of the bias, and you should end up with something similar to the first photo in this post.  

Make yourself a cup of tea and have a little break, before we start on the sleeves :)  OK, now, set your stitch length as high as possible, and sew a straight line between notches, without backstitching on both ends, and also leaving long tails.

Pin the underarm seams with wrong side together, and sew with a 0.5cm seam. As with last week, we are going to use French Seams here. Trim the seam down, flip over and pin again with the right sides together, enclosing the seams. Sew again with a 0.5cm seam. 

Do the same for the other sleeve. 

Next, let's set the sleeves. For this I'm trying out using French seams also following this tutorial. Because of this, I'm attaching the sleeve to the armhole with wrong sides together, and easing the gathers between notches by pulling the bobbin thread to fit the curvature of the armhole. Pin all around, leaving the side and shoulder seam allowances towards the back. 

Sew a 0.5cm seam, going slowly to avoid puckers. Trim close to the edge - this step is more important than the French seams we have done so far, as this is a curvy seam, and the less bulk, the better. 

Turn the sleeve wrong side out, pinning the seam together with right sides together. 

Sew a 0.5cm seam again. 

Do the same for the other sleeve, and you are done for this week! 

This is what mine looks like with the right side out. 

 I like how my seams are lining up under the arms! 

And on the inside:

We are almost there and should have it all ready before Spring arrives properly :D Have a lovely week ahead my dear readers! 


  1. Hi, I have been following your sew along and just about to start cutting the pattern pieces. I fall between the 8 and 10 size wise although my high bust measurement is 33 which is closest to the size 8 and this matches my hip measurement also. Being a novice sewer I am a bit undecided which size to cut! I will use a cotton lawn or something quite stable fabric wise. Do you think overall the fit is on the loose side with this blouse?

    1. Hello Claire, thank you for following the sew-along.

      The pattern is pretty loose fitting, as it has no waist darts or closures. If I were you I would cut an 8.

      Good luck and I can't wait to see what you make! Do upload your in progress photos to the Flickr group of you can :)

  2. Thank you for replying. Yes, will upload some pictures x

  3. these step by step take on your tasks have proved to be so helpful for me to actually convince myself into attempting it, all thank to you.


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