Welcome to the second day of the French Navy Morningside Dress and Shirt Sew Along! Today we are putting needle to fabric and are starting sewing!!
Yesterday was all about printing and cutting out your pattern. If you haven’t done that yet, don’t worry, we’re taking this step by step so there is plenty of time to catch up or do this at your own pace.
Also, if you haven’t heard yet, there is a giveaway at the end of the Sew Along. Yay!! I’ll fill you in on the details at the end!
Sewing the Placket
Let’s get started!
Today we are easing into sewing the placket.
This little stunner is not difficult but it does have quite a few steps to complete. It will also be sitting front and center of your make so it’s worth taking your time and sewing with care.
After the placket the rest of the construction for your shirt or dress is pretty straight forward!
Follow along the steps in the five sections below and you’ll be well on your way.
But remember, if at any point you feel unsure or stuck, I’ll be popping onto Instagram live each day to talk through the steps and answer any questions you have. So catch me there with anything you want to ask, or just to chat all things sewing, dresses, shirts and fabric – I’m ALWAYS up for a sewing chats!
Interface the right and left placket, and placket opening as per the pattern instructions (page 17).
If you want a stiffer placket you can extend the sides of the interfacing panels on the left and right placket by 1cm on either side. This means the interfacing extends past the stitch line, instead of finishing at it, and gives the whole placket a bit more structure.
Place your interfacing shiny side down onto the relevant spot on your fabric and press. I like to place a layer of baking paper between the interfacing and my iron. This prevents my iron from getting sticky if there are any accidental edges of the interfacing folded up etc. It also serves to protect the fabric in the same way a press cloth does.
As you fuse the interfacing to your fabric be sure to place your iron over the spot and hold for 20-30 seconds. Avoid moving the iron back and forth as this can distort the interfacing and fabric, instead, lift your iron and place it back down again on the next spot.
We’re working ahead a little here but while you’re at, it interface one collar and collar stand so they are ready for when you need them.
With pattern pieces that are fully interfaced, I like to do a kind of reverse block fuse.
Block fusing is used to avoid warping your fabric as you interface. For block fusing, you interface a panel of fabric big enough to fit your pattern pieces and then proceed to cut them out from the pre-interfaced fabric panel.
I reverse this to avoid wasting excess fabric. Instead I lay a panel of interfacing shiny side up on my ironing board, place the cut out fabric pattern pieces with wrong side down onto the interfacing.
Add a layer of baking paper on top and press. The baking paper protects your iron as well as the interfacing, which is then is easily peeled away.
Once the fabric pieces are cut out, all of the remaining interfacing can be used for your next project!
Stay stitch the front neckline and both yoke necklines in towards the center.
Mark a 1cm seam allowance along the three sides of the placket opening with a washable fabric marker or chalk.
Stitch along these marked lines at the bottom of the placket opening. Start at approximately 3cm from the bottom and stitch around to the other side at the same height. For added stability and accuracy, narrow your stitch length to 1 as you approach the corners.
Go slow here so you can be sure to lower your needle right into the corner. Lift your foot, rotate the fabric and continue stitching. Repeat at the other corner.
Use your scissors to carefully clip towards the corners, making sure to end just before stitch line.
Prepping the right placket
Mark fold lines and seam lines onto both sides of the the right placket with a washable fabric marker.
Fold the seam allowance closest to Foldline 3 (F3) toward the inside of the placket on the wrong side. Press.
Right side up, accordion fold the placket by bringing Foldline 1 to meet Foldline 3. Finger press in place and fold along F3 back in the opposite direction.
Attaching to the bodice
Right sides together, pin the unfolded long edge of the placket to the right side of the placket opening.
Make sureyou’re paying attention here and attaching it right sides together so you don’t have to get your seam ripper out (like I had to!)
If you’re new to sewing, I’d suggest getting used to the idea of becoming very familiar with your seam ripper! I have three in different spots so they are always close at hand! That said, if you go slowly and refer back to the instructions you’ll minimise the number of times you have to reach for it.
Place a pin at the exact point of the corner previously sewn. Pin the rest of the placket in place.
I like to place my pins horizontally and out of the line of the needle so I’m not having to pull each one out as I come to them. (Don’t stitch straight over a pin – you might end up with a broken needle flying off your machine!)
Stitch slowly along the line you marked earlier, exactly to the pin you placed the corner and press the seam toward the placket.
The key is to pick a point to align your fabric with so you can guide it through evenly. I either watch the edge of the fabric against the marks on the throat plate of my machine or in this case I watched the marked line, keeping it in the center of the foot and in line with the needle.
Fold the placket back into the accordion folds. Pull the placket bottom through the slit onto the right side of the shirt or dress front, and press.
Pin through all layers of the placket. On the inside be sure to secure very close to the folded edge you first created.
Place a pin at the exact end-point of the stitch line sewn. Stitch in the Ditch to the exact point of the pin.
I like to use the edge foot (also known as a Joining foot or Stitch-in-the-Ditch foot) to help guide my stitches. But an ordinary foot will do just fine, just keep an eye on where you are aligning your fabric. I very gently gently stretch the fabric horizontally so that the needle doesn’t catch the front placket fabric.
If you flip your fabric over and have a some spots where the stiching has missed the folded edges you can re-pin and have another go or you could just add in a couple of sneaky hand stitches to secure it!
Alternatively, if stitching in the ditch is too fiddly for your liking you can swap it out for edge stitching. Just stitch about 3mm from the seam to secure all the pieces together.
Below is what your placket should now look like from the inside!
And that’s it for day 2!! Congratulations you’re half way through your placket!
Tomorrow we will complete it! I’ll be going live on Instagram soon so come along and bring any questions you have. Otherwise, send me a message or leave a comment below.
Did you hear? There’s a GIVEAWAY!
Not only will you have a brand new garment the end of the week – you could be in with a chance to win a pattern of your choice from French Navy!
Sarah, is generously contriubting two PDF patterns that will go to two separate winners at the end of the sew along!
To enter all you have to do is:
1. Follow me @indybindyfabrics
2. Follow Sarah @frenchnavynow_
3. Comment on my Instagram post yesterday announcing the giveaway and let us know you’re taking part in the sew along
4. Tag both of us in the caption of a post of your Morningside dress or shirt pants (complete or in process!) The more posts you tag us in the more entries you get!
5. Be sure to include the hashtags #sewitwithindybindy and either #morningsidedress or#morningsideshirt so we can keep track of all the entries and see your gorgeous makes!!
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See the other posts related to the Morningside Dress and Shirt Sew Along: