Plantain Sew Along #5 The Finishing Touches
These are the last steps guys! Are you excited to finish up your Plantain and wear it? I sure am! So let's get started - first up, the neck binding. * We will be using a serger throughout most of our steps. Remember you can use your home machine. Refer back to this post to decide which stitch will work best for you. Take the strip you cut out and sew it, right sides together, on the short end. Most knits want to curl up on the edges. This makes it hard to work with. We like to spary some Best Press and iron it. This helps relax the fabric. Next you are going to fold the neck band in half, wrong sides together. Again, use the iron and Best Press if you have it. We are going to walk through the steps to attach the neck band. You'll notice the neck band is much smaller around than the neck of the shirt. This is where the beauty of knit comes in! The smaller neck band will suck the neck in just enough to stabilize it and prevent it from being floppy. As you sew the neck band, remember that the main objective is to evenly ease (stretch) the neck band onto the neck of the shirt as straight as possible. The neck band needs to be sewn onto the neck of the shirt with right sides together. Start by turning your shirt right side out. Match up the seam of the neck band to the back of the shirt making sure that the raw edges of the neck band are lined up with the raw edge of the shirt. Remember, the band will attach to the right side of the shirt. Next you need to find the center of the neck band and pin it to the front center of your shirt. Now pin the neck band to the shoulder seams. Do your best to keep things even. From here you can add as many more pins as you'd like. Just always keep the stretch as even as possible. The more pins you add the easier it is to manage under the sewing machine. But I can relate if you are feeling lazy and just want to do a few pins. You'll find your groove and what you can get away with. Here are the main things to keep in mind. * Stretch the neck band to meet the shirt. Try not to stretch the shirt. If you get done and you have gathers around your neck, it's because your shirt got stretched. No biggie, now you know how to avoid that next time. * Keep all three raw edges lined up as well as you can. It helps to go slow and adjust often. * Don't take your pins out too soon. Those pins are your bookmark and keep the neck band evenly distributed. Ready to do some hemming? Here are the tools we use to make this part a breeze. We already talked about how much we love Best Press. We'll be using that a lot in this step too. Let's talk about Wonder Tape. It's a double sided, iron-on adhesive tape. It will give your raw edges stability and it's tacky so you can finger press it into place. And it completely washes away in the washer. Cool, right?! We have serged all of our raw edges. This keeps the edges from curling and makes it easier to work with. If you don't have a serger, you will want to get some Wonder Tape and run it across all of your raw edges. We sered so we can just use small pieces of it to tape the hem into place. How to hem with Wonder Tape: * Finger press the tape on the raw edges * Iron in place * Peel the paper off * Use your seam gauge to measure a 3/4" hem * Finger Press * Iron in place The bottom of your shirt is flared. That means when you fold up the bottom you will get a little excess. Use your Wonder Tape to smooth it into place. Now we are ready to top stitch. (This just means that the stitches will be on top.) If you look at the hem of your off the rack t-shirts, you'll see there are two rows of stitches. The manufactuer used a fancy cover stitch machine. We are going to use a double needle. Top of the double needle stitch. Back of the double needle stitch. Now that your sewing machine is set up, let's finish this shirt up! You have to sew on the right side of the shirt so be careful to catch the hem. 5/8 seam allowance worked well for us. The shirt we are making is really lightweight so you can kind of see where the hem is lining up witht he needles through the fabric. Just take a peek underneath to see if you are going to catch the raw edge. (This is where taking your time and making sure you press the edge up evenly at 3/4 inch is going to save you a ton of time in the long run.) To hem the tiny sleeves, we turn the shirt wrong side out and slide the sleeve in like this (still stitching on the right side). You can find what works for you. You can top stitch the neck line if you'd like. This adds a nice finish. We put the stitches just below the seam. Play with it and see what suits you. If you've made a sleeveless t-shirt you can finish the arm holes exactly like you did the neckline. Measure the armholes with a fabric tape measure. Cut an arm band the same width as the neckband and 3/4 or less of the armhole size. Or you can hem them like we've done on the bottom of the shirt and sleeves. You can also choose to not finish any of your raw edges. After all, it's knit and it's your shirt. Bree finished the neckline but left the rest raw. And that's a wrap! We hope that you had fun and love your Plantain. We love seeing your finished t-shirts. So much so that we are giving away a $50 store gift card to one lucky person! You just have to make a Plantain in April and show us. You have until April 30th to enter!