Today we’re going to start the construction of our Dartmouth Tops! If you’re making view A with the Ruched Front start here, otherwise you can jump ahead to the Shoulder Seams section. Make sure you have all your pieces cut and prepped!
Creating the Ruched Front
Start by cutting two 4” pieces of elastic (not clear elastic.) Mark the elastic 1/2” from each end. This elastic is going to be creating the gathers so make sure it has a good amount of recovery when you stretch it out!
Pin the elastic to the wrong side of the outer front, matching the marks you drew with the elastic placement notches. The fabric will be bunched in between the pins.
On a regular sewing machine, sew the first 1/2” of elastic to the wrong side of the outer front within the seam allowance using a wide zigzag stitch. When you reach the first pin, keep the needle down and stretch the elastic until the fabric lays flat. Sew the elastic in this stretched position until the second notch. Stop stretching the elastic and sew the final 1/2” of elastic unstretched.
Repeat with the second side of the outer front.
Pin both fronts to the back at the shoulders, right sides together. Place a piece of elastic along the stitching line and sew through all three layers. Press the seam allowance towards the back.
If, like me, your serger doesn’t much like trying to sew through elastic, cut your piece a bit longer and feed the elastic into the serger by itself until it has a few stitches in it and then add the shoulders underneath the elastic.
Fold the neckband in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and give a good press.
Matching the raw edges of the shirt with the raw edges of the neckband, pin the neckband all the way around the two fronts and the back, matching the notches.
Sew in place and press the seam allowance down towards the shirt. Optionally, you can topstitch to keep the seam allowance down. That’s it for today! Next time, we’ll baste the fronts together and attach our sleeves.