Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tutorial part 5. New Look 6963.

New Look 6963.

New Look 6963
Yesterday we inserted the sleeve.   Sandra asked in which way up the sleeve goes when stitching - face up or face down, as she has seen both methods.  I think if you had a free arm machine it would be tempting to go face down, as you could slip the garment and sleeve over the free arm.  I use a flatbed, and also follow the method used in "Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers" by Julie Cole and Sharon Czachor - "stitch the sleeve with the sleeve facing up, beginning at the underarm seam".  I have added this to yesterday's tutorial segment, so thank you Sandra :)

I also find that you can keep an eye on the easing - fingernails are good to smidge a little a long if there is a gather or pucker happening.

Also, steaming puckers out works wonders - I haven't talked about that here, but if you have some puckers, place your sleeve head over a tailor's ham (or a rolled up hand towel, which I normally use, being a bit lazy about fetching the tailor's ham sometimes - I do use it for tailoring, but for odd jobs, whatever is lying around tends to get utilized!)

Right, today's segment.  The hem:

The instructions ask you to finish the facing and hem edge first:

Fold facing to the outside of the shirt (the right side) so that the interfacing shows.

Stitch across the facing edge 5/8 inch in.  Then trim back as you do for the collar leaving 5/8 inch at the end.  This gives you something to anchor your facing/hem later.

Then turn the facing inside out:

 You will notice that you the hem left to deal with.  The instructions ask you to do a form a narrow hem of 5/8 inch - and then folding the edge over to meet the crease.

As this is a curved hem, a template helps here.  I just trace off the hemline shape and press over the template. ( I use very lightweight card, and reuse it for this pattern).

Template for New Look 6963.

Above you can see me rolling the edge over the template and ironing the hem allowance crease.

And below I am turning in the raw edge to meet the crease:

Then I stitch the hem on the inside:

The finished hem, and I have also edge stitched the facing along the front edge.  If you don't do this, the facing will always roll out.  Patterns don't always state this, but any facing will sit better and not roll out if it is understitched - or if you prefer, edge or topstitched.

If you look at the photo above you will see a blue line - this is the CF line.  I always mark the CF and CB.  I use a disappearing marker on this fabric, but use what works for your fabric - whether marker, chalk or a tailors tack on those fabrics that can't take markers or chalk.

Tomorrow: the Buttonholes and Buttons

Sarah Liz


  1. It will be blouse you will wear often :-)

  2. Good luck with your sewalong! I sometimes think; I've made so many tailored shirts for my menfolk in my life I could almost make one in my sleep now!

    1. Thank you Carolyn - I could certainly make this one in my sleep now, so I know what you mean :)

  3. Good tutorial, and clear photos. Finishing the facing confused me greatly when I began sewing years ago. I would pin it and turn it inside out to check my logic. :-)

    1. Hi Mary - I still pin and check things before sewing sometimes - especially if my brain is having one of it's little moments :).

  4. Thank you, Sarah Liz, for answering my question about the sleeves. I did get them both sewn in, but boy oh boy is it ever pin-prickly. And thanks for continuing this tutorial series. There's always more to learn about sewing!

    1. Hi Sandra, well done on getting the sleeves in - and do baste them if this makes it easier for you. Somewhere we get the idea that we should be quick and just pin things, but there is nothing wrong with basting first.

  5. I didn't know that we can use a template to work on curved hem. Thank you so much for sharing this tutorials.

    1. Yes, one of those handy hints I read somewhere :)