I recently made Lekala 4119. If you’ve tried Lekala you’ll know the instructions generally expect you to have a fairly decent knowledge of garment construction or time to google. Or both. These are the complete instructions of the top describes as “Blouse with Draping”
This is a great easy to wear top. Cowls are in, but sleeveless ones narrow down their wearability. With this there’s no sleeves to set in so it’s a really quick make – if you know what you’re doing!
I like a clean finish on all my clothes – makes them last longer, they look more professional and less home made. I thought I’d share how I finish my tops and dresses with a cowl neck.
Bear with me. I’m not a teacher, and I’ve never had sewing lessons. This is just how I’ve found best to do it.
We are going to use a single folded piece of our jersey. It needs a little bit of stretch. If your fabric has stripes or a pattern try and use them – it make it easier when sewing if you’re following a pattern.
The length should be slightly longer than what is required. Fold it in half and press. This top called for a 1cm seam allowance, so your band wants to be slightly more than this -after folding.
I thought the width of the piece below was too wide so I chopped off one stripe. (really technical!). Once you’re happy, pin in place, pulling very slightly so the strip of jersey binding is slightly smaller than the neck line. Stitch binding to back neck line using a 1 cm seam allowance – I used the stripes as a guide – you can just make it out as I had a slight wobble midway. Turn it over and make sure it looks even. Trim off excess binding. Now you need to finish off your seam allowance. I overlock/serge mine, but you could trim it slightly and zig zag the edges. To serge or zig sag turn the fabric back to how it was when you stitched your binding on. Overlocked/serger……. Give it a good press. Top stitch in place with a normal straight stitch. The inside finished. Next you need to sew the shoulder seams. Below you can see the front and back are about the same size. Close up of neckline where front and back pieces will join. We need the front to over lap the back so shift your fabric so the front overhangs the back by 1.5cm. Bend it over and pin. Stitch – I use a straight stitch for all neck and shoulder seams on a cowl top as there’s no negative ease. Turn it the right way to check it’s ok. Inside view: Outside view: Turn the top back to inside out and finish your shoulder seam. I haven’t used any clear elastic to stabilise the seams but you can if you prefer. I like to topstitch to strength the seam and finish it off nicely. On some tops I’ve made which are slinky jersey i’ve not finished off the front neckline at all, and just left, as Jersey doesn’t fray. In this case I used wonda web to hem it – it gives it a sharp finish and no stitching to be seen. Ta-dah! and another! And another! I finished the bottom hem the same way but top stitched it with a twin needle (pat on the back – not done this before! well, not successfully!). Hope that’s useful. Any questions leave a comment or email me! Or if you spot any errors or anything that doesn’t make sense, let me know.