Friday, September 25, 2015

Georgia Sew Along - Sew It Up in Two Hours!

I'm happy to bring you the Georgia Top Sew Along!

 The Georgia Top is a versatile knit top pattern you will make over and over.  She's gonna be your best friend AND you can make her in under TWO hours! Here's a sew along with full color photos to help guide you through and you'll learn everything you need to know to get begin sewing on knits.   The Georgia PDF pattern is on sale for just $6 through the end of September so grab your copy and make yourself make a new sweatshirt!

Blue Dot instructions are fully illustrated and divided into areas of construction or steps.  Working on one area at a time takes the mystery out of garment construction and helps you learn how to sew.  For example, when you finish the "Neckline" construction, you'll know how to construct a neckline on any basic t-shirt pattern, with or without instructions.

Georgia has 4 major steps: Bands, Neckline, Body and Finishing  

4 steps....easy peasy, right?
Okay....are you ready to have a new top in under two hours?  

Here's what you'll need:

  • Georgia PDF Pattern View A by Blue Dot (printed and taped together).
  • Knit fabric (1 3/4 yards of 60" fabric)
  • Basic notions: scissors, pins, measuring tape, etc
  • Ball point machine needle (for knits).
  • A chick movie that's under 2 hours (because you'll be done before then!)
  • Optional for straight hem:  twin needle for knits, spray starch.

Some things you should know before we get started (and before you sew with any knits):

You don't need a serger to sew with knits.  Certainly it can make it easier and faster but I'm here to tell you, and more importantly show you, how to do it with your regular machine. All knits are different so every time I start a project I make a test swatch to see which stitch works with my fabric.  After putting a ball point needle in my machine I try different stitches:
  1. The top stitch is the knit stitch built into my machine (#6 on the left).  
  2. The middle stitch is a basic zigzag 2.0 wide and 1.5 long.
  3. The bottom stitch is the overcast stitch built into my machine (#4 on the right).
The overcast stitch gave me all of the stretch and recovery a serger would so that's the stitch I went with.

Pattern layout and cutting:

 I decided to make my Georgia a tunic length so I added 3" to the hem of the front and back pattern pieces and hem the bottom instead of adding a waistband.

I used a navy and white stripe mystery knit I bought on my trip to the NY fabric district. It's the weight of a ponte knit with great recovery (it bounces back to shape after it's stretched).  Because I used a stripe I took the time to line up the stripes before I laid the pattern pieces on the fabric (see below). 

Pin your pieces down (using the layout in the pattern), cut them out and mark the notches with a 1/4" clip from your scissors at each notch, center front and center back. 

Notes about sewing:

All seam allowances are 1/2". 

RST (means "right sides together" or pretty sides of the fabric facing each other).

Now you're we go!

Step 1:  Bands

With RST, stitch armbands and neckband ends together forming a circle.  Press bands in half.

Step 2: Neckline

With RST, stitch front to back at shoulders.  Press seam toward the back.

With RST, pin neckband to neckline matching center fronts, center backs and notches to shoulders.  

Stitch in place, stretching neckband to fit. 

Tip: To make your neckband even, be sure the distance between the left edge of your foot and the fold of your neckband are equal. 

Step 3: Body and Sleeves

With RST, stitch front to back at side seams.  Press seam toward the back.

With RST, pin armband to arm, matching notches and underarm seams.  Stitch in place stretching armbands to fit.

Step 4: Finishing (yes you're already there!)

I'm leaving the waistband off and opting for a straight hem.  If you add the band it attaches the same way the neckline did.  Most people are afraid of hemming knits but follow these steps and you will be an expert: 

  • Fold up desired hem width (mine is 3/4").
  • Spray the hem with spray starch and press (this keeps your knit from moving out of place).

  • Place the twin needle in your machine.
  • Put two thread sources at the top of your machine (most machines come with an extra spool holder you can attach to the machine and an extra bobbin works great as the second source of thread).
  • Treat both threads as one and thread the machine.  Put one thread through each eye of the needle.
  • From the right side of the fabric, stitch hem in place.
It looks just like a store bought top!

With your twin needle, topstitch the neckline 1/8" from the neck band.  Repeat for the armband.

It looks great!

That's it guys!  You're done!  I bet your chick flick hasn't even ended!

I'd love to see your finished Georgia.  Send me a pic.

Enjoy your sewing....and your movie.



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  2. Super cute and easy! I loves me a bold black and white stripe. nice hem touch Nice Tutorial. I had to add that I got Georgia on my mind!

    1. Thank you! It was time to add a stripe to my closet! You're up next...