In today's Lottie Dress & Shirt Pattern Sewalong post, we are talking about sewing the arm binding. So this post only applies if you are making a sleeveless version of the shirt, dress, or maxi. If you are making a version with short sleeves or the 3/4-length sleeves, you can skip today's post and move onto the last post on Friday!
For those of you making a sleeveless version, the arm binding is identical to the neck binding. You should have already done that part by now, so doing the process two more times will hopefully feel familiar! Let's get started!
Before sewing the binding to the armscye, the side seams and shoulder seams need to be sewn. You should already be at that point anyway, if following the directions, but it's worth pointing out that this will not work without those already done!
To form the binding, fold one of the binding pieces in half, right sides together, and sew along the short end. Trim the seam allowance in half.
Press the seam allowance open on the binding. This is easier done with a sleeve board.
Fold the binding in half and press, making sure that the raw edges stay perfectly aligned during the pressing process. Again, a sleeve board will make this step much easier!
Divide the binding into four equal parts. I use the seam as my starting point and mark the opposite point, then use those two marks to find the half way point between them on either side.
Turn your garment right side out. Divide the armscye into four equal parts as well. I start at the underarm seam, then find the point opposite it and mark it. Note: as you can see in the image above, the shoulder seam will not be the middle point, so do not use that in assumption. Use those two anchor points to find the half way point between them on either side.
This is a curve, so much like the neckline, be careful not to stretch it out during this process.
Pin the binding to the armscye, with right sides together. Pin first at the matching four anchor points, placing the seam on the binding at the underarm seam, then pin in between. The raw edges of the binding should line up with the raw edges of the opening.
As long as the binding and opening haven't been stretched, they should fit together perfectly and no easing will be required.
Sew the binding to the armscye at the regular 5/8" seam allowance. Take your time and stay on your seam allowance, so the distance between the needle and the fold on the left are consistent all the way around.
Press the binding and seam allowance away from the garment. Slip a pressing ham into the opening to act as your body to allow the pressing to happen on a curve.
Understitch the binding by sewing through the binding and seam allowance, about 1/16" from the seam from the previous step. Only catch the seam allowance and binding in this step.
Trim the excess seam allowance away on the inside of the armscye. It should be trimmed down to approximately 1/8" so it is smaller than the binding. This is a great moment to use smaller 5" scissors so you don't accidentally cut the garment itself!
Turn the garment wrong side out and flip the binding to the inside, taking about 1/16" of the fabric along with it. Because of the understitching, it will roll to the wrong side easily. Use your pressing ham again to take the place of your body and press this extremely well. Pin it in place after pressing to prepare for sewing.
Stitch the binding in place by sewing close to the fold of the binding, as pictured above. Just like with the neck binding, this requires a good pressing to look perfect after sewing. Use your ham and a hot iron to really flatten the binding so it doesn't stick out straight from the body.
Repeat all the steps above to bind the second armscye for two finished openings! Yay!
We are nearly done, and the next post is our last! In it we will talk about hemming the garment as well as hemming the sleeves, and also how to make the skinny belt. See you then!