Today post in our Lottie Dress & Shirt Pattern Sewawlong is much lighter than the last, as we are only focusing on the side seams and the vents. After this step, things really start to take their shape! Note: if you want to 100% confirm the fit of the pattern, you can always baste the side seams first, try it on, and adjust accordingly. If you need to take it in a tiny bit or make it a smidge larger, it's still possible during this step by simply reducing or enlarging your seam allowance. Hopefully you made a muslin and nothing major needs to be adjusted! But small amounts are totally acceptable at this point. Okay, let's get started!
1. All the views have side seams that need to be sewn, but if you're making a shirt or maxi version, you will have a stopping point on the side seam and will not be going all the way to the hem. In this first step, simply pin the side seams together, right sides facing. If you will have a vent, be sure to clearly mark where you want to stop on both side seams, so they are of equal distance from the hem.
2. Sewing from the sleeve hem, sew down towards the hem. At the underarm curve, take your time and go slow. If you feel uneasy on curves, you can always draw yourself a line to follow. Just make sure the marking tool is water soluble! If you feel uneasy about making the curve smooth, you can also reduce the stitch length so the stitches span less distance and create a smoother curve.
3. Once you've sewn down to your hem or stopping point for the vent, the seam allowance needs to be finished. If you do not have a vent, you can finish each edge individually and press the seam open; or you can finish the seam allowances together and press them toward the back. You can also skip steps 4–7!
If you have a vent in your view, keep reading! For the vents, the seam allowances must be finished separately so the seam can be pressed open. I choose to serge mine, as pictured above. Note: I do not do this first as it can stretch out the fabric, especially the curve. So only do the finishing after the seam is stitched. While you're pressing, once you reach the section unstitched, press the seam allowance to be consistent with the width of the part that has been sewn above it.
All views need to have notches cut into the underarm curve for the fabric to spread and open to lay flat. Simply snip into the seam allowance, getting close to the stitching, but do not cut through it!
4. Fold the seam allowance in half at the vent, and a couple of inches above the top of the vent, and press.
5. Before we topstitch the vent in place, you might want to tell yourself where to turn at the top of the vent. As always, be sure to use a water soluble marking tool. I like to turn about 3/8–1/2" above the top of the vent, but this is purely personal preference.
6. Starting at the hem, sew up one side of the vent, pivot, sew across the seam allowance, pivot, and sew back down to the hem. Edge stitch about 1/16–1/8" from the edge.
7. Give the vent a good press and repeat all the vent steps on the other side seam for an even pair. And that's it for today!
We will be back here Wednesday to learn how to bind the sleeveless version, and then Friday we will wrap it all up! See you then!