Sewing the Marigold jumpsuit? I'm going to show you how to sew the straps and attach the neckline facing, which will create a neat and structured finish on the bodice neckline.
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Remember in the post on cutting and stabilising we applied interfacing to the neckline facings and to half of each strap? And we added stabilising tape or interfacing strips to the bodice necklines to add structure and help stop them gaping or stretching out of shape. If you missed these steps out, do them now!
Fold each of the two straps in half lengthways, right sides together. Pin together the long raw edges on each strap. Stitch, back tacking at each end.
Trim the seam allowances down to about half their width.
Press the seam allowances open to neaten the seam line. You can do this by temporarily rolling the seam line to the centre of the piece.
Now turn the straps right sides out. Press the seam allowances open again, then roll the seam line to the edge and press the straps flat.
Edgestitch (in other words, topstitch close to the edge) the two long sides of each strap, about 3mm (1/16in) from the fold - or however close you feel comfortable sewing. I'm sewing in pink so you can see the stitching but, unless you want to make a decorative feature out of the stitching, you'll probably want to sew in thread that matches your fabric.
Now we can add the straps to the bodice. You should have snipped strap notches on both front and back bodice necklines - check the pattern again if you missed this bit. With the bodice right sides out and front bodice facing up, lay the straps over it, the interfacing side against the bodice. Line up one raw edge of each strap between the strap notches on each side of the front bodice, with the shorter side of the straps towards the sides seams - the ends of the straps are angled to allow for sloping shoulders.
Pin the straps to the front bodice, with the pins parallel to and 15mm (5/8in) down from the raw edge - in other words, where you'll stitch them in place in a bit.
Fold the straps around to the back bodice, checking they're not twisted, and pin the other ends to the strap notches on the back bodice in the same way.
Now you can try your bodice on and see if you want to adjust the length or position of the straps to suit your shoulders. The bodice should sit high enough to cover your bra (if you wear one), bearing in mind that the neckline will be 15mm (5/8in) down from the raw edge once the facing is attached. Try not to make it too high though - it needs to hang fairly loose to feel comfortable and not dig into your armpits.
You may need to shuffle the straps towards or away from the side seams slightly to cover your bra straps.
You'll want the straps to sit nice and flat against your torso, without any random sticky-uppy folds of fabric. You can adjust the angle of the pinned ends - pulling in one side further than the other - to make them right for the slope of your shoulders.
It's worth taking the time to get the straps just right for you. But just be careful not to make them too short or tight, as the whole thing will feel much snugger once the neckline facing is attached :) Once you're happy, tack (baste) them in place by stitching 10mm (3/8in) from the raw edge. Trim off any excess if you shortened or re-angled the straps.
Okey dokey, let's add the neckline facing. This will create a neat and structured finish to the neckline. You should have already sewn the side seams and finished the bottom edge in an earlier step.
With the bodice right sides out, open the zip and temporarily fold the zip tapes and seam allowances out flat. Pin the facing to the bodice neckline, right sides together, with the straps sandwiched in between. Line up the side seams, notches and V of the sweetheart neckline.
The short ends of the facing should be pinned to the flattened-out zip tapes and seam allowances like this (above).
Do you remember at the cutting stage we marked a pivot point on the facing interfacing below the V of the sweetheart neckline? Check you can still see it, as it will help you sew the V in the right place.
Sew the facing to the bodice neckline, pivoting the angle of stitching when you get to the side seams and the pivot point. Gently steer the fabric to sew the curves on the front bodice, making sure the raw edge is lined up with the 15 / 5/8 guide. It can be helpful to shorten the stitch length slightly when sewing curves, but on the downside shorter stitches can go a little wobbly if you're not careful (and are a nightmare to unpick!) - so maybe try a 2mm stitch length and see how you go.
It's a good idea to reinforce the V of the sweetheart neckline with an extra line of stitching directly on top of - or just slightly to the seam allowance side of - the original line. That way you're less likely to get holes developing from when you clip it in a minute...
Now you can trim the seam allowances down. The curve of the raw edge is longer than the curve of the stitching line, so we need to reduce it so it doesn't look bulky once it's turned to the inside. You can either trim the seam allowances down close to the seam line, or trim them down about half way and notch little triangles into the seam allowance.
At this point, if I'm making it I'll try it on again, with the facing turned temporarily to the wrong side, just to triple check the strap position and length. If you want to move them, you can just unpick the few stitches that go across each strap and sew over that bit again once they're in the right place.
To help keep the facing on the inside of the jumpsuit when it's worn, we're going to understitch - which basically means sewing the seam allowances to the facing.
First, press the seam allowances open to define a neat seam line, then press the facing and seam allowances away from the bodice.
Understitch through the layers, close to the seam line - I line up the seam line with a notch on my presser foot to sew at an equal distance all the way round. Hold the facing and seam allowances away from the neckline as you're sewing so you don't get any random folds of fabric. Don't sew over the zip - you can start and end a little bit away from the zip as long as you back tack.
In the photo, I'm showing you understitching from the wrong side so you can see which layers I'm sewing through, but you can sew from the right side if you prefer.
Now we can attach the short ends of the facing to the bodice. Fold the facing over the bodice along the neckline seam (not the understitching line), right sides together. Pin the short ends of the facing to the zip tapes and seam allowances. Using a zip foot or adjustable zip foot, stitch them in place, close to the zip teeth.
If you've got any sticky-out bits of zip tape in the top corners within the seam allowances, you can trim these down a little to reduce bulk.
Turn the facing over to the wrong side of the bodice. Press it in place, rolling the neckline seam ever so slightly (about 2mm / 1/16in) to the wrong side so it won't be visible when you wear your jumpsuit. Press the straps away from the bodice, pressing out any folds where they join the neckline.
Pin the lower edge of the facing to the wrong side of the bodice as you press it.
Now you can topstitch the facing to the bodice, 30mm (1 1/4in) from the neckline edge. Don't sew over the zip teeth though. Hold the layers nice and flat as they go through the machine. If you sew with the bodice wrong side up, the interfaced top layer will help keep the two layers going under the needle at the same speed, and thus hopefully avoid shifting layers and diagonal ripples.
Give the topstitching a press, and that's it for the bodice! Doesn't it look cute?
We're nearly finished - hooray! In the final part of the Marigold sewalong, we're going to add the elasticated waistband and hem the trousers. Don't forget to tag us in on Instagram @TillyButtons #SewingMarigold with your work-in-progress pics and finished jumpsuits. Can't wait to see...