Welcome to Day 5 of the Ali Sweatshirt sewalong! If you’ve missed any posts, check out the main page for the sewalong. Today we’re going to assemble the body of the sweatshirt. Last week we assembled the sleeves and yoke and topstitched the seams. For the body, I don’t usually topstitch the seams but if you’d like to topstitch any of these seams, just follow the same steps we did on Day 4. All right! Let’s dive in.
On day 4 we set up our machines for sewing so we should be ready to go. I like to use the serger/overlocker for these seams but if you don’t have one, you can use your conventional machine. First, let’s stitch the yoke to the sweatshirt back. With right sides together, pin the yoke to the back, matching the notches. To be totally honest, I often don’t mark these notches and just match the center of the back piece to the seam in the yoke.
Tip: When pinning to sew on a serger, insert your pins perpendicular to the edge of the fabric and place them outside the seam allowance. This ensures that you will not accidentally sew over a pin which is particularly dangerous on a serger with the knife engaged.
Go ahead and stitch the seam using a .5 inch seam allowance. Gently press the seam allowance towards the back piece.
Next pin the yoke to the front piece with right sides together. Stitch using a .5 inch seam allowance and gently press the seam allowance towards the front piece.
Tip: If your seams are looking a little wavy (like mine are in these photos) there are a couple of adjustments you can make to your serger behave better. The first option is to adjust the pressure on the presser foot. If your fabric is particularly bulky, you may need to loosen the pressure. Consult your machine’s manual to learn how to adjust the pressure. On my machine (a Brother 1034D), it’s a knob on the top left of the machine. The other thing you can try is to adjust the differential feed. Again consult your manual and always test the settings on a piece of scrap fabric before sewing your garment.
Next, we’re going to sew the sleeves to the body. In the instructions, this step is after we sew the neck binding but for the flow of the sew along, we’ll be doing it now. It really doesn’t matter when you do this step but it may be easier to sew the binding before the sleeves because there’s less fabric to deal with.
Decide which way you want your topstitched seams to go, to the front or to the back of the center of the shoulder point. This is personal preference and it’s a pretty subtle detail so don’t sweat it too much. With right sides together, pin one sleeve to the arm opening, matching the center sleeve seam to the dot marking on the yoke (this is not the center point). Stitch using a .5 inch seam allowance and press seam towards sleeve. Repeat for other sleeve.
All right. That’s it! Your sweatshirt should now look like the above. If you haven’t picked up your copy of the pattern, you can find it in the shop here. Tomorrow we will be sewing the neck binding which will finish the neckline. Full schedule below.
DAY 5 Assembling the Body – Monday, Sept 24
DAY 6 Neckline Binding – Tuesday, Sept 25
DAY 7 Sewing the under arm seams, cuffs and hem band – Wednesday, Sept 26