Lou Box Top Sewalong – Part 5 Shoulder and Side Seams

Last time, we sewed the center back seam, made a button loop and stitched the vent at the back neck. Good work! Now we're ready to make the top take a shape. Today is going to be a little bit easier than the last round, perfect for a Monday, right? Let's get started!

Step 1: With right sides together, pin front piece to the back at shoulders, matching notches.

Stitch using a .5 inch seam allowance. Press seam open. If you have a tailor's ham, it is really useful for pressing this curved seam. If you don't have one, just press a little bit by bit along the shoulder line trying not to press wrinkles into the body of the top.

Step 2: Next we're going to hem the arm openings. If you want, you can do this after sewing the side seams for a slightly cleaner finish. If you're a beginner though, I think it's a little bit easier to hem the arm openings now.

First we're going to stitch .25 inch from the arm opening edge, using a long stitch, 3.0-4.0mm. This stitching line doesn't hold any fabric together but the amazing thing about it is that it makes the fabric much easier to fold. It's kind of like when you're doing origami and make  a crease in the paper before doing a fold.

So, after doing the first line of stitches, head over to your iron and fold to the wrong side along the stitching line and press. Fold again, enclosing the raw edge and press. Pin if needed.

Top stitch the hem in place using a stitch length of 3.0mm. Backstitch at beginning and end.

Step 3:  With right sides together, pin front to back at sides, matching notches.

For straight hem and dip hem, stitch from armhole to hem. (The dip hem is shown above.) Press seams open.  For curved hem, stitch from armhole to 1-3 inches above bottom edge to create a vent. Press seams open.

And that's it for today. Tomorrow, we will be stitching the neck binding. Meanwhile check out the rest of the posts in the series:

Part 4: Sewing the Back  //  Part 3: Cutting Your Fabric //  Part 2: PDF Pattern Prep //  Part 1: Supplies  //  Sewalong Schedule  //  Tester Roundup