Tea House Top & Dress: Assembly

Welcome back, Tea House troopers! Today we get to sew through the entitreity of Page 10. We will join our front dress panels - the princess seams - and perform a French seam for the shoulders. This is probably the shortest, easiest entry in the whole sew along. Princess seams can be a little tricky, however.

So let's get started!

center front to side front

We are first attaching the Front Yoke and Center Front joined pieces (B and C) to the Side Fronts (A). I usually put the sharper-curved piece against the bed of the machine, and sew with a short stitch (2.0 mm in this case). Here is a resulting seam, before clipping curves and pressing:

Here is the same seam, after pinking and pressing (the pinking performs the same duty as notching):

Now - it's time for the French seam shoulders!

Sew wrong sides together at the shoulder seams (front to back), at 1/4". In order to make sure the front and back yokes line up when this seam is finished, make sure to pin these intersections right at 5/8", even though you are sewing at 1/4":

Now, take this 1/4" seam over to your tailor's ham or sleeve board. We're about to gently finger-press, then steam-press this seam open.

Now trim these seams down to 1/8". This is kind of a pain, because once these seams are pressed open, it isn't as easy to trim them evenly. That said, I still think it's easier than trimming the seam down to 1/8" and then trying to press the seam open, which is why I press first.

Now, fold the dress again so that this freshly-trimmed seam is enclosed. It will fold beautifully because you pressed it open first. Stitch at 3/8" from this enclosed seam - once again, pinning the yoke intersections to one another right where this final seam will cross:

Look at the gorgeous yoke intersection here! Keep in mind if yours doesn't line up, no one will notice - except you. Lining up intersections in a French seam, not always the easiest task!

So - short and sweet! Next entry we will install the yoke, and we are in for some hand-finishing or "crackstitch" - "stitch in the ditch". A new set of skills to look forward to!

As always, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments.