Added May 3, 2010
Fold band in half lengthwise, wrong side facing in. Press. Mark 4 points on open edges to help stitch on the neckline band properly: Mark one point 24 cm (91/2 ins) from narrow edge (incl. 1 cm / 3/8 in seam allowance). Mark a second point 23 cm (91/8 ins) from the first mark. Clip into seam allowances of joining edge at these points by about 5 mm (3/16 in). Unfold band again. Lay a piece of shirring elastic on wrong fabric side of band, exactly within the pressed crease. Stitch over elastic at a zigzag setting, beginning and ending 1 cm (3/8 in) before ends of band (= width of seam allowance). The zigzag stitch should be just wide enough not to catch the elastic or you will not be able to pull it to shirr the fabric (6).
Fold band again on fold line, with wrong side facing in, and pin open edges together. For the rest of the shirring, mark 7 more lines on one half of band (= inside half) at intervals of 9 mm (a scant 3/8 in). Lay shirring elastic on the marked lines and zigzag stitch over it. Pull the elastic to shirr the neckband to the following length, for
size 34/36: 68 cm (263/4 ins),
size 38/40: 71 cm (28 ins),
size 42/44: 74 cm (291/4 ins).
Knot elastic securely.
Stitch narrow edges of bands together, 1 cm (3/8 in) wide, with inside half of band facing out (7). Spread ¬seam allowances apart and sew to upper edge of band, with a few stitched by hand.
Lay neckband right sides together with upper edge of blouse. Pin marked points to sleeve inset seams, matching seam of neckband with centre back seam. Stretch neckband to fit upper edge of blouse, pin in place, and stitch (8). Neaten seam allowances together and turn down.
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