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This is my first time working with a pattern. I have successfully attached the sleeves and front and back pieces of the top. The final stage is attaching a neckband which sits off the shoulder and wraps around the entire top. This is an off the shoulder elastic neck band and sleeve peasant blouse.

I can not figure out from the pattern directions how to attach it.
Step 28. With wrong sides together, fold neck band in half having raw edges even, Baste.

I am at this step. I have the raw(bottom) edges based and the top fold pressed. It is basically one big circle that fits over my shoulders needing to be attached to the shirt

Step 29 of McCalls pattern M5401
“Pin neck band to upper edge of top matching seams to large circles, stitch. Trim garment seam allowance to 1/4”. Press Seam toward top.

I do not know whether to pin the neck band on the inside (wrong side) of shirt or the outside(right side).

If I pin inside the raw edge and notches of the top are showing, if I pin on the outside the raw edges of the neck band are showing. Should I have finished the top edges of the front and back panel even though there werent clear instructions to do so.

Then Step 30: To form casing for elastic turn in 1/4" on raw edge of band. Stitch, leaving an opening for elastic.

Does that mean to make the original 5/8" seam allowance now 1/4"? Does that require just folding and restitching or removing the baste, folding and stitching?

Im not sure if its the terminology that is throwing me or something that I have missed.

I know there are experts out there that can help. My local fabric place will charge me $18/hour to answer these questions so I hope I can get a little help through Burda style.

Thanks and Happy Sewing!


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  • Missing

    Mar 29, 2012, 08.12 PMby trayz13

    Well, I did it! I simply removed the neckband step completely and made a 1/4" casing around the entire top and it works perfectly. I actually like it better than the picture on the pattern. Its more bohemian now than frilly. I am finishing the sleeves and bottom hem soon and will post a pic of very first garment! So exciting.

  • 7fee0d98280ead02f6946d0e1b96b332455de7ef_large

    Mar 29, 2012, 10.22 PMby josephina

    Congratulations on finishing your first garment! It’s great you were able to work around the instructions. Sometimes it makes for a finish that suits you better, as you found out.

    I’m not too familiar with McCalls patterns, but often it is easier to work out from the pictures. Sometimes I have to walk away for a while to figure it out. In this case, it sounds like they wanted you to stitch it to the outside (right sides together), then press the neckband up? It’s always hard to tell until you’ve done it yourself.

    Looking forward to seeing your pics!


    1 Reply
  • 121bcd6a71a_avatar_large

    Mar 30, 2012, 09.14 PMby harrietbazley

    Normally you would sew the right sides of the neckband (or waistband) and bodice (or skirt) together with the raw edges matched and pointing upwards, with the neckband on the outside of the garment – then turn the band the right way out so that it forms a casing around the raw edges of the garment, fold under and tack in place the remaining seam allowance on the unattached edge of the band, and fell this folded edge down on the back of the garment along the line of the seam you just sewed so that all the raw edges are hidden.

    in this case it looks as if you have to use the seam allowance on the back of the neckband (as you have already been instructed to trim the front once the seam is sewn) to form a casing for the elastic inside the folded band once it is turned the right way out. But it is hard to say without seeing the pictures.

    1 Reply
  • 5_large

    Apr 13, 2012, 01.40 AMby MissLawyers

    Hi Trayz, did you tried placing with thread? I mean sewing it?

  • Missing

    Feb 5, 2013, 02.05 PMby artyone

    How? I tried and the fabric gathers cos there’s to much when you fold it in

    • This is a question
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