This week, we're going to pick up with finishing the neckline of the garment, and we'll also cover final steps for finishing! After today, you should be able to complete your own hadajuban! This week's entry is a little lengthy, but I didn't want to stretch this out for another week, so let's get started!
The instructions in the Folkwear pattern are very clear for the stay-stitching. I recommend starting at the bottom of the slant on the left overlap (because of how the fabric will feed through a standard machine) with the recommended 1/2" seam allowance. As you approach the the beginning of the neck, you'll want to ease that seam allowance out to 3/4" and by the time you hit the back and are headed towards the back seam, you will want to be at a full 1" for your seam allowance. Stay at 1" across the back of the neck opening until it's time to ease around that curve into 3/4" and then back down to 1/2" for the rest of the front of the body and overlap.
|You should be able to make out the curving guideline of stitches. Getting a neat curve can take some practice.|
If your sewing machine does not have guidelines going up to a full inch, you can use a small ruler and put down a line of masking tape to mark where the edge of your fabric will be when it is an inch from the needle. This has been an invaluable marker on my own sewing machine, given how often I find myself needing it for projects like this.
Once that line is in place, we are ready to really diverge from the pattern and set down our bias-binding finish for the neck edge!
For this, you will want double-fold bias binding. You can use a complimentary or contrasting color-- no one but you is likely to ever see this. I like using the double-fold bias binding because it keeps all of the edges clean and is actually a little easier to ease around the curve of the neckline because of the slightly stretchy nature of fabric cut on a bias. You should only need one pack if you aren't making the binding yourself, but it's better to get two, just in case.
|Open double-fold bias binding pinned along the stay-stitched guideline|
When you first open your bias binding, you should note that one edge is slightly wider from fold to end than the other side. You'll want to use the fold that is closest to the narrower side as your guideline for pinning. This will make our final finishing steps a little easier. If you can't tell, or it seems the the folds are equidistant, then don't worry, the bias binding will still do it's job.
|Pinned bias binding eased around the curve.|
For the actual pinning, you'll want to be sure to open one side of your bias binding. The fold-line is going to be what you line up with the stay-stitching, as you can see in the photos above. Start with the center of your length of bias binding, and pin to the center back of your hadajuban, right sides together (the valley of the fold will be facing up, so that when it's sewn down, you can fold it towards the edge of the fabric, then around to finish). I like to pin working from the center around to one side, and then from the center to the other side.
By starting from the center and working out, you have a lot more play in the fabric to ease around that curve. You want all of the fabric to sit flush, without any tucks, wrinkles or folds getting caught. It sounds very counter-intuitive to be able to take a straight piece of fabric and work it around a curve without folding, but it's totally doable!
|First seam is done! You can see a few stitches peeking out, but this is pretty normal and they are easy to remove with a seam ripper. Remember, those were just there to be a guideline.|
Once you have your first seam done, fold the bias binding up to check for any tucks or folds that may have gotten into your seam, particularly at the curve of the neckline. If all you're seeing are a few little stitches like the ones above, you're doing great! Those stitches can be picked out, by the way-- they're not integral to the structure of the garment. Just be careful that you don't rip the fabric when you pick out the stitches.
Next, we're going to trim the excess fabric from our neckline. Trim carefully, and leave at least 1/4" inch of fabric in your seam allowance-- you don't want to risk getting too close and cutting into the seam you just sewed. This does mean that you will be trimming more fabric away from the back of the neck than you will be from the front, because of where the stay-stitching guideline ran.
|Trimming excess from seam allowance.|
Next, we're going to fold our bias binding over to hide all of these trimmed edges to give our hadajuban neckline a more finished look. Because the bias-binding has folds already pressed in, it will fold back on itself quite neatly. Remember to tuck the little bit of excess that you should have left at the ends back on itself before pinning closed. This way, you won't have raw edges at the bottom of your neckline. If you forgot to leave excess, don't worry-- this is underwear, after all.
|Using the 'stitch in the ditch' method for an invisible seam on the right side of the garment.|
At the top of this post, I suggested looking for a slightly narrower side to the bias binding and using that to pin down. All that comes into play here-- by having that wider edge folded over, it should overlap the original seam by just enough that you can 'stitch in the ditch,' running the needle very carefully in the space where the two fabrics meet, and catching the folded edge on the reverse side. This method offers a much cleaner finish on the right side of the garment, but it can be tricky. Pin carefully and sew slowly, and you shouldn't have any trouble. Once you've sewn the length of the collar, be sure to turn it over and check for any places where the needle didn't catch the bias binding.
Now that the neckline finishing is done, we can finish this garment!
Sleeves are Step 3 in the Folkwear pattern and I mentioned early on in this project that the sleeves were optional for the hadajuban. If you decide not to attach any, you'll need to figure out how wide you want your arm opening to be (you can use the marks on the Folkwear pattern as a guideline) and finish that area in a manner similar to how the overlaps were finished before sewing your side seams.
If you do decide to attach sleeves, you can still use many of the steps outlined in the pattern. The biggest difference is that we're making tube-sleeves, not kimono sleeves for the hadajuban. You'll want to finish one edge of each sleeve with a hem, and this can be done before attaching the sleeves to the body of the garment so that they are easier to manage.
Your other option for finishing your sleeves is to attach them to the body first, then sew your tube closed. In the photo below, you can see how this hem catches the seam allowance so that it is not sticking up like a little tab.
|Hemming tube sleeves with 1/4" hem, similar to how the overlaps were finished.|
After your sleeve is attached (or not!) all that remains is the side-seam and hem! These fall under step 4 of the Folkwear pattern. As this is an undergarment and should have minimal seam allowances, we don't need to worry about the finishing notes that the pattern gives. A simple seam at your usual seam allowance will do the trick.
Once the side seams are done, you'll want to head back to the ironing board to press the side and back seams open, and to make sure the overlap seams are pressed towards the overlap. This will reduce bulk in your hem when you go to sew and helps the garment to have a more even drape overall.
For my hadajuban, I pressed up about 1" for the first fold in my hem. All pressing for hems should be done to the wrong side of the fabric so that the folds are not visible from the outside.
Next, I made a little triangular fold, bringing the bottom edge of the outside fold even with the inside unfinished edge. Repeat this for the other overlap edge.
|Fold one in creating a neater hem.|
To finish the hem, brought the folded edge to the wrong side of the garment, all the way across the bottom, again using 1 inch for my guideline.
|The angular fold keeps unfinished edges away from the outside edge and creates a cleaner, more finished appearance overall.|
Once you have pressed and sewn this hem, your hadajuban will be completed!
If you have followed along for this project, I would love to see some of your own completed works. If you have any questions that will help you finish your garment, I would be happy to help you with those as well!