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The Queen of Sew
Fits a V-Neck Blouse
By Shirley Cunningham, For the Fit of It

(The Queen of Sew is a fictional character created by Shirley Cunningham. She calls upon the Court Fitter  to provide answers to her sewing problems. If you would like the court fitter to address your particular sewing or fitting problem, contact For the Fit of It.)

Once upon a time, the Queen of Sew made a beautiful silk blouse. She chose a design with a V-neck treatment in the front. She was very careful to stay stitch the neck. She even remembered to bond the fusible interfacing to a piece of her fabric before she cut her neck facings. This was going to be her masterpiece. The fabric was beautiful, the color was her favorite. The pants were finished. All she needed was to complete the blouse.

The blouse was finished. It did look beautiful, just as she pictured it. Eagerly she slipped it over her head. What was this! The front neck stood away from her body on either side of the center front. What had gone wrong! Tearfully, the Court Fitter was summoned.

THE QUEEN'S QUESTION

"Why is the neck not laying flat against the body. I was so careful. I checked the neck base on the pattern front and back and it was correct. I stay stitched. I fused the interfacing before I cut the facings. I did everything right! I don't understand what happened."

THE COURT FITTER'S ANSWER

"Remember, a V-neck line is a bias cut. Normal stay stitching is not sufficient to stay a bias cut. In fact, it tends to cause distortion. The neckline of the fitted facing is also a bias cut. When the two are stitched together, the pressure of presser foot on the bias cut causes the seam to stretch."

THE COURT FITTER'S SOLUTION

The Queen was directed to carefully remove the facing. She was then directed to measure the PATTERN from the stitching line at the shoulder to the center front. Next, she was then directed to cut a piece of stay tape the measured length of the pattern from the shoulder to the center front for each side of the front neck.

At this point, the Queen questioned the Court Fitter concerning what was meant by a stay- tape. The Fitter answered, " A stay-tape can be the selvage of silk organza or silk crepe-de-chine, 1/4 inch tailor's twill tape, or 1/2 rayon seam tape."

"OK", the Queen impatiently replied. I have these two strips cut. Now what do I do with them? "

Calmly, the Court Fitter answered, "Center the tape over the stitching line and pin one end into place at the shoulder. With the tape still centered over the seam, now pin the other end of the tape to the center front. Now pin ease the stretched neckline onto the tape between the shoulder and the center. Sew down the center of the tape on the stitching line. You can re-stitch the facing and your neckline will be correct."

Before the session ended, the Court Fitter reminded the Queen of other areas that need a stay.

(a) a faced waistline seam
(b) a forward shoulder seam
(c) a shoulder seam when sewing with knitted fabric
(d) a yoke seam across the back
(e) the fitted waistline on a dress

The Queen was happy that her problem had been solved and knew that next time, the stay would go in first!

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