Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sewing Lessons Session 3... Rounded Upper Back Adjustment and Top Stitching Tips.

The third session of my sewing class is well under way. I've decided to teach less new material this time and put into practice what we covered last session. I will from time to time add new material and will continue to give my take on different sewing techniques.

 I've added a new section to the right sidebar called  Diana's Easy Fitting Solutions.. I 've listed the various fit topics  covered last time and will add new topics as they are covered. I've also updated Diana's Tutorials to include new techniques

Session 3, Lesson 1.... Rounded Upper Back Adjustment

1. Draw a perpendicular line from center back to the armhole (AB) and about 1.5`` down from neckline.

2. Cut from center back  (A) to but not through the armhole (B).

3. Spread  apart about 1/2" to begin with ( It`s hard to know exactly how much extra to add so this adjustment  will be on a trial and error basis).

4 Draw a perpendicular line at about 3`` from center (CD). ( I forgot the D but I think you know what I mean )  Cut along this line.

5. Align this piece along center back. This will result in a small dart.

You can do one of two things in this dart or what I do is I smooth out the neckline with my French curve and I ease in the tiny bit of fullness .

And that`s all there is to it. Except! If there is a facing to your garment , you make the same adjustment to it.

This easy alteration makes a big difference  to how a garment fits and feels and I'm happy to have learned it from Kathleen Cheetham in her Craftsy course.

This Week`s Sewing Technique:   Top Stitching Tips.

In my opinion, nothing takes a garment  to the next level better  than great top stitching, Here are the things I`ve learned through the years.

......Use top stitching thread or Gutterman`s Extra Strong Thread which is what is available to me
      and works great. You will need to remember that there is a lot less thread on these spools so be   sure to buy enough.. [ if you don't have this thread, you can thread two spools together in the same needle to get similar results. The two should unwind from the spools in opposite directions, though for best results. ]

......Use a top stitching needle or a jeans needle because both of these have bigger eyes to      accommodate the thicker thread. The size of the needle will depend on the thickness of your fabric.

.....For top stitching that is 1/4" from the edge, use your presser foot as your guide or the 1/4"foot that may or may not have come with your machine. To top stitch close to the edge of your garment use the over edge  foot  or the blind hem foot

......And sew slowly!

I also reviewed  Buttonholes with the ladies this week. So Karen, Donna, and Dorothy don`t forget to review the tips by clicking on the word if you want to make your buttonholes before next class!.

More later from,


  1. Love your blog! Do you give sewing classes in person! Would love to travel to New Brunswick sometime to attend a weekend class. My husband and I visited New Brunswick about 23 years ago and loved it.

    1. Hi Gertrude. I do give sewing lessons in person and would love to talk to you some more about this. Can you send me your Email address?

  2. Thanks for the post. I think I may need this adjustment as I'm getting older.

  3. Hi Diana, I think I will try this adjustment with 1/4 inch on my next blouse, or T-shirt. Thanks for the excellent visuals!

  4. I really wish that I could sew like you! I have always wanted to sew and I have tried to teach myself with little success. I think it would be fun to take a sew class! Then I might learn something and actually be able to sew! Thanks for sharing your talent and ideas!
    Amber |

  5. Hello Diana, I have just added this blog to my feed, so I can keep up with these posts as well. What a good idea to have the "behind the scenes"blog of hints and tips, for those that are interested. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog recently as well; I agree, it is a great pleasure to meet ladies with similar passions - just not always the time to indulge enough :). I've met some lovely people through blogs - and have even had the pleasure of meeting one in person when she visited Australia. Sewing is such a constructive hobby in so many dimensions.

  6. Thank you for showing how to adjust for a rounded back. It is getting harder and harder to find tops and blouses that fit without choking me.