Week 5 Report: Seam Finishing and a Sleeve


To redo the bust dart, I had to take out the basted side seams. I was going to have to do that anyway, of course, to sew them for real, but that reminded me that there was a finishing step left for the back that I hadn’t done yet because I was waiting for the fit test: seam finishing, and the keyhole at the neckline.

I always want to do tidy, edge-free seam finishes. I feel like they make handmade clothes look so nice. I have a narrow hem foot and I keep thinking that one day I will master its use.

It wasn’t today.

Lopsided and coming out at the seams, sort of like my life.

Did it catch the edge? Mostly… I guess… but I think it’s uglier with the wavy lopsided thing than it would have been if I’d just overlocked it. I’ll probably restitch the worst parts without the narrow hem foot so they don’t fray.

I thought about doing what my old Singer sewing book calls a “clean-stitched hem”, where you just fold it over an eighth of an inch and stitch it, but after my machine tried to eat the fabric and it took me 10 minutes to pick out the resulting mess, I decided overlocking was going to be good enough for today.

The next adventure was topstitching the keyhole.


This part was actually not so bad, once I found the right foot. I don’t even know what the foot I used was meant for (straight stitch foot maybe?), but it had more surface area than most of my feet and I needed something that would hold down the rayon so it would stop bouncing around. I love the drape of this fabric but oh boy is it a pain to work with. I am hopeful that a good press closed will cure some of the waviness in the edge here, but it’s also possible I got a little to enthusiastic with the steam when I was pressing it in the first place. Good thing I have long hair and nobody’s gonna see this when I’m wearing it.

So! After I got the back seams all finished up, it was time for the sleeves. I dutifully added my easing stitches to the sleeve caps and then tried my damnedest to pin the sleeve in place. Seriously, rayon is so slippery. I got it down and eased in as best I could and then took it to the machine.


It’s not terrible! I mean I read the instructions wrong and forgot to start all the way at the beginning of the seam instead of at the notches, so I have to take it out, but I would probably have taken it out anyway because of those little unintentional pin-tucks you can see in the picture. But honestly considering how uneven the fabric was while I was sewing, and how hard it was to get it lined up at all? It could be worse.

I just look forward to the day I don’t have to sew every seam twice before I get it right, haha.


I didn’t get all the way through to the heel turn like I’d wanted, but I made it to the heel flap, at least. I debated mucking up the pattern at the beginning like I had on the previous sock so they would match, and then decided that was more effort than it was worth and went with the final pattern for the ankle.



As for that positivity side goal, this week was way better than last week, probably because I took a break from the news due to work responsibilities. It’s going to be a challenge to figure out how to stay informed and actively participate in democracy without regularly tipping over into despair.

Goals for next week:

  • Finish attaching sleeves and finish seams
  • Sew and finish side seams
  • Get through ankle decreases on the sock

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