This is part of a series of tutorials that were originally posted on an old forgotten blog of mine. I thought I would repost over here for those who are interested in doll sewing techniques.
It took me years to work out how to do this, which seems odd when you look at it because it’s not that hard. But it goes against sewing rules (you’re not meant to top stitch on the wrong side of the fabric), so it wasn’t even considered until a few years ago. Before then, I used to do really messy necklines for my tops, and would have to throw out every second top I made because the fabric wouldn’t stay in place in curved areas as I sewed! So if you’ve had similar problems like I have, then I hope this helps you out!
This is specifically for knit/stretch tops. You need the give that knit fabric has to get it to turn over neatly around curves.
Firstly, sew both shoulder seams on your top:
Fold the seam allowance of the neckline over, and pin in place on the wrong side of the garment.
With the wrong side still facing up, stitch your neckline in place. I like to start a little bit to the back of the shoulder seam, so that the backstitching isn’t visible at the front of the garment. Use something on your machine foot, like a line or the foot’s indent to help keep the stitching an even width away from the neckline edge.
You will need to go as even a speed as you can. What exactly that speed it will vary for each person of course, but too fast and you’ll run the risk of your stitching line being uneven as you sew, and too slow and the machine can eat the fabric.
Another two reasons that the machine will eat the fabric is because you’re using the wrong needles (knit fabric needs a ball point/jersey needle – lower number for thinner fabrics, higher number for thicker fabrics), or because the fabric is too loose, and is moving around on the machine. To help fix the second issue, try holding the fabric taut between your fingers as you sew, like so:
You want it to be firm, but not stretched out of shape.
Once you have finished sewing, trim away the excess seam allowance. If you don’t, it has a tendency to roll up and be visible from the outside
And then it’s done!
As always, if something doesn’t make sense, or you need more information, feel free to ask me any questions!