Leah tunic Part 2: button closure and neckline (and guest post)

Before we get started today, I wanted to let you know that my sewing/crafty room is being featured today on Craftaholics Anonymous! 
 Also I want to give a big welcome (WELCOME) to any visitors coming over here from C.A.! 
 Moving on to the sew-along!
Today we’ll work on the button closure and bias tape around the neckline.

See more after the jump!

So for the button closure in back, take that little piece that you serged or zig zag stitched the sides of, and fold the back bodice piece in half, wrapping that piece around it, right sides together like so. Give it a little press with the iron to get a crease, and then pin it together.

Next sew down one side about 1/8″ from the crease, stopping about 2″ from the bottom…then stop, keep the needle down, turn your project, sew over a few stitches, and start going back up the other side, but a little bit further from the crease. STOP about halfway up…we’ll be adding the elastic loop now!

Cut a piece of 1/8″ elastic (mine was about 2″ long), and place like so about 1″ from the top, with the two ends pressed against the seam you just made. Make sure both ends will be enclosed when you continue sewing, and pin together well. This is why you started sewing up this side a little further from the line-it makes a stronger seam for your elastic!

Continue sewing up to the top.

Then carefully cut between your two lines of stitching, turn right side out, and press with your iron.

Next, take your two shirt panels and sew a gathering stitch along the top, gather it to fit your bodice pieces, then pin, right sides together to both the back and front bodice pieces.

Then sew them together and finish your seams.

This is where you press this seam (the seam between the bodice pieces and shirt panels) lightly, and should top stitch on the right side of the fabric along the curve, both front and back. I forgot on this top (and to take pics)…but it looks much better if you do this.

Then pin the sleeves together like so, sew them together and finish the seams.

You can also sew on the bias tape around the neckline now, using these instructions.
Next up tomorrow: those adorable puffy cap sleeves!

Also please be sure to let me know if you have any questions! I’d hate for anyone to get frustrated cause I left something out on accident! (or stink at instructions)


  1. Jess, I love the giant buttons hanging in your crafty room! Where did you get them?!

  2. Will be doing this momentarily, and I think without me drilling you with questions this time…hopefully! 😀

  3. I’m jealous of your sewing room. I have to move my sewing machine on/off my dining room table. 🙂

  4. I really want to try this but no kids = no kid clothes or patterns! Hmmm, maybe I will have to make a Target run and pick up a cheap tee shirt to use for the pattern…

  5. I an HIGHLY envious of your sewing/crafty room… that is one of the spaces my next house MUST have… to save my marriage 🙂 I should have had that in my wedding vows… must love wife’s addiction to all things crafty.

  6. I did it without the need of asking a question or a seam ripper!! Woo hoo!! I’m moving up in life!! 😉
    And I’m LOVING how it’s turning out!! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s!

  7. So at the end of this, are the two shirt panels sewn to each other? Or is that step part of finishing the sleeves?

  8. Thanks for asking Susan! We’ll sew the shirt panels together after we finish the sleeves! 🙂

  9. Ok, next question. When you talk about pressing the seam lightly and top stitching it, does that refer to the seam between bodice and shirt panel?

  10. Darling Shirt! I love the fabric.

  11. Ok, it took me reading it over a few times, but I think I understand how you do the button enclosure now. This is genius! I often stare at shirts in the stores trying to figure out how to do this, and you make it look so easy. Need to pick out my fabric now…

  12. Hi Jess,
    I love this shirt! is it OK if I start and join you today? I’ll catch-up, promise!

  13. I learned a valuable trick from you today regarding placement of the button loop before sewing on the placket. Your blog has been really very resourceful for my sewing. Thanks so much!

  14. Congratulations!!
    I love your studio! I wish I would have a place like that at home 🙂

  15. 12:30am here in toronto…. just finished up… a few mis-haps, i blame them on my tired eyes…. ready for the sleeves and pockets!

  16. I’m sewing along in the UK – have three little girls to sew for, so am making my eldest daughter’s top my test run. So far so good, and looking forward to the next bit! Thank you for taking the time to do this.

  17. OMG… I LOVE your studio!! Perhaps some day I will have an extra room to fill with all my craft stuff… I am sure I will try some nice decoration like you did!

  18. I’m completely in love with all of your sewing tutorials! I’m a little late for this sewalong, but I’m hoping you’ll see this and shoot me an answer anyway.

    When you sew the bias tape to the neckline, how do you get it to lay so flat? I sewed mine on, but it isn’t flat because of the curves. Did you pleat it or something to make the tape curve with the neckline? Hopefully no one will notice my lack of skills, cause I’m making my girl wear the dang shirt anyway! 🙂

  19. Thank you for this tutorial! I don’t have any kids to sew for yet, but I used your button closure technique on a dress I made for myself. I like the little bit of detail it adds! You can see my dress at my blog, Mrs. Duck’s Domestic Doings, here’s the link:

    I included a link to your site in my post. Thanks again!

  20. Thanks for this little button closure tutorial, I used it for the first time today.

  21. I am currently working on this as a dress and have a question. I’m about to baste the top of each shirt piece to gather them to fit the bodice pieces. However, if I understood the instructions correctly I only added extra width to the front shirt piece before cutting it out, so the back piece won’t be wide enough to gather. Do I need to recut the back piece and add extra width?

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