Tutorial 34. Sewing the Mesh Top.
It is time to sew the mesh top.
I will first assemble the first layer and put it on the dress-form. If everything looks good, I will continue and assemble the top completely.
I sew the bust princess seams.
Then I align the central front piece with the side front piece along the princess seam and notch them from the top down to the under-bust line. This will help me sew the curved area of the princess seam neatly.
I make a very neat bar tack at the bottom of the princess seam and start sewing from down to up.
I sew the other bust princess seam. This time I start from the top.
This was the most complicated part of sewing work because these princess seams must be perfectly even.
I assemble the halves of the back.
The second half of the back is sewn exactly the same way.
Next, I sew the first side seam.
And I sew the other side seam.
I put the top over the dress seam allowances out.
I align their princess seams and side seams and pin the top to the dress. The princess seams of the top repeat the shape of the bust princess seams, its side seams settle right over the side seams of the dress, and its back princess seams also arrive right at the princess seams at the back of the dress.
The top was cut correctly and the fitting went great.
I assemble the second layer, trim and press the seam allowances, and press the cups on a cup pressing mould. I recommend trimming such seam allowances on a contrasting surface.
Now I put the two layers face to face.
I will join them along the armscyes. Only the armscyes and not the necklines! I will simply fold the seam allowances of the back neckline and the central part of the front neckline to the face and sew them down just like that and then overlay them with lace appliqué.
I align and pin together the armscyes, the princess seams, and the side seams, and sew the layers together along the armscyes with a 1.2cm seam allowance.
Then, I carefully trim the seam allowances close to the stitching and notch them additionally in the curved areas.
I trim and notch the seam allowance of the other armscye.
Then I turn out the top and carefully press it.
Next, I need to join the layers along the remaining raw edges, sew a row of stay-stitches along them, fold the seam allowance over it onto the face, and sew it down. After doing this, I can decorate the finished edges.
I pin the layers together aligning their princess seams and side seams and not their raw edges before doing the stay-stitching.
Then I fold the front in half and draw a line along the neckline with a disappearing ink pen. And I sew a row of stay-stitches along this line: first from one side of the neckline and then from the other side. The seam allowance starts at 1.2cm and gradually narrows down stopping at nearly zero in the V-part of the neckline.
The stay-stitching along the back neckline is made from up to down with a 1.2cm seam allowance. And the stay-stitching along the central back edge is made with a 2cm seam allowance.
I fold the neckline edge of the back to the face over the row of stay-stitches, press it, and sew it down. And the central back edges need to be folded to the inside.
The other half of the back is finished the same way.
All these seam allowances will be decorated.
And here comes a very responsible moment: I need to fold the neckline edge of the front to the face, press it, and sew it down. The stay-stitching really helps you fold the edge neatly. It is almost as if you were using a ruler. I notch the corner of the neckline.
Now I can join the top with the main bodice!
Of course, you could make an additional row of stitches along either side seam to reinforce it and prevent the layers from shifting against each other. But I decided not to do it now because I plan to embellish the top rather richly and I don't think there is a need in securing the layers additionally.
Here is the assembled top: