Welcome to the Lykke sew-along! Lykke is a light and romantic blouse with puff sleeves and a bias neckline blinding that ties at the neck into a beautiful bow. The blouse is ideal for beginners who want to develop their skills, the gathered sleeves and cuffs add a little extra challenge to an otherwise simple blouse. The blouse is easily sewn in an afternoon and requires only basic sewing skills.

During this week I’ll be publishing a series of posts here on the blog on how to sew the bodice, sleeves, sleeve cuffs and how to finish the neckline with a bias binding. Huh, may sound like a lot especially for beginners but I promise it’s easy!

Today we’re sewing the Lykke blouse bodice and I’ll reveal a few pro-tips on how to make your bust darts look neat and professional. Without further ado, gather your supplies, find your size, pre-wash and cut your fabric and let’s start sewing!

Staystitching

To begin take the front and back bodice pieces and staystitch around the neckline edges – sew with a regular straight stitch a few millimetres from the edge of the neckline. The staystitching, as the name suggests, supports the fabric at the curve and prevents any stretching of the neckline.

The bust darts

Now that the neckline is supported, it’s time to sew the bust darts. Take the front piece and fold the dart in half with right sides together and align the lines marked on the fabric. If you want to make sure the line is in the same place on the other side you can insert pins through the layers of fabric exactly where the marking line of the dart is. Press along the center line so that the dart is neat.

Start with a backstitch and stitch a straight line from the dart notches to the dart point marked on your fabric. Do not backstitch at the dart point, leave the threads long and tie the thread ends by hand. Backstitching at the dart point may appear as an unsightly bulge.

Using a tailor’s ham, press the dart toward the hem of the blouse. Press carefully from the right and wrong side and steam thoroughly. The ham helps to create a smooth curve and prevents pressing wrinkles into the dart point. If you don’t have a ham in your sewing arsenal you can use a tightly rolled towel, for example.

Sew the second bust dart in the same way and the front of the blouse is finished. Now the back pieces.

Assembling the back

With right sides together match the two back bodice pieces together at the center back. Pin. Beginning at the notch marked on the fabric, stitch down the center back seam to the hem. Finish seam allowances separately and press open.

Side and shoulder seams

With right sides together, match the shoulder and side seams, pin and stitch. Finish seam allowance as desired and press open.

The first part is now ready! In the next part we will sew the sleeves and set them. If you have any questions or if there’s a step you’re still wondering about, feel free to ask in the comments section. If nothing else, see you in the next post!

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