Coming soon….the Rochester top & dress sewing pattern!
The Curved Hem Tutorial | The Rochester
The Rochester sewing pattern has a lovely curved hem detail with side splits and a topstitched facing. It’s one of my favourite things I’ve designed. But, because of the shape of the curve, you can’t just whip around the facing in one go, the facing needs to be stitched to the hem in stages. Also, you need to do the hem and facing step BEFORE you close the Centre Back seam or the back pleat won’t be a happy bunny. It’s not as tricky as it looks or sounds, just follow the Curved Hem Tutorial and take it step by step!
Side note: If you are not in charge of doing a tutorial you’re going to want to use matching thread and transfer your pattern marking with a water soluble fabric pen or chalk – not a fluorescent pink pen.
2. Make sure to stitch TO THE DOT, not past the dot. Yep, that’s the one I marked in fluorescent pink just for you.
3. Overlock (or neaten with your usual method) the body side seams and stop just past the dot, where the seam allowance (S/A) changes. Press the side seams OPEN.
Don’t overlock the facing side seams, they will be enclosed so it’s not necessary, but do overlock the outside edge. Take extra care on the curved bit – it can be a smidge tricky if you go too fast!
TIP: I just had a thought, you could bind the outside edge of that facing. It would look delightful!
4. Place RST and pin the facing to the body, line up at the side seams and notches.
5. Push all of the S/A out of the way….
7. Take a 6mm S/A. Start stitching from the CENTRE BACK towards the side seam, STOP at the marker dot.
8. Now this side is a bit more fiddly. Again push all the S/A out of the way. It is easier to stitch UP to the dot, rather than away from the dot. Start stitching about 2.5cm (1″) below the dot and stitch towards it.
STOP at the dot, leave the machine needle in your garment, lift the machine foot and PIVOT your garment around a full 180°.
9. Drop your foot and stitch back in the right direction ON TOP of your stitchline. Continue around to the front hem and repeat at the other split/side seam.
10. When the facing is all attached, press the stitchline.
TIP! If you find you have got a teeny weeny hole at the junction of your seams DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT! Do check from the right side, but I bet when everything is in its right place you won’t notice. This one didn’t show at all from the right side once finished.
11. Understitch the facing, stopping below the apex of the split. Press again.
12. Grab your hem template pattern pieces. To make a template of anything take the original pattern piece trace on to card/heavy paper and cut away all S/A. Templates are a great way to ensure consistency for topstitching or pressing patch pockets.13. You’ll need to flip the template over to mark one side of your garment. Line up the edge of the template with the hem of garment, and the arrow on the template with top of split. Use a fabric marker pen and draw in a guide line to show you where to top stitch. The template is for the curved areas of your hem, use a ruler / tape measure to fill the gap in between.
14. And then just follow your guide for some jolly nice topstitching! Remove your tacking thread, give it a press and marvel at what a wondrous job you’ve done.
Now go finish the rest of it!
She’s called The Rochester.
It seemed a fitting name as I went to college in Rochester, Kent and studied design and pattern cutting, and recently returned for the first time in about 30 years -while wearing one of my test samples as a wearer trial!
I love this hem detail, and it’s just the right length to wear with your jeans! There is also a dress version with a tie belt. I’ve been wearing them both constantly while I’ve been working on this pattern.
And not going to show you today, but a fab neckline too – I’m such a tease 😉
I’ll announce the release date as soon as I have one, just a little finalising on the instruction booklet to go!
I’m so pleased to be able to share with you Marie-Fleurine’s Kitty dress. As soon as I saw these pictures of Fleurine, wearing her Kitty dress with that contrasting peter pan collar in the snow, I was totally smitten!
These handwoven fabrics are two toned, having used a different colour thread for the warp and weft threads. Fleurine has made the most of these gorgeous fabrics by selecting a blue/mustard for the body of her Kitty dress and a contrasting gold/brown for the peter pan collar and covered button. I have just purchased 3 metres of the green/black colourway, to use for my next pattern. You have no idea how long I have been looking for the perfect green cloth! (only about 2 years….)
I don’t really need to say anything else…I’m going to let Fleurine’s beautiful pictures and the magical Norwegian light do the talking.
A huge thank you to Fleurine for allowing me to share her pictures. You can read Fleurine’s thoughts on The Kitty Dress and sewing her handmade wardrobe on her blog Sew MarieFleur. Impressively she only started sewing in 2015!
I urge you to go and take a peek at Karlotta Pink. Their fabrics are beautiful. Their beliefs are firmly rooted in sustainability, fair trade and empowering women.
And you can buy your own Kitty Dress pattern here!