This lovely Julia shirt represents a big first for me and something I had been thinking about for a while – a completely hand-sewn garment. I have been sewing with a machine for a really long time now but the part I enjoy the most was always the hand sewing part. I started to think that it was silly to not just stick with the part that I truly enjoyed. And so when I came across this cute, but simply patterned, Julia Top by Seamingly Smitten, I knew this was the best place to start.
I used a medium weight chambray from my stash to make this appropriate for fall and winter here in South Texas. Regular sewing thread was fine for the seams and natural colored embroidery thread was the perfect contrast for the stitches that show. I did use my serger on the edges before I hand-stitched but cutting the edges with pinking shears would have been just fine too.
To create strength in the seams like a sewing machine would do, I used a backstitch. Its the way clothes were made before machines so if it worked for them… There are more stitches and how to make them here: http://sidneyeileen.com/sewing-2/tuts-costume/hand-sewing-tutorials/how-to-hand-sew-seams/#.W33fCX4nYkg
I really like a hand-touched look so I didn’t mark my hem stitches, I just tried to keep them as even as possible.
All-in-all this was a great pattern and project. I really enjoyed being able to sit and pay attention to every stitch, not rushing this through a machine just to get it done. Are you ready for your first hand-sewn project?