1. These two folds are along the back opening from then neck down. First I cut a 1" by the length of my bishop. Fuse with your iron, then you will have a guide to use in folding over a 1" area. Do this fold line twice on each side.
2. In this next step I have pinned the folds in place and I'm in the process of blind-stitching the buttonbands. You can do this same thing on your sewing machine if you don't want to hand-stitch. I just like the hand stitching better. This part of the blind-stitching is approx. 1/4" long.
3. The next part of your blind-stitching is to take a tiny stitch (usually just 1 or 2 threads. After completing both sides, you will be ready to move on to the neck bias.
4. For the neck bias of size newborn, cut on the true bias, 1 3/4" x 11 1/2". Fold and press with iron. Next is to either pin in place or my favorite, use WonderTape to stick bias in place before stitching. Remember to leave a hair over 1/4" in either end. Fold those ends over to the inside of your bishop. You should be able to machine stitch under your top holding row. After this stitching you can remove the top holding row thread. My seam was a 1/4 inch. When I was into quilting lots, this type of bias binding is called French Bias Binding.
5. Next, trim your seam down to just under a quarter inch. Also, grade your corners.
This is what the neck bias looks like on the wrong side. Since you already have a fold and no raw edge to fold under you can very easily stitch the next binding in place using a blind stitch.
6. Now we are ready to do french seams under the arms. First seam is stitched with wrong sides together. Next, trim seam to 1/8".
7. I then take and press the seam to one side. It makes easier for me.
8. Then fold the seams so you have the right sides together. Stitch 1/4". Congrats, you have completed a french seam. The raw edge is encased in a neat little seam.
This is what my neck edge looks like after stitching the fold down on the back. Normally I will put piping on, but I decided to do this bishop different this time. You can see where the WonderTape is sticking out. Since I'm going to do a final wash I'm not worried about it right now. It will wash out with the first washing. Now it's time for the hem. It's so easy you won't believe it!
7. Yes, I do need a new ironing board cover. One of these days I will remember to buy one. Anyway, fold up 3 1/2"and press with the iron. Then repeat. You will have two fold lines like with the back neck opening.
8. Next, stitch a line 5/8" from the bottom fold line.
Press the tuck down and the hem is almost complete. There will be an open area that just needs a little hand stitching. After this just add buttonholes and buttons. I usually put a snap at the top on the neck binding. If you want to try hand-bound buttonholes; go to the Old Fashioned Baby blog and Jeannie will show you how.
You are probably impatiently waiting for me to tell you what my fun news is all about. Last Tuesday I purchased a Janome Memory Craft 300e embroidery machine. I haven't yet used this machine. But I did take it out of the box and I watched the video. I'm hoping to actually sit down and play on my next day off. I'm now waiting to receive some accessories I ordered off ebay. I ordered a border collection card. I want to do lace on my machine instead of buying it all the time. Of course, nothing beats English and French laces. If figure I will have to do some trial and error at first. That's what happened when I taught myself to smock. In fact, the first project went into file 13. Just an example of why not to pick black fabric for your first smocking project :)
Okay, everyone, happy smocking and if you have any questions, please ask.