The centre front seam on the Dove blouse sewing pattern is equal parts interesting-design-detail and sneaky-way-to-anchor-facings-and-make-cutting-fabric-easier. Say that ten times fast!
I love the visual interest a centre front seam adds to a blouse, and the fact that it makes it easy to play with pattern placement or add things like zips etc. But that’s not the whole reason i included a centre front seam for Dove. I wanted to make sure there was a natural and easy way to anchor the neckline facing, as well as make cutting easier. Any time there are less pieces that have to be placed on the fold i find that easier when cutting.
So I thought it might be fun to show you a few different ways you can sew the centre front seam on the Dove blouse, and even how to easily eliminate the centre front seam if you would rather just not have one because you hate extra seams (which is a legitimate life choice)
The first method is quite standard, and is the one covered in the pattern instructions.
Before you sew anything, don’t forget to stabilize the v neckline to prevent it stretching out before you sew. I recommend sewing 1/4″ from the raw edge along the neckline. As an added bonus, this is going to help you when it comes time to attach your facing.
Neaten the raw edges of the centre front seams using an overlocker/serger, a zig zag stitch or even binding. Choose your favourite method or whatever you feel comfortable with.
Place the two Front pieces right sides together so that the centre front lines up. Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge along the centre front. Sew from the line of neckline staystitching down to the hemline.
Press the seam open.
Bonus! Don’t forget to sew your side seams and shoulder seams! But hey, these are pretty straightforward and by this point you’re a pro at seams.
Place the Front and Back of the blouse with right sides facing each other. Ensure that the notches on the side seams of the Back pattern piece line up with the darts on the Front.
Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge along the side seams. Stop sewing ¼” (0.6cm) from the hemline and backstitch.
Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge along the shoulder seams.
Finish the raw edges by your preferred method and press either open or towards the back of the blouse.
Remember how we left the very top 1/4″ of the neckline unsewn? Don’t forget about it! That will be useful when we attach the facing in the next tutorial, and will mean you won’t have to clip into your newley stitched centre front seam, and will only need to clip the facing, keeping everything nice and stable.
The clean finish is one that you don’t see very often in modern home sewing (why?), but is the one i remember my granny using most often in her sewing. This method is a bit of a combo of a clean finish and topstitching. In a standard clean finish you would turn in the raw edge, then stitch along the folded edge of the seam (for a detailed tutorial click here).
But you know i can’t resist topstitching everything right? So i wanted to find a method to hide the raw edges of the seam, and incorporate topstitching.
Place the two Front pieces right sides together so that the centre front lines up. Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge along the centre front. Sew from the line of neckline staystitching down to the hemline. Don’t finish the raw edges.
Press the centre front seam open.
Turn in the raw edges, and pin in place. Go carefully if you’re using a lively fabric like i was, and make sure that the turn under is even the whole way. I found it easiest to just butt the raw edge up against the inside of the seam.
Topstitching along the folded edge and press once again.
This is the view from the right side of the blouse. (Apologies for the varying colour quality on this set of images, the natural light was being nutty the day i photographed this set).
I love the extra visual interest this adds to the blouse, and i’d love to try it with a contrasting thread!
This method is great for anyone who just hates sewing any extra seams. I get that. And sometimes, when you’re sewing a busy print like the one above, it just makes sense to eliminate any seams that may break the print and become visually distracting.
Thankfully eliminating a centre front seam is so ridiculously easy, i almost feel strange writing how to do it :)
All you do is fold in the centre front of pattern piece 1 of the Dove blouse by 5/8″ (1.5cm). Then when you cut your fabric, place the newly folded edge on the folded edge of the fabric.
That’s it! Don’t forget to stabilize your v neckline by sewing 1/4″ from the raw edge to prevent it from stretching out as you sew. Then we’ll attach the facings in the next tutorial
You knew i was going to say this right?! Another great way to sew the centre front seam on the Dove blouse is using a french seam. If you’d like to learn how to do this, here’s my indepth tutorial!
Stay tuned for the next step in the sewalong: Attaching the neckline facing!
Here’s the full list of the Dove tutorials:
- How to sew French darts
- Side seams and centre front seam (covered in this tutorial!)
- How to sew Neckline facings
- Three ways to finish the raw edges of a facing
- How to sew flared cuffs
- How to set sleeves
- How to hem flared sleeves
- How to sew a hemline facing
Don’t have the Dove sewing pattern yet? Get it in store here! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNdove and @megannielsenpatterns if sharing on social media.