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Neck Bow How-To
Crafts editor Silke Stoddard embellishes a store-bought blouse using less than a yard of fabric and basic sewing skills.
1. Using a seam ripper, open seam that holds collar, remove collar, and machine-sew seam closed (creating a tab collar).
2. Cut a piece of fabric 6 1/2 by 49 inches. Fold all sides under 1/4 inch, and then again 1/4 inch; press, and machine-stitch all the way around.
3.Cut a 3-inch piece of twill tape or ribbon to make a loop that will hold bow in center back. Fold tape in half, and sew one end to the exterior base of tab collar, the other to interior base.
4. Thread bow through loop, put on shirt, and tie at neck.
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1. Tear the fabric, selvage to selvage, into strips, and cut to these sizes: 1 by 9 inches, 1 1/2 by 10 inches, and 2 by 11 inches. (Make as many as desired; the shirt shown here has 18 on the front, shoulder, and upper back.)
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2. For each rosette, start on a long side, and hand sew a loose running stitch, gathering all the fabric onto the needle as you go.
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3. Pinching gathered fabric, push needle out, and pull thread taut. Backstitch to hold gathers in place.
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4. Bring the short ends of the fabric together, right sides facing, and sew closed; backstitch a couple of times to secure.
5. Stitch to shirt as desired -- just a few rosettes give the shirt a bit of an edge, but nearly 20 of them, as shown here, dress it up even more.
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1. Tear a 2-inch-wide strip of fabric, then cut so it's twice the length of the shirt placket.
2. Machine-sew a basting stitch down the center, leaving a long piece of thread at each end (do not backstitch or stay-stitch).
3. Slowly pull at bottom thread to gather the fabric; keep pulling until ruffle is length of placket.
4. Adjust shirring as needed, then machine-sew down the center again to hold in place.
5. Center on placket, and pin in place. Then hand-sew to shirt between buttonholes.