Sundance Jacket Back and How to Add a Matching Notch to Any Sewing Pattern

I read over the directions for Greenstyle’s Sundance jacket and I felt like I knew where the sewing challenges would lie. I then proceeded to prove to myself that some issues only show up when you’re actually sewing!

Now, maybe some people won’t have trouble with this, but the first time I stitched the back yoke to the rest of the back, it ended up crooked. I picked out my stitching (and topstitching!) and redid it. Here are a few tips to avoid getting tripped up, as I did.

  • Instead of stitching from left to right on the yoke, stitch from the center back seam of the yoke to the outer edge of the back, then go back and stitch the other side from the center back seam to the other outer edge. This makes lining up the centers of the yoke and the back piece much simpler.
  • After stitching (before topstitching), lay out your back piece on a flat surface and check that it all looks good. If I had done this, I would have, at least, only had to take out the stitching and not both the stitching and topstitching to redo it.
  • Add a notch on the back yoke pieces where they should intersect with seam lines.

Adding a notch to make sure something matches is pretty easy. In this case, there’s a seam line I want to match up, so I started by marking out the seam allowances on the back center pattern piece and the yoke piece.

I then lined up the two seam allowances from the center-back seam out, pivoting to bring them into line with each other as they curved, until I found the place the yoke should intersect with the seam between the center back and side back pattern pieces. I then marked that spot.

The little cross you see there isn’t because I did this on Easter. It’s so that, when I cut the pattern again, I know to only cut my notch about halfway into the seam allowance. Sometimes when I see a longer line like the first one I drew, I overcut my notch and that creates a weak spot in the seam.

There you have it! Matching notches are a pretty easy way to see if you’re off track when sewing before you even finish stitching the entire seam.

Curious about sewing your own fantastic athleisurewear jacket? Check out our class coming up on May 22, 2021. If we have time in class, I’ll go over this, again!

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