| Sewing Patterns for the Modern Woman - Blog Post: Ballard Sewalong: Part 4

Ballard Sewalong: Part 4

By Allie

Allie is the co-founder of Indiesew and creator of all things pretty on the site. Follow Allie and receive other Indiesew updates by subscribing to the blog.

Ballard Sewalong: Part 4 | Blog

Need to catch up?
Ballard Sewalong Part I: Preparing to Sew
Ballard Sewalong Part II: Front and Back Bodice
Ballard Sewalong Part III: Shoulders, Armscyes, and Side Seams

Today’s the final day, folks. After today’s post you’ll have a fully completed Ballard top! Today’s steps are all about the finishing details, and this pattern is definitely not lacking them. Kimberly, the designer, has designed this top with pure comfort and functionality in mind, so she cuffed the sleeves (yay for sleeves that don’t constantly slip down your arms!) and added an optional waistband variation. The knit-bound gathered neckline is by far my favorite detail. So let’s finish this puppy up, shall we?

Sleeve Cuffs

First, fold both sleeve cuffs on a flat surface so that the short ends are aligned with right sides together, and pin.

Pin Short Ends of Sleeve Cuffs | Ballard Sewalong

Now serge, or sew with a stretch stitch, down the length of the short ends of both cuffs.

Serge or Sew Short Ends | Sewing Tutorials

Fold the cuff so that the long raw edges are aligned and place one pin where the seam meets itself.

Ballard Sewalong on | Fold Cuff in Half

Now, pin your cuff to the bottom of your sleeve, aligning the seam of the cuff with the seam of the sleeve. Pin with right sides together, and raw edges aligned. Place a pin directly across from both the cuff seam and the sleeve seam to mark the center points of both. Blog | Pin Cuff Halves

Pin around the circumference of the cuff and sleeve. Since your cuff is slightly smaller than your sleeve opening, stretch the cuff as you do so to ensure the fabric is evenly distributed.

Ballard Sewing Pattern | Sewalong Part 4

Now, serge or sew your cuffs to your sleeves with a ⅜” seam allowance. Stretch the cuff as you sew to avoid puckers. When finished, complete the same steps on the other sleeve.

Serge Cuff to Sleeve | Indiesew Sewalong

Ta da! Your shirt now has cuffs! Press your cuffs so that the seam allowance is folded up towards the sleeve.

Press Ballard Cuffs | Ballard Sewalong

Shirt Band

The Ballard Top includes a few pattern variations that omit the waistband. If you’d like to sew one of those variations, you can skip this step and continue with your knit bound neckline.

If you'd like to include the waistband on your Ballard, the method for attaching the shirt band is very similar to attaching the cuffs. First, lay your two shirt band pieces on top of each other with right sides together. Pin the short ends.

Pin Short Ends Waistband | Ballard Sewing Pattern by Straight Stitch Designs

Now sew or serge both short ends of the waistband with a ⅜” seam allowance. Blog | Sew short ends of Waistband.

Now press your waistband in half, with long edges aligned and wrong sides together.

Press Waistband in Half | Part 4 of the Ballard Sewalong

At this point, I prefer to serge the raw edges of my waistband. Serging will prevent the raw edges from rolling as you ease it onto the bottom of your shirt in the next few steps.

Side note: Since the waistband for this pattern is wide, there's no need to worry about losing too much width as your serger trims off the fabric. I didn’t use this method for the cuffs since they were considerably narrower.

Serge Waistband's Raw Edge | Ballard Sewalong on

Now pin your waistband to your shirt, right sides together, so that the side seams of the waistband and shirt are aligned.

Pin Waistband to Ballard Top | Indiesew Sewalong

Mark the half points between the seams and pin.

Mark Waistband Halves | Sweater Knit Top

Now stretch and pin around the circumference of the waistband.

Pinned Waistband | Ballard Top Sewalong

Serge your waistband to your shirt, stretching it slightly as you sew to avoid puckers.

Sew Waistband to Shirt | Ballard Sewalong Part 4

Your attached waistband may look like this after sewing it. Not to worry! Sweater knits often produce a wavy seam after stretching and sewing.

Wavy Sweater Knit Seam | Blog

A good press with your steam iron should snap that wavy seam back into place.

Press Waistband with Steam Iron | Sewing Tutorials on

Knit Bound Neckline

We’re onto the final step today, attaching our knit-bound neckline. Fortunately, this is a topic we’ve covered in depth on the Indiesew blog. Using our method of attaching a knit bound neckline requires that your serge the neckband before you attach it. For this reason, I recommend adding ½” width to your neckband piece.

Head on over to our How to Bind a Knit Neckline post to read more!

Once you’ve attached your knit bound neckline and given it a good press. Make sure to remove any basting stitches that are visible at the front center of the neckline.

Remove Basting Stitches | Knit Bound Neckline


You’ve just finished your Ballard top! Try on your shirt to test the fit. I recommend washing and drying your top on a warm, gentle cycle before you make any major alterations. You’ll find that the relaxed shape of the top is super flattering for any body type!

Stay tuned to the Indiesew blog because on Thursday we’ll be showing you our take on the Ballard top and how we style it for chilly fall days. But most of all, we want to see what you’ve made! Upload your Ballard creation here and share some inspiration with the sewing world!

Need to catch up?
Ballard Sewalong Part I: Preparing to Sew
Ballard Sewalong Part II: Front and Back Bodice
Ballard Sewalong Part III: Shoulders, Armscyes, and Side Seams

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