Now that everything is cut out and ready to go we are going to start sewing the Rio. I am going to be sewing up two Rio t-shirts on the blog during this sewalong. The first one I will be sewing up according to the instructions. I will use my sewing machine (not serger). The second version I will be sewing up using a serger and also introducing the Heatnbond softstretch that I mentioned in the fabrics post last week. I want to make sure that those who have it know the best ways to use it for the Rio.

We will begin by preparing our our neck and arm bindings. Bring all three strips of ribbing over to your iron. Fold each in half lengthwise (wrong sides touching) and press. Use the steam on your iron to really set the crease and open it back up.

Fold in 1/4" along one long edge and press.

Fold up along original middle press line and press again. Set aside.

If you are using the softstretch, cut three pieces of the softstretch the lengths of each binding strip. There is a shiny side and the paper side.

Put the shiny side down along the folded up (by 1/4") edge. Using a hot iron with no steam, iron the softstretch to the binding until it adheres well. I leave the iron for about 10 seconds on each part.

Set the binding aside and let it completely cool. Once cooled down, remove the paper backing for each binding. It's hard to see, but the softstretch should have left a film where the paper backing was taken off. It is not sticky unless warm.

Take one sleeve and place a pin at each end along the bottom and one in the center (fold in half to find). Do the same for the sleeve binding.

With right sides touching, pin the unpressed edge of the sleeve band to the lower edge of the sleeve, matching up the pins and stretching the sleeve band to fit. Add more pins as necessary to stretch the binding evenly along the bottom of the sleeve.

Stitch using a 3/8" seam allowance using the stretch stitch on your machine or an elongated zigzag.

Or use a serger

Press the seam allowances down toward the sleeve band. As you press, make sure the lower edge of the sleeve band remains turned under.

Fold the sleeve band to the inside, along the originial press line, so that the band wraps around the bottom of the sleeve while encasing the seam allowance and the stitchline. Pin in place.

If you are using the softstretch, use the iron and steam to set it. This should replace the need for pins.

This is a good time to turn the sleeve over and make sure that the binding is visually even on the right side. If not adjust it at this time.

Using a zigzag topstitch, sew along the top folded edge of the binding to secure. Be sure to catch the folded underside edge of the sleeve band as you sew.

You can also do this with a twin needle or a coverstitch if you have one.

Once stitched it will post likely be a bit stretched out. Use the steam on your iron to shape it back into place. It works wonders.

And that is it for today. Tomorrow we will do a similar method to the neckline and I will also be showing you an alternative method to attach the bindings in the round if you prefer it.