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Beach Daze MAL Week 2: The Front Piece, Shoulders and Placket

Updated: May 6, 2021

For Week 2 of our Beach Daze MAL hosted in the Scheepjes International and Dutch Facebook groups, we are going to concentrate on working the Shoulder Seams, making the separate Placket and finishing the Inner Neckline, but first we need to cover some details relating to the Whirlette/Whirl Dress design when working the Front Piece so everyone is up to the same point.

A quick recap:

My blog is written in UK terms.

The pattern is a 2-PDF set available in UK terms, US terms, Dutch & French from my Ravelry and Etsy Peppergoose Design Pattern Stores.

* You can make a T-shirt, a Tunic or a Dress in either MAXI Sugar Rush or Whirlette or a Whirlette/Whirl combo from the PDF set and it is sized XS to 5XL.

* The very first Beach Daze MAL blog in the series showed all the versions of garment and how to choose your size and is here if you are just joining us now.

* The second blog talked about how to swatch for gauge and a LOT about chains and can be found here.

* The Week 1 blog to help you through the Back Piece is here.

OKAY let’s dive in!

Whirl Handling in Front Piece Upper Bodice for W/W Dress Makers (Sizes XS, S and M)

These Sizes need a bit of special yarn handling to ensure the colour change matches down the sides of the Dress as they start using Whirl high up the bodice within the separate shoulder rows alongside the future Placket area. Sizes L-5XL all switch to Whirl below the level of the bottom of the Placket so makers of these sizes and all MAXI and Whirlette makers can skip ahead to the JAYG Side Seam section.

Size M only switches to the Whirl towards the end of the Placket area and these makers will start their Whirl to work Rows 25-32 inclusive on the Front Left Shoulder, then fasten off and then work Rows 25-32 on the Right Front Shoulder, then continue with Row 33 to unite both sides below the Placket area and that’s not much fuss.

Sizes XS and S both start using Whirl higher up, and to avoid finding a colour change on one shoulder and not the other, I recommend splitting the beside-Placket area rows up into sections where you fasten off and go work the other side before coming back to add more rows in the next section. Here is what I suggest:

Size S: Work Rows 15-23 on the Front Left Shoulder in Whirl then fasten off and then work the matching Rows 15-23 on the Front Right Shoulder, fasten off then work Rows 24-32 on the Front Left Shoulder, fasten off, then work Rows 24-32 on the Front Right Shoulder and continue to unite the pieces under the Placket area in Row 33 to finish the remainder of the Front Piece with your Whirl.

Similarly, for Size XS: Work Rows 1-10 Front Left then Front Right, Rows 11-21 Front Left then Front Right, and finally Rows 22-32 Front Left then Front Right and continue to unite the pieces under the Placket area in Row 33 to finish the remainder of the Front Piece with your Whirl.

JAYG Side Seams…

Here is a flash back to a photo I included in the Prep 1 blog post to show both side seam effects.

I included the JAYG side seam technique, so makers of the Whirlette/Whirl Dress had a choice between the contrast effect created by the original Tunic Side Seam technique and a colour blended side seam.

The Supplement PDF does have a stitch chart specifically for this technique, but in case that is a bit confusing I also wanted to demonstrate with a little video where I work the dtr-dc-tog join, ch3, dc join, turn, then work the first dtr of the next row:

I am using MAXI Sugar Rush (Dark Teal 401) to demonstrate the join in my video because I am using it in the Dress project that I haven’t shown you yet. The mystery of why will be revealed next week. Don’t you love the suspense?

Shoulder Seams…

The original Tunic has the option for an open or closed shoulder seam, but the T-Shirt and Dress have narrow and therefore closed shoulder seams. All edging dc and slip stitches are intended to be small, firm to tight to create a dense and sturdy neat join (but not so tight that it pulls the shoulder seam shorter than it was before the seam). The weight of the garment hangs from here and the future Placket seam, so we don’t want this to be gaped or stretched. Once Shoulder seams are done, I dare say the first thing you will do is try it on...

I Am Not Panicking, But I Don’t Think It Looks Right…

At this point you will think that the Neckline hole for the future Placket is WAAAAAYYYY too big and that it is not going to come together. Don’t panic though – the Neckline can sag and stretch at the moment but will be stabilised by the future Placket insertion. It will be okay! Next, we make the Placket, and you will still think it’s TOTALLY NOT going to work, but as long as your stitching tension over your garment and the Placket insertion seam is consistent it will be sweet, trust me!

Making the Placket…

This part is a little bit tricky. Don’t worry about how complex the chart on page 15 of the Pattern PDF looks though, it’s just a tick-list to help you keep track of rows, and everything is also described in the written instructions before the table. Even, consistent tension is the key and I recommend making it all in one sitting if possible. Stitch markers placed in every wedged shaping row are definitely your best friend here so you can quickly count back and keep track of where you are up to.

The Placket is a curvy and winding path of dtr rows with a “Filet Space” at each row end of every non-wedged row. To create a smooth curved shape, I employed three techniques as each thing on their own would not be enough for a successful shape and you can see them being applied in the pics below:

1. I inserted some wedged shaping rows that use dc, htr, tr and dtr sts to graduate height across that row (it’s only these rows that don’t have a space at the short end of the row),

2. I changed the number of turning chain required for some rows, and changed the height of the last stitch of some rows,

3. I vary the number of edging dc sts per space when working Round 1 of the Inner Placket Neckline Edging and skip over the short end of any wedged row to bring final definition to the curved shape. Round 2 acts to stabilise this shape and start construction of the Placket loops.

Ribbon vs No-Ribbon Linked Placket Options…

I really like the ribbon on the oversized Tunic – it shares that relaxed vibe of being comfortable in roomy clothes, and it adds texture and visual interest. If you are going for a more fitted look then the ribbon feature might over-take the design, so I tend to think the linked Placket suits a fitted look better. But “there are no rules” and go with your heart!

The Supplement describes how to work things differently for the no-ribbon linked Placket and this difference begins with Round 1 of the Inner Placket Neckline Edging – the way you edge to shape the curve is the same, but it is worked RS instead of WS, so just make your decision regarding Placket loops before this point.

Still Not Panicking But are You Sure it’s Supposed to Be Like This?

I am sure you will rush to the mirror to wear the bodice/dress and Placket, and when you do it will very much look like it’s not going to come together so you might conclude that I must have rocks in my head! That’s cool, I understand that perspective …but like a good soap opera or tv drama, I will finish Week 2 of my Beach Daze MAL on that cliff-hanger. Here is an example of how open and stretched the Whirlette/Whirl Dress looks now without any stabilisation of being joined around the neckline or wrapping properly around a body. The Whirlette versions stretch and hang lower than the MAXI versions, and it will turn out fine.

Beach Daze W/W Dress size S in Whirlette Mint 856 and Whirl Peppermint Patty Cake 775

Now is a good time to take a break and gather our energy for the last few hurdles. You want to be fresh for the next session which starts with inserting that Placket like a boss, moves on to side seams, edging Armholes, and finishes with working the Hemline Rounds.

You can find Scheepjes retailers worldwide here, or consider purchasing yarn via these affiliate links*

Wool Warehouse (in the UK, ships worldwide including the US)

Caros Atelier (in The Netherlands)

...and Perth Aussies who like to support a local family business can source their yarn from my local Scheepjes Retailers

Leanne at Yarns For All

& Anna and Mike at Stitchcraft & Wizardry

The Pattern and Supplement PDFs come as a set from my Ravelry and Etsy Stores, and the discounted price finishes March 24th!

Use the #beachdazeMAL and #beachdazefilettunic tags when sharing on socials and never fear, the Beach Daze MAL blog series will stay available on my website to support making your Beach Daze garment so take it at your own pace and enjoy!

Happy Stitching,

Susan (Peppergoose)

Thank you to Scheepjes for yarn support for my designs!

* This post contains affiliate links – it doesn’t cost you any extra to purchase via these links and I receive a small percentage of the sale that helps to support my design work. Thank you!


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