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Elastic Keyhole Closure

I’m Ajaire from Designs by Call Ajaire (DbCA) and I have two things to share with you One Thimble fans this week.  The first is a favorite of mine!  Today, let me show you how to make the optional Elastic Keyhole Closure from my Crossover Flounce Dress available in Issue 11.

My girl is forever getting her hair caught in the button on the back of her dresses.  I love a good button, but right there at the back neckline her hair always gets caught.  Thus I came up with this buttonless keyhole closure.  All you need is a little bit of 1/4″ (6mm) elastic and you can use this technique on pretty much any keyhole-type closure in lieu of a button and loop.

To begin, cut a small keyhole opening at the main and lining center back pieces.  Be sure to think about seam allowance if you’re making your own keyhole.  Fortunately, the Crossover Flounce Dress has this pattern piece included so you don’t have to make one yourself.

Stitch the shoulder seams of the main and the shoulder seams of the lining and press well according to the pattern.

Place the main neckline over the lining neckline with right sides together and pin all the way around the keyhole.

Stitch all the way around the main neckline.  Skip 3/8″ (1cm) down the keyhole, start stitching from the edge until you reach the end of the 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance, pivot the stitching 90 degrees, and continue stitching around the keyhole, stopping 3/8″ (1cm) from the neckline stitches on the other side, pivoting the stitches to run through the seam allowance at 90 degrees.  This step is creating a channel through which the elastic will run.

Trim the seam allowance except for the 3/8″ (1cm) area around the channel, clipping to the stitching at the 90 degree corners of the keyhole.

Turn the necklines so they are wrong sides together and press well.  Take care not to push the channel out of the openings on either side of the keyhole, but do use a point turner or similar tool to help point the shape of the keyhole.

In the above pic you can see that there is an opening which will fit this flat turning tool.

Take your piece of coordinating 1/4″ (6mm) elastic and attach a safety pin to one end.

Insert the safety pin through one side of the neckline channel.

Pin the elastic in place once the safety pin is pulled through enough to clear the pin.

Once the elastic is pinned you can reach between the layers to remove the safety pin.

Then attach the safety pin to the other end of the elastic.

Run the safety pin through the channel on the other side of the neckline and pull through, leaving as much give on the elastic as necessary to comfortably get the child’s head through.  Pin the elastic in place and remove the safety pin from between the layers.

Topstitch around the keyhole using 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance and backstitching over the elastic.  Be sure to use coordinating thread for the bobbin if you are making the Crossover Flounce Dress so it can still be reversible.

And now your neckline is complete and you can stretch the opening to fit over the head with ease!  I hope you enjoy this new neckline closure option as much as we do!


Ajaire Parello
Call Ajaire


Cross Over Flounce Dress Stand Alone Cover

Don’t forget to check out the interview with Ajaire from Monday HERE.

You can purchase Ajaire’s pattern for Crossover Flounce Dress as a single PDF HERE or visit her website to see more of her work HERE or purchase Issue 11 which contains this pattern HERE.

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