Tag Archives: underlining

Today’s progress: Crochet trim at the neckline

Crochet gloves were the inspiration for the trim choice for the polka dot top. Both the neckline and sleeves have facings, so the construction lent itself to a trim insertion at those edges. Today, I put in the crochet edging at the neckline.

I was hoping to use the Clover Wonder Clips to hold the trim in place while I sewed. I thought they would be a perfect choice since pins don’t work all that well with the open lace of crochet. As it turns out, the Wonder Clips have a working depth of 1/2 an inch, and the crochet trim only needed to be inserted into the seam 1/8 of an inch. That didn’t work out too well for my 5/8 inch seam. I’m sure I’ll find a use for the Wonder Clips in garment sewing. I’m going to try them instead of pins for the zipper insertion.

Anyway, today was the neck facing.

First I sewed the trim to the main fabric piece. Then I pinned the facing to the main piece, but I did it a little differently than I’ve done in the past. Usually, I pin the small facing piece face down on top of the larger main piece. It’s easier to work with this way, but this method puts on the outside the piece that will end up on the inside. This time, I put the facing right side up on my dress form. Then I put the bodice right side down on top and pinned everything together.

This was handy for sewing because that put the stitching line for attaching the trim on top where I could see it. This way I could sew exactly on that line to attach the facing.

I trimmed and pressed the seam as usual. Because of the trim insertion, I didn’t understitch. When I turned everything right side out, the facing fell smoothly to the inside. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to do it this way before. I think it made a big difference. Here is the final result:

Crochet trim insertion

Voilà! The crochet trim is in at the neckline, and I love the way it looks. If only I had crochet lace gloves ...

Next will be piecing and attaching the peplum, then putting in another invisible zipper. I’m hoping for a better result with that darn zipper this time.

What I learned today: I realized a couple of days ago that since I underlined the top, I probably had no need for interfacing. But I had already fused all the interfacing and facing pieces, so I went forward with my original plan. The faced edges will be thicker than necessary, but I don’t know that there’s any real harm from the extra layer. I will, however, keep that in mind the next time I underline.

None of the fun stuff today

As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite part of a sewing project is the first construction seam. Alas, three hours of work on my 1950s top and no construction seams today. Actually no machine stitching at all. Today was all about the preliminaries.

After happily remembering that I had already cut out the fashion fabric when I cut out the skirt, I moved on to cutting out the batiste for the underlining. When I started marking it, I realized that all the marking I had done on the fashion fabric was a total waste of time. I only need to mark the underlining fabric. Doh!

So, I ended up making all those marks again. And there are six darts and four tucks. Drat, I dislike marking as it is.

Next, I hand-basted all the underlining and fashion fabric pieces together. That took quite a bit of time, especially with the aforementioned darts and tucks.

Dart from wrong side

If you look closely at this dart, you can see the hand-basting I did to secure the underlining.

Dart from right side

Here is the outside of the same dart.

After that was fusing the interfacing to the facing pieces, with a little backtracking when I couldn’t find the sleeve facings cut of fashion fabric. I think I cut them, but where could they have gone? So I cut them out for what may very well have been the second time.

Facing piece

Here is one of the neckline facing pieces (on top of the bodice front) showing the woven fusible interfacing after fusing.

After cutting those extra pieces, I’m still hoping I have enough fabric to make a matching belt. The fabric will have to be pieced, for sure.

Now everything is underlined, and everything is fused. But I ran out of juice right around the time the game ran out of innings. (I like to sew while watching Giants baseball.) I’ve been staying up way too late all week, and it caught up with me this weekend.

But the very next step? A construction seam! I think I’ll save that for tomorrow.

Underlining — right idea, wrong fabric

With encouragement from Corinne in Sewtopia, I’m back on track to underline my cotton blouse. She suggested batiste, the idea being that my inclination to underline wasn’t off base, just my fabric choice. A little research showed that batiste is also good for underlining silk, and the next project is a silk top that I wanted to underline so no hemstitches would show.

The idea of hemstitches that might show on the right side of either the current project or the upcoming silk project was making me queasy. I figured I’d better try out the underlining on the cotton project before tackling the silk.

So, tonight (after dropping off my daughter and her friend at a Girl Scout event and before picking them up again), I had just enough time to scoot over to JoAnn’s and track down the one bolt of white cotton-poly batiste hiding within the muslins. There was five yards left, so I took the whole darn thing. Batiste is a really lightweight fabric, handkerchief weight, I’d say. It shouldn’t add too much body to the main fabric, but will give me that all-important additional layer to hide my stitches in. My polka dot fabric is coral with white dots. I couldn’t find a thread to match the coral color, so I went with a slightly darker, almost rust, color. With the batiste being white, I may change my mind on thread color.

Of course the lining for the skirt is off-white, but I’m not back-tracking on that. I just can’t face the idea!

I think I spend at least as much time strategizing my projects as I do actually making them. But then I tend to overthink thoroughly think through everything.

How some people sew one or more garments in a week is beyond me!

A change of heart on underlining the top

Sigh. I always think I can get more accomplished than I actually can.

With a full day of errands on Saturday, going to the Giants game and buying a new dishwasher on Sunday, and finishing The Help this morning (excellent book, by the way. Can’t wait to see the movie), I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped on my current project this holiday weekend. I’m a bit anxious because it’s a summer top and skirt. While we still have lots of warm weather left in Northern California for the year, I’m also wanting to get working on the Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge.

The coral polka dot quilting fabric for the skirt and top is cut and marked. While doing that, I rethought my plan to underline the material for the top. It seemed to have plenty of body on its own. And judging from the muslin, it might be too heavy with the extra layer in the pleats at the neck and waistline. I had wanted to tack the neckline and sleeve facings to the underlining for a neat finish, so I’ll have to give some thought to how I finish those facings and the hem. I even have the crazy notion of possibly doing a waist stay.

I will still be lining the skirt; however, and I cut those pieces out as well. I was planning to make the skirt about 30 inches long but have changed my mind. That length just didn’t seem right for a summer outfit. I’ll go with the 25-inch length I did on my most recent skirt. I hope those proportions work with the top.

Next will be cutting and fusing the interfacing. I got a fairly new fusible woven interfacing on the advice of the lady at the JoAnn’s cutting counter. I haven’t tried it before. It’s pricier than the nonwoven, but she said it doesn’t pill. I hate worn out, pilled interfacing. It’s just cheapens a project. I’ll report on how it works out.

Cutting is my least favorite part of a project. My favorite is the very first construction seam. That’s when I enter my happy sewing zone. I hope to be there by the end of the week.


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