Have a good 2014, fellow stitchers!
Have you made a list of sewing resolutions? Perhaps the one that goes something like this –
‘ I will eat my stash, conquer pad stitching, learn bead embroidery, make a dozen coordinating outfits, and turn those scraps into patchwork cushion covers, oven gloves and bread bags’
Me? I’m throwing in the towel. Facing facts. Accepting the inevitable. Last year’s rezzies bit the dust well before Spring had wafted in. Might as well admit it, planning isn’t my forte. But maybe you have hit on the winning formula, the right ratio of inspired madness to methodical plodding? Can you muster up the discipline to not only make the list, but get it done?
In lieu of the grand list, I’m merely going to resolve to catalogue some techniques this year. Starting with
Lining a sleeveless dress or top
The all time favourite method of course is the one I used in the babydress posted here. The roll up. In summary:-
Lining serves as facing. Stitch the shoulder seams, but not the side seams. With RS of lining to RS of garment, stitch, trim, understitch and press the neckline. Then, the clever part, roll up the garment so as to bring the right side of the armhole lining to the right side of its corresponding outer fabric, the whole dress shoulder width crammed into the width of one shoulder piece. Stitch and pull through.
The advantages are obvious – such a beautiful finish when it works, with no hand stitching.
It would be the only method you need, if only all fabrics and all shoulder widths were obliging. When your fabric is bulky, or the shoulder pieces very narrow, you can get your dress or top well and truly jammed. Have you ever done this? The only remedy I found was to carefully unpick the narrowest part of the shoulder section, pull through oh so gently, and very gingerly tuck in the already trimmed turnings, slip stitching the armhole seam closed. A solution with a high cock-up risk.
Next up, the Open Shoulder
I was taught this by my couture teacher. Its got good points. Maybe you have a garment in fabrics which you don’t want to bulk up with heavy facing and interfacing, or maybe the fabric is delicate, and stretches easily or the neckline shape is daring you to stretch it out of shape. Its a Vee on the cross, or a scoop. It will laugh off stay stitching and stretch between cutting table and machine.
The method has its bad points too – actually one major bad point. You have to line up the edges of the shoulder seams exactly, there’s no room for fudging.
Treat the front and back as flat pieces, facing with either a lining or continuous facing piece, leaving the side seams and shoulders open, or after doing the side seams – either works. The greatness of this method is that a dodgy fabric or neckline shape can be tamed without interfacing, stay stitching, seam binding or other paraphernalia. You can even leave cutting your neckline shape until after you have stitched on the facing/lining. If you have ever wept as a scoop gets scoopier when you gingerly lift your piece to the machine, this is the method of choice. Just chalk the stitch line on the WS of the lining piece, and cut the shape away after joining the pieces.
Its the next part which knocks this method out of first place.
Trim and turn the lining/facing, and press. All neat and looking good, but the shoulder seams have to be joined by stitching the outer fabric front and back pieces together, matching the neck and armhole edges exactly. Then the lining is turned under and slip stitched on the inside. On a good day and with the right machine, you can stitch some of the lining shoulder seam in a continuous run with the shoulder seam of the outer. This makes for a stronger, neater edge. But, if you don’t get those edges lined up its there for all to see. You have been warned.
Separate facings and lining
Classic and foolproof, but also pretty tedious, and bulky. For this you need to have or to cut separate facing and lining pieces. This post discussed planning them, if your pattern doesn’t have them.
A facing in the same fabric as the outer avoids having the lining showing during movement, but can create a lot of bulk too, especially at the seams. Joining the lining to the facing means stitching curves together, so accurate turnings help, but unlike the method above, bodges are all inside.
Thats my three dress lining/facing methods, have I left any out?