Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When Patterns Claim They Are Easy....

Exactly what is an easy pattern?  Easy to sew because the instructions are well written?  Easy to sew because you have some experience and are aware of the unwritten steps? 

This is an absolutely adorable pattern designed for sheer fabrics such as voile, chiffon and georgette.  The fabric selected is a black chiffon print which also has a secondary design of a stripe. 

Here is a section of the instructions.

Easy, sure, if you have had some sewing experience.  It is such a great design that I thought I would blog about some ideas to help if you're tempted to sew a pattern in a sheer fabric, or even this pattern .

If the fabric you're going to be sewing is washable, give it a heavy dose of spray starch or sizing.  This is great for taming the fabric making it crisper to handle when laying out your pattern.  How much starch....  I really give it a nice heavy dose.  Your garment can always be washed when you're finished sewing, so don't worry about going overboard.

Lay out your pattern on a cutting mat and use a rotary cutter rather than scissors to cut out your pattern.  Since the layers of fabric are sheer they have a tendency to shift when using shears.

When the pattern calls for gathering ....  make two rows of basting stitches, one row at 5/8" and another at 1/4".   The second row of basting controls the fabric in the seam allowance.

The bodice front and blouse back are sewn to the yoke using an envelope method.  The bodice front and backs are rolled up and tucked inside the yoke while the seams are sewn.  This allows for the seams to be enclosed .  While it is an easy technique, the fabrics rolled up are difficult to keep in place while trying to sew the seams.  This problem is solved by rolling up the sections and then pinning with safety pins.

This looks strange, but the results are quite nice:

Even though the sleeve is a smooth set in, the sleeve needs a row of basting stitches.  I sewed a 1/2" seam with basting stitches on the sleeve cap.   I pulled the basting stitches slightly my 1/4" seam for the french seam would be smooth.  I trimmed the seam with pinking shears, turned it to the inside for my 3/8" seam.

You can see the basting stitches still in the sleeve fabric.  If you need to clip the basting stitches to relax the sleeve fabric, go ahead and clip away (but just clip the basting stitch, not your fabric).

Just the extra step of the basting stitches makes a great set in sleeve - nice and smooth!

Almost finished.......  finishing touches tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. You made a French seam on a set-in sleeve? I am in awe. Eager to hear more about this project!