After a good deal of pondering and chin stroking I finally decided what I wanted to do about my Oolong lining. I would underline it with a plain, similar coloured muslin. Now, being both lazy AND impatient I didn't think I could bear two separate sessions of cutting out from a single layer of fabric on the bias. So I put the underlining fabric underneath the dress fabric and cut them together. Most unorthodox, but it did save a lot of time. I then pressed each pattern piece which more or less caused the two layers to fuse together. An hour of sewing later and my fabric was underlined. It couldn't have been more straight forward if I'd tried - the complete opposite of my silk lining fiasco in fact. Phew.
|Front bodice section|
Now it was time to sew the bodice. At this point I consulted Sunni's tips for sewing on the bias. Sunni gave me some excellent advice after my last Oolong post and plea for help. I'm re-iterating them here but you can also find them in the Sewing School section of her blog, A Fashionable Stitch. I urge anybody thinking of sewing on the bias to read through her tips before you begin - they're REALLY helpful.
Sunni's Tips for Sewing on the Bias
- Use a longer stitch length than you probably normally do - like a 3mm. You can straight stitch or zigzag, but longer is better so that when the bias shrinks back up it won't pucker.
- As you sew, pull/stretch the seams as you go (just a little, don't try to distort it). It really does work and helps the seams not to pucker too!
- One more tip when sewing is to sew strips of tissue paper or freezer paper to the actual seams. Then tear them away after you've sewn your seam.
- I personally don't think that hanging the pieces - like the pattern says - really helps anything. Instead, hang the finished garment for 24 hours.
- Don't finish the edges with a serger, instead pink or zigzag after you sew the seam.
Following the above tips to the letter (yes, even the tissue paper one), I sewed up the bodice which was now cut a size larger (8) and tried it on. Joy of joys, it fitted! I then sewed the skirt section and attached them together. I'm now the proud owner of a bias cut dress (still minus sleeves and facings though). The relief of it all working out OK in the end is enormous, I really thought I'd have to abandon the whole project. It was worth persevering, as a bias cut dress skims your curves in the most flattering way. Even though I say so myself, it looks much better on me than it does on the dummy, but here's a sneaky peek on said dummy anyway.
I'll let you see the finished dress on its owner when I've given it sleeves and hemmed it. Wahay!
In other news, I sold a LOT of my handmade craft stuff at the fair on Saturday. I'm pretty relieved about it as I made tons of stock. So that's lots of hard earned cash to go fabric shopping with! Happy Monday. x