Saturday, June 20, 2009

Seam Transitions with Sheers

Thank for all the suggestions on my sleeves. Gwen, you are so right. The flat sleeve looks like a tucked in handkerchief! I thought the picture in the magazine was not particularly flattering to the model but felt I had to give the original design at least a try. It will be a deeper, softer ruffle. Thanks so much all for your very valued opinions.

There are several challenges I am going to face in the construction of this top. You can probably tell by now that the Burda directions won't work for my version. For one, I am lining the blouse. There will be a lining that will only extend up to front and back upper chest area, leaving that area sheer. At first I was going to treat both layers as one and do French seams. But then I thought better as there would be too much bulk with 4 layers for French seams. Then I thought I could do a traditional underlining and Hong Kong the seams, again, more bulk than I wanted. What I finally decided was to attach the lining at the armscyes and CF placket only and let the lining otherwise hang freely from the fashion fabric. This would give me the floaty effect I wanted. I decided there would be French seams on the top as well as the lining. So far so good. Now the next issue was how do I transition from the French seam to the tiny edge treatment shown here. Time for samples. Here is my winning sample. I will have only the two side seams of the lining and top to deal with in this manner. The side seams of both layers will be open for about 4-5 inches and then close up to the armscye.
Here is what I decided.Click to enlarge and see the detail. This is just a sample so my edges will be trimmed a little more neatly IRL. First I did the starch pressing on the folded edge and stitched the "rolled edge" up as far as it needed to go. This happens on each edge of the of the side seams and down around the hem before construction . Press and trim. Then I pressed the unstitched edge of the side seam open flat. That starch really helps in handling this fabric. With wrong sides together and a 3/8 inch seam and a 1.5 stitch length I sewed the side seam to the top of the side opening. This was trimmed back to about a 16th of an inch and pressed first flat, then to the side, then with right sides folded together. Now I did my second pass ending right at the top of the opening. It came out quite neat but didn't look finished. I tried a few things but ended up taking out some matching embroidery floss. As in smocking, I separated out three strands and ironed them flat together. This gives them that satiny flat look. I then proceeded to stitch a bar tack at the top of the opening. Now I am happy. So this will be how the lining layer and the outer shell layer will be handled at the side seams. One nice thing about this BWOF pattern is that the lower bodice has no other seams. Yay! Now I am ready to start stitching the actual blouse. Hope I haven't bored you with this detail but these little details are very important to me when I sew, at least most of the time. There is always the occasional whip-out but this not one is definitely not a whipout....Bunny


  1. That's a tricky maneuver. I'm impressed witgh how neat that seam is. Also the corners are square and not "dog earred".

  2. I was also testing out the corners with this technique. It worked beautifully. When I did the starch/iron fold I just folded the corners like you would a piece of paper. Because you stitch right on that edge you really are not dealing with all the bulk. It gets cut off after. I would stop at the end, turn the corner and continue stitching, like you do in a satin stitch applique. I was surprised at how easily this worked on the corners.

  3. Just wanted to add, that because the corners are so stiff with the starch they don't get sucked down into the bobbin area. I really expected that to happen and it didn't at all.

  4. That is a tricky maneuver, and you've done a great job with it.
    I bought the Linet starch after reading David Coffin's book, and haven't bought a can of starch since. My dh uses it for ironing his shirts. Yes, he irons his own shirts.
    It should be a lovely blouse.

  5. Pretty finish. Sample looks wonderful.

  6. Bunny, I admire the way you think things through and make samples. You are an inspiration to the rest of us. Recently I bought a summer sheer print fabric to make a blouse with collar, to wear as a jacket. I am going to use the "Bunny rolled hem" on the blouse. I don't recall ever seeing the Linet starch, but will look for it.

  7. How did you handle where the two meet? i.e., did you clip the seam above the "Bunny rolled hem"? And is that why you did the bar-tack?

    I don't recall ever seeing the Linet starch either, but I'm going to look for it at the grocery store today. Oh, and Nancy K, my dh irons his own shirts also . . . . if they need it, he pretty much wears golf shirts.

  8. I guess my bifocals failed me as now I see the name of the starch is "Linit" rather than "Linet".

  9. Perfect! These little details make all the difference and you are right to test things out before getting in the middle of a project and finding out something doesn't work.


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