There are many different ways to do things in the sewing universe and I have been known to even do the same thing several different ways. What's the Bobbi Brown song say? "That's my prerogative". I appreciate all the comments regarding passing on via the blog the details of sewing this dress so I will continue with something you may not have seen anywhere else. It's sort of not kosher, that's why, but it works, and I think it looks good. A little background:
The late Roberta Carr's book, " The Art of Fine Sewing" is one of my favorite references. It is all about couture techniques. She teaches in a down to earth manner and preaches in a repetitive way that makes you learn so much from reading her book. I think I have read it cover to cover at least three times. One of her cardinal rules that oft gets repeated is "reduce bulk whenever possible". In parts of the book she may pose a problem and she goes back to that commandment to explain how to treat the issue. This saying has so stuck in my head and more than once I have dug in and followed those directions, despite what others may have taught me. How I handled the bias on this dress is an example and I am glad I did it this way. I have also used this technique on some of my bias heirloom collars and they have worn and washed beautifully. But it is unorthodox. I warned you.
The problem: The combination of lace, lining, and a "stay" selvedge" on the neckline is a bit of bulk. Adding the bias cut strip of poly (instead of a facing) adds still more bulk, particularly once turned to the inside. Here's what I did: Seams were graded with a pair of pinking shears. The bias strip was understitched and turned to the inside. Then came a good press to keep it there. If I turned under the raw edge of bias to sew it down to the lining there would be more bulk and a possible ridge from pressing. I DIDN'T TURN IT UNDER. I LEFT IT RAW. No, the bias police did not haul me away. Bias does not ravel. Its edge will stay clean. So I just sewed that one layer to the underlining with a catch stitch (my favorite hand stitch) and ended up with a smooth neckline. I like this simple clean finish.
In the picture above you can see the understitching, the raw bias edge, and the catchstitching securing it to the underlining. There are many ways to do many things and I am liking this way more and more every time I use it. Point here: don't be afraid to think out of the box, particularly if an expert like Roberta Carr is nagging you from the back of your subconscious. You may come up with your own way of doing things that works just as well or even better than somebody else's....Bunny
Lunaloo asked in yesterday's comments: "When you hand pick a zipper, how close are the picks to each other and does fabric choice figure in the decision to pick or not to pick?" Fabric choice definitely plays into this decision but there are no hard and fast rules I am following here. More important is dealing with the zipper below the waist with the lace and underskirt. What I will end up doing are some samples before I commit the zipper to the dress. I will try out 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch stitches. I also purchased some beads for the zipper. I am not sure they won't just sink right into the lace so we will see. I have two size beads to work with. And after all that I may decide that I don't like the samples and may just do a plain pick. Remember what Bobbi Brown sang?....Thanks for asking, Lunaloo...Bunny