Wednesday, 3 August 2011
Unfoxed: a dressmaking tip
I've been meaning to share a solution for something that has previously foxed me, and finally rememembered to take photograph it yesterday.
So often, when I've been working with a fabric that must be gathered to a particular length (such as the cap of a sleeve, or a section of a blouse), I've sewn two rows of large basting stitches, drawn them up to just the right length, but when I've come to sewing these gathered stitches in place on the machine, it has gently pulled at them, meaning the gathered section invariably ends up longer than intended or unevenly gathered. This can partly be worked around by sewing the basted gathers directly to the main garment to stabilise them, but I worry over this method as I prefer to check that the gathers are completely even before committing to this step.
I finally discovered that by pinning my basted gathers to a thin piece of paper (here I've used pattern drafting paper), I could sew them in place easily. The paper means that the material glides through the machine and the gathers remain undistorted. If you set a small stitch length for this then the paper also pulls away easily without effort or leaving papery deposits in amongst the stitches.
You can find two more dressmaking-related tips from last summer here. I'd love to hear if you have any of your own - it's always lovely to discover new ways to make things easier.