Friday, June 28, 2013

Lessons from the sewing room

I like sewing because I am constantly learning. Even if I think I have solved a problem, I usually create another problem in the meantime. I do try to do my research, but somehow I can never predict my results. Recently I washed a pencil skirt that I made last year. The lining is fully enclosed so I assumed I would be okay with not finishing the seams. It came out of the machine all weird and would not lay flat. I discovered a hole at the seam where the seam had shredded and when I felt inside the lining, it seemed the frayed lining seams had tangled and  were distorting the skirt. Obviously I need to wash my lined clothes more gently but I vowed to finish all the seams of my clothes, lined or not and try using other materials to line with.
My next project was my blue pinafore, so I used a cotton sateen for lining and overlocked all the seams. I am sure it will hold up well with the wash, but the sateen catches on my tights and lifts my dress over so slightly (still annoying). So with my next lined project, I thought I would go back to using lining fabric for Winter garments but I will overlock the seams. What I did not anticipate with my overlocker would gather the fabric ever so slightly and make it a little shorter that it was supposed to be. Next time, I will pink the seams and hope for the best (oh, and use a gentle wash too).
Anyway, on to the sewing. I used my go-to pencil skirt pattern (Burda magazinne 1/08 #127 without the waistband and with added vent) and the leftover dark blue wool crepe. I  really pushed myself to fit as I go but have trouble trying on garments full of pins. I constantly get the sharp ends of pins scraping down my leg and they leave sores.
I am a huge list maker already, but I have started writing comprehensive lists for construction order, when to baste, adding in all the tips from tutorials and so on to get the best possible outcomes. For this skirt, I used a fashionable stitch's drafting and sewing a vent lining , Eugenia's tips for achieving a nice finish at the top of invisible zippers and creating ease in the skirt lining , Sherry's tute for mitring hems on vents (Sherry's is for jacket sleeve vents, but it is the same principle)

My overlocker dilemma chewed the ease above the vent but I am confident that my seams are not going to shred. And the skirt does not catch on my tights. You can't tell that I used read lining from the outside, can you.

I have many projects to document from this term, including some grey wool pants, a petrol coloured knit top and a tiered skirt for my daughter.


  1. Very interesting, I have to admit I never finish the seams inside a jacket if I bag the lining or inside a dress bodice. Might have to now though! I always find when I think I really have something down pat it tends to go pearshaped!
    Lovely skirt though, the blue crepe is lovely and will be nice and warm in all this cold weather we are having

  2. I also don't finish lining seams when they are fully enclosed, but do on skirts and such that could possible be seen. But I have yet to figure out the perfect lining or perfect finishing - every time it seems to be different...part of the joys of sewing! Love the red lining - very warm looking for winter. And thanks for the links to some great tips - I am always on the lookout for these...J

  3. Love the red lining! It's great when you can have lottle secrets like that on your clothes, one of the joys of sewing for yourself ;) I'm not a big fan of bemsilk type lining fabrics (I hate how they fray even when just handling) -not sure if thats what you used for your first skirt- but am trying to line things more now as I does make for a nicer finish, when it works! I saw a cotton/silk blend fabric at a now closed upmarket fabric store which the sales assistant told me was often used for lining, would be interested to try that out but still think it would "climb" up tights :(

  4. The next time you are fitting a garment, try it on inside out. That way you won't get pricked by pins since they are on the outside away from your skin, which also means you can re-pin to make adjustments easily. Old dressmaker's tip :)


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