Practice Dress: treating the seams of skirt

I’ve sewn all the seams of the skirt, except the side seam where the zipper will be and the darts.

I have held the skirt around me and it fits, it is not too small nor too big.
I will now finish the seams first. Then I’ll think about matching the darts and the bodice. Or perhaps put in part of the zipper first.

I press open the seams. I have given them a tug before this stage.

Now I will have to ‘tack’ down the sides. There will be stitching visible on the outside. One of the pleasures of a handsewn garment, besides excellent fit and personal style and awesome fabric choices, is the treatment of the details. In sewing seams are a big part of the details.
There is a big pleasure in knowing and/or seeing a little fun on the inside of a garment. Such as funny fabric for lining or a splurge of colour when the seams are bound with a contrasting coloured biasband.

The seams of my skirt may ravel when I do not protect the raw edges. Lots of people do this by using an overlocker, using a special kind of sewing machine. You know these seams from commercial garments:

I don’t like them. They are itchy. Sometimes even scratchy. There’s a lot of nylon and plastics in these seam treatments. Besides, I don’t have one of those machines…

So I am looking at other finishings. There are quite a few!
I have chosen to make a small fold in the pressed open seam,  a fold under. It will enclose the raw edge. I will stitch the fold down, this will result in two lines of stitching next to the seam. I will take care to ensure that these two lines have an equal distance from the seam.

folding the raw edge under and pressing it in place:

stitching it secure, from the inside. Taking care to keep the same distance from the seam at all times, no matter how wide or narrow the fold runs:

the stitching didn’t catch the fold everywhere. I will stitch this close by hand, making sure the stitches are barely visible from the good side of the dress. This is the view from the inside:

But on the outside there are just two neat lines of stitching on either side of the seam:
you’d never know whether or not the stitching did indeed catch all the fold on the wrong side and whether or not I had to secure small patches by hand.

This is excellent practice for working with the silk because that will fray and is slippery. Seam finishing is important with silk. I’ll probably do French seams with the silk. Or a binding with biasband (no, that will add weight and the silk I bought is very lightweight).

The seam finishing on this cotton practice dress is more the kind you see with jeans garments and shirts. Dress shirts? Man shirts?

By the way, here’s how the first seam showed me that I’d better spread the fabric a bit wide when it is guided through the sewing machine. Here I did not and you see how there’s a bit of excess fabric, with folds:

now thinking how to proceed. There’s a zipper, there are waist darts and there’s the bodice to align.


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