Wriggle Dress: facings

Butterick 6582 calls for a bit of facings, to fortify the front and the back of the top. Lots of people use fusable facings, that you iron onto the fabric. Basically they’re glued onto them.
I am a fabric snob and prefer natural fabrics such as wool, linen and cotton (even though the processing of cotton and bamboo is very VERY nasty to the environment).
So I’ll be using non-fusable facings. Sew on facing.
Or maybe I’m using a cotton sheet for my facings because I forgot to bring the fusable facing… We’ll never know.

I cut the facings from the slightly altered pattern:

These facings need to be attached to the fashion fabric, preferable without glue. Underlining technique to the rescue: you sew the facings to its fabric partner before you start sewing the dress together.
Do this on the very outline of the fabric, not too close to where the eventual seam will be. After that you treat the two merged pieces as one piece of fabric.

The trick is to sew all the way untill you “fall off the fabric”:
No stopping in the corner, leaving your needle in the fabric, lift up the foot, turn the fabric 90 degrees, lower the foot, continue sewing. Don’t do this. It will put strain on the thread you’re sewing and possible distort the fabric.
see this tutorial from sewaholic

Better is to keep on sewing untill you “fall of the fabric”. Lift needle and foot from the fabric, take a bit of extra thread, turn fabric, put foot down but without the needle touching the fabric for the first motion (see my picture above) and start sewing.
This way there’s no tension on thread or fabric. And you have not cut the thread so no loose ends.

Again, a couture technique I picked up on the internet.

Ahum, small problem: some pieces of facing do not cover a whole piece of fabric. Actually, only the small left front piece on the shoulder matches facing and fabric in size and form. And only because I changed the pattern.
Back pieces and front piece are the lenght of the body and the facing is a mere handswidth.
how that’s going to work?

  1. no raw edgings on facings
  2. attach to fabric on three sides: neckline, armhole, zipper.

So I went about folding over and hemming the lower parts of the facings, the part that would dangle loose inside the dress:

Then I ran into the problem I knew existed: this sewing machine is not as good as the one I used in the city, for the Summer Dress. Its under tension is not very good:
This is as good as I get it to work. These problems occur mainly on the lower side. So any topstitching has to be done from the right side. And if the fashion police come by to inspect my sewing, I’ll just galop around a bit.

ps. see the laid in wood work on the table of this machine? It’s centimeters and inches. Isn’t that a lovely piece of work!

After I hemmed the facings on one side I was ready to attach the other three sides to the fabric:

Remember from my previous post “Wriggle Dress: Cutting the fabric” how I had pinned the two back pieces firmly together before tracing and cutting? Well, I never took out the pins because I knew I wanted to insert a zipper and I would never get the pieces to line up so perfectly as they were now.

That’s why the left parts on this picture are still pinned together. I only unpin the top part for as far as I need it to attach the facing.

Now all facings are attached, except for the big (right) front piece. That one has to receive its ruffles/folds/pleats first. Only after that will I know the definite measurements of the needed facings. (which didn’t prevent me from cutting the facing as the pattern stated. Because you cannot think of everything in advance.)

in the mean time here’s my first lesson in shifting fabric:
I don’t know how it happened. Facings matches the fabric perfect. Neck line and shoulder strap sew on perfect. Arm hole and….. woops!

Probably because I was turning the curve there and a loose woven fabric such as this linen distorts somewhat when sewed.
Either way: this bodes well for my plans of sewing with my own handwoven fabrics… which will all need underlining to keep the fabric from sagging.


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