Dress = a tube + shirring + shoulderstraps

I’m sewing a simple dress to wear under this knitted “overgooier”, pinafore:

This knitted tunic is quite heavy, even though it’s spun in the airiest of spinning techniques: Long Draw. It’s also warm.
It’s fitting in the back, follwoing that lower back curve I like to show off. So it needs a dress under it that is fitted there too.

The idea was to take a tube of 100cm in circumference, seeing as my hips and my bust both like this measurement in a dress, it’s me + some wearing ease.
Add shaping by way of shirring which is sewing elastic thread onto the fabric. A kind of mock smocking. This bypasses the need for a zipper which is good because the fabric is very light: cotton batiste. Light fabric = French seams and a fine rolled hem.
Cut holes for head and arms and treat them well. Voilá!

Dress from a tube shaped with shirring
(arm holes still need to be treated)

Sewing with elastic thread is easy! Just wind it onto the bobbin and loosen the tension a bit.
I used this tutorial amongst others:
http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/11/sewing-tip-shirringsmocking-with-elastic-thread.html

Beautiful fine hem (that’s the tip of my embroidery scissors, for measurement) and French Seam:
Dress from a tube shaped with shirring

I bound the neck hole with satin biais band, which follows curves and is soft enough for next to skin wear (opposite to cotton biais band):
Dress from a tube shaped with shirring

But I’m having a little trouble: the neckline stands up. Somehow the biais band has not enough width on the outer curve to lay flat. And the fabric is too light to stretch it.
It’s a common problem.

BIAS BAND? BIAIS BAND? OR BAIS BAND?
Certainly not “bais band” because that would be a group of musicians from one of the four cities in the word called Bais or a troupe singing in Bai, the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan.

Still, “bais band” is a common spelling mistake over here. It’s comes from the same faulty logic that makes people call their son Brian but make them write their name as “brain”…

“Bias band” and “Biais band” mean the same thing: something going diagonally across the grain of fabric. Bias band is English, Biais band is French.
Since in my country we have the French pronounciation for the stuff, “Bee-yay”, I’m going with writing “biais band”.
Actually, I don’t know how English folk pronounce their band, do you say “bias”= “Bye-ess” or “Bee-yay”? I shall have a listen on the next round of the British Sewing Bee.

Back to my dress. I used the biais band as a facing, following these tutorials:
http://sewoverit.co.uk/ultimate-shift-dress-binding-armholes-with-bias-binding/
http://grainlinestudio.com/2012/02/15/sewing-tutorial-getting-flat-bias-necklines/
http://whoeverhasthemostfabric.blogspot.nl/2012/06/how-to-use-bias-binding-to-face-armhole.html

conclusions:
– biais band is excellent for sheer fabrics
– a neckline needs stabilizing and hem treatment, biais band is good for both.
– it automatically involves staystitching which is a good thing
– some advice to clip the band before you turn it under.

Why my band stands up I have not figured out yet. It may be too wide for that curve.
Cutting it into half would solve that problem. For now I just clipped it in a bit at the worst places and will just wear this dress and avoid any Sewing Police that comes in sight 😉

I made a study dress first, btw, and it did not have its bands turn hooray. Well, not much now that I look at it closely:
Dress from a tube shaped with shirring
(the neck line still needs finishing)

It’s really nice to be able to take a piece of cloth, sew it into a tube and make a dress from it!
It feels like sewing is not a big thing and is very logical. I like that.
A next dress I’ll use facings again, I like those too. I found some excellent video tutorials how to attach facings to the top halves, with square necklines: FashionSewingBlogTV.

This cloth is batik and had a nice looking edge. I chose to wear it at the front. (yay for french seams!)
Dress from a tube shaped with shirring

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