Couture Dress: cutting the fabric and basting the lining onto it

My lining is some sort of flanel, the marks don’t show up very well.
Never mind, I’ve thought of a solution. I’m using the toile/muslin as pattern pieces. I used them to cut the fabric and now I’m basting the lining onto the fashion fabric using the seam lines on the muslin.

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I can easily fold the pattern pieces on their seams, I haven’t ironed them. Because most seams are marked by (black) stitching I can fold under or over, it’s very easily visible. Do pin securely though.
I just trace it with the needle. Easy peasy.
It took my full allotment of energy both yesterday and today, a total of four hours, to baste the 7 pieces of this sheath dress.

The lining and the fabric now form a new fabric. Warm. Good for a winter dress. Now to baste these pieces together, following the precise lines the lining basting provides. And then the fitting of the dress. Final stage!

But….. just as I had pretreated every pieces and was pinning together the very first two pieces … I realized I’ve made a colossal error…

I used the muslin pieces as pattern pieces with the right side up… on the side of the lining that will be the inside of the dress…

I have made the mirror of the pieces I need! And as all pieces are tailored to my not symmetrical body I now have … not a dress.

I’m having a lie down now. It was time for it anyway, my afternoon hour was up. But I feel rotten!

Even if I can use the fabric pieces (it is jacquard fabric, I might get away with using the wrong side on the outside) I have to undo all the basting. And redo it if I want to have a lining.
The redoing will take another four hours. Another two days of full energy allotment. I had plans for the next two days. Plans like taking a shower and cooking a hot meal. I’m not very willing to post phone those for another two days.

Yeah, I’ll be lying here, trying to wrap my head around this one.

“I don’t want to talk about it!

Other solutions are to just take out the lining and make the dress -wrong fabric side out- without lining. I might do that… at the least it will tell me if this muslin works in real fabric. Will have to trace all the seam lines onto the fabric though… there’s another two hours work.

I also heard a rumour that they sell dresses in things called “shops”…

credit: puffer fish photo by Judy Roberson

Wriggle Dress: lining it

For the lining I have a thrifted cotton shirt. Very long and very soft:
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It fits the dress
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after pressing the shirt and the now unbasted dress this is how my ‘template’ for the front looks:
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Start cutting. Remember to put the right sides to the right side.

(yes, you eagle eyed sewers, I didn’t unpick the bust darts in the dress in this picture! I thought I could get away with it. Not away from you but from sewing. They were in the perfect spot you see, following good lines. And I was afraid I would wither from too much work. So I cut the lining while the darts were still in the dress. This will distort the side seam of the lining. I will be sorry. I convinced myself that the soft cotton will forgive. It probably won’t.
This is why I wrote down the tip to myself to use a screamingly different colour thread for basting next time. So I won’t be tempted again to leave darts in if I am going to use a piece as a template.

After this picture I took out the darts because I had to resew them at a better stitch width anyway. It took al of 7 minutes to rip out 4 long darts… 7 minutes I can afford and could have spend easily before cutting the lining.

What convinced me to take them out was that the 2mm stitch width of the basting was tearing at the linen, which is a fairly loosen weave. It was the wrong width for the fabric.
But by then the lining was already cut. And I am already sorry.)

By the way, the reason that I am lining this dress, even though the pattern says not to, is because of this book:

Linen and Cotton by Susan Khalje

and because of this project:

May Challenge Panel Dress by Marina von Koenig on which Khalje advised.
I cannot stop mentioning these two, sorry.

I learned very much from what Marina is showing us about this dress and it really prompted me to use linen and dabble in couture techniques. I hope to repeat this experience, in different designs, as her project and her approach is very inspiring!

The lining makes the white linen I’m using less see-through; it will reduce wrinkling and enhance wearing comfortability. But putting in a lining in this dress which has interfacing and facing is a bit of a puzzle: which layer goes where?

At least I did know about grading the seams where the interfacing/interlining is concerned:
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For attaching the rest of the lining I basically use the instructions for the facings.

I’m doing the back now. I’ll need to attach the lining to the zipper-part. This seemed a logical solution: two openings on layers that go together.

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Logic, yes?

It would work better if the opening of the lining was as long as the zipper is…
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It needs to open all the way to where the pins are. Besides: it has buttons.

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There we go. Now I have a piece of fabric instead of the front of an old shirt.

 

 

 

 

Sewing: a basting kind a gal

Today I discovered I am fond of basting a garment!
With the sewing machine set on 2mm or 3mm stitching I just whip up the garment (no seam treatment, just baste together the defining seams: side seams, bustdarts) and try it on.
Ideal for trying out the fit!

With the wide stitches I can take the seams apart fast after I’m done pinning the adjustments.
Or, as I did with the Wriggle Dress -my second dress ever- today: baste together and try it on and pin the adjustments and take the basting apart and baste it again and try it on again and pin some more adjustments and take the basting apart and baste it again and try it on again. I am a beginner.

It was especially the darts that needed the most repinning and when I found them to be good I pressed them, while they were still basted. Then I took all the basting out and resewed the seams in the apropriate, smaller stitch. Easy peasy since the baste line was still visible.
(I do stitch slow and with ridiculous attention so YMMV (Your Milage May Vary))

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One dart, ready to be sewed. These are diamond shaped darts. They are to be sewed starting in the middle towards a point, reducing stitch width as you approach the end of the fabric. Try “falling off” the fabric gradually, in a very small stitch width. This reduces puckering. Then you turn your dress around and do the other point of the dart in the same way.

I plan to do this basting thing with a few more dresses that I am trying out, I love it! No toile needed.
Of course, the fashion fabric must allow for all this basting and taking apart. Probably shouldn’t do this with satin, silk or high end linen… and should work from too wide to a good fit. Not from too tight to more ease, that basting line might remain visible.

And: there should be a nice cup or holder to collect the threads while you work.
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this is mine, it belonged to my grandmother who was a great seamstress (I didn’t know untill after she passed) and she and I both love birds.

Oh! Last tip to myself: use a contrasting colour thread for basting! This makes it easier to unpick. And it won’t tempt me to leave it in because “it’s already the right line”. 2 or 3mm stitches is not a good width for many fabrics, it will stretch and tear in the seams. Take it out. Yes, use contrasting thread. Good tip. You know you.