Saturday, 22 February 2014

Work in progress: New Look 6184 (3)

I've been away for a few days - hence the inadvertent hiatus from blogging.  Before I went, though, I managed to progress a bit further with my dress.  Although it's taking a while, at the same time, I'm pleased with how it's going - and I really feel like I'm learning some new skills as well.

This was another one of those 'new skills' things - the bias binding at the arm holes of the dress.

I have used bias binding before, on my summer top, but as I'm sure it won't surprise you to hear, I was winging it a bit.  That pattern had called for double fold bias binding (although it didn't actually say so, might I add!) and so the single fold bias binding I bought had to be folded again and ironed.  The pattern this time actually said 'single fold bias binding', so I finally knew what I should be looking for! I've actually yet to see double fold bias tape here in the UK - and when I spoke to the girl in Fabricland, she said she thought it was an American thing!

I found this tutorial, which was really useful in explaining exactly how the binding should be used.  I read through this a few times, and suddenly the instructions in the pattern finally made sense!  It was amazing how much more confident I felt in getting the arm holes finished - I just wished I'd done that the first time!

Here's how it's done...

1) Open out one fold of the bias binding, and pin it to the right side of the fabric around the arm hole.  Then sew along the fold in the binding, keeping as accurate as possible on the fold that already exists.

2) Then fold the binding again, at the sewn edge.  The binding will look like a continuation of the armhole.  To ensure it folds under as evenly, under stitch as close to the edge of the binding as possible, stitching it to the fabric below.  This gives the fabric a natural turn, so that the binding can then be folded under.  If anyone is watching the Great British Sewing Bee, May Martin did give a little tutorial on under stitching in week 1 - I felt very pleased that I could do what she was talking about!

Before under stitching
After under stitching
3) Pin the binding to the inside of the armhole.  You can then baste the binding to the fabric from the inside if you want, before top stitching the binding to the fabric from the right side of the fabric.  The basting would allow you to see where the binding actually was, so you didn't go over the edges - although I didn't bother with it.


So, apart from the zip, the bodice is now completely finished!  I'm getting there - soon all I will need it somewhere to actually wear it!

In other news, when I bought my dress form, I also got another few bits to make my sewing life easier...

The rotary cutter and self healing mat were an absolute revelation. I suppose I had been a bit dubious before about how much better than scissors it really would be...but wow. Consider me convinced.  I am absolutely loving them - I just want to cut out stacks of fabric now!  Although I'm sure the feeling will wear off soon!  Lets hope not before the dress is finally finished...!

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