Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Wedding Dress -- Whittling Away at the To Do List

organza wedding dress layers

I am working away at the to do list from my last post since DD left and went home to Florida. The third and final layer of the wedding dress is done. I think the effect is marvelous. In this picture, you can really see the French seams that I used in construction. When you see them over the white dress, they are much less noticeable. But French seams are a necessity when working with sheer fabrics that fray easily.

Creating the French seams is really time consuming, however, it is really worth the effort. If you don't know what a French seam is,  you may be familiar with a very similar seam found in blue jeans called a flat felled seam. It is a seam that requires three separate sewing lines which encase the raw edges of the fabric preventing them from fraying during normal wear and tear or washing.

In this seam, unlike regular sewing, you start with wrong sides together. After pinning the fabric wrong sides together, I ran a sewing line 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric. With a cool iron I set the seam, then opened the seam so that the salvages fell to the same side and ironed again.

I turned the panels with right sides together and pinned the seam so that the raw edges were on the inside of the two panels.

I then ran a sewing line 3/8 inches from the edge of the fabric and again set the seam with a cool iron. You may think that these are narrow seams, and they are. However yo will find that 3/8 of an inch is not as "fine" as you may think. In addition, on a curved piece like this, if you make it any wider, you will have to snip the curve inside. For my purposes, with very shear fabric, I didn't want to see all the clipped fabric showing through.

Lastly, I pinned the seam down flat to the fabric, taking care to pull it flat in the curve. It is better to sew slow and carefully making sure to pull out the pins in advance. You want to pull the pins quite a bit before they come to the sewing foot of the machine for two reasons. Firstly, it gives you the ability to adjust the fabric in the curves of the seam--making sure nothing is wrinkled or folded. Secondly, if you hit a pin, disaster could strike.

On one of the times that I forgot to pull out a pin; the needle hit it and tore the organza. Luckily, it was at the very bottom of the panel that was trimmed off. If it had happened in the center of the skirt, I would have had to start over with those panels.

Here is the finished seam! Looks pretty good to me. Now that is a seam that will not fray and nor ever look messy.

Happy Sewing!
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