I’ve not made as much progress on the tartan dress project as I expected. So this is just a quick post about staying edges.
My first sewing book recommended zigzagging all the edges of your pieces before sewing seams, so that’s what I used to do. I’ve recently found this tends to distort the edges and so now I often finish my seams after sewing them.
However my tartan fabric is really, really ravelly. I won’t have much seam allowance left if I don’t finish the seams early on, but if I do I’ll probably never get the stripes to match.
Burda magazine loves this stuff. Every other pattern seems to call for it. It’s thin fusible knit interfacing strips with a line of stiches sewn along the middle. It seems to be quite hard to find in the UK. My local sewing stores don’t stock it, so I always used to skip it. It never seemed to cause a huge problem to miss it out, although occasionally I would cut my own strips of knit interfacing where it looked like it was really needed.
Once I got hold of some real Vilene bias tape, from Sewbox, I realised why Burda uses it so much – it’s great! Very easy to apply and it stablises edges nicely without adding bulk. It’s also a lot less fuss than cutting your own strips. Just don’t put it the wrong side up and get the glue all over your iron as I frequently manage to do. I now see why my GCSE textiles teacher had ‘good’ irons and crafting irons.
I have no idea if staying edges like this is the Right Way to do things or not – I suppose I could just staystitch – but it’s worked for me in the past so I shall stick with it.