Sewing with no light

Thanks so much for all the great advice about how to fix my trapeze dress. I finally found a source of zips of the right style and length on eBay, so I’ve ordered one. Fingers crossed it does the job.

Meanwhile I’ve been making the trousers from Vogue 1378, inspired by Shams’ version.

Vogue 1378 line art

I’m using a very lightweight neoprene instead of the doubleknit the pattern recommends. It seems to be working out pretty well, but the frustrating thing is that the neoprene is black, and I’m sewing by artificial light, so it’s impossible to see any of the cool seam detail when trying them on. They just look like black leggings.

I did manage to get some photos of the lapped seams using the flash on the camera. The eagle-eyed may notice that the picture of the quadruple top-stitching below doesn’t match the technical drawing. I decided to omit the slits at the ankle.

Thin neoprene is fantastically easy to top-stitch. It’s stable, smooth, and very easy to mark with chalk. I made a paper guide for the curved top-stitching lines in the picture above and transferred the lines to the right side of the fabric using a chalk wheel. The chalk just wipes off with a damp cloth when you’re done.

Vogue 1378 seam detail

For the lapped seams I marked the stitching and placement lines with chalk. I didn’t bother making templates for that but used my seam gauge. I used a few pins here and there to hold things together while I sewed, but they don’t seem to have damaged the fabric.

Vogue 1378 seam detail

As well as the lapped seams there are also some regular seams. I sewed those using my machine’s triple stretch stitch for maximum durability. Pressing those open was something of a battle. I had most success when I pressed with a fairly hot iron and no steam, and then put a heavy book on top until they cooled.

Vogue 1378 seam detail

Hopefully I’ll have some daylight pictures of the finished object next week.

15 thoughts on “Sewing with no light

  1. The geometric seams look very cool. How on earth did you keep all the topstitching in line with itself? Double needle, or just very careful marking? (Also, how much thread does that much topstitching use??)

  2. I’ve been wearing mine, and I love them but, I agree, it’s hard to see the seams in black! Your seam detail looks beautiful!

  3. Can’t stop oohing and aaahing over your gorgeous top stitching / lapped seams – looks fabulous! Eagerly awaiting pics of the final result.

  4. What neat top stitching – I assume you have very steady hands and sharp eyes, despite the lack of light? I look forward to seeing them on you!

    Do you mind sharing where you found the neoprene? I’ve only been able to find a wholesale source so far. Thank you!

    Oh and good luck with the zip fixing!

    1. Thanks! The fabric is very stable which helps a lot. I got it from Cloth House in London a few years ago. Not sure if they do mail order but they have a website so might be worth trying to contact them. They usually have it in stock.

  5. Neoprene! I had never heard of sewing garments with this a while ago and now, it seems to be popular! Maybe I have to check out this fabric. I love the seaming of these trousers.

  6. Such neat work. That fabric sounds a dream to work with. Roll on summer and some real light. My head torch helps but it’s not ideal!

Comments are closed.