Slow sewing ahead

I am at the ‘what on earth possessed me to pick this pattern’ stage with Burda 110 08/2017. OK I know what it was: the glamorous model photos, as seen below, and the promise of a smart but comfortable dress that can cope with being slung in the washing machine.

All that gathering requires a lightweight knit with lycra. Those things are a pain in the neck: they curl up at the edges and wriggle all over the place. I was impressed I managed to get it cut out with vaguely even edges.

Then I spent a whole sewing session just putting pockets into the skirt front (pockets are not part of the original pattern) and pleating and gathering the front, and then basting that to my underlining (also not part of the pattern). So far I haven’t sewn a single construction seam.

I always forget how difficult I find it to sew gathers. It’s a lot of fuss to get them even and then as soon as the gathered edge goes under the machine they move about again. This time I have a secret weapon in the underlining layer. I am fixing the gathered layer to it with the assistance of rather a lot of pins and then stitching them together. It’s working fairly well although it’s still not perfect.

Who knows, I might sew some pieces together soon.

18 thoughts on “Slow sewing ahead

  1. I know it can be a pain, but it help if you hand baste the fabric before using the machine, but obviously it is yet another step.

  2. I echo Christine’s comment about the hand basting. I know you avoid (loathe?) hand sewing, but as a fellow sewcialist who pins the bejeebers out of things and then (very carefully) stitches over it all, I have to confess that every time I break down and hand baste a seam before machine stitching it, I always ask myself why I don’t use the technique more consistently.

  3. I tend to avoid gathers! They always look bad for me. I’ll have to try the hand basting technique. Good luck with the dress – it looks great in the Burda photos (and comfy). Once you hit the machine stage, things should speed up. You could try some sizing/starch on the edges to keep them from curling? But test, make sure it comes out without staining.

  4. Gathering is a major frustrator for me. I have learned that I need to zigzag a wide stitch over a very narrow ribbon in the seam allowance (not piercing the ribbon so it can still slide.) Then when I’ve spread out the gathers I pin through the ribbon and anchor it to the fabric. I find this method is less likely to snap threads, but I DO have to remove the ribbon and probably the zigzag thread eventually. Does that make sense? It works well for me. I love your style and your projects!

  5. Zigzag over fishing line works well for some…personally I’ve never found it that much of a trial [except for eternal miles of netting in 80s bridesmaids dresses] and have just mastered the art of doing something I’ve forgotten the name for [jeez] where you block the gathering fabric from passing under the presser foot, which sort of scrunches it all up and does some of your gathering for you [cramming? smooshing? summat of that ilk]

  6. I had seen reports that using zigzag over dental floss worked for strong based gathering. I haven’t got experience of it – but I could probably teach new curses when your thread breaks while gathering 🙄

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