January 30, 2013

the edge-finishing experiment (a poll)

I know, two posts in one day, right? But I did some playing around with options on how to finish the back bodice/sleeve edges this afternoon, and I really need some feedback! If you could take just a moment to look this over and vote in the poll below, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I've come to the conclusion that there's really no way to finish this invisibly. Except for adding a second layer of organza to enclose the seams, and that would make the color difference between that and my skin way too obvious, and therefore defeat the purpose of using that nude organza in the first place. But here's what I've tried:

Option 1: A hairline seam finish (a very narrow hem-type thing, turned under twice to enclose the raw edges. The first two lines of stitching were done by machine, but I sewed the third by hand.
Pro: This was the easiest/least fiddly option, as I didn't have to deal with narrow strips of anything and the stitching did most of the work for me. And if I do the stitching with a thread other than white, this could be fairly invisible.
Cons: There's still that darker finishing edge where the organza is tripled up. And matching the thread could be problematic.

Option 2: A bias (more or less) binding, overlaid with the lace. Again, interior finishing was done by hand.
Pros: This looked like the cleanest finish at the end around the curved area, and was also the easiest to hand-sew the inside.
Cons: The edge is really peachy looking, because it has the most layers of the organza. It was also kind of stiff, and the binding was pretty tough to work with at that width.

Option 3: Just a strip of the lace.
Pros: The whiter parts where the sunflowers were looked pretty good.
Cons: The netting parts look kind of sloppy, and I'm concerned about the organza edge fraying within that. Also, again, the strips were fiddly and hard to work with. It's also going to be virtually impossible to avoid some kind of thread line, because that row of machine stitching was pretty much necessary to give me something more stable to anchor the netting parts of the lace to.

So what do you think?



IMG_0460Aside from that, I did get to do a bit of actual construction work today. I spent some time constructing the top and bottom of the front sleeve bits, and sewed those on this morning. I did end up using a French seam for this part, so hopefully the color difference won't be terribly obvious when I'm wearing it instead of Donna. I'm a bit more pale than her! (I guess most people won't be looking down at my shoulders anyway, right?) I'm also hoping that it fit ok, because dummy me, I didn't realize until AFTER I trimmed the seam down that I should have sewn it a little away from the stitching line rather than right on it! But I don't think it was so skintight of a fit that it'll be a huge issue, losing that little bit in the shoulders. And anyway, I haven't secured the straps in the front yet, and probably won't until I have the zipper in and know the fit once and for all, so I can always compensate by adding a little length there if needed.
IMG_0459
Minus the really wide seam allowances/inside-out seam in the middle/sagginess from no securing at the top, this is essentially what the back looks like. I did try to match the pattern in the back, but I think I'm going to have to take some extra out of the top of the main part, so we'll see how I did. For the record, I didn't even try to match the seams at the shoulders, because I was able to make the placement work out so I had a sunflower cutting through both the top and bottom sleeves, and I kind of needed that for gathering purposes. (Sort of gathering, that is. I ended up having to pin and tack it all down by hand, because the net was just a total lost cause for the basting stitches!)

I'm going to hold off on those edges for now-- on to the waistband!

(Edit: Rats, how did my blog suddenly get all ugly?! Not that I have time to mess with it now...)

8 comments:

  1. I say go with what's easiest for you - all your samples look good and no one will ever be scrutinizing it as closely as you are, I promise! =)

    You may also find this wash-away threadthis wash-away thread useful, but you'd have to wait for it to come in the mail.

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  2. That's actually a really good idea-- I was thinking that I might want to get a thread closer to the color of the organza for the hand-stitching anyway, and that's exactly where I got the silk thread from the first time. (And hey, I still have an entire skirt I can sew together in the meantime....now if only I knew if I need to get more white thread while I'm at it!)

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    1. You can't ever have TOO much white thread! There's no such thing. =)

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  3. To be honest, I had to look really closely for an embarrassingly long time to figure out the difference. I think that once it's on your body and you're moving and stuff no one is even going to notice that seam.

    I'm with Brooke - go with whatever is easiest, they all look great. :)

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    1. In your defense, the weather here was rather dismal yesterday and I had very little decent light to work with. But it's supposed to be cloudy for days, so there wasn't much I could do!

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  4. I voted for other. My suggestion for what it is worth is to use a very fine ribbon or satin bias tape. Stitch by machine from right side turning to the inside. Hand sew for an invisible finish.

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    1. I hadn't thought of that. I'll have to see what I have here to experiment with. That would definitely have an advantage for the center back edges, since I'll need to do a buttonhole loop to attach the top, but I'm not sure how it will work around the more curved edges. Unless I can find a bias ribbon somewhere on the internet.

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  5. I think the other posters are right when they say no one will be scrutinising your seams closer than you, and when you are moving around it really won't be that noticeable. I voted for option 1 just because I like how there doesn't appear to be a break in the lace motifs.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment--your feedback is most certainly appreciated!