How To Line A Sleeveless Bodice (otherwise known as ‘Bagging Out’)

The dress I am currently making has a bodice with a small grown on cap sleeve. To give the bodice a bit more body and to help with hiding the seams and avoid hemming the cap sleeve I have fully lined it completely bagging it out.

To start with sew the shoulder seams of both the outer and the lining. One good tip is to trim away a small amount, say 2mm, from the neck edge and the armhole edges of the lining. The lining will then be slightly smaller than the outer. This helps prevent the lining rolling to the right side.

Lay the outer and the lining on top of each other, right sides together. Sew the neck seam from centre back to centre back matching the shoulder seams and the centre front points.

start by stitching the neck seam and then sew both armholes

start by stitching the neck seam and then sew both armholes

Before I sew the armhole seams it’s best to understitch the lining of the neck seam. Trim the seam allowance and clip carefully into the curves. On the right side stitch the lining to the seam allowance close to the edge folding both the seam allowances towards the lining.

under stitching the seam allowance at the neck seam

under stitching the seam allowance at the neck seam

Next sew the armholes. Once you have sewn both the armholes pull the back bodice sections through the shoulders so the bodice is now the right way out and press the armhole seams.

pulling the back bodice sections through to the right side

pulling the back bodice sections through to the right side

press the armhole seams well before sewing the side seams

press the armhole seams well before sewing the side seams

The final step is sewing the side seams. Open up the bodice and pin the underarm points so they match together. Sew the seam from the waist of the lining past the armhole point to the waist of the main fabric.

pin the side seams carefully matching the underarm points

pin the side seams carefully matching the underarm points

Give the bodice a good press and you’re done!

side seams completed and bodice pressed

side seams completed and bodice pressed

The bodice is now ready to add the skirt of the dress.

I’m putting an invisible zipper into the back of this dress so I have left the centre back seams open. But if you were having a different type of fastening you can sew the centre back seams before you turn the bodice the right way through.

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Inserting An Invisible Zip – Best Method?

How successful do you find inserting invisible zips? After a lot of practice I find it’s more ‘hit’ than ‘miss’ these days but it’s still not unusual to find me cursing and unpicking.

Last year I discovered a great tutorial by Janet Moville. Foolproof Invisible Zip Insertion.

The first time I tried this I was really impressed.
I always used to hand tack the zips in first but this method doesn’t need this as you machine tack the zipper in.
Marking lines across the zip and on to the seam allowance helps with lining up any horizontal seams (midriff panels, waist seams in dresses).

Before I found this method I used to leave the seam below the zipper open and stitch it up when the zipper had been sewn in. The problem I found with this was that this area would never lie flat and there was always a lump which I had to try and press out. My other problem was never stitching close enough to the teeth.

I now have the Janome foot for my machine but previous to that I used the Hemline roller invisible zip foot.

hemline invisible zipper foot

hemline invisible zipper foot

The hemline foot was a bit difficult to get on to the shank of my machine, it was a bit of a tight fit but once on it worked really well. The roller at the front of the foot would keep the teeth pushed to the side and you could get a close stitch. Unfortunately after a few years the plastic parts started to break. I’m not that impressed with the Janome foot, I find I can’t roll the teeth away as easily so I’ve ended up using the standard zipper foot that came with my machine. It’s  the type with only half a foot so I can get a close as I like to the teeth.

4 bridesmaid dresses waiting for hemming

4 bridesmaid dresses waiting for hemming

I have just finished making 4 bridesmaid dresses with invisible zippers up the back using the Janet Moville method. I only had one c*ck up. The dresses were fully lined and bagged out so the side seams were unstitched when I put in the zips. On one I twisted the dress before I sewed the centre back seam. I didn’t discover this until the zipper was completely stitched in. I calmly unpicked the zip and the centre back seam and started again.

not a great photo but I'm happy with how the zipper looks and how seams are lining up

not a great photo but I’m happy with how the zipper looks and how seams are lining up

fiinished bridesmaid dress

finished bridesmaid dress – this was one I made last year in purple, the most recent ones were aubergine

Which method do you find the most successful?

 

 

 

 

Bound Buttonhole Tutorial – an easy how to!

Bound buttonholes can give your garments a really professional finish and are quite easy to get the hang of. I’m putting two into the waistband of a denim skirt.

When I first tried making a bound buttonhole I found the patch method worked best for me. I first tried these out when I started the Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat ( I will finish it one day……)

To start with measure your button diameter. I tend to add a couple of millimetres extra.

Apply iron on interfacing over the position of the button hole. Mark the length of your button hole and draw a line 3mm above and 3mm below (depending on the size of your button this can be wider), mark the ends of the button hole so you now have an oblong.

button hole position marked out

button hole position marked out

Cut an oblong fabric patch; make sure it is plenty big enough; any excess will get trimmed away at the end.

Sew the patch on, place it underneath with right side to right side. Use a small stitch starting in the middle of long side, not in a corner. When stitching the short sides count the stitches on the first one and do the same number on the second side to ensure that the width at each end is exactly the same. It’s a good idea to use the hand wheel to take this slowly.

stitched oblong and then cut buttonhole

stitched oblong and then cut buttonhole

Cut through the centre of the button hole stopping short of the ends and then carefully cut into the corners.

Pull the fabric through and press; you should have a good shaped oblong.

front and back after patch pulled through and pressed

front and back after patch pulled through and pressed

Starting with one side fold up the fabric to half the width of the opening, then do the same with the other side so that the fabric meets in the middle. When you are happy with how it looks give it a press.  To keep the fabric folds secure hand stitch in the ditch.

folding in the flaps and stitching in the ditch

folding in the flaps and stitching in the ditch

Fold the sides of the button hole back to show the fabric triangle, machine stitch across carefully, slightly pulling the folded fabric underneath.

stitching the triangle at both ends

stitching the triangle at both ends

Cut away the excess fabric of the patch around the button hole.

P1040199

To finish you also need a matching hole in your facing. Follow the same steps up to pulling the fabric patch through and pressing. Finish by stitching across the triangles as before and if you like, edge stitch around the opening. Finally catch stitch the facing opening to the front buttonhole to keep them together.

finished front and back

Burda Style 7136 Denim Shirt Topstitching

I’m making good progress with the denim shirt. So far the topstitching has been a success. It definitely pays to do a bit of research rather than just jumping in and wondering why it’s not working properly.

topstitch collar (1368 x 1824)

Of all the topstitching tips from ‘yes I like that’ the ones that stuck in my mind were:-

Use a proper topstitching needle
Use standard sewing thread in the bobbin
Use the hand wheel where necessary

It took a while to get the tension right. The top thread was showing on the bottom. Normally I have the tension wheel at 4 (on a scale of 1-8). So I started at 4 and stitched a sample moving up half a number at a time until the tension was perfect at just over 7.  I had the foresight to make a note of this and the stitch size that I was using.

I started with the back yoke seam, I had stitched ¾ of the way when the needle jammed and bent. Luckily there 5 needles in the pack, two size 11 and 3 size 14. I had started with size 11 so I replaced with a size 14 and unpicked and stitched again. Second time it was fine.

The only tricky bit was the collar points. I unpicked the first attempt then I used the hand wheel to slowly go into the point, same with the curved shaping at the front edges of the collar stand. It’s also a good tip to use the hand wheel when sewing over thicker areas like the seam allowance of the back yoke when top stitching the sleeve head. You can go as slow as you like and have a bit more control.

top stitch (1290 x 1784)

I haven’t put the pocket flaps on yet as they need a buttonhole. The shirt needs 15  in total and I plan to stitch them all in one go.

After the first post I was asked about getting the pockets such a good shape. To make sure I folded and pressed under exactly 1.5cm seam allowance I stitched a line and used this line as a guide. With the fabric being 100% cotton it presses well. To get a good point when bagging out the pocket flaps and the collar I followed the advice of when stitching into a point, take a stitch ACROSS the point, don’t just stitch into the point then out again. It must have worked as I am happy with the way the points are looking.

stitching

Next step is the underarm / side seams which I’m planning to flat fell from cuff to body hem in one go. I’m a bit unsure of how this is going to work out with the narrowness of the sleeve and the curve of the waist shaping but I think it can be done.

Learning to sew a shirt placket

My next project is a shirt for my toddler. The plan is to copy the shape of a bought H&M shirt which is over the head with a half front button placket opening. I’ve never sewn this type of placket before. The H&M placket looks like it is two pieces of fabric and inside you can see a neatened raw edge at the base.

Instead of muddling through I thought I’d look on-line for a tutorial. What I wanted was something similar to a cuff placket on a shirt.
I came across this “Easy Sleeve Placket” on Burdastyle, to be honest I was surprised it was all one pattern piece, I wasn’t expecting that.

If you don’t have a pattern there is a link in stage 2 to a YouTube tutorial to make one.

I changed the pattern slightly, I didn’t want a V shape at the base and I needed the top and bottom placket to be the same width.
Because I wanted this to be a button stand I used lightweight iron-on interfacing for the whole piece.

Pattern piece

Final pattern piece

I was half way through making up my first sample when I realised that the pattern wasn’t working. To accommodate the under placket (the under piece on a shirt cuff placket is usually much narrower than the top) I needed a wider space either side of the centre line. Also the interfacing had stiffened it too much so for the next sample I just put a strip on either side so when finished it would be single layer.

iron on interfacing

iron on interfacing

I needed to make the distance from the cutting line on either side wider. It was only 6mm and as the placket was going to be 2cm wide I changed this to 10mm on each side of the centre line.

gap is now the same width as the finished placket

gap is now the same width as the finished placket

So the next sample worked out. I had a lot of excess at the base which I just trimmed down before folding the seam allowance under and doing the box stitch. I think I’ll leave the pattern as it is as you can always trim off but can’t add on.

finished placket

finished placket

You can see a tiny bit of the under placket poking out at the base so I think to avoid this I’ll widen the top placket just by a few millimetres so it can cover the edge of the under placket.

placket 2

So for something that I thought would be a bit of a faff turned out to be quite simple.

Related post
Boys placket front shirt