The Penultimate Chloe Word

Faux French Seam before

Making this dress was so different from all the other dresses I've made.

1 - I didn't have time and couldn't get a whole day of sewing so I changed the usual method and made it in very small increments, 20min here, pin or baste, 20min there, sew, 10min iron and so on, until it was finished. I did get 2 afternoons to cut (with some mistakes) and it took almost a whole day to pin, baste, iron and hem those 9 yards and I used the machine, but this is how it was made.
The house was a bloody mess as everything stayed out on the kitchen table for 3 weeks pre-Christmas.

Faux French seam after

I didn't invent this method, I picked it up from more experienced seamstresses (here probably but I can't find the link). I am a slow sewer and I always wondered how some of you can be so productive (Hello Mena @ SewWeekly!) and hold a job and have kids and sew and blog and cook up a storm and here is what I worked out : 
  • - Read the sewing instructions several times, 
  • - Figure out what pieces go together,
  • - Pin everything you can pin,
  • - Sew everything you can sew,
  • - Iron everything you can iron,
  • - Repeat until you have a garment.


2 - I had to change the instructions to fit my invisible zipper and my new method for putting together a dress, so I spent quite a bit of time scheming. In most sewing instructions, especially of the vintage kind, they'll tell you to do the bodice, sew the skirt to the bodice, insert the zipper and then hand sew the facings or lining.


What I did on this dress, which I now do on most dresses is, I made the front with zipper and facings, the back, the collar, attached the shoulders, the collar and then did the side seams. I like this method because on most big 3 patterns, I always have to adjust the waist and this allows me to do it without having to rip a lot of seams. 


I then set the sleeves et voilĂ , I had a dress.

Clean Finish front seam

3 - I don't think I have ever used so many sewing techniques on a single garment : underlining, lining, facing, stabilising, French, Faux French, Faux Hong Kong, handpicked seams, baby hem, incased facings, I basted everything, marked with cuts, pens, thread, pins, capped the sleeves and I am sure I am forgetting something...
Oh! Right! It's such a neato little trick, that it deserves it's own post, and I'll do that tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Marks for Handpicking

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