Skip to main content

Seam treatment musings

One couture finish (especially for garments which are lined) is to catch stitch the seam allowances to the underlining.  If the garment is unlined, I would use a slip stitch. I am not sure how couture this is - I just wouldn't want the considerable amount of thread used in catch stitching on display (even if on the inside!), so I think a slip stitch would be a good alternative.

But - what happens when the garment is not underlined? Catch stitching to the fashion fabric would work depending on the fabric - for example some fabrics would be too soft for that sort of treatment. For unlined garments, catch stitching is not an option at all, and slip stitching would not yield the desired result.

I have been thinking about this in the past few days for my Laurel blouse. I have a very soft fabric that I'm not sure I want to underline. I think I can solve this problem by using strips of woven interfacing, attached to the seam allowances. I guess both sew-in and fusible would work, but I would try the sew in sort because that could be attached when the seam is sewn in (and would otherwise flow free, which would reduce bulk).

My plan is to go to MacCulloch & Wallis and see if I can buy anything of the sort. Any thoughts on whether this would work?


  1. I'm not sure I understand what you are doing here. Are you thinking you would enclose the seam allowance in the interfacing, sort of like applying a bias binding to it? If so, why not try a seam tape, like Hug Snug? Otherwise, I think one of the most frequently used couture techniques is hand overcasting the seams, though that sounds pretty laborious! French seams and mock French seams are always good, too.

    1. I'm trying to prevent the seam allowances flapping around (catch or slip stitch them to something so they aren't waving around freely). Usually it's not a problem with sturdier (shirting and above) versions of cotton but stuff like lawn is a bit of an issue. I also find that wool is a problem if the seam allowances aren't stitched down somehow. I'll do a picture tutorial.

      I think I'll finish the actual seams using either hand or machine overcasting (probably the former though since I like the process and it seems less bulky).


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Birds dress

Just another sheath dress from me today, from my TNT pattern. This one is all about the fabric:

I got this bird fabric from Plush Addict, and it seems to have been the last fabric purchase pre-baby (Cosmo - Nihonkai - Budgies On Oxford Cloth if you are interested), so didn't cut into it for a long time. In May, after finishing my coat, I finally took the plunge.

The pattern, as I said, was my TNT sheath pattern, pretty simple. The biggest challenge with this dress was fabric placement, I didn't want any weird bird cuts at seams, nor did I want any other sort of weird placement. 
As i had 2 meters of this fabric, I thought I should be able to get all that, so I spent a lot of time moving fabric pieces around, until I got it. I'm pretty happy with myself, the seams meld as much as possible, I'm particularly proud of the center back:

Construction wise, this dress has 6 darts and 5 seams, so it is all relatively straightforward. I stabilized the neckline and armholes with…

How to make silk bias binding

I promised this tutorial a while ago, but was too busy with work to get to it. This tutorial will focus on how to iron and fold the binding, rather than how to cut it. I have three links to good tutorials about how to do the correct cutting.

Here goes: a tutorial for properly making bias binding. Apologies for picture quality, I was using my phone.

Tools needed:
* silk square for the bias, sewing machine and scissors to make the continuous bias strip that will be ironed into place
* a 2-inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard
* some sort of vaporiser, filled with water
* bias tape maker - for these pictures, I used a Clover which makes 1/2" binding (starts with 1" strips), but if I were to do this again, I'd use the one which makes a 1" binding (out of 2" strips)

* left-side: bias strip not yet passed through the bias maker
* right-side: bias strip which has been folded by the bias maker


1. Cut bias strips out of your silk square. I like this tutorial…

Burda Spring Coat - Construction

Here I am back with the promised post on construction of my Burdasyle Spring Coat

For me, this coat was all about the embellishments: I had had my eye on the pattern for a while, I like that it's very simple so it was perfect for embellishing. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll note that I haven't yet gone back to making a notched collar after messing this one up (that's less fear than not having enough time). I also liked the opportunity to forego closures, which meant more time to play with all the pretty things I used :)

So, construction. The fabric is wool gabardine, and the lininig is silk satin. I interfaced this using the lightweight fusible weft interfacing from FashionSewingSupply - I wasn't really sure what to use, but upon testing multiple interfacings, this was was the best on this fairly light-weight fabric. I mostly used my Singer Tailoring book, and followed the "fusible" method: this means interfacing the whole front, t…