Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Backless dress - behind the seams

My latest fashion geeky bedtime read has been this book:

This is an amazing insight into the world of Couture sewing and how to recreate some of those techniques. I was fascinated to learn that much of the sewing in a Couture workroom is hand sewing and I especially love this photo - it looks like a team of fashion elves weaving their magic!

I can promise you, that my dress was not wholly hand sewn but this book did inspire me to think more about the construction of my dress and some of those hidden details. So, today I thought I would share some of my favourite behind the seams details.

1. French seams
I have written of the virtues of French seams before and even construction a diy tutorial for them. They are incredibly easy and perfect for the fabric for my dress which frays really easily. They did become a challenge when I decided to do French seams with side seam pockets - can it be done? Yes, check out this easy tutorial on Sew Mamma Sew by Deborah Moebes to work out how. Easy!

2. Bound seams
This was more from necessity - the fabric I chose frayed if you looked at it the wrong way! I created bias binding from my lining fabric and used that to bind the edges of the seams in the centre back. It stopped the endless fraying and they look great - perfect!

3. Faced hem
For the hem, I wanted a crisp clean finish so I decided on created a faced hem. I used the strip of fabric I cut off from the dress when I adjusted the length. As well as providing a clean edge to the finished dress I think it creates an extra weight at the hem, which helps to give the dress its shape.

4. Machine stitched blind hem
I am undecided on this technique. I followed this super easy tutorial to work out how to create this on my machine - it turns out I had the stitch and the foot already, who knew! I did a few practice rounds on some scrap to get the hang of it but found when I sewed the hem, some of the blind stitches were quite large. Because the fabric is such a busy fabric I don't think you notice, but this is a technique I definitely need to practice.

The dress is almost complete - I just need to sew the hem of the lining! All am I waiting for now is a sunny day so I can don the dress (and the heels of course) for some pics of the finished dress!

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