I almost never do, primarily because most of the projects I work on either have enclosed seams (like men's shirts) or I serge my seam allowances.
On the skirt of my silk dress, however (which only had 1/2" seam allowances) I could think of no better way to finish the seams than pinking, and it worked beautifully. I often think of pinking as an easy way out, or very home-sewn looking, but sometimes it is the best option, especially for delicate fabrics where serged or more thickly finished seams could leave an imprint when pressing.
I never even considered serging this silk, though I guess if my serger can handle poly linings, it can handle silk. But the possibility that my serger would chomp through my dress because I wasn't paying close attention discouraged me from even trying. Plus I was afraid it would stretch things.
Do you ever serge silk?
Today I had to make a quick silk organza run, as I had exhausted the single yard I bought a few months ago to experiment with, in the making of this 40's dress. I used it to make bias strips to interface my facings, turned it into stay tape, used it to make a back stay, and finally, decided to underline my tulip sleeves with it to give them more stiffness.
The first sleeve turned out great; I had to cut the second one twice, however, as the first time, the organza and the sleeve didn't seem to be relating properly. The second time, I was extra careful to make sure the grainlines were even, and I cut them both together (atop a piece of tissue paper).
I enclosed the outer edge of my seam between my fashion fabric and the organza (after trimming the seam allowance).
The tulip sleeve has two pleats on either end, and then one end is lapped over the other before it's attached to the bodice. You'll see the sleeve when I show you the finished dress -- it's quite a nice design element.
This has been a very challenging project for me, involving a number of firsts:
1) first silk garment.
2) first zipper stitched by basting the center seam, adding the zipper and then pulling out the basting.
3) first project sewn on my Bernina 930.
4) first time I've worked with silk organza.
I think that's enough firsts for one project, don't you?
In addition to silk organza, I also bought some Russian veiling at Mood (three guesses what that's for), and then spent the rest of the day tweaking things. I've found working with silk charmeuse to be difficult, especially in a dress that has many gathers. The silk has a beautiful drape but very little body of its own. If I'd made this dress in something heavier and more stable, the dress would have been easier to construct, I believe.
Between my healing tooth (or rather, gums) and the sudden extreme heat (I think it hit 90 today), I'm not really at my best and my sewing has suffered: today was full of stupid mistakes and a lot of ripping out of seams, which is not something you want to do with silk charmeuse if you can avoid it. Happens to everybody, I guess...
Readers, that's it. I hope you're doing better than I am. I am eagerly anticipating the end of this project.
Exhale, readers, I have good news: the Bernina works great.
Did I mention that I had to purchase the power cord separately? That's why I couldn't test it yesterday; I only received the cord today. I was nervous when I plugged it in and turned it on. Given the rotten packing job the seller had done. I didn't know what to expect. But it seems mechanically superb.
I happen to have another large piece of slinky charmeuse in my stash,
along with all the swatches I picked up yesterday morning. I've tried various kinds of thread, stitch lengths and tension
settings. I've experimented cutting charmeuse sandwiched between tissue
paper with silk pins in the seam allowances (which works well) to
I went fabric shopping this morning for Cathy's 1940's dress with the gathered bodice and skirt front, Simplicity 4856. I needed something with a beautiful drape and some weight to it. At first I looked solely at solids. I saw some gorgeous silk failles and satins, but nothing really wowed me.
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!