Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time working with the sweater knit. Because it's prone to raveling,, I needed to finish the seam allowances and after sampling a few possibilities, the nicest method was to serge finish the edges, stitch the seam, and press the seam allowances open.
I chose Vogue 8691 as the body to go with my sleeves. This is an all time favourite that I've sewn more times than I can count. The original has what I call a ruffle and what Katherine Tilton - the designer - refers to as a peplum. No matter what it's called, these hips do not need more attention so I've left it off. I've tried all sorts of different ways to hem the bottom. This time, I mitered the seams starting with stitching the seams to the hem fold line.
The critical element with mitering is to sew across the hem allowance at a mirror angle to the seam line. The hem is 1". In the image above, the 1" line of the ruler is laying on the pressed hem fold. I moved the ruler along the fold until it touched the stitching line 1" above the fold and the serged edge 1" below the fold. I then marked the position on the serged edge, drew a diagonal line from the end of the seam to the mark, and stitched the angle.
Then I trimmed the seam allowance as shown. This takes out the unnecessary bulk that will be folded into the hemline.
The seam allowance was pressed open as was the trimmed seam across the hemline. Using a point press allowed me to press right into the fold of the hem for a nice clean finish.
When the hem is refolded into position, the mitered corner lays flat and evenly against the inside of the garment. It will be stitched in place with two rows of stitching using a double needle. Today, I'll finish the sleeve and underarm seam, finish the neckband, and stitch the hems and then the top is done. Right now, it's looking less like a sweater and more like a sweatshirt. Very interesting. I think it's partly that greyed pink color. It's soft and pretty and even so I look much better in the darker color of the back which is - thankfully - the colour I plan to knit a coordinating scarf in.
After a lot of debate, I ordered a new Millicent so she could put on the same weight I'd put on. It was getting too depressing when my clothes looked better on the smaller dress form than they did on me plus the constant reminder of our differences had long since stopped being fun in any way. The other dress form couldn't be dialed up to the measurements I needed.With this one, I adjusted the form for my front and back measurements without concern and the full bust is correct without padding and the bust point is where it needs to be. It's a win-win made somewhat easier by buying wholesale through my supplier.
A larger dress form felt a bit like caving however, in my current reality, weight loss is nowhere near the top of the things I can cope with right now list and it will be far better for me to sew with a more realistic form. I wanted the form for sewing the cruise collection and for at the Design Outside The Lines retreat in June since Sandra Ericson - the guest instructor - will be demonstrating draping skills. Before I bought my first dress form, I had no idea how valuable it was and now I couldn't sew without one.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - a supplier who sells dress forms
Yes I have a sewing machine and like to sew, and no I don 't want to hem, mend or fix your clothes or curtains for 1/3 of the price of a tailor. Do it yourself if you think it only takes a minute.