Finishing seams

21 Feb

So apparently finishing seams is a thing you need to do. I learned this the hard way, over the last year, when my shirts frayed so badly I felt like Oogie Boogie in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Except not filled with worms. Since I don’t like unraveling, I decided that this time! things will be different.

Unfortunately, birdseye cotton, my shirt fabric of choice, frays like a Walder. It seemed to me that simply pinking the edges wouldn’t be enough. With that in mind, I’m trying two different tacks, one on each shirt.

Tactic One: pre-finishing the seams
This was suggested by a user on the Renaissancefestival.com sewing forum. I cut out all the pieces, and basically roll-hemmed every edge that wasn’t the selvedge (or the bottom of the shirt, which will get hemmed once the shirt is constructed).

Behold! Ye olde tiny thongs.

Behold! Ye olde tiny thongs.

Was this epically fussy and time-consuming? Yes. Am I certain it will work? No. Am I concerned that I hemmed too much out of the seam allowance? Yes. Should I have accounted for that when cutting? Yes. Did I? No. Is all this worry and fuss worth it if it works? YES YES ONE THOUSAND TIMES YES.

Tactic Two: We’ll Fix It In Post
With my other shirt, I’m going go try a modified flat-felled seam. I say “modified” as a catch-all disclaimer.

I haven’t started the second shirt yet because I’m also modifying the pattern quite a bit and want to test it out before I do a bunch more cutting. I’m still using the Smock Pattern Generator. Modifications include making it significantly shorter–it’s going to be about hip-length, which necessitated making the side gores quite a bit less intense. With no real thought other than “let’s see how this works,” I basically chopped the prescribed in half; we’ll see how it goes. I’ve also modified the sleeves to make them a little puffier.

So there’s all that. I’m about to piece the first shirt together and see how it looks.

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8 Responses to “Finishing seams”

  1. skitter February 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    “frays like a Walder” . . . you kill me.

  2. Kat aka Radclyffe February 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Next birthday/christmas/anniversary/holiday: put a serger on your list. If it’s the only thing you get you’ll thank yourself 100 times over.

    • stonebiscuit February 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      I’m asking for one for my birthday (the end of next month). Here’s hoping!

  3. ♔ la dauphine ♔ February 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    I will be following this project with a close eye! (I’m considering it a tutorial as I’ve never made clothing! Roman blinds, sure…but I personally don’t drape them onmy person!)

    My big question is “Do you need a dressmaker’s dummy?”

    • stonebiscuit February 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      I absolutely do need one! I don’t have one, though, and don’t have plans to get one in the near future because money. I have thought about making one from duct tape…

      • cbelles February 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

        would you cover the Legolas cardboard doll in duct tape? cause I cannot figure it out otherwise

      • stonebiscuit March 1, 2013 at 11:42 am #

        Hah! Not quite, but close. Basically, you put on an old t-shirt and wrap yourself in duct tape, then cut off the tape and the shirt and stuff it to make a dress form. It’s a little more complex than that, but as far as I know, that’s the basic idea.

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  1. I made a thing, and it turned out really well | What Is This I Can't Even - April 10, 2013

    […] made from scrap fabric, and though I had a seriously difficult time deciphering the (unlabelled!) My new shirt came out pretty well, though the way I adjusted the pattern makes the body much more prone to […]

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