Blouse sew along Pt 6 - Hems, elastic, bias bindings and closures...
Lets start with options for finishing the armholes...
I know lots of you were confused that there were no facings included in the download, but in my experience the only time Marfy include a facing is with their tailored jacket and coat patterns ....
A facing in lightweight silks is not always the best option anyway, it adds a layer that can inevitably be seen and can also effect drape dramatically.........
So lets talk about bias binding and narrow hems instead which will do a nicer, cleaner and quicker job of enclosing the seams.
Again, I am going to list lots of links for this post, there are so many well written tutorials out there that it seems silly for me to repeat them...
but some things to remember if you do choose to bind....
Shape your curves on a iron board before sewing by gently ironing and pulling...this will help you ease the strips around the armhole as you stitch. You don't have to replicate the shape of your arm opening just programme the silk to be a little flexible by curving it as you iron and steam!
When stitching the bias, pull tightly on the strips, you need to remove a lot of the stretch as you sew to make sure that they do not sag once finished.
Smaller is better, cut strips no more than 1" wide in total...and sew with a regular stitch.
I used bias on one blouse and a hem (shown above in black blouse) in the other...my fabric was black and very lightweight so it's barely noticeable but in a thicker or lighter colour fabric a bias might be a nicer option.
Cissie kindly sent me some pictures of her finished armhole...she pressed the WS of some bias strips together , sewed the seam RS to RS, flipped it to the WS and hand basted the bias to the inside to hold it while she catch stitched her way around - (use silk thread if possible when basting, it will not leave a mark or whole on the fabric)
As you can see by barely picking up a thread on the right side of the fabric when catch stitching the entire facing is barely noticeable.....its also very flexible as its being held with hand stitching, machine stitching will give a stiffer sturdier feel.
Bias binding links:
The little Tailoress here
Craftsy couture version here
Sewing Space - scroll to bottom for bias here
I personally have a huge love of narrow machine hems for silk, they are quick, and incredibly easy..... really really!
To begin: run a stitch along the entire length of the hem, if your hem is 5/8" then your stitch will be this width, 1/2" then 1/2" and so forth..
This line of stitching will act as your guide, and be your stay stitching. The stitches will also have slightly gathered up the fabric so your next fold of fabric will fit better without manipulation.
Then fold your fabric WS to WS using the stitch line as your guide. This line should favor the wrong side of the hem...and sew another line on stitching.
Cut off any excess as you would a French seam...
I tried a couple of different widths and styles of elastic this week and for my silks have found that a teeny 1/4" elastic worked best.
Its uses a very small casing which lends itself nicely to the design, pulls the fabric sufficiently to shape the gathers but is not so tight that it creates a poufy effect (tech term!) and does not stress the fabric in anyway...
To insert.....mark where your hem will fall on your body and place elastic around that part pulling it as tight as you would like the garment to be.....cut...
Sew the ends together tightly by placing one end over the other and using as many layers of back and forth stitches as you feel necessary...
On stage two of the hem pictures above, place your elastic around your blouse and fold your hem over the elastic leaving at least 1/4" of room between the final stitch and the elastic...you don't want to stitch on it at all!
Run your last row of stitches around encasing the elastic as you sew. Your elastic and blouse will need to be worked as you sew around, by pulling more elastic from where you have sewn and including it in the new section you are stitching.
Sounds much more complicated than it is!
The options for closures are seemingly endless....so I have stuck to just a couple!
Tubing, corded tubing or rouleau used to make fabric loops are one of the more high end options and would work perfectly as your collar has enough interfacing to support the additional weight.
Its as simple as it sounds, you are just making tiny tubes of self fabric and using them as button loops to replace button holes.
A couple of tips:
Use bias strips, as your loops need the ability to curve, and sew with a 2.0 stitch. Silk and chiffon both work well...
Sew more tubing than require and "funnel" out both ends....it will make pulling it through to the right side so much easier!
*Most important* You need to remove all the bias stretch from your tubing before you attach it to your blouse...if you don't the loops will stretch out of shape as soon as you use them.
There are two ways to do this:
Pin your cord to your ironing board and spray it until it is soaked through, either iron it while pulling the strip as much as you can and repeat this until it is very long and thin for a flatter look
Or pin the tube to your ironing board stretched as far as it will go and along to dry naturally for a tubed finish.
(The iron and steam method is also used on chiffon and silks for making bias stay tape, which is fabulous for curves areas needing reinforcing, also brilliant in lace sewing for covering seams)
Nuff said :-)
Other options could include:
Hooks and eyes, buttonholes, ribbon, cording, silk ties or tubes, snaps or leather closures as I used...
and I think thats it......yey!
I'll add pictures of my construction stages after I finish the final two and extra links to each section throughout the next few days...
and I did want to ask ..pretty please :-)
if you do make a blouse a week or a year from now, and would like to send me a picture, I would love to add them to that weeks post regardless of whats its about, we can have a little section at the bottom for all the blouses....I will also add it in the link for the sew along (and pinterest board!) Its so much more interesting to see what everyone else is doing!