[Which means ‘crying’ btw]
Also, ‘Piping? My eye!’
Why do I do it? Why? Why? Working on the belle epoque dress, Burda 7029, and I’d decided to step aside from the instructions and ‘improve’ the embellishment. The pattern as designed has overlaid mock lapels, which are single layer. You’re just supposed to turn the raw edges under, and trim with ribbon before applying the lot to the front insert piece.
But oh no, I had to make things BETTER didn’t I? I cut out the lapels as a double layer, using a scrap of delicious steel grey textured taffeta as the ‘lining’. I decided that it would look REALLY GOOD if I added in lots of flat piping to highlight the cool design lines on the lapels and on the back bodice.
Here’s the nub- I do not sew neatly. I can’t. I have no idea how, although now and again I manage a straight bit of topstitching, or a few even pintucks, I cannot for the life of me maintain nice even sewing.
I did all the right things, honest. I measured and chalk marked seam allowances around the lapels. I basted them, so that I could FEEL the stitching lines. I basted the flat piping in place, keeping the folded edge nicely placed an even distance over the seamlines. I carefully mitred the corners. I stitched EVER SO carefully along those clear basted lines…but when I peeped inside, the piping was about 20 different widths, meandering in and out like some drunken worm.
I unpicked. I realised that my carefully mitred corners were the wrong side up, and fixed them. Re-basted, re-stitched, peeped. Aaaargh! Rinsed and repeated. And again.
Bits of thread everywhere, fabric starting to fray to death, and a constant terror that I was about to decimate the fabric with the seam ripper. Sod this, quoth I, it’ll do. Trimmed, turned, pressed. It won’t do. Oh no. None of it. Bloody awful. And to add insult to injury, the ‘mitred’ corners are also still all wrong, with outies where there should be innies and vice versa.
I could blame the tablets, but let’s be honest, I’m a sloppy sewer.
So I fumed, swore, whinged, and did all the usual griping and drinking wine. Later today, I’ll have to see if I can unpick the pieces, or if my thorough trimming and grading of seams has left nothing to work with. In which case I’ll hope there’s enough fabric left to re-cut…
THEN I have to decide to either stick to the original instructions, or just out my jaw and try to make it work. If the latter, I’m going to try an approach which I’ve only ever seen on vintage patterns- instead of the ‘modern’ approach of sandwiching layers right sides together then stitching and turning, I’m going to turn under the raw edges, baste my flat piping in place, and then edge stitch from the right side. This should work for both the lapel and the back panel detailing, seen here in the line drawing.
For the back panels, I’ll fold under the seam allowances of the top insert, baste on the piping, then overlay it onto the bottom bodice pieces, and edge stitch. This used to be a common technique on older styles, and it worked well in the coat I made for my Mother of the Bride outfit 4 years ago. See that lovely pointed yoke?I really should think things through more…
Shall I continue in the spirit of blog honesty and show you the vile, horrible, shameful messes I sewed yesterday? OK then, don’t hate me.