yellow dress I'm making (see the muslin here) is now nicknamed the "No Shortcuts Dress." Every time I think something like, "Hey, wouldn't it be easier to just baste that by machine?" I tell myself, "No shortcuts!" And that's that. (Sometimes if I speak very sternly to myself, I actually listen.)
The construction on this dress is pretty involved, so I'm just taking it step by step, and I thought I would document each step here, since you lovely readers seem to be interested in this kind of thing, right? (My primary reference book on this project is Bridal Couture by Susan Khalje, by the way.) Step one? Cut out out the underlining and the fashion fabric, and baste the two together.
For those not familiar, underlining is a second layer of fabric that supports the fashion fabric, gives it body, and gives you something to hand-stitch interior elements (like a hidden hem) to. I'm using silk organza underlining for this project, which is one of the most common underlinings for dresses. You can also use muslin, batiste, flannel, or any number of fabrics, depending on what your desired outcome is.
Color is an interesting consideration for underlining. For lighter colored fashion fabric, your underlining can actually influence its hue. A bright white underlining will make your fashion fabric brighter, while an intensely colored underlining will make your fashion fabric brighter. Because the yellow of my faille is very soft, I chose a bright yellow underlining to give it an extra pop.
I cut my silk organza underlining first, and then marked it with tracing paper. (Note: I'm using my muslin as the pattern, with a single-layer layout for the most accuracy.) (Update: you can't see the grainline in these pics, but don't worry - it's there!)
There's no need to mark the fashion fabric at all. Here are the two pieces, side by side.
The organza gets layered on the wrong side of the faille. Now both pieces are marked! (See the light blue dart outline?)
Next, pin and then hand baste both pieces together. There will be that little voice in your head saying, "Hey, wouldn't it be easier to just baste that by machine?" And to that you must say, "No shortcuts!" Machine basting makes the layers shift and pucker. I used a white cotton thread for basting, I stitched just inside the 1" seam allowance.