Monday, January 3, 2011
Crepe Sew-Along #8: Three Ways to Stabilize a Neckline
Before you try any of these methods, do yourself a favor and mark your seamline around your neck with chalk or a disappearing marker. Mine is marked in purple disappearing marker in the photos below.
1. Method #1: Stay Stitching
This is the easiest method, and if you're just starting out, give this a try. Stay stitching is also the most common way to stabilize, and the one that you'll see included in pattern directions.
All you have to do is run a line of stitching just within your seam allowance. Your stitch length should be shorter than usual, around 2 mm long. My stitching is in white below, indicated by the red arrows.
Method #2: Bias Strips of Fusible Interfacing
You may have seen pre-packaged fusible stay tape around, but it's easy to make your own by cutting strips of it. I use woven fusible interfacing. For straight seams and necklines, cut your strips on the straight grain. For a curvy neckline like ours, cut your strips on the bias.
This method will work best if you're not underlining your dress. If you have an underlining, the bias strip will only be fused to the underlining layer, which is only half the battle.
Fold your interfacing on a 45 degree angle and use a clear gridded ruler to make strips. I made mine 1/2". A rotary cutter is the fastest way to do this, but you can also mark your cutting lines with chalk or marker and cut with shears.
Method #3: Silk Organza Strips on the Straight Grain
I learned this method from a post by Kenneth King on Threads.com. I think it's brilliant. He suggests doing all these steps before your piece is cut out, but I do them afterwards. If a fabric was really spongy and stretchy (like some wool crepes, for instance), I would add that step. Definitely read Kenneth's post if you're interested in this method, but I'll show you how I did my Crepe neckline below.
First, cut out your organza strips on the lengthwise grain. The lengthwise grain has the least amount of stretch, so it's ideal for this job.
I'll be back this week to talk about interfacing your facing pieces. So, just to recap: at this point, we have our bodice and skirt pieces underlined and cut out, and now our neckline is stabilized. In the next step, we'll cut out our facings, sash, and pockets, and then fuse interfacing onto our facing pieces. I'll also show you how to draft new facings if you've made a bunch of alterations that will affect them. From there, will be getting into the real sewing! Stitching darts and assembling the bodice. Woo hoo!