Thursday, January 19, 2012

More on the Illusion Neckline

I'm back, readers! And I have a great post for you today: some insights into the sewing of a Peggy Hunt-style illusion neckline. As you may recall, I asked for your advice about how to sew this sort of neckline in this post, back in October. You all had so many great ideas! I also got an e-mail from the incredibly generous Sarai of Colette Patterns, who has a Peggy Hunt and offered to send me pictures! Jeez, how sweet is that?

This is Sarai's beautiful dress you see here, a perfect example of Peggy Hunt's work.



Sarai confirmed that the neckline is a very narrow hem, as many of you guessed.





Some super-duper close-ups. It looks machine stitched to me. You?

The wrong side:

 The right side:


I played around with lots of different methods to acheive this type of neckline, and I landed on the cheater's method: the rolled hem on my serger. Here's a snippet of my results:



I love how neat it looks.

My second-favorite method I tried was a machine-stitched baby hem, which I think is what the vintage dress above has. To make a baby hem, (sew one line of machine stitching around the neckline, and turned the seam in on the stitching. Then stitch to the left of your first line of stitching. Trim down your seam allowance very closely and very carefully with tiny scissors. Turn the hem in one last time and stitch.) This is a bit time consuming because you have to be certain to keep everything exactly uniform, as it can start looking sloppy with anything less than perfect, even stitching. It does make a lovely neckline, though.

So there you have it. A big thanks to Sarai for the pictures!

29 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you're well again Gertie. I had been thinking about this neckline last night - after watching a few episodes of 'Downton Abbey'. Some of the gowns that the ladies were wearing had similar necklines.

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  2. an illusion neckline is on my sewing bucket list :)
    and like the previous commenter...downton abbey is just adding fuel to the fire! I was eagerly waiting the answer to your illusion neckline post. your version looks wonderful! now I may have to give it a go...for my daughters of course...illusion necklines are not made for girls who require undergarments of the caliber I need ;)

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  3. Thanks for sharing these pictures inside and out. What a beautiful dress. It makes me long for spring.

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  4. your serger???
    When did that happen?! :)
    Lovely effect for a beautiful dress.
    I am with the other posters; watching Downton Abbey and The House of Elliott is making me crave dressmaking details from the era.

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  5. I'm not seeing machine stitching, it looks to me like very tiny whip stitch along the fold line, trim close, fold to back along the 1st stiching line, and another fine whip stitch holding it down. If that is the case, all I can say is - GAAHHH that's tiny stitching!

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  6. Glad you're back! I think that looks to me like hand whip stitching, but my eyes aren't what they used to be. But in any case, it is a beautiful garment.

    Take care, AP

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  7. I like the sound of that baby hem. Rolled hems are great on straight lines but I find them really difficult to do nicely on anything curved. Mine always end up wonky and uneven. Maybe this is the answer! I shall be trying it out soon.

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  8. I recently picked up a ton of vintage patterns and this style of dress was among my finds. I have read the sewing instructions cover to cover and they are still sitting on my desk......I bought some fabric to practice with as I am sure I am going to need a ton of practice! I don't have a serger and do all of my sewing on my trusty vintage 1971 Kenmore. Your take on it is gorgeous and so feminine. Love Love Love it!

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  9. oooh thanks for this, I've always wanted and illusion dress but every time I see them they are never my size so I thought to make one but that's always been my question, how? I have only just got an overlocker (serger to you guys!) and I thought that maybe the rolled hem would be the way to go but I need to learn more about using it before I go this far but THANKS!

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  10. That is one beautiful dress! So inspiring... Glad you're back, I've been missing reading you, it's always such a pleasure!

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  11. Thank you for updating us on this! I love seeing illusion necklines gain popularity again and would love to try the technique out myself.

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  12. I really like that type of neckline, it is elegant. Yours is so soft, floaty and lovely, beautiful.

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  13. It's so beatiful!! I'd like to see you wearing the dress

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  14. I have never tried to do the rolled hem on my serger, though I keep meaning to practice it. Have you ever used this technique I found on BurdaStyle a while back? She makes it look so simple and foolproof! Might be hard to do on a curved neckline though.

    http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/how-to-sew-a-perfect-baby-hem

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  15. That looks so beautiful!!! And so delicate! What kind of fabric did you use?? I've been trying to make a dress like that but can't figure out wich type of fabric is better to use on the neckline. (your blog is awesome btw :b )

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  16. Your neckline is absolutely gorgeous, Gertie! I love the baby hem on my serger, but I think I would actually hand stitch if I were making this. Glad you're back - missed you!!!

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  17. What a beautiful dress!! I just got a serger this past fall, and am totally in love with it... isn't the rolled hem just amazing?? I love it on chiffon! :D

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  18. This looks truly stunning! I had no idea a serger would be able to get a similar effect and could be so dainty. Cool!

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  19. I think I need to add this to my list of sewing musts! i love the look and the detail:) I believe it is a whip stitch as well....just very tiny! Beautiful dress!

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  20. Lovely stuff, Gertie. Thanks! I'd never heard of Peggy Hunt...yikes. The dresses are so pretty & SO different.

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  21. stunning absolutely stunning!!! My jaw literally dropped!!!! This is something I am going to try to do!

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  22. Loving the yellow dress, what a great item to have! You tease us with tour sneak peek of that lovely lilac dress, I hope we get to see more soon!

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  23. I am planning on creating an illusion neckline for my wedding dress I am making. Any more information would be much appreciated. I do have a serger I am planning on using for a rolled hem. I'm not sure how small of a rolled hem my serger can make though. Do you recommend attaching the illusion neckline directly to the top of the bodice, underneath, over, etc. I know it also depends on the look I want to achieve, but thought I would ask you what your thoughts were. Thanks!

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  24. I do love this one! The cut...the color...and the details are oh so feminine without being fru fru(?). I'm thinkin' it'd be the perfect style for an upcoming reunion ;}
    Thanks for sharing the details!

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  25. narrow hemmer foot? that's how I do.

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  26. I think it's hand stitched, but (to me) it looks like both folds are whip stitched, if you know what I mean. I'm not sure if that's even possible, though.. :)

    I'd probably do it with my overlock's 2-thread rolled hem with wooly nylon thread in the looper. Although I do think it would be difficult to find it in matching colour - at least where I live. I like the outcome of your dress! Which thread did you use?

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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