Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Dress Challenge 2011 - Marking, Aligning and Basting Part III

I think the today is the last day for the Dress Challenge. I'm no where close to finish. Oh well..,

The next step in the process of underlining is marking it. The underlining is the canvas for marks to guide stitching. I cut the underlining first leaving the seam allowances wide to allow leeway in fitting and design. Pictured below is the front bodice, which is cut on the fold. I apologize for the lighting. The markings aren't clear, but I hope you'll get the general idea.

Mark all stitching lines. They can be referenced from a muslin that was used to fit the garment. Then copy every detail:  notches, grain line, and circles.

The next step (not pictured) align the fabric and underlining. Match the grainlines. Be careful. Make sure nothing gets trapped between the layers. Next pin in the seam allowances. The pins should be perpendicular to the stitching line. Finally, smooth the layers. Check and repin as necessary.

Baste the layers together.

After the alignment process is finished carefully baste the layers together by hand. Do not machine stitch. Hand stitches gives you better control in keeping the layers from shifting.

Use rayon or silk thread. It goes in smoothly and pulls out easily when it's time to remove it. Use new thread for every line. You want one continuous line of thread for each seam. Go pass the points of intersection to give yourself a clear indication where the seams cross.

After all pieces have been carefully marked, aligned and basted, sew everything together for a fitting.

Other Considerations -

  • Let bias cut-layers hang before joining. 
  • You can shift color with underlining.  Off white organza is unobtrusive.  But a pale pink matched with chocolate underlining changes the color to rum pink.

My fabric has a boarder print. I'm not using it in the dress, but I will use it for the sash. My next steps are to sew the dress together for fitting. Maybe I'll have it finished by the end of the month.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Hey Cenetta, the challenge has been extended until Sunday, June 19th.

  2. No, it was extended to go through the 19th. I'm working on mine still, too.

  3. The fabric is enviable. Love the border print.

  4. Very detailed instructions, thank you! That is going to be one perfect dress.

  5. I love that you're getting around to using this fabric ahead of Elizabeth and Andrea, after the fuss they both made over it.

    The dress is going to be beautiful. It's worth taking time over.



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