I’ve been taking several workshops at school this semester, and this past weekend I did one on high-end and couture seam-finishes and sewing techniques. It was fabulous!
In this first session, we did mostly seam finishes, working a lot with bias strips of fabric. We were asked to get some pieces of spesific types of fabric, namely silk dupioni, taffeta, organza and duchess silk satin. Although these techniques aren’t limited to these types of silk in any way, it was a new experience for me working with several of these expensive fabrics – and I’m completely sold on them now!
Bound edges, top-stitched to the left, and stitched in the ditch on the right. Also, a Hong Kong hem on a piece of velvet – that I managed to sew on the wrong side! It doesn’t change how lovely and beautiful of a finish it is though.
I used the dupioni for most of the bias details, and it behaved beautifully. I also worked with shantung silk for the first time, which is a slightly less stiff and slubby version of the dupioni. They both press like a dream, and it looks so luxurious with these little touches of sheen! I can’t wait to use these techniques on my own garments now, since I’m a total sucker for lovely touches on the insides of garments, as well as on the outside. My local fabric store sells 1/2 yard remnants of dupioni for cheap, and I think that would go a long way for just making bias strips for binding. By the way, Sarai has a nice tutorial on how to make your own, over at Collette patterns.
Self-made piping (not hard at all!), and raw edge piping using a bias strip of organza.
Mitered corners, and a bias tape/bias ruffle decorative sample. The last one makes me think of a harlequin circus princess.
Another thing I got to try, was one of those bias tape makers (Clover is a popular brand). Sarai uses one in the tutorial mentioned, and I have seen plenty of people in the blogworld sing their praises. Now I understand why – it is easy, and makes really nice bias binding in whatever fabric you want. I certainly want that gadget now!
Next session we will be covering lace, tricks for invisible zippers, and fusible seam tape. I don’t know what I’ll be learning yet, but I’m sure it will be good!