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Recently, my daughter needed a pretty lace top for her small, casual wedding.  After looking EVERYWHERE, even online and ordering only to be hugely disappointed in the quality, I started looking online for fabric, but then she found this pretty lace with a bit of lengthwise 'give' at her local JoAnn's Fabric Store.  A 'dive' into my Cream/White Box of knit fabric scraps yielded the perfect creamy knit for a lining and just enough (not an inch to spare!).  Here are the details on how I created the 'modesty' underlining for her very special lace top.

My girl in her lace wedding top...
My girl in her lace wedding top...

Step 1:  Decide how high up the 'modesty' lining will extend on front and back.

IMG_0889Green line defines the finished level of the modesty lining.  Red line is 1/2" higher to allow for a top edge finish. 

Step 2:  Fit and determine how to handle the two fabrics 

Fitting the pattern tissue quickly indicated that using the Darted Front from my Terrific T Knit Top pattern would be advisable since:

1.  Fabric only had minimal stretch lengthwise (not the usual crosswise greater stretch on knits)

2.  A Bust dart would provide a much more flattering and accommodating fit for her very 'girly' figure

3.  Treating the 2 fabrics as one: in essence the opaque cream knit would be the 'underlining' Mark the darts but then stitch them together as 'one fabric'.  I went ahead and did this as twas necessary for the first actual fitting. Finish the upper edges of the modesty lining on both the front and back, making sure that the front had the curve she desired....IMG_0901Step 3:  First Actual Fitting 

The first actual fitting revealed that the lowest neckline on the pattern was still too high, and also that the straight across 'modesty lining' didn't give the 'look' she was after.  See the photos and captions below which teach how to cut so that what is done on one side is the same for the other, and how to stabilize this crossgrain stretchy edge.

Fold in half at center front and back to easily lower the neckline as had been determined.
Fold in half at center front and back to easily lower the neckline as had been determined.
Trim as one, with top folded insured symmetry on each side.
Trim as one, with top folded insured symmetry on each side.
A clip was necessary at center front fold to create the curvy line of the modesty lining.
A clip was necessary at center front fold to create the curvy line of the modesty lining.
After cutting excess fabric from one side, use it as a template to cut the other side down the same amount.
After cutting excess fabric from one side, use it as a template to cut the other side down the same amount.
Knit Fusible Stay Tape along the wrong side of the uppermost edge on Front AND Back provides needed stabilization BEFORE turning and stitching.
Knit Fusible Stay Tape along the wrong side of the uppermost edge on Front AND Back provides needed stabilization BEFORE turning and stitching.
A zig zag stitch of 3 long and 2.5 wide 'finishes' the modesty lining upper edge.
A zig-zag stitch of three long and 2.5 wide 'finishes' the modesty lining upper edge.

I actually attached the modesty lining to the lace all across the Back with a zig-zag, and also from the side seams to highest point of the curve above each bust on the front, leaving the inward curve and lowermost point of the modesty lining hang free from the lace.

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Step 4:  Continue Top Construction  

With the upper edges of the modesty lining finalized and sewn, construction could continue for the side seams and sleeve insertion.  The finished upper edge of this modesty lining just barely goes above the lowermost curve of the armhole.

Step 5:  Finish the Neckline 

Since the finish she desired was a 'bound' look with the cream solid fabric, it was easy to 'see' at a fitting how it would look, as the cut edge of the lace top would actually be the uppermost edge once the binding was finished.

I cut the binding a healthy 2" wide, with the greatest stretch going the length of the binding. I cut it 10" less long, allowing for a 1/2" seam that was placed at the center back of the neckline. I cut the binding a healthy 2" wide, with the greatest stretch going the length of the binding. I cut it 10" less long, allowing for a 1/2" seam that was placed at the center back of the neckline.

The photo above shows the 3/8" seam allowance from stitching the right side of the binding to the right side of the lace neckline edge.  Making sure both layers of the seam allowance were tightly wrapped was important as I snuggly wrapped and pinned the binding around to the inside of the neckline.

Carefully stitch 'in the ditch' from the garment right side. Carefully stitch 'in the ditch' from the garment right side.
VERY VERY carefully trim the excess binding from the wrong side very close to the stitching.
VERY VERY carefully trim the excess binding from the wrong side very close to the stitching.

Sleeve hemlines were bound in a similar fashion.

Step 6:  Hemline Finishes 

The top lower body hemline was stitched with a zig-zag, handling both fabrics as one.  Shirring each side up to the waist level using 1/8" narrow elastic pulled to its fullest extent and zig-zagged to the side seam created a flattering, curved hemline.

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