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French seams on a formal skirt

Marissa | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m working on a muslin for my wedding dress and bought this pattern to make the skirt.  http://store.sewingtoday.com/cgi-bin/voguepatterns/shop.cgi?s.item.V2732=x&TI=20003&page=6   It might just be me, but the seams on the photo of the skirt appear very apparent (ie, unpressed, poorly made, and do not blend in with the skirt itself).  I can’t imagine that Vogue would not have an incredible dress made.  Does anyone think this is because of the french seams that the pattern directions has you sew on these seams?  Could that technique make seams look like this?  I’m sewing with a dupuoni, which is what this fabric looks like, and I would hate to have such a piece-meal look to such a special dress.  Any ideas?

Replies

  1. SewNancy | | #1

    I believe that the designer dresses are not made by Vogue, but are the designer original. French seams would effect the flow, and I don't think that I would use them on silk shantung. Plain seams pressed flat would fall better. I assume that you are lining this dress, so, cut 1" seams and just pink them to control the edge. You are not going to get hard wear out of this dress after all!
    Nancy



    Edited 10/12/2005 8:34 am ET by SewNancy

  2. mimi | | #2

    Marissa:  I have always felt the seams on the photo are exagerated so that the sewer will see where they are.  Have you tried sewing your muslin yet?  I finished my daughter's wedding dress about a month ago and used silk charmeuse.  I was able to do a french seam on that and don't see why you should have trouble with dupioni.  Just be sure to sew a very fine seam, trim and turn and sew another fine seam enclosing the first seam.  If you sew your muslin this way and don't like it, you can always sew a "regular" seam and press it open.  There are other finishes to seams, ie, a hong kong finish, a zig zag finish etc.

    Congratulations, you are making an heirloom!

    mimi

  3. User avater
    paddyscar | | #3

    Marissa - it looks like the seams need a good press.  A French seam should work quite well on dupioni without making the seams so obvious.  It may be that the dress in the picture was not made of 100% silk and may therefore be more stiff.

    I would suggest that you might want to try a French seam on the fabric you plan to use for your dress before you actually start sewing the dress. 

    Once you cut out the skirt pattern, you could make a seam along the cut edges of the pieces you cut away.  If you don't like the French seam and how it drapes along the length of the skirt, you can just cut it off and try another type of seam.

    I have often noticed that photos used in the catalogues and on the pattern envelopes are not what I would consider to be a satisfactory garment, if I were sewing it.  I find that odd, considering they are trying to impress you with how your project will look.  :))

    Frances

    1. ixs | | #6

      I agree with your comments about the quality of garments on the pattern envelopes. I just think that our pattern companies are getting away from intricate garments because so many sewers are so busy that to attract new and continuing sewers, they have had to simplify their patterns. And thank goodness I learned to sew with pattern directions that were more clear and definitive. The instructions leave out a lot now and can be vague and wrong. One of my basic rules is to try to only buy a pattern with a photo on the front of the envelope. And if one looks closely at the photo, one can detect design errors that might degrade fit and quality of the sewn garment.

      1. User avater
        paddyscar | | #7

        The instructions leave out a lot now and can be vague and wrong.

        Some of the instructions I've read in recent times, make you want to run for the hills.  I'm not sure if they are being written by writers who can't sew, or sew-ers who can't write.

        The pattern industry is not what it used to be.  Lack of consistency in sizing, poor and often incorrect directions and even missing pieces - this would have never have happened when I started to sew! 

        But then, folding those stone tablets to fit the pieces back into the pattern envelope was tough back in the prehistoric times :))

        Frances

         

        1. ixs | | #8

          You know, I have some of those stone tablet patterns, too. I have a hard time throwing things away.

    2. Marionc032 | | #10

      Actually, I think the "unpressed seams" are deliberate and are intended to give the skirt a softer look. Plus, pressing the seams would affect the fall of the skirt, would it not? Hard to tell from a photograph. Anyway, I'm inclined to think that a pressed french seam on dupioni might be a little stiff, so I'd probably opt for overlocking the seams and pressing them open as well.Marion

      1. SewNancy | | #11

        Pressing seams is always important. The way you press them is even more important! Poor pressing can ruin a dress. Also, taut sewing is a must for silky fabrics. But, except for the raveling, sewing on dupionni is not hard. The ripply seams could also be bad sewing, not using taut sewing and you'd end up with puckered seams
        Nancy

        Edited 10/20/2005 8:05 am ET by SewNancy

        1. Marionc032 | | #12

          I agree that pressing is important, critical in fact. But, I'm speculating that the seams on this dress may have been pressed with right sides facing, instead of the conventional way with wrong sides facing so that the folds will fall "around" the seams. When I look at that dress on my screen, I don't see any ripples. Maybe I need new contact lenses? ;)Marion

  4. Elisabeth | | #4

    Congratulations on the upcoming wedding! The directions say french seams on the skirt? Seems like overkill since the skirt is lined. I would use plain seams that are much easier to press anyway and your dupioni will press nicely and not look like the pink picture. I would also underline with silk organza to give the dupoini a touch of airy support and help it not to wrinkle so much.

  5. sewpro | | #5

    Since Duppioni ravels so much, I think that french seams are a good idea. To control the ravel, I would overlock the trimmed seam allowance before pressing, turning, pressing and stitching the final seam line. I recommend doing a sample first to make sure you like the result. Also, you could try the old tailor's trick of slipping a strip of paper (I use brown paper bags) between the seam allowance and the outside of the garment before pressing to avoid a bump line on the outside. Good luck! I made my own wedding dress,too! (As well as sewing hundreds for clients)

  6. mem | | #9

    I actually think that the fabric is duchess satin This is a very thick almost structural fabric and doesnt drape in the way that you might want, and it does need a press !I agree with Nancy . I would just make the seams wide and pink the edges.

  7. alotofstitches | | #13

    Marissa, sometimes this style skirt has an underlining of the "petticoat netting" or heavy cotton fabric--if so the seam will show more especially if not pressed well.  I just finished a dupioni silk wedding gown, using petticoat net underlining to support the silk and keep the skirt smooth.  I did not serge the seams since I fully enclsoed the undersdie of the silk skirt in a lining, but I did press seams open using sleeve roll and it looked good!  It definitely looked better than that photo.  FYI I always steam press Dupioni silk on the underside before cutting and I underline the bodice with a light weight cotton to support the fabric and of course, use a lining over all the inside.

     

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