Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Sewing with bias

suesew | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am currently making a slip dress – cut on the bias – for a client. The top of the bodice both in the front and back is cut straight across. Both the sheer overlay and the silk lining have already stretched over an inch bigger than when I cut it out. The pattern does not call for any stabilization and I can just imagine this becoming way too wide before I even get around to fitting it on her. The construction calls for just sewing the lining to the sheer at the top so any interfacing would show between the two. I’d really like to avoid adding an interfaced facing. Any suggestions out there? (It’s been a while since I’ve been around, DH just had double bypass surgery and now I get to be nursemaid for a few weeks.)


  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    Can you use something sewn into the seamline to stabilize it? For such lightweight fabric, consider the selvedges of the sheer or the lining, or straight grain strips of organza, cut about 1 cm (3/8") wide. Try using the pattern to cut the stabilizer strips, marking centre front/back and any other reference points. Then pin to the garment and sew on the seamline or 1 mm into the seam allowance. Hopefully you can ease in the amount it stretched and prevent a re-occurance.

    Best wishes to your DH for a speedy recovery.

  2. ElonaM | | #2

    Sue, stretching is characteristic of bias garments, and desirable. You really do want it bigger around than the body's actual measurements, because when a bias garment hangs vertically, it gets both longer and narrower. For this reason, a good bias pattern will direct you to cut the seam allowances at 1 1/2", rather than the usual 5/8", because you will probably need some extra room for the final fitting as the garment gets skinnier when on the body. For the same reason, you don't want to stabilize the sideseams (even though older instructions always told you to, for some bizarre reason), because the garment will keep right on stretching as it's worn, resulting in seams that look short and puckered in relation to the garment. These days, most instructions tell you to actually stretch the vertical seams slightly before sewing them--and then to sew with the tiniest zigzag, so as to allow the seam to continue to give eveb a bit more.

    Marcy Tilton has written some excellent articles for Threads magazine about sewing with bias. You might want to go to the Threads site and search for articles by her.

    1. SewNancy | | #3

      I absolutely agree.  The dress will legnthen and narrow, especially on the body.  It sort of clings and needs the extra room to look good.  Don't forget to hang it overnight before hemming and I have weigted the hem to make sure it really stretches the right amount before I hem it!


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 42% and get a free gift


Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More