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Vintage style lapped seams

moefen | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hello everyone and thank you for making this such a great reference!


My next project is a Vintage Vogue 1930s evening gown (I can’t remember the number off hand, but it is a long bias-looking dress with low back, pictured in white and red on the cover).

The instructions say that to attach the godets to the skirt, you press the SA in on the godets, line them up over the edges of the skirt, baste and sew a lapped seam.  I think you sew it twice.  My question is when and how do you finish the seams.  I wouldn’t want to zig zag before hand (unless I staystitched) as you would be sewing right along this bias grain.  Would you overcast afterwards?  Has anyone seen this seam used on any original clothing?




  1. rjf | | #1

    That's a new one for me!  I expect that it is a sturdier seam than reinforcing the corner to be cut and stitching right sides together.  But if the point on the godet is pointier than a square corner, I think it's going to be  difficult to turn the seam allowance neatly.  To finish the seams, you might try seam binding.  It should be worth it ..... those 30's dresses are definitely slinky!!        rjf

    1. moefen | | #3

      Thanks for the advice.  I think it will really end up with how much of the seam allowance is left after stitching.  I think I will make some testers before diving in.  I will let you all know in the future how it goes.

  2. carolfresia | | #2

    Are the seams to be finished on the bias? If so, and the fabric is cooperative, you might be able to avoid finishing them altogether. I agree, you don't want to overhandle them and stretch then out of whack before doing the assembly, but it'll be hard to machine finish them afterwards. Depending on how much of the seam allowance is taken up by the lapped topstitching (esp. if there are two rows of it), you might have only a little seam allowance left. And if it's on the bias, it shouldn't really ravel too much anyway. Maybe make a mini-test swatch to see how it all behaves and if you can tolerate leaving it unfinished.

    I know it's heresy to suggest not finishing seams, but sometimes, if it's not absolutely necessary to keep things from falling apart, you can get away without, and save bulk.


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