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white seam allowance see-through

physicsgirl | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m going to be making my wedding dress, and the pattern fitting is mostly completed; but now I’m moving on to the fabric-purchasing and making.  I’m going to be using a silk with lots of drape, probably a charmeuse or double charmeuse. (I’m using Vogue 2905 — isn’t it SEXY?)  I haven’t purchased fabric yet (planning a trip to Denver Fabrics, or mail order from Thai Silks) but I’m concerned that with white fabric, I’m going to have seam allowances showing through to the right side.  I don’t want too much support underlining, or I’m afraid I’ll lose the drape.  Any suggestions are appreciated… I usually don’t use white fabric!


  1. mygaley | | #1

    This will require some experimenting, but try underlining (treating two layers as one) with a flesh-colored or white chiffon or even a softer and thinner (and less expensive) silk. The people you from whom you purchase your fabric probably can advise you on this. With white, the color of your skin, the lining fabric and the underwear you plan to wear with your gown all enter into this. Be sure and try your samples in natural light as well as different artificial lights. Flash photography really gives some fabrics a show-through effect.

    Also, after advising many, many brides and bridesmaids, please know that there is no such thing as a figure thin enough that bikini panty elastic lines will not show through a fitted white dress. In our community where the women are usually very modest, I recommend "granny panties"in a flesh tone. LOL I have seen girls march down the aisle without because they did not bring what their dress required. Galey

  2. User avater
    paddyscar | | #2

    You might also want to check out the article in the June/July 2005 Threads, which shows how to do 'Hairline Seams' (p. 61+).  This article is very clear on reducing the size of your seams for a finely finished garment.

  3. busybee | | #3

    Hallo,  I remeber an article in " Threads " some years back covering just this subject and it was on the front cover with a large heading - cant find it for you at the moment as my grandchildren are asleep in there . Will look for it in the morning  - or perhaps someone else may know off-hand which one it was. I know it was very helpful. All the best   Busybee  ( Havn't had time to reply to you yet MyGaley - will do after the kids go home ! )

  4. Teaf5 | | #4

    If all you want to do is make the seam allowances less visible, a Hong Kong finish with a skin-colored seam tape will work. However, mygaley's advice about underlining, lining, and underwear is absolutely right on, especially because of the special lighting and photography issues of this very important garment!

    1. physicsgirl | | #5

      Thanks to all!  Why didn't I think of a "nude" underlining?  BRILLIANT!  I had that Threads aricle on nude pockets for light materials!  I'm also intrigued by the hairline seam idea. I want this garment "perfect" inside and out!  THANKS SO MUCH!

      I'm also a BIG fan of Victoria Secrets Body Line of underwear... the nude-colored thin panties are great! The bra's are COMFY even, and come in my used-to-be-hard-to-find size (36A).  While I'm small busted and don't have too many qualms about "going without," I think part of the charm my future husband saw in me was I was "Poking" the day I dropped by to say hello and we ended up having lunch ... so afterwards I went out and invested in MANY of these... since now I won't be wanting another guy!

      1. SAAM | | #6

        I made a chiffon dress with the hairline seams and it came out really well. The seams are not hard to do— just time and thread consuming—plus they look great and seem really strong.

  5. HeartFire2 | | #7

    You really will need to underline and line this dress - at least the bodice part, the drape is all in the skirt, and even underlining that with china silk won't hurt the charmuse. you need to play with the fabrics and see what they do, putting a flesh colored fabric under a white will change the color of it. Underlining with white and lining with white will preserve the white color of the dress, and the seams won't show through that.

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