When I inadvertently sewed a see through Tiramisu, I developed a sudden need for a petticoat with a deep v neckline. Naturally, thinking of such a requirement, my mind instantly turned to Burda, who seem to specialize in chest exposing garments.Fortunately for me, there were some magazines with possible frocks with sticky labels on them lying about on my sewing table, so it didn't take me long to find a candidate, Burda Style 05-2013-124.
Technical drawing from http://www.burdafashion.comThe only thing was, that I had no idea what fabric to use for a petticoat under a knit dress that would not cling, and would not be too hot to wear for a Spring to Summer garment. I was leaning towards silk charmeuse, this working so well under my merino knits for winter, but really, this is rather a warm fabric for our climate.
Delving deep into the what-was-I-thinking layers of the stash, I came up with some slippery, semi-translucent,slubby, bouncy fabric that I vaguely remembered was silk/hemp. I posted about this 2011 purchase here. (In the interest of unusual fabric reporting, the hemp/cotton sheets are wearing nicely and are now beautifully soft, and the hemp/cotton knit top is now just like a rag but I am still wearing it around the house because it is so comfortable- this made me more willing to try this unused fabric, which is really quite unusual - my husband said "plasticy")
At the neckline, I used fold over elastic, slightly stretched. This worked really well, or would have worked really well, had I noticed that I had sewn one of the front bodice pieces on backwards before I applied the elastic.
I am now very practiced at unpicking 3 step zig zag stitch at 1.0mm length from fold over elastic. Sigh
For the underbust seam ( I gathered the bust instead of darts, as I'd enlarged to a D and didn't want to redraw the darts) I folded the gathered seam allowance over the waistband allowance by hand (the gathers were too fiddly by machine) and whipstitched.
For the waistband, side seams and shoulder seams, I used french seams.
For the armscyes (these are trimmed to make the petticoat sit fully underneath the outer garment), I used a fine bias finish - applying bias binding to the right side, turning the bias over the trimmed seam allowance and edgestitching at 1/8 inch, then turning the bias to the wrong side and topstitching. This gave a very neat, thin edge on the silk hemp.
The silk hemp ravels very easily. As it felt so plasticy, I did a burn test, where the fabric burnt like paper, and left long strands of ?hemp after I blew out the flame. This is definitely all natural fibres!
Having finished the petticoat, all the sheer fabrics in my stash suddenly looked very appealing as a frock.
Somehow, I cut out another version of 124 from a mere 1.3m of silk chiffon print that I may have bought to make a scarf.
The chiffon was pre treated in a gelatine bath to improve its handling qualities. I cut out using a rotary cutter, and continued using the size 60 universal needle I had used for the sheer silk hemp garment. This time I used the fine bias edge finish on the (raised 5 cm) neckline as well as the armscyes, but the other seams are mostly finished in the same manner as in the petticoat version.For both versions, the fabric under the invisible zip is reinforced - in the petticoat with a woven nylon ribbon, and in the chiffon frock with a strip of silk organza selvage.
The silk chiffon dress was a challenge for me. I tried finishing the neckline with the same technique as the armscyes in the petticoat.
Unfortunately I neglected to first stay stitch the neckline, and the neckline rippled in an unsightly manner. (The armscyes in the silk chiffon, finished in the same manner, behaved perfectly)
I tried to fix this with clear elastic, but this attempt failed.
Eventually, I took 2 small pleats from the neckline on either side of centre front , handsewing these, and was content with the fit and finish. However, it is not my best work. I anticipate becoming a better seamstress with my next silk chiffon frock!
I was pleased with my other seam finishes on the sheer fabric. Having just practiced on the silk hemp, I was able to make french seams throughout, including the curved underbust seam, which contains gathers. I pat myself on the back a bit for this.