Seams, Lining & Five More Dresses

After last weeks thrilling tale of cutting out the fabric for my skirt, I imagine you have been on the edge of your seats for the last seven days waiting to hear what happened next!

Here’s a little reminder of the skirt I’m making:

Well, I STILL haven’t sewn any of it! I decided that I wanted to learn how to line a skirt, so that has taken a bit of extra time. This skirt does not necessarily need lining, and doesn’t come with instructions for doing the lining but I thought this was a good opportunity to learn how to do it.

I headed to John Lewis to get my lining, and braved the new one in the monster that is Westfield Stratford City. My what a lot of shops!! For someone who mainly goes shopping in charity and vintage shops it was awfully big. I think the fact that I unintentionally lost both my mum and my mother in law whilst in there proves this!

After we were finally re-united we managed to navigate our way to the haberdashery section in John Lewis (Oxford St is better if anyone is wondering). And of course, you can’t just go and buy some lining can you, you have to know what type you want. Obviously I didn’t, I just wanted some lining!

I had to consider if I wanted to be able to wash my skirt at home, or if I was prepared to have it dry-cleaned (no). Did I want an anti-static finish, made from 100% cupro (?), or a lining made with 56% viscose and 44% acetate? In the end I went with the extravagantly named ‘Caress Taffeta’. From what I could gather this was the bog standard lining – a multi-purpose, 100% moisture absorbent (why do you need this?!) polyester with anti-static finish. It can either be washed at 40 degrees, or professionally cleaned. Done.

So, back to my class. The first thing to do was cut the lining out using the skills from the previous lesson. It was far less stressful this time!

Back, front and pocket lining

We were then shown how to set up a sewing machine, and how to create professional looking seams.

First you sew along the seam line, starting with reverse stitching to fix the thread and then in a straight line all the way along the side of the two pieces of fabric you want to join.

You then press this seam open using the tip of an iron. My fabric has a tendency to go shiny when ironed so it was important to just use the tip rather than lots of pressure.

This then creates a nice flat seam.

Commercially, most edges of fabric are finished with a machine called an overlocker. The overlocker stitches the edge of the fabric to stop it fraying, like this:

When sewing domestically, it’s unlikely you will have an overlocker, so we were shown a way of stopping the raw edges from fraying with a normal sewing machine.

Turning the seam back over to the wrong side, fold a tiny bit of the raw edge under and place it under the foot of the sewing machine.

Set the machine to zig zag stitch, and away you go! Make sure you continue to fold the edge of the fabric under as you go. The very edge of the stitch should come just over the edge of the fabric, fixing it as it goes along.


38 TO GO

Yesterday was another busy day at the pillowcase dress making factory, with Dave, Peggy and I setting up a little production line. I would just like to point out that I am in no way forcing Dave to help with these dresses, although I do think the knowledge that there was a football match on at 4pm helped get him through!

Peggy was also not forced, and therefore spent more time catching flies 🙂

Here are the dresses we made – thank you to Rosie and Jane for all the pillowcases you have donated.

Pillowcase Dress 10

Pillowcase Dress 11. If I was still pillowcase size I would wear this one!
Pillowcase Dress 12
Thanks for the little flower Jen!
Pillowcase Dress 13
Pillowcase Dress 14 (a different pillowcase to Dress 13 – I’m not cheating, promise!)

You can see these dresses and the others in the Pillowcase Dress Gallery, or have a look at my Pillowcase Dress Challenge page to find out how you can get involved!

Image sources
Thanks to sewing buddy Lorna for taking the ironing snaps for me!


4 thoughts on “Seams, Lining & Five More Dresses

  1. The Haywards Heath team spent a very enjoyable time on Saturday and production has started – they just need the final touches to be added and they can appear in your gallery….

  2. Pingback: Birthday Sorbetto | Peggy's Pickles

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