Underlining Wonders

Hi everyone.

I mentioned the process of underlining in a previous post. This wasn’t part of the pattern’s directions for my gown – they merely indicate making a lining (which I did, too, and which you can see here). However, Susan Khalje explains in Bridal Couture the whys and hows of underlining a formal garment.


This is a picture of the underlining process:

You can see here all the bodice pieces and one of the 9 skirt panels. I cut each of the pattern pieces once in the dupioni, and once in lightweight batiste. The two layers then need to be hand-basted in order to prevent any shifting, and are then handled as one layer when you construct the dress.
It took a lot of time to hand-baste all these pieces together, but this has a lot of advantages (and is soothing for the mind!). Here are a few of them, which I particularly appreciated while sewing up the dress:

  1. The pure white batiste makes the dupioni look more radiant;
  2. you don’t have to worry about seam allowances showing through when pressing the seams open (and that is a common problem with dupioni),
  3. More generally, you can press the garment more easily after each sewing step, because the batiste side will take a little more heat
  4. you only have to add the pattern’s markings to the underlining, which means you don’t have to worry about markings that may not be erased easily on the fashion fabric, and that may show through.
  5. The double layer limits the tension/puckering problems when sewing on the machine. I did use a tiny 60 needle, however. After a few tests on a scrap, that is what gave the best results on the dupioni.

A post is to follow with pictures of the dress…

(ps: Sorry about the post that showed up in Bloglines yesterday, dating back from months ago (about my spring blog layout). I have no idea why – I didn’t edit that post at all. Weird!)

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