Tutorial: How to Finish a Waist Seam with Bias Tape (Faux Waist Stay Tutorial)

Hey guys!
As promised, here's the little tutorial to show you how I finish the inside of dresses with a bulky waist seam. It will reduce some unwanted bulk and give you a clean, beautiful finish, all in one!

It's a super easy technique, you'll see; and the only notion you need is about 1m of bias tape (as much as your waist seam measures).

This is the stage of construction you want: the bodice and the skirt of the dress have been joint, but there still isn't a zipper. This dress has a center back zipper, but this technique will work on a side zipper as well.
I didn't even care to remove some of the basting threads I used to gather the skirt because we are going to trim the seam allowance anyways.
You want the seam allowance of the waist seam to be pressed upward.

1. Fold down the bodice of the dress so it's out of the way, and pin your bias tape through both seam allowances, very close to the seam. If you're using a slippery fabric or you're not very experienced, you might also want to baste before you move to the sewing machine. 

2. Edgestitch the bias tape to the seam allowances all along the waist seam; be careful not to catch the bodice in the seam.

3. Now trim the skirt seam allowance down to 5-6mm (1/4"). You don't want to trim too close to the seam (I went a little overboard) or you will weaken one of the most important seams of your dress.
If your fabric is very bulky, you might want to also trim down the seam allowance of the bodice; in this case, grade the seam allowances.

4. Fold  the bodice up again, and give a good press if needed. Pin (and baste, if you need more security) the bias tape to the bodice.
At this point you have two choices: you can either machine stitch or hand stitch the bias tape. Hand stitches are easier to conceal on the right side but are time consuming. Machine stitches are visible on the right side but are much faster.
If you decide to use your sewing machine (like I did in this case), remember to use a bobbin thread that matches your fabric and, as you sew, to slightly pull the bodice perpendicularly to the seam to avoid sagging.

This is how it looks on the inside...

... and on the outside.

Once the dress is worn, the seam is not very visible, especially if you're using a dark fabric (more photos of the dress here). 

I hope this tutorial will be useful, please let me know if you try this technique!

Tutorial: rifinire la cucitura in vita di un abito con lo sbieco

Oggi, come promesso, vi mostro la tecnica che uso con i vestiti che hanno troppo spessore alla cucitura in vita. In questo modo, eliminate dello spessore indesiderato e rifinite la cucitura in un sol colpo!

Si tratta di una tecnica semplicissima, vedrete; l'unico materiale necessario è circa un metro di sbieco (la quantità è pari alla lunghezza della cucitura in vita del vostro abito).

Questo è il punto della costruzione da cui volete iniziare: il corpino e la gonna dell'abito sono stati cuciti insieme, ma non c'è ancora la lampo.
Non ho nemmeno rimosso alcuni fili di imbastitura usati per arricciare la gonna, tanto andremo a tagliare il margine di cucitura.
Assicuratevi che i margini di cucitura siano stirati verso l'alto.

1. Tirate giù il corpino in modo che non sia d'intralcio e puntate lo sbieco sui margini di cucitura, posizionandolo molto vicino alla cucitura. Se la vostra stoffa è poco maneggevole o non siete molto esperte, imbastite lo sbieco prima di passare alla macchina da cucire.

2. Cucite lo sbieco ai margini di cucitura lungo tutta la vita, mantenendovi il più vicino possibile al bordo dello sbieco stesso. Fate attenzione che il corpino non finisca per sbaglio nella cucitura (succede!). 

3. Ora tagliate il margine di cucitura della gonna e riducetelo a 5-6mm. Non tagliate troppo vicino alla cucitura (come potete vedere io ho un po' esagerato) o indebolirete una delle cuciture più importanti dell'abito.
Se state lavorando con una stoffa molto spessa, potete ridurre anche il margine di cucitura del corpino.

4. Riportare il corpino nella sua posizione e, se necessario, date una bella stirata. Puntate (e, se necessario, imbastite) lo sbieco al corpino. 
A questo punto avete due scelte: cucire a macchina o a mano. Se cucite a mano, è più facile nascondere i punti sul diritto, ma ci vorrà più tempo. Se cucite a macchina, i punti saranno visibili dal diritto, ma ci metterete meno tempo.
Se decidete, come ho fatto io qui, di cucire a macchina, ricordate di usare un filo per la bobina abbinato alla stoffa e di tirare un pochino il corpino perpendicolarmente alla cucitura mentre cucite per evitare che la stoffa rimanga allentata tra la cucitura in vita e quella dello sbieco. 

Questo è il risultato al rovescio...

... e al diritto.

Una volta indossato il vestito, la cucitura non è granché visibile (altre foto di quest'abito qui).

Spero che questa tecnica via sia utile, fatemi sapere se la utilizzerete!

Stretch Yourself: Block Printing a T-shirt

This post is part of the Stretch Yourself series, hosted by Miriam of Mad Mim and Miranda of One Little Minute. It is a two week long series about sewing with knits that started last week, covering various topics like fabric selection, pattern-making, construction, finishing techniques and projects by 10 guest bloggers.

Today I am very happy to be one of the guest bloggers! Please check out Rachel at anu*miki who is also posting today about fabric printing.

For my tutorial, I wanted something very simple and beginner-proof since I am myself a beginner with stretch fabrics. I decided it was the perfect time to experiment a bit with block printing, something I had wanted to try for ages.
I'll show you a very easy way to give new life to that old, plain t-shirt that lays forgotten at the bottom of a drawer.

Here's what you need for this project:

✄ A plain t-shirt (or fabric)
✄ Fabric paint
✄ Carving block (linoleum or rubber)
✄ Carving tool
✄ Something to help you spread your color (a brayer or a sponge)
✄ Wood (or acrylic block) and glue to mount your stamp

After you've gathered your materials, you need to choose the subject you want to turn into a stamp. If you're a beginner, try something with an easy silhouette. I chose a moustache, which is quite trendy, geeky and because I just love quirky prints.

You can either draw your silhouette directly on the lino/rubber block, or you can draw it on tracing paper with a soft pencil...

... put it face down on the block and trace over the lines with the pencil. It will be magically (ok, not really) transfered on your surface.

Now cut your shape leaving some space around the edges... and start carving! I always start with the outline, trying to be as precise as I can.

Keep carving until you're satisfied with the result. At this point, it's a very good idea to try your stamp with an ink pad on some paper to see if there are areas that need to be refined.
Take your time, you want your stamp to have clean edges and look nice and sharp.

When you're satisfied with what you have, glue the carved block on your wood block and allow it to dry.

And you're ready to stamp!
Use some cardboard to make your t-shirt lay flat; this will also prevent the paint to bleed on the back of the t-shirt.
Spread the paint on the stamp: I had the best results using a disposable cosmetic sponge, but one of those spongy brushes will work as well.
For a more precise result, you can mark the position of the print on the t-shirt with little dots. I just eyeballed it.

When you're done printing, allow the paint to dry and follow the instruction to permanently stabilize the color. My paint needed to be ironed at low heat.

My t-shirt was just an experiment and although it's far from perfect, it turned out very cute!
It definitely got me excited for this technique: it's a great way to jazz up an old, plain t-shirt (but also a cardigan or a sweater), but also to create your own printed fabric from scratch.
The sky is the limit! 

Read more about sewing with stretch lace over at anu*miki
and the see the rest of the “Stretch Yourself” series
on Mad Mim and One Little Minute!

Highlights of the week #9

Bonjour, everyone! How are you?
I allowed myself the luxury of taking a break from my studying for almost the whole week, and I sewed a lot. It was so fun! If only it could be always like this...
I wish you all a happy weekend and I'll leave you with my usual collection of fun links. Bye! :)

1. Aya shared an incredibly creative video that shows many ways to wear a man' shirt. It's genius.
2. I found this tutorial for a head wrap/cowl on Pinterest and I fell in love with it.
3. Cupcake nail art tutorial! Need I say more?
4. Finally, one more tutorial; it's for this beautiful skirt and it's beginner proof.