Class · Review · Sewing

Tuesdays with Gertie: Cutting into the Fashion Fabric

This year I’m sewing along with Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. A bunch of other talented seamsters and I have joined up through the Craftsy online community to make perfectly fitted bombshell dresses. Here’s a reflection on my efforts to sew well.

This week’s lesson in the Perfect Bombshell Dresses course was cutting an underlining for the bodice out of cotton muslin, cutting the bodice out of the fashion fabric, and hand basting them together.  I like this method of transferring the pattern to the underlining using a tracing wheel and wax tracing paper and then basting the underlining to the fashion fabric by hand, and I hope to continue using it in future projects that require such precision until it just becomes second nature.  I would just love to find a local source for wax tracing paper since I only have dark blue right now.  Gertie and Susan Khalje use red and white at various times in their Craftsy courses, and I can see the advantage of at least having white at home.

What do you think?  Is it a bit much to trace, underline, and hand baste for all but the most complicated of projects?

7 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Gertie: Cutting into the Fashion Fabric

  1. I think it depends on how long you want to have the project. My policy now, especially after signing up for all those craftsy courses, is to add all the care and steps that makes having something handmade better than something I could have gotten out of H&M. If it is something that I know I would want to have for a long time then all those steps are not too much. If it is something I’m doing just to be on trend for the moment then probably yes.

  2. Hmmm, I’ve never tried anything this complicated before, but I bet it gives great results! I just underlined a simple tank top, but I cut out the front and back pieces (using pattern weights) and machine basted them together, no tracing or hand basting. But that was for a loose cotton tank… although I must say that I felt pretty fancy underlining, since I’d never done that before!

  3. I love how you are doing this dress week by week, slow but steady. I like the idea of trying at least one couture dress (and a french jacket at some point), but for everything else fusible structure is just as nice to me. (Most of my wardrobe is so relaxed anyway.) I just underlined by hand my coat and it was necessary because of the fur. It was kinda fun sitting in front of a movie and just doing it. I trace most of my patterns onto hard paper, and change the seam allowances which makes for another kind of accuracy. At first I wondered if this was a bit much, but now I’m fast at it and it’s become second nature. If you enjoy this process and do a couple other projects like this, it’ll definitely start to feel like a natural rhythm!

    1. I’m interested in your SAs – do you make them narrow, more like real world production sewing? Do you find this gives way to more accurate stitching than the home sewing 5/8″? I should pick my mom’s brain about this, too, as it was her job for years.

      1. I’ve been using ginormous seam allowances just as Gertie does. Following the stitching lines is easy peasy. I imagine you could get away with smaller seam allowances, a quarter inch even, but it’s fun to follow the class as is.

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