This wonderful nylon tricot blouse is probably from the 1940’s or early 50’s. Just the thing to wear over that great camisole or vintage lacy slip, tucked in at the waist of your pencil skirt. (Maybe you pinched one from your mom’s lingerie drawer when you were about 17 years old.)
The blouse must have been washed hundreds of times, yet it still looks great and the tiny overlocked seams are holding up just fine. I have been staring at this top for weeks and I am fascinated by all the details. Not only is it a great lesson in how to work with tricot, I can see using some of these techniques with other sheer knitted fabrics, particularly lace.
The frills at the front are raw edge lengthwise grain strips. Tricot will curl along this grain, so the natural curl of the fabric is used as if it were a roll hem.
The placket is just folded back, raw at the inside edge. A bias binding finishes the collar to the neck, with the turnback used to clean the front neck as if it were a little facing. The buttons and button holes keep the facing from going anywhere, and it is sewn in at the waist seam.
The ½” hem at the armhole is folded with a tiny 1/8” turnback and topstitched – a very dainty finish that looks great from the outside.
At the bottom, a double fold baby hem.
I love the really narrow overlock serging through out the garment- looks like a French seam from the outside.
Notice that the collar is on the fold, so that there is no seam at the edge to distract. It crosses over at the back neck, to make a lovely shape when folded.
Tricot is more often reserved only for lingerie and nightwear now. A good online resource is Sew Sassy, a website that carries all things related to making lingerie. I see they have a note about this fabric – how to sew and care for tricot:
“Do not prewash. The sides will roll and you will have a terrible time keeping the seams flat. Use a ball point needle and extra fine thread in a conventional machine. Woolly nylon thread is suggested for the lower loopers of your serger, but regular serger thread will work. Never use a hot iron on tricot. It will melt. With lingerie, you can always sew a bow, applique, or ribbon over a mistake and no one will be the wiser. Machine wash warm, dry low. Remove immediately.”
Personally I would use wooly nylon only for lingerie applications. It will not give you the fine seam appearance that is so great in this piece.
Tricot can be used in crossgrain strips as a seam binding. Pull it gently as you set it on and it will curl around the edge of the seam.