THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

May 15, 2009

Sheer Genius: Tricot Tricks

Filed under: Fabric,Inspirations,Lingerie,sewing — georgene @ 8:46 pm

tricot blouseThis 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.

front detailThe 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.

front neck detailThe 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.

underarm seamThe 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.

outer side seam At the bottom, a double fold baby hem.

inner side seam I love the really narrow overlock serging through out the garment- looks like a French seam from the outside.

inside back neckNotice 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.

May 19, 2007

Lingerie Sewing With Machine Embroidery Stabilzer

Filed under: Embellishment,Lingerie — phyllisc @ 2:57 pm

Whew – sorry I’ve been away for so long! The past few weeks have been super busy (new job, end of school year activities, holidays, etc.)

It’s been crazy, but I did mange to finish this gown. This is a gift to Diva Mary Beth, who as many of you are aware, has been receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatment. The goal of this project was make her something simple and fresh. This pattern is a lovely Burda WOF style from 1993, and I saved that issue because this is so simple and womanly. I think you could adapt Simplicity 4180 for a very similar look. This project turned out pretty well, and it was not as hard as you might think because I used machine embroidery stabilizer (Pellon Sol-U-Web) in the application of the lace. There are generally two types of water soluble stabilizer for fine fabrics: clear rolls or sheets that look like plastic wrap, and then types such as Sol-U-Web, which is a mesh. I prefer the mesh type because it doesn’t dry out.  This is very simple style , just five pattern pieces, and it relies on one layer technique with no facings or interfacings of any kind. The lace application may look really difficult, but you take your time and use the right materials you can do something just like this.

Trimming & Placing the Lace

The lace itself was a rayon Chantilly galloon about 18 inches wide, and it was trimmed around the flower motifs to create an interesting transition to the beige silk charmeuse.  The seam allowance for the bodice pattern piece were removed at center front, and the point of the scallops were placed along that line – the scallops form the new finished edge of the center front. The lace is pinned and then hand basted to the bodice pieces.  Also, notice the small portion of the scallop on the inside of the shoulder seam – this represents the seam allowance.  The lace was placed this way because I wanted a perfect scallop to frame Mary Beth’s neck at the shoulder.  The piece on the right has been pre-pinned, the one on the left has been basted and the pins removed.

Adding the Stabilzer

The fashion fabric is a pre-washed stretch silk charmeuse. Pre-washing makes this fabric very soft and vintage looking, so I needed the stabilizer to keep the two layers from shifting. Below you can see in this (fuzzy- sorry!) photo the back bodice with the stabilizer, attached with a temporary, water soluble spray adhesive. Also – here’s a hint – never spray the fabric. Spray the stabilizer and then pat it gently onto the pattern piece making sure the grain is preserved

Now it was ready to stitch from the right side, using a small 2 x 1.5mm zigzag along the cut edge of the lace. Then the stabilizer was carefully pulled away and the fashion fabric is trimmed away from the back. Any remaining stabilizer is soaked off in warm water, the piece rolled in a towel, and then left to air dry. Then the rest of the nightgown goes together.

After the gown was complete it’s washed again (in a mesh bag) to remove all traces of the stabilizer. The sleeve and hem edges were finished with a shell stitch. Stray threads will turn up with this type of one layer sewing, and those can be trimmed after the second washing.

So – even if you have no interest in machine embroidery, water soluble stabilizers are still a really useful sewing tool. I also like using them to make buttonholes . The button hole is marked with a sewing marker right onto a strip of stabilizer, which is placed on the right side of the fabric. Then it just washes away!

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