Much better! Proper navy bias tape.

Thank you for all the comments on the bias tape colour for the Instant Dress! I love that you guys are passionate about getting the details right. So many of you agreed that if it isn’t right, that’s all we’ll think about in the finished garment! (Pretty much nobody said it’s good enough as-is, if I’m not satisfied.) I like how Julie said that unpicking is as much of the process as sewing, just like ripping out and re-knitting is part of the knitting process. Undo and redo until it’s right!

Thanks to you all (over 90 comments at the time I am typing this) for being the voice of reason and encouraging me to make it right in my eyes!

And now it’s right. I got bias tape to match! This is a much better navy colour than the bluish navy on the left. I was ready to make my own tape if needed but this was exactly the right navy for the print.

a better matching navy

It matches the print outlines better and even though I’m backtracking I’ll be happier with the finished product.

I considered white but was concerned about the trim getting grubby over time. White around the neckline and armholes can go off-white quickly especially on a summer dress. And if I love a dress, I tend to wear it a lot (Twin Spruce Dress, Chantilly, Chantilly 2, Linen Cambie) and so longevity is important.

As much as the idea of a random-coloured trim is quirky and out of the ordinary, it’s too much for me. I need it to match at least one of the colours in the print for a simpler look. That’s just my personal taste though. On the right person, I could see navy-and-white polka dot tape or gingham or kelly green looking dramatic and interesting!

Red is one of the hardest colours to match and the red of this fabric is a little faded-looking, making it even harder to find a good red trim. I also wanted a strong dividing line between the body and trim, outlining the print. This properly matching navy does that for me!

mccalls 3660 bodice

So much better! This is exactly how I want it to look. It looks more elegant and less handcrafted. The trim is there, outlining the neckline, but doesn’t look like there’s too much going on. (Here’s the first attempt at the bias trim.) You can see how quickly it’s coming together!

ps. This is my 700th post. Seven hundred blog posts, that is a lot of talking about sewing projects!  From bias tape to bombshell swimsuits, patterns to problems, thanks for reading, everyone!

pps. Happy Fourth of July to my American readers!

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42 Responses to Much better! Proper navy bias tape.

  1. Liz July 4, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    Gorgeous =] I look forwards to seeing the final dress, the fabric is gorgeous!

  2. aem2 July 4, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    Yes! That looks perfect. And I have been inspired to redo a seam on a top that was okay, but not exactly right.

    • Tasia July 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      Wonderful! See, it’s totally normal to have to re-do things, no matter how long you’ve been sewing! Sometimes okay is okay, and sometimes it needs to be exactly right.

  3. dannyscotland July 4, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    It looks awesome now! So glad you found the right trim color! Have a great day!

  4. skatemom94 July 4, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    It is perfect now. That is the best thing about making your own clothes, you don’t need to settle for just okay!

  5. Milena July 4, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    I agree that it matches a lot better now. I love the look you’re going for and I’m curious to see the final result!

  6. Jenny July 4, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    Yay! I’m glad you found the right bias tape ~ can’t wait to see the dress when it’s completed. And I can’t wait to see what your new pattern is.

  7. Maureen July 4, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Much, much better! The joy of sewing your own clothing is that you don’t have to “settle”.

    • Tasia July 4, 2013 at 7:59 am #


  8. Sam July 4, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Much better. It’s going to look gorgeous!

  9. Lori July 4, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    Well done on the new navy blue bias tape! The color match looks superb! I love your patterns and reading about your sewing adventures. Question for you: I read through your post and looked at the two Chantilly dresses you made. What kind of fabric did you use for them? Neither post states the fabric type. I have that pattern and am trying to see how different types of fabric look on the finished product. Thank you!

    • Tasia July 4, 2013 at 7:57 am #

      Oh sure! The first version I’m not actually sure of the fibre content, it’s a rayon nylon or viscose polyester, something thin and synthetic mostly. That fabric was a perfect match for Chantilly. Thin is better so the gathers fall nicely. Second is a cotton voile, on the thin and soft side, very drapey. Both are lined with plain off white cotton voile.
      I followed the directions for sheer fabric on both and skipped the pockets.

      Good luck with your version!

  10. Angela July 4, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    That really does look so nice now, well worth the extra effort. Good job!

  11. Cari July 4, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    The new blue trim is so much better than the other blue or the black. It looks like it really belongs on the dress where the others looked more like an afterthought.

  12. Kelly July 4, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    This blue is so much better! It makes the dress look professional and interesting, just like that.

  13. Fiona July 4, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    O it looks really great now! The keyhole neckline really works with the shape of the motif in the print

  14. Bella July 4, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Tasia, I’m glad blue was voted for! The black was a bit harsh. It is such great fabric & I can’t wait to see the dress.

  15. twotoast July 4, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Perfect – when it is right, it is right!!

  16. Kristen July 4, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    That looks beautiful! Congrats! And thanks for the tip about white trim! I just found the right dress pattern for my white with light lime polka dots and was wondering what trim to use. Time to start looking for a nice green! :)

    • Tasia July 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      That would be my choice too! You may have a hard time finding the right lime, if so making your own bias tape will give you a better colour match.

  17. Rachel July 4, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    The new trim looks much better – I am interested to know how you finish the raw end of the trim?

    • Tasia July 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      You mean the part that isn’t stitched to the dress, or the long dangly bits? The edgestitching of the trim continues all the way down the length of the ties to hold the folded edges together, and then at the end you tie a knot and trim the ends. Does that answer the question? If the raw ends bug you, you could turn under the end twice and stitch across it, like a mini hem.

  18. Anneh July 4, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Wow! The new trim really does look better. Thank you so much for the encouragement to take the time and effort to get it right.

  19. Samantha July 4, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    I agree – it’s perfect! Which truly justifies the extra work, right?

  20. Nancy July 4, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Perfect! Looks worth the extra effort

  21. Holly July 4, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    That’s perfect, technically right between the previous blue and the black and matches perfectly, I’m glad you found it!

  22. Lyrique July 4, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Perfect. Now the tension from the nagging disappointment is gone, and you can breathe contentedly. Very sweet garment.

  23. Charlotte July 4, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Lovely, just right:) Happy 700th post!

  24. Amy July 4, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    It looks so much better! Perfect match, have a good day

  25. megs July 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Perfect!! Much better! You won’t be sorry you put in the extra time and effort.

  26. Karla July 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    That trim looks much better. I have to tear out seams, but sometimes it is worth the effort.

  27. Katja July 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Perfect! It was the right decision to get new tape and re-do it!

  28. Kathi Sorensen July 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Great match! Very cute dress- looking forward to see it completed!

  29. Lholy-chan July 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    It is indeed much better! I didn’t like the bright blue trim, it stood out too much. Congratulations for taking the extra time to make it right. ;)

  30. Jane D July 5, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    Perfect :)

  31. Virginia July 5, 2013 at 4:13 am #

    The darker blue looks so much better than the light blue or the black, and I’m thinking you’ll be more happy to wear it after all this and that’s the point, isn’t it? :-)

  32. Sue July 5, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    Okay, out with it :) Did you make a new cover for your dressform? Gorgeous.

    • Tasia July 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      Hi Sue! It’s actually a new one, but it’s not really a dress form. It’s a ‘decorative’ one from a home decor store. I planned to talk about her but forgot! It looks nice doesn’t it?

  33. Deanna July 5, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    This post right here is the PERFECT post for anyone questioning cutting a corner and not doing something quite right. The right trim made a HUGE difference. On your last post, I was thinking, “yikes, this is looking a little crafty and almost apron-y.” But in the last picture you posted i don’t get any of that craft look anymore. This is such a great lesson.

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

      Thanks!! I know, that fabric totally goes either way, I sure don’t want to look apron-y when I’m going for colourful retro! You’re right, it’s an example of trims making or breaking a garment.

  34. Anne July 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    You did what you had to do ! Looks great. And you will always be so proud of having made the effort. No regret.

  35. Carol July 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    “As ye sew, so shall ye rip.”