Hello everyone! Today’s post is a few thoughts on underlining and marking the O Dress. I’ve shared tips on underlining before, but thought I’d point out some of the things I learned while underlining this project.
My main fabric is a tightly woven wool, and I’m underlining it with a cotton batiste. Remembering the purpose of your underlining helps you make decisions as you go. For my project, my underlining is to add a soft layer between the wool and my skin. Therefore, I’ll make my choices based on that decision. (If you were underlining to remove sheerness, or to add structure to a flimsy fabric, then you might make different choices when it comes to facings and which pieces to underline.)
In this case, I’m underlining everything. Sleeves, body pieces, skirt pieces. I want to have the layer of soft batiste between my skin and the wool throughout the dress. (If you were underlining for sheerness, you might not care about the sleeves.)
First I cut the dress pieces from the turquoise wool.
Then I cut the underlining pieces from the cotton batiste. I debated doing the other method, where you lie the cut fabric piece on top and use it to cut the underlining, but felt this would be more stable and keep the pieces from ‘growing’ when cutting the second layer.
If you underline with cotton batiste, make sure it’s pressed as flat as possible before you cut. If there are any wrinkles, your underlining will end up larger than your main fabric and create bunching underneath the surface.
I didn’t mark any of the darts on either pieces, but I did clip inwards for the notches.
I machine-basted around all edges. Because these fabrics are both fairly stable and not slippery, machine-basting worked just as well as hand-basting, and it’s much faster!
Remember to run the machine-basting off the edges. Pivoting at the corners can cause the layers to slip!
First, I machine-basted all of the underlining layers to the wool fabric.
After all of the pieces were basted, that’s when I did the marking.
Taking the original pattern piece, I lined up the pattern piece edges with the fabric edges, and pinned through each marking.
Then, I lifted off the pattern piece, pulling the paper over the pin head. (I don’t mind poking holes in the pattern pieces, since these are only tracings of the originals!)
Repeat until the pattern paper is completely free. Keep the pattern piece handy for reference, and mark each marking with the correct shape.
You can either use a fadeaway felt marker, or a chalk pencil. I love my felt trickmarker! But I’ll show you both ways for reference. You’ll want to make sure that whatever you use doesn’t leave permanent marks on your fabric. Although, having the underlining lets you get away with stronger marking methods.
Copy the shape of the original marking. If it’s a circle, draw a circle around the pin-hole. You can leave the pin in while you draw the circle, or you can circle the pin-hole immediately after taking out the pin.
Or, use a felt marker. You can see it so much better!
In fact, if you wanted to be extra-careful, you could mark in chalk so it wouldn’t fade away, and then use the marker on top. When the marker faded, the chalk would be underneath!
Mark the rest of the markings, following the shapes from the original pattern pieces.
Now, you can do the same thing with the other pattern piece (the left/right side). Or, you can use the first piece to mark the second piece. Simply lie the pieces on top of each other, right sides together, and pin through the first set of markings.
Flip over the piece, and mark around each pin.
Done! Both matching pieces are marked. We got to skip the step of marking the wool fabric, and all of the markings are clearly visible on the underlining side. Our underlining is attached, and now we can work with each piece as if it’s a single layer.
Does this seem like a lot of work? I feel that underlining is totally worth it, as it makes your project more comfortable to wear, and extends the life of your garment.
Any questions? Any tips to add on underlining or marking?
Next up: the first sewing step, two buttonholes on the tabs. I have a great tutorial planned to share my favourite method of bound buttonholes!
PS. My presentation is today! I’m nervous, but ready. I’ll let you know how it went!
PPS. If you’re part of the Sewaholic Patterns mailing list, check your email! I sent out a special offer yesterday just for mailing list members. If you’re not on the list yet, it’s not too late. Sign up here. (No spam, I promise. Just occasional notice of sales, new patterns, giveaways, and other fun stuff.)