Friday, June 10, 2011

Lining a Stretch Woven Sheath

My how this week is flying by.  I was intending to quickly sew up two more of my summer sheath dresses then move on to the new Pamela's T-shirt pattern.  Somehow, the rest of life got in the way and I'm only half way there.  So let me share where that is....
My new love, McCalls # 6201     This pink one is two weeks old and what I'm wearing today to run errands.  Unlined and quick in a Fabric Mart woven stretch fabric.

The blue one is the first of two for this week.

It's lightweight cotton lycra blend from FabricMart.  This was probably meant to be blouse weight fabric but I'm loving the stretch wovens for this sleeveless sheath.  So I knew I wanted to line it (not underline it, because I like the little "give" for this dress.)   I have some stretch silk chiffon, another FabricMart stash building purchase, and cut out an exact copy of the sheath then narrowly zig zag stitched it to the facings I have cut and interfaced.  Both fabrics have slightly different stretch factors so I didn't attach them at the bottom of the facing.  The lining worked perfectly.  It gave the fashion fabric a little more "ooomph" to stand as a dress but didn't sacrifice the stretch factor that I'm liking for a casual summer dress.

I also wanted to share two great resources for making this dress easily and nicely finished.  Nancy's PR tip with great pictures is how I sew a lined sleeveless dress.  Thank you,  Nancy, for doing the photo explanation for me:-)

Nancywin PR tip                         Nancy's Picasweb tutorial

The Sewing Lawyer shows how to understitch the facings in her beautiful sheath dress.
The Sewing Lawyer blog: understitching entry

This is a step not usually mentioned in pattern directions but makes such a difference in the finished outcome.  I use a narrow zig zag to understitch the neckline of my sheaths but I hand understitch my armhole area.  I have some sharp narrow turns in that underarm section and combined with a stretch woven that can move quite a bit, I find hand stitching gives more control.

Another cotton lycra blend with that stretch silk chiffon lining.  Not hemmed yet.

These dresses are definitely casual summer dresses that won't last too many years, what with weather and laundry and such  But I have two more planned before I'm willing to calling it quits for this pattern this season.

So what about that T shirt plan?  I did get my minor pattern changes this week and did cut it out.  That's it so far.  If you want to see how nicely this T shirt fits, check out Julie's blog entry and her great result:
Julie's finished T from Pamela's Perfect T shirt pattern

Temps the last few days in Baltimore have been record breaking scorchers.  I'll have to give in early this summer and put that light blocking window air conditioner into the sewing room window if I want any relief there.  We had a four hour power outage on Wednesday evening, starting at 7:30 pm.  At first we could sit on the deck and fan ourselves in the stifling heat but when it got totally dark around 9:30 it made me humble enough to be grateful for just electricity for a fan, never mind AC.   Thank you BGE!


  1. Lovely dresses and good info. I totally understand life getting in between you and the sewing machine. That is where I seem to be at the moment. Its canning season and it takes the to do slot a lot right now :O). I will say I enjoy canning as much as sewing so its a good deal :O).

  2. These are lovely dresses! I've never even heard of stretch silk chiffon, interesting!
    And thank you for your lovely comment

  3. Thank you. You've got quite a bit going on too. Beautiful dresses.


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