Naomi of Spare Room Style and I had an interesting and helpful exchange this morning about stabilizing and finishing seams that fall on the bias. Naomi might make a camisole completely cut on the bias. She is thinking of using French seams but wondered if that would be too heavy.
I have not sewn with garments cut on the bias so my advice here is very limited. I am more familiar with sewing flounces where either the side seam falls on the bias or the entire piece is on the bias. In those instances I’ve sometimes pinked the seam but never used a zig-zag stitch.
I mentioned a very old teddy I have that is completely cut on the bias. I thought that the construction used in this manufactured item could offer us sewistas some clues. So here are photos analyzing how the teddy was constructed using factory techniques. I’ve also included photos of a pair of lounge pajamas made in a polyester that feels something like silk. The teddy and the lounge pajamas are almost 30 years old. It proves that careful hand washing and storage can prolong the life of anything you wear. The pajama bottoms need a new elastic waistband. I may do a drawstring so that the issue is corrected once and for all.
The bias teddy is stored flat in a box and is wrapped in tissue. It was a gift to me way back in the day. As pretty as it looks I will be honest with my blog friends about this gift: it is not flattering at all. It is cut too low at the bust and too high at the leg. The lace at the crotch isn’t soft and overall it is not sexy once on. For a small boned, small busted woman with nice curves below the waist this is a disaster! I also felt so very strange getting a gift of intimate lingerie from a married couple who knew this was not in keeping with who I am. I quietly thanked them and put it back in the box.
My boyfriend at the time also didn’t like it. He thought I looked better in faded denim shorts a la Daisy Dukes style, a cropped white t-shirt and wedgie sandals. Go figure what women think is sexy doesn’t always line up with what your guy likes.
The teddy is by a company called Sami. The fabric is 100% silk and the lace is nylon & polyester.
The lace was applied to the front and back pieces at top and bottom. Then a French seam was sewn all the way down at the side seams. The finished French seam is 1/4″ wide.
The French seam is very lightweight and smooth from the outside. On the inside it looks slightly puckered but that may have been caused by the turning of the seam into the fabric for the second stitching of the French seam.
This is the front of the teddy on my dress form. You can see how high the sides are cut. It’s almost at abdomen level. It was not flattering to have part of my backside exposed so much. And the top is too low.
This is the back of the bias cut teddy. The back is slightly baggy and because so much shows in an unflattering manner, it’s hard to envision who this was made for.
The lace overlays the silk on the right side of the fabric. A tiny stitch similar to a zig-zag joins the two pieces together.
There is no manufacturer’s label inside the lounge pajamas. They are very comfortable but the top buttons too low. It’s way below my bustline so I wear these with a tank top underneath.
Top and back of the loungewear pajama set. This was a gift from the same people who gave me the teddy. Again the construction is beautiful but the styling leaves something to be desired. The buttons start almost below the bust line.
The fabric is very silky and I would think prone to shredding as their are threads I sometimes have to trim from the side seams. The seams are 1/4″ wide, finished with a merrow stitch and pressed towards the back of the garment. I think a home sewist could do the same with a small zig-zag stitch in lieu of an overlock stitch.
The pajama top was not interfaced along the center front. The edges were merrowed. I think this finish provides the best solution. If I were to sew such a pajama set on my own machine, I’d straight stitch 1/4″ from the edge and then hand overcast if it were real silk. For polyester I might zig-zag.