D396BA07-6123-4A05-91D8-5A9C05B00DE3 Thewallinna and other creatures

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hand stitched hem

Whilst we're seeing many cool new patterns appear every week, I am sticking with creating my Spring/Summer capsule wardrobe.

In this post, I would like to cover some of the sewing choices in advance of sewing the Dotty blouse by Style Arc. 

As you can see from the technical drawing above, the pattern instructions suggest to fold back front facing and stay stitch along the seam on both sides of neckline, left and right. But the drawings from their website don't explicitly show the stitching. In addition, I personally think that the blouse would look nicer without the stitching line, damaging the floaty look of my crepe-de-Chine.

Therefore, I have made a very important hand-stitching decision: to use a blind hem for the neck. Two of my favourite sewing books suggest slightly different hand-sewing techniques for the hem.  For my type of fabric, Claire Shaeffer in her "Couture Sewing Techniques"suggests to use blind-stitching. Following her advice, before I attach the hem to the seam allowance, I would also need to overcast the raw edge to prevent raveling. But on my opinion, this would give me unnecessary hand work + extra bulk. As much as I like hand sewing, it still can't hurt to optimize my sewing.

So I cast my eyes to another great sewing book by Line Jaque, "Coudre vite et bien" ("Sew fast and good"). This book deserve some special attention, but because it only exists French, I was not sure whether I should talk about it. Madame Jaque wrote this book as a manual for both beginners and professionals and covers tonnes of sewing techniques for machine- and hand-sewing. Her method of blind-stitch that I will be using is called le rouleauté meaning "rolled hem".

The principle is somehow similar to blind-stitching with the only difference, instead of being overcast, the raw edge is folded inside. The stitch then runs in the middle of this "roll", sandwiched between two layers of fabric, and is invisible from the outside. Not that I am worried about it (I doubt that anybody will look inside my neckline!) but in the case with the Dotty blouse, this finish should look neater and seems more logical to me.

I am sure there are other techniques which I am not aware of! If you had to sew this blouse, what kind of finish would you apply for the neckline?