jeudi 10 juin 2010

Bias Tape Finish for Sleeve Hem

I was looking for a neat way to finish the hem of the sleeves on my tunic, and because I like to experiment a bit, I decided not to follow Burda's instructions. So instead of simply turning the seam allowance in and sewing in place, I tought I would use Amanda's technique of bias tape finishing.

I also wanted to have the side seam nicely finished as well, and because I didn't do french seams to start with (don't ask me why), I figured I would also do a bias tape finish on the seam allowances, rather than my usual zigzag stitch.

Because it's actually more of a shoulder drop than an actual sleeve, the sleeves hem line is basically aligned with the side seam. So I decided to finish the sleeve hem line and the side seam allowance with one long piece of double folded bias tape made out of the same wooven (cotton) fabric.

This method is probably not the best way to go, but again, I thought I would try something different, and see if the end result was ok.

So this is how I did it (hopefully the photos are clear enough):

First I used a basting stitch on the hem line to make it visible on both side.

I measured a piece of bias tape that would be long enough to run from the bottom hemline along the side seam, all the way around the sleeve's hemline then back along the side seam to the bottom.
I unfolded one side of the bias tape and pinned it's fold mark to the hem line, right sides together. I started at the top of the sleeve (the shoulder) and worked my way around the armhole. I left the rest of the bias tape kind of dangling on each side for now. Then I sewed in place and pressed.

I removed the basting thread, and trimmed the seam allowance on the sleeve and the side seams.
Next I folded the bias tape over the seam on the right side, then turned the garment to the wrong side (inside out) and folded the tape again over the seam allowance. I pressed to hold in place.

Next I turned the tape to the inside and pinned in place on the right side.
At this point I also brought the dangling pieces of tape to the inside, and pinned about 2 inches of it to the seam allowance below the armhole to make sure it would align correctly. Then I topstitched the tape in place, about 3/8 of an inch from the hem line.

After that I pinned the rest of the tape to the side seam allowances and sewed in place.

Finally, I topstiched across the base of the armhole, joigning the start and end points of the sleeve's topstich for a neat finish.

And voila ! I am pretty happy with the result, as on the inside it creates one clean line from top to bottom. On the outside you can't see the difference from a simple folded hem.

It does make the seam allowances a bit thicker, obvisouly, but not so much that it would bother me. I used 1" double folded bias tape but maybe that's too wide and 1/2" would have been better.
On white fabric it doesn't show so much but I am thinking it could be a nice way to finish a garment with contrasting color on the inside (that only you know about !).

Anyway, feel free to let me know what you think of this method. Do you think it's a waste of time or that there are better ways to finish, or do you think in this case it works ?

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