WIP: Something in Silk Dress facings & french seams

I’m making progress on my Something in Silk Dress.

If you’ve missed the other posts, catch up here:

WIP: Something in Silk

WIP: Something in Silk Test Garment
Yesterday I interfaced the facings using a featherweight fusible because the only silk organza I had in my stash is white and no store within 100 miles carries silk organza. I’m too impatient and cheap to buy it online and wait for it to ship.
I ran the gathering stitches on the bodice front and back, stitched the darts in the back neckline, and seamed the shoulders and bodice sides.
I’m using French seams for this dress and I ran into a little dilemma when it came to those bodice sides. Because the kimono sleeves are cut-on and it has a side zipper, I had to pause, research, and think hard when it came to French seams on the sides. I couldn’t simply run a French seam because I later have to add the facings and zipper to part of those edges.
My research led me to two solutions: either use Hong Kong seam finishes on those edges or clip at the transition points and run a French seam in between. I opted for the later as you can see in the progress photo below.

For a reference point I’ve lined up the bodice front and back pattern pieces next to the edge so you can see where the dots are marking the armhole base and zipper top. I have already French seamed in between and clipped the allowances where I’m pointing with my finger and thumb. Has anyone out there used this method with success or failure?

I forgot to mention in my test garment post reason number 4 that I’m so glad I made a full test garment and not just a muslin bodice. If I had just made a muslin bodice I would have omitted the facings. Well… when it came to the armhole facings I screwed it up royally.

When you work from ancient pattern instructions, especially those from the wartime era like this early 40’s one, the instructions are often scant and crammed into as little paper space as possible. I misunderstood the skimpy directions to say that you seam the armhole facing across the bottom at the point of the perforation, as I demonstrate below with the pattern piece pinned together on the right. Once that was done, I stitched it to the bodice, clipped, understitched and tried it on TWICE before I realized why my bodice was pulling at the armholes. The facing is supposed to be seamed along the side below the perforation, as I have done correctly in the silk on the left. In the test garment, it just ripped a few stitches, hand overcast the terrible raw edge that I was left with, and left it well enough alone. But I’m so glad that I made this major mistake in the cheap fabric and not on my good one.


I haven’t added the facings to the armhole yet, I’ll let you know how this goes. I’m a little nervous to see how it turns out. Wish me luck.


2 thoughts on “WIP: Something in Silk Dress facings & french seams

  1. Pingback: WIP: Something in Silk lapped zipper placket | Vint Hill Vintage

  2. Pingback: Completed: Something in Silk Advance 3929 | Vint Hill Vintage

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