Recommend me how to finish a curved edge

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#1 nathancarter on 2 years ago

Working on the undergarment pants for my Elrond costume. I'm basing them off a commercial pajama-pants pattern and adding the outer drapes (not the inner drapes since I ran out of fabric and am not good enough yet to quickly add them to this pattern).

How shall I finish the edges of these outer panels? There's a relatively sharp curve at the bottom which makes a traditional hem difficult. I can probably make a very short hem, like 3/8", press it into place then pin-baste and do decorative topstitch that matches the topstitch I've put on the shirt. I don't want to add a wide facing since I'm out of matching fabric and that seems like overkill for this.

At this point I'm not terribly concerned about absolute accuracy here because these undergarments will rarely be seen - but I still want to do it "right" for the sake of learning and improving my skill.

Hopefully this reference link works - this is the only reference photo that seems to exist any more.
[url]https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/ab/02/99/ab0299c40631746e40c5b9cc10b07468.jpg[/url]

#2 ShinobiXikyu on 2 years ago

If it were me, I'd do one of two things. Option 1- pink the raw edge to prevent further fraying, press a single sew-able fold in for a hem (about a quarter inch if you don't have any more fabric to spare), and sew it up. Clip in some notches where needed on the curves to keep it flat, and I never sew curved hems with pins if I can get away with it, either (that tiny little raised bit from one pin does add up to make an unwanted extra crease/fold in the fabric...)
Option 2- The same technique, but instead of pinking the edge, a fancier and even more durable method of using a seam binding or bias tape to encase the raw edge instead of pinking shears (I LOVE my shears, especially when I can't be bothered to get my serger out, but they don't work on everything....)

An aside, I like the topstitch idea, but note my user title, if I can cram decorative stitching into something I will. :P

#3 nathancarter on 2 years ago

Thanks! I hadn't thought about the bias tape.

Also forgot about clipping the curves - I may just do it that way, with a few little clips here and there to keep it flat. That's about right for the amount of time I have available.

I'm starting to experiment with decorative stitches and will be using them as time permits - the machine has a ton of them built in.

#4 Penlowe on 2 years ago

Iron iron iron. Both of those suggestions will work, but to be beautiful when finished iron every blasted inch before it gets close to the sewing machine ;)

#5 nathancarter on 2 years ago

Update: I folded over, clipped, and pressed a 1/2" fold, used a twin needle to topstitch, then trimmed the excess about 1/16" away from the edge of the stitching. Then added a bunch of decorative stuff, not related to the top stitch. I'm quite happy with the way it looks. Will post a picture when I figure out where... Photobucket is being uncooperative.

I really need to get better at picking out fabrics. What I picked would be good for some other style of garment, but it has way too much structure and stiffness for silky elven undergarments. It was easy to sew, though!

Could have used an extra couple yards of fabric for this, too. Got a little close to the selvedge on my pants legs, and really would have liked the side drapes to be wider. They're kinda like coattails coming out of the waistband... which is OK, actually; they should look good if they ever peek out from under the robe.

Still learning a lot. This was my first time using elastic (in a waistband casing), and my first pair of pants. The commercial pattern that I used as a base was huuuuge. I made the shirt a "medium" which might fit a guy that's 6'3" and 280 lbs. I added a seam down the middle of the back to remove about 3 inches, and took the side seams in by about an inch each.

I'm not super happy with the closure for the shirt. I wanted it to be sleek and flat, so it will all be smooth under the robe, so I used a series of hooks-and-eyes on the underside... they just don't seem like the right thing for the job. They work for now but were a huge hassle to install. Maybe I'll come up with something better between now and the con.

#6 lunaflora on 2 years ago

Would buttons work for the closure? buttons and button loops, if you don't want to deal with buttonholes

#7 Penlowe on 2 years ago

[QUOTE]I really need to get better at picking out fabrics. What I picked would be good for some other style of garment, but it has way too much structure and stiffness for silky elven undergarments. It was easy to sew, though![/QUOTE]
If you are feeling particularly brave, you could launder them and see if they soften up any.

#8 nathancarter on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=lunaflora;5060644]Would buttons work for the closure? buttons and button loops, if you don't want to deal with buttonholes[/QUOTE]

The pattern originally called for regular buttons and buttonholes (which I have done a few times before with success), but I changed those edges so they butt against each other instead of overlap. I can probably change it to button loops - that's what the outer robe uses anyway, so it's definitely within the elven aesthetic - but I would need to find little flat buttons that won't make lumps and bumps when the outer robe lays on top of it, and still look right.



[QUOTE=Penlowe;5060655]If you are feeling particularly brave, you could launder them and see if they soften up any.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the advice. I did very gently launder the fabric before working with it, but maybe another round in the wash with fabric softener and a dryer sheet will help.

#9 lunaflora on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=nathancarter;5060659]The pattern originally called for regular buttons and buttonholes (which I have done a few times before with success), but I changed those edges so they butt against each other instead of overlap. I can probably change it to button loops - that's what the outer robe uses anyway, so it's definitely within the elven aesthetic - but I would need to find little flat buttons that won't make lumps and bumps when the outer robe lays on top of it, and still look right.[/QUOTE]

You could make thread chains as the loops for the buttons. That way it's low-profile. maybe a perle-cotton or buttonhole thread. It's like crocheting a single line but with thread instead of yarn. Or you could do a more sturdy but time consuming way.. of sewing a loop of multiple threads, and then fill the length of the loop with buttonhole stitches.. It's more bulky, but it looks nicer too. You could even use silver or gold thread if it fits the color-scheme.

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