I've made a new slip; which looks superficially rather plain and boring, belying the hours of of care that has been lavished upon it, haha! Bias hemlines! aaaaugh! *insert Munchian scream here*
Pattern; the Ruby slip, designed by Sheryll of pattern scissors cloth. I downloaded it years ago but this is the first time I've used it! I've wanted to, but actually felt a little shy of doing so since she made her blog private for quite a long time. Anyhow, now she's back ... yay! and so I feel ok about using and linking to her pattern again. Thank you so much for the wonderful pattern, Sherry!
Fabric; a fine and slithery ivory crepe from FabulousFabrics. The slip is cut on the bias, so hurrah for large-scale floor tiles! I can't say how many times I've found them super useful for lining up grain lines, selvedges, bias lines etc etc when laying and cutting out my pattern pieces. And especially when you're dealing with a slippery slithery fabric like crepe, which is so dodgy it can deviate and deform at the slightest provocation.
Sherry's pattern is designed for a lace bodice but I cut my pieces all from the crepe, with a double layered bodice front and back. The skinny skinny spaghetti straps are encased within the two layers on the front bodice, whereas at the back (pictured below) I hand-tacked them inside the bodice, not within the two layers, to enable easy unpicking/readjustment in the case of the straps stretching out over time. The under stitching of the bodice lining is visible in this picture here too.
Also; cut your straps a few centimetres longer than required, so you can trim off the ends that invariably turn out a little scrappy-looking after turning.
I sewed all seams as French seams but just overlocked the bodice-to-dress seam on the inside to finish it *blush*
Picking my battles here...!
The slip then spent a week hanging up on Bessie to let that bias drop out as much as possible. Then I spent aaaaaages measuring and measuring and re-measuring and double checking that hemline, first on both Bessie then myself to be absolutely sure it's straight, before cutting it to length.
The length is determined by the fact that this slip is tailor-made to go under another dress I'm in the process of making right now, by the way; but I do hope to wear it with other things too, of course :)
In the close-up above, at the very lower edge of the picture can be seen some white stay-stitching along that hem... if the fabric is very light and slithery like this, I generally stay-stitch a stitching guideline, situated a few millimetres outside the measured lower edge of a bias-cut garment, on the machine. Then I trim the seam allowance outside that, it gets rolled up and I stitch along and into that machine stitching when hemming. The benefits of this stay-stitching are threefold: it not only makes it a heckuvva lot easier to stitch a hand-rolled hem, it stabilises the fabric substantially and prevents the bias from stretching out too much while you're stitching, the dreaded lettuce leaf edge! AND also keeps your hem on the straight and narrow as it were, keeping it even and helps avoid any little dips, ducks and dives in the final product. Even the best hand-roller is bound to roll a little bit more, a little bit less every now and again. Nit-picky; I know, but every little bit helps I think, and after all that careful measuring to ensure the hemline is perfectly even, it makes sense to safeguard it and keep it as straight as is humanly possible for the stitching of it too, yes?
Also as seen in the picture; I often don't "roll" the French-seamed side seam under twice at the hem either, but turn it up just the once for its short bit of hemline... why? frequently it's too bulky and often creates a little dip or worse, a "flip-out" of the hem at that point if I've tried to force it. Probably my bad sewing, but there it is, I get better results like this!
Jillian asked about turning spaghetti/rouleau straps; thank you Jillian! Fabrics like this slippery crepe are rarely a problem but in some thicker and/or stiffer fabrics, turning out a strap can be a bear. The less fluid the fabric the less easily it can be manipulated into turning inside out into a little tube... and yes that starting bit is always the most awkward bit!
Firstly; it's important to trim the seam allowances so as to be of a much smaller width/lesser thickness than the final tube will be.
Also, never never allow the fabric to bunch up excessively, but keep teasing the tube along, a little bit at a time, slowly but surely :)
Another little trick I have used successfully is to sew the end centimetre or so of the tube seam tapering inwards into a slightly skinnier tube at the very end, as pictured above left. The skinnier end does pull into and turn inside the wider "main" tube a little easier than if it was the same circumference. The tapered end bit can be trimmed off after the strap is turned out successfully.