Dear friends, in the last post we presented new material for sewing in the knitwear: the transparent elastic. Despite its name, it is increasingly present in tutorials and materials for courses. You have to catch up on sewing techniques and materials!
Let’s see its application in a knitted dress to understand the function of the tape in the different parts of the garment:
- Stabilization of the shoulders.
- Neckline stabilization.
- Curl at the waist.
If you have any questions, you can review the techniques of applying the transparent elastic using both the overlock machine and the flat machine.
To obtain the best results when sewing on the point, we will set the machine flat with:
- Stretch needle.
- Double drag foot.
- Nylon foam thread on the bobbin.
- Needle tension slightly lower than what we use with straight stitches.
The pattern used in the tutorial will serve as a base example. The parts of the garment assembly where the transparent elastic is not relevant are named but not explained in detail. All the information we see can be used and adapted to your favorite patterns!
STEP 1 stabilize the shoulders
- Cut the length of transparent elastic necessary for each shoulder with a very generous margin.
- Face the right sides of the fabric in the lines of the two shoulders.
- Sew without stretching the invisible tape to the edge of the fabric with the elastic zigzag stitch on the wrong side.
This stitch is made up of three micro stitches on each zigzag line. If your machine does not have this possibility, you can use a wide zigzag stitch.
In both cases, it is advisable that the stitch closest to the inside of the garment (not the edge) falls outside the elastic band. This way we will avoid extra thickness when we open the seam.
We already have stabilized shoulder seams. In this dress, we could have skipped this step. I leave this type of decision to you, the best decision is to test and record results.
STEP 2 Stabilize and polish the neckline
- Place the front and back pieces open.
- Measure the necessary elastic and add a margin to work comfortably.
- Sew without stretching with the elastic zigzag stitch on the wrong side, leaving a margin of 0.5 cm of fabric for polishing.
This way of polishing the neckline is one of the many solutions that we can give to this part of the project. The purpose of these instructions is to give an orientation guide to the use of this supernatural material, but feel free to use your favorite technique or, better yet, innovate!
- Fold along the edge of the tape to the wrong side of the piece.
If we use a few light touches of iron, with its corresponding protective cloth, the neckline is about to caramel.
- Sew with the normal zigzag stitch on the right side of the piece.
In our case, we have used a stitch of length 1.5 and a width of 3. Remember that when sewing with zigzag stitches it is recommended to lower the thread tension!
This is what polishing the neckline on the inside of the garment looks like: a larger zigzag for tape application and a smaller zigzag that corresponds to polishing.
At this point, we could have used the coater or the twin needle finish. Feel free!
STEP 3 chest gathers
In this pattern there is a small gathered area at the front to better accommodate the volume of the chest. The technique is applicable to other parts of the garment, such as sleeves or pockets.
- Using a long straight stitch, gather between the indicated stitches.
We continue with the assembly of the dress, following this order: the union of open sleeves, the union of the sides of the body and union of the sides of the two pieces of the skirt. In these parts, we have used the overlock machine, which is fast and efficient. Combining machines in the same project are very modern!
STEP 4 Body and skirt union
In this last part of the assembly of parts we can choose to do it in parts (as we will see below) or, for the more risky ones, directly apply the transparent elastic in the joint seam.
- Face the body and skirt rights at the waistline, finding the means.
- Secure with pins.
- Sew with the elastic zigzag stitch on the wrong side, leaving a margin of 0.5 cm of fabric.
It is important to take the time to get the gathers well trapped in this seam and avoid curl clumping, you know, distribute them with love.
Once we have a body and skirt “joined”, we can concentrate on applying the transparent elastic at the seam allowance. We must be clear that the transparent elastic does not replace the insertion of a rubber, and that its function is to stabilize elastic seams. When we create curl with it, it is so that the garment is more defined. If we need a consistent curl we should look for an elastic tape for that purpose!
- Sew a few first stitches to seat the elastic.
- Stretch the ribbon as we sew with the elastic zigzag stitch.
- Hold the back of the piece while stretching the elastic to relieve the tension of the needle.
Maintain the same tension throughout the contour, so as not to find ourselves with kinkier areas than others.
And this is the result of the invisible stretch tape stretched when sewn. The higher the stretch, the more curl.
Finally we would finish off the bottom of the skirt and sleeves using, for aesthetic purposes, the same neckline technique.
Thanks to the use of the invisible tape as a seam stabilizer, we have achieved a wonderful and defined V-neckline.
When passing the hand under the seam of the neckline we can notice a small resistance, which guarantees firmness and support in one of the most sensitive and striking parts of the female body. There is nothing more frustrating than finishing sewing a garment and seeing the neckline gasp, being uncomfortable to wear and unflattering!
The high waist, empire cut, we can pick it up to taste, stretching the invisible elastic tape more or less. With this dress, in a first attempt we were too relaxed so we untied the elastic and tried stretching the tape with more energy.
Do you dare to try the invisible elastic in any of your knitting projects? If so, what machine and stitch do you use? We are looking forward to hearing your experiences, comments and discoveries with this very special material.