Thursday, 25 August 2011

A painful lesson in sewing

Oh how it pains me to write this post. But I appreciate it when other bloggers show the good and the bad so I thought I would show you my latest horrific discovery.

One morning I was getting ready for work I was happily putting on my lovely blue Pendrell top when I looked down and saw my skin peaking through the seam.....<>. This is what the seams of my Pendrell top now look like:

On first glance I thought I could repair this...but now I'm not so sure. The fraying has gone right past the seams so a repair would mean taking in the seams and I don't know if I have the room for that. 

Lesson in sewing: When using fabric which frays easily do not just do a simple seam and pink the won't suffice!

So I have a few questions for your stitchers out there with vast sewing experience (ie. all of you because I am sure you all would know not to treat fray-able fabric as I did!):

1. Can you do a French Seam on a Princess Seam (which the Pendrell top has)? 
2. The french seam would definitely be the best seam for this type of fabric (I don't have an overlocker). Can anyone suggest any other way of finishing the seam with this type of fabric?
3. Any suggestions as to how to save my Pendrell??!!!!!


  1. I think you could get away with French seams if you have stretchy fabric, or you lessen the curve (as I do for a small bust).

    On easily frayed fabric, I read that you can sew two lines of stitches close together to discourage fraying. I've used this method before, and it seems to be holding up ok.

  2. I've had this happen on a pair of onesies (one-piece pajamas) I made as a gift... and the material frayed like nothing else! I ended up pressing the seam open after sewing and then sewing two parallel lines along the stitching. You could see the stitching but it held. Maybe with a contrast thread?

    The other option is sew, press open, fold the seam allowances under themselves and then sew along the seam allowance so it's like a mini-hem on the inside. If you need me to clarify this gobbly-gook, email me and I'll send a picture...

    As to fixing that.... I sometimes use a hem tape to fix but over the bust... probably not good :( Good luck!

  3. I have done french seams on a princess seam before, but it was only a very slight curve. I pretty much do french seams or mock french seams on everything now. It makes me feel like things will hold up over time. Whether or not that's actually true, I don't know ;) Hope you can save it!

  4. :( That fabric is beautiful and that is so sad when a great project falls apart like that. On my pendrell blouses (i've made 3) i do a mock french seam. It works really well on the curve, much better than a normal french seam. Here is a link to a mini tutorial for that seam finish and a bunch of others
    (This isn't my blog but i have found it SUPER helpful and i hope Sew, Mama, Sew doesn't mind me passing it along)

  5. Oh thanks Emilee, that's really helpful! Tell me, did you need to clip your mock french seam at the princess seam or was it fine?

    I'm definately going to have to be a lot more diligent with my seam sewing! Thanks for all the tips with the seam sewing and mending guys, I really appreciate it!

  6. I never clipped anything and the curves are fine, no pulling or awkwardness from the outside. I absolutely love this finish, it makes the inside so neat and tidy.

  7. aww that's a shame. another way of stoping seams from fraying is to use a zigzag stitch either right on the edge or the seam allowance or just a little way in it's similar to pink-in but stronger and acts more like a mock overlock stitch or you could always press the seam open and turn the seam allowance under a little on each side and either straight stitch or zigzag it in place, this is a little more time consuming though!

    as to rescuing your blouse you maybe-able to iron a little interfacing on to the affected area to stabilise the fabric and re-sew the seam followed by a little zigzag stitch just behind it for extra support
    hope that helps.


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