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Topic: Sewing stiff-fabric skirt to stretch bodice...  (Read 2344 times)
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« on: June 21, 2010 06:28:42 PM »

I have seen some tutorials on similar things, but I'm not sure any of them are completely accurate.  I have a satiny sort of material that I want to gather and sew to a stretchy bodice to make a complete dress.  I'm pretty much a novice at sewing clothing, and the only time I ever did something similar I accomplished it basically by stretching the bodice over my knees and sewing it straight on, but unfortunately that really stretched out the top. Some people have suggested gathering the skirt first, pinning it on, and sewing with a "stretch stitch" (and I have no idea what kind of a stitch that is) but it seems that would be really stiff, and I'm trying to avoid having any sort of closure - I'd rather be able to slip this over my head.  I'd really appreciate any advice anyone has for me, and definitions of terms if possible!
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2010 08:04:54 PM »

Here's a couple stitches used for sewing stretch: http://sewing.about.com/library/weekly/aa112500a.htm
Basically it's just like it sounds - a type of stitch that will stretch when the fabric is stretched, instead of breaking.
I think gathering the skirt then sewing it on with a stretch stitch is a good idea and it shouldn't be stiff.
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2010 09:56:25 AM »

As long as the non-stretch material is big enough to pull on you won't have a problem.  But remember, it won't stretch, not if you sew it to a stretchy material, and not if you use a stretch stitch, even if you do gather it, it still won't stretch, at least not a lot.  I made a dress like that not too long ago, I sewed a circle of fabric to a stretch velvet bodice.  I sewed the two pieces together with a normal straight stitch, and covered it with trim so any puckers wouldn't show.  Don't stretch the top, and make sure the skirt part is big enough you can pull it over your head, and you'll be good.  If you're afraid that will be too loose, you can ad ties to the side to tie behind you.

« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2010 10:49:46 AM »

@N30Nb100d:  Thank you for the link!  That clears up a bunch, and now I know what a couple more of the stiches on my sewing machine do!

@Ashling: Do you mean to make sure the skirt part is big enough I can pull it over my head *before* I sew it, or after?  Ideally, I'd like the stretch top part to function like elastic, and have the skirt stretch with it when it stretches and become completely gathered when it is at rest.  Right now the skirt is a tube with a 108 inch circumference, wayyyy overkill for extra gathering, since the skirt needs to be extra ruffly. 
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2010 12:11:36 PM »

After you sew it.  It won't stretch much after you sew it.

« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2010 02:40:06 PM »

So is there a way to use the stretchy top as a sort of elastic that will gather the skirt and allow for stretchiness after sewing?  Or am I doomed to have to put in closures?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2010 05:21:40 PM »

Have you seen the dresses that are around now that are sort of like a tank top sewn to a gathered skirt but with a band of wide elastic in between? I feel like that's what would make this work well. the stretch fabric top probably isn't strong enough to gather the other fabric, but if you sewed the skirt to a piece of elastic while stretching the elastic (gather the fabric a little first if it's too long for the stretched elastic), then the top to the other edge of the elastic without stretching either either one, it should work.
You might be able to get that to work with the elastic being covered with the outside fabric so it's invisible.
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2010 08:13:46 PM »

That definitely sounds like it could work.  I'm going to be taking it to the resident sewing expert tomorrow, and I'll run this by her.  I have some band elastic on hand.  Thanks, and I'll let you know how it went!
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2010 02:46:55 PM »

Thank you all for your help!  I finished the skirt of the dress a couple days ago, and it looks great!  For anyone wondering the same thing I was, what I ended up doing was pre-gathering the skirt just a bit until it could touch all sides of the stretched bodice, and then stretch-pinned the bodice like elastic to the skirt.  While sewing, I stretched the fabric as you would with elastic, and when I finished I had a gathered skirt that could easily stretch to go over my shoulders!
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2010 04:08:23 PM »

awesome! glad it worked out  Smiley
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