One of the more useful tips I have learned doing my wedding dress, is the use of the underlining. Having sewn mostly accessories and a few easy clothes, I didn’t suspected how useful the underlining will prove to be, espacially when sewing with slippery fabric like satin.

The underlining, you say?

It’s an extra layer of fabric that can have many attributes such as adding strength, preventing show-through and hide hand stitching. If you want to know more, I highly suggest that you read this article from Threads magazine!

For my dress, my fashion fabric is a beautiful and soft ivory synthetic satin and I’ve chosen a white cotton muslin for the underlining. However, for the bustier, I also have an extra layer of synthetic taffeta to add a little support and strength.

Bustier layers

Knowing what is an underlining is an good thing, but knowing how to attach and work with the two fabrics together is even better!

Here’s how I’ve done it:

Firstly, you’ll have to transfer your pattern to the underling, in my case the cotton muslin and sew the inner supports, if you have any, such as the boning channels. Then, making sure I was on the fabrics grain lines, I’ve pinned it to the taffeta and then to the satin.

Ready to baste

All of the fabrics are now ready to be joined together.

To do so, use a contrasting colour thread with enough length to baste the whole piece.
Knot the end of your thread and start one stitch before your marking. Do a few stitches on top of each other.

Start

Then baste along the first edge.

First edge

To ensure an evenly spaced running stitch, I use the tiny dot created by the tracing wheel as indications as to where to put my needle.
When you’ve reach the corner, do not turn directly, instead do an extra stitch and start one stitch before the new edge. This will form a small corner allowing you to have a little extra thread so when the time comes, you can remove easily the basting from one edge and not from all over.

Corner

Continue your basting stitches on the second edge.

Second edge

At this point, you’ll want to check that your fashion fabric is taut by gently going over it with your hand. This usually means that your underlining seems a little less flat which is perfectly normal. I can’t seem to understand the physic behind this but if it works that way then I’m happy with it!
Feel free to chime in if you know why, I’m curious to know! 🙂

Air Bubble

If air bubbles seem to form, restitch where is does. Otherwise carry on in this manner.

After joining a few piece with this method, I found that it’s faster to do the first two edges without bothering to check too often for tautness. Then baste the last two, being careful to smooth the fabric as you go, repinning if necessary.

You have now joined accurately your fashion fabric to your underling therefore you can baste your parts together to check for fit and sew them knowing everything will stay in place! 🙂

  • Natasha

    Hello Coralie, ive really enjoyed reading your blog…i too am attempting to make my bridal gown. I would really benefit from seeing how u had your skirt…i cant seem to find your blog for that step…do u have one? Thank you, Natasha