11.28.2010

Cheater Band, or How I Learned to Love Bias Tape

SOOOOO, I'm all done!  But without a picture.  And right now the dress is already being washed after a sleeve sized helping of Thanksgiving dinner.  Be patient!  But in the mean time, I'll let you know how she wrapped up....

I added the little cheater bad to the bottom, which was a great move: I didn't lose any length, I did have to hem, and I learn a new skizz-ill!  Well, I learned why I should have learned a new skill.  I learned why bias tape is so important and why homemade bias-not-bias tape is close, but not as good.

But backing up a little bit...You may remember why I had to add this little cheater band in the first place, some unintended shortening of the dress skirt.  To compensate for this, I bought extra sash fabric and made a little band to go along the bottom of the dress:


I decided rather than just adding a panel of this fabric to the bottom of the dress, I'd make some homemade bias-not-bias tape to wrap up the loose hem edges.  I liked this idea because it would give the dress a nicer, cleaner finish.

My bias-not-bias tape was about two inches wide and all the raw edges were very thoroughly pressed under so I could just zip around the dress with the hot little contrasting thread and be done with it. 

View of Bias-not-bias Tape
And after ironing the crap out of this, I pinned the crap out of it.  I invested a lot of time in this step, too--maybe a half an hour just to pin a hem?  A small price to pay for a finished dress.  I mean, I wanted to make sure it wasn't warpy (we'll laugh about that more later):



And voila!  The sewing took, like, two minutes.  The dress was all done, and I thought I was a certifiable genius with my clever cover up for my cutting mistakes.  Then I tried the dress on AND....the hem was warpy:



Turns out bias tape is cut on a bias for a reason.  And I quote:
Bias tape will "bend" to a curved edge that a straight grain strip will not curve to without kinks and warping. (from a great little article at about.com)

D'oh!  So, you live and learn.  I'm not too worried about it.  It did a great job of hiding the super ravelly raw edge (a problem I have my sights set on after washing the Fourth Dress, see below), and the whole dress is a little misshapen anyway.  (We'll talk more about why that is and the fabric choice in the Report Card Post.)

Damn you, lack of serger!!!

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