Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lingerie Sew-Along: Inner Leg and Front to Back Seams, Part 9

Today we're continuing on the tap pants. Last time we had just finished sewing the yoke to the front of the two tap pants pieces. Next we're going to do our major seams. First we start with the inner leg seams.

Above I have laid the tap pants right side up. Fold the leg seam pieces towards each other, the two far outside pieces should fold towards the inside, and the two very center pieces towards the far outside.

The inside leg seam pieces should be pinned, right sides together and stitched.

Here are the two inside leg seams pinned RIGHT sides together. And a kitty butt.

Vincent: "Well... hello, ladies."

Vincent the cat was really drawn to the soft, warm piles of flannel on my sewing table, and would give me no moment's peace crawling in my way to curl up on anything he could. I'm pretty sure that if I sew him a nice cozy kitty bed, he'll still sleep on my sewing projects.

Now I'm going to show you an inner leg seam finishing trick. This is easy to do on plaid fabric because the stitching doesn't show. It's called a Flat Felled Seam and it is commonly used in 1940's tap pants patterns, but it it most commonly employed if the pattern has a crotch piece/ gusset to be sewn in.

(This is optional, of course)
Sew the seam right sides together as you normally would and press. Then trim one side only of your seam allowance to about 1/4". this will remove some bulk from the seam allowance.

Take the longer seam allowance and fold it flat over the raw edge of the trimmed allowance. Now both your raw edges should be encased in the fold of the untrimmed seam allowance.

The seam allowance folded over the seam.
 Pin it in place and stitch just at the edge of the folded over seam allowance. This will leave a separate bit of stitching on the outside.

The outside of a Flat Felled Seam.

The inner side of the Flat Felled Seam.

Now your inner leg seams are complete. If you choose not to do a flat felled seam, that's just fine. I have learned over the years that however I choose to finish my seams inside tap pants or shorts (if I bother) it's best to bind/ finish/serge the inside leg seams before sewing the front to back seam. You get a much more professional, finished look this way.

Now this is the confusing part. I have probably made about 10 pairs of tap pants and shorts in the last two years and every time, I get hung up on this part for a few minutes until I puzzle it out. The best I can suggest is, after you've pinned it, try to gently put the shorts on to make sure the seam is put together correctly.

This seam will go from the front tip of the yoke, down under the crotch, and back up the rear to your lower back. There are different ways to lay the fabric to do this, but the easiest is just to start at the tip of the yoke, laying the right sides together and pinning as you go, all the way from front to back. Make sure that your inner leg seams match up at the center.

The front to back seam pinned.

Here you can see from the WRONG side the seam pinned from front to back.
Below you will start your seam at the front, right where your stitching stopped after attaching the yoke.

The back side of the shorts from the WRONG side.
My plaid stripes do not match up, and I do NOT want to talk about it.

The front to back seam starting at the yoke.

Now your tap pants will actually have a recognizable form. At this stage, your placket slits should be the only openings at the top of the shorts.

Next post we'll address the lace insets, and the front and back facings.

Previous Sew-Along Posts:

Lingerie Sew-Along: Tap Pants Cutting, Darts and Yoke, Part 8

Lingerie Sew-Along: Starting the Tap Pants, Part 7



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