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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Stabilizing neck and armhole on linen ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Stabilizing neck and armhole on linen
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elizajo
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elizajo
Louisiana USA
Member since 4/15/05
Posts: 1267
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 2/21/12 1:30 PM

I am churning out sleeveless linen tank tops for warm weather. So far I have made a fitting muslin from leftovers, made a master pattern, cut out 6 tank tops, and made one. I am using a mid-weight (fabrics-store.com IL019) or handkerchief (IL020) weight linen.

The tops are cut on the bias using Burda 7509. For the mid-weight linens, I make a single layer tank with bias facings. For the handkerchief linens, I make a double layer tank with no facing. For each style the neckline needs more stabilizing than the stay stitching recommended by the pattern. No matter how carefully I cut and handle the pieces, linen bias strips applied to a bias cut neckline are going to stretch out.

According to Sandra Betzina's "Power Sewing", I need a 1/4" twill tape. On the first tank, I used some Wrights 1/4" twill tape I had on hand. It worked great. I didn't do all the fussy pinning she did. I just pulled the tape taut as I sewed and made sure the garment wasn't stretching out.

There isn't enough tape in the package to make two tops and Hancock's was out of a neutral color for the remaining tops. These linens have only one selvedge that is usable as a stabilizer, so I don't have enough to use that. What else could I use?

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Elizabeth

LauraTS
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LauraTS
California USA
Member since 7/10/06
Posts: 2252
Skill: Advanced Beginner
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Date: 2/21/12 7:13 PM

Lightweight interfacing, ironed to the edges? Or hem tape, not the lace kind, the ribbon-y kind? If you are only concerned about stabilizing while sewing and not after, you could use washable stabilizer or wash-away wonder tape.

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Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
USA
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In reply to elizajo

Date: 2/21/12 7:44 PM

Twill tape, I understand is stiff, so I'm curious how you were able to get it around the curve, especially at the armhole. But you could also use cotton fabric, like muslin fabric,. That's what I use instead of twill tape.

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Sewliz
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Sewliz  Friend of PR
Colorado USA
Member since 6/22/04
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In reply to elizajo

Date: 2/21/12 7:45 PM

I like that pattern. And perfect in linen. My favorite notion for edge stabilizing is fusible Design Plus Stay Tapes. The "super fine" is especially nice, even for for the mid weight linen, imho. The regular tape seems sort of coarse to me.

There are some nice stay tapes at JSM Tailoring Tools. They are what Judy Barlup used to have on her site Unique Techniques but apparently she turned over the mail order to JSM. I haven't tried those yet, I still have many yards of my Design Plus ones to use up before I buy any more!

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Liz

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Fictionfan
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Fictionfan  Friend of PR
Vermont USA
Member since 5/19/06
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Date: 2/21/12 10:49 PM

What Sewliz said. I use the bias tapes for neck and armscye curves and straight tapes for shoulder seams or other straight seamlines. I like the superfine best. You can always use two layers if it isn't heavy enough, but usually we want to minimize bulk.

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Fictionfan

elizajo
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elizajo
Louisiana USA
Member since 4/15/05
Posts: 1267
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 2/21/12 11:04 PM

I scrounged around for scraps this afternoon and found enough selvedge to finish the second top I was working on. Thanks for the links, I need to have a roll of something on hand that is pre-cut to 1/4".

For these bias tops made from linen, a stabilizer that stays in the garment is necessary since it tends to stretch out during the day. I liked using the narrow twill tape, the Wrights brand wasn't heavy. I could pull it taut at the curves and my feed dogs would ease the garment a little. It made a nice flat edge that held it's shape.

------
Elizabeth

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