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Seamless Illusion Neckline
k2thyme
k2thyme
Member since 3/5/14
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Date: 3/5/14 12:55 PM

I am trying to sew a seamless/hemmless illusion neckline. Here are a few examples

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/486318459731645891/
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/486318459732105552/

I have done a lot of research on doing an illusion neckline, but have not been able to find anything on a seamless/hemless one (online or in any of my sewing books!).

(This is the only thing that I have been able to find, but it is not seamless/hemless http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2012/01/more-on-illusion-neckline.html )

The dress is going to be cut on the bias. I have been told that fabric cut on the bias will not unravel, but I do not know if this applies to curves such as the arm scythes/neckline. Never having worked on the bias before, is there any way that I can leave the neckline and arm scythes un-hemmed and they will not come unravelled? Does anyone have experience doing this?

If not, is there another technique that I could use to achieve this effect?

SheBear0320
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In reply to k2thyme <<


Date: 3/5/14 2:01 PM

I sew with illusion mesh regularly -- before making any recommendations, a few questions:

1. I gather this is for a dress -- is it special occasion that will only be worn a few times or is it something that will be worn a lot?

2. What materials are you using for the remainder of the dress?

3. When you say "hemless" are you referring to the finishes around the neckline and armholes?

4. What type of illusion mesh are you planning to use?

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
66.0 yards sewn (as of 09/27/14)
133.875 yards purchased (as of 09/27/14)

k2thyme
k2thyme
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In reply to SheBear0320 <<


Date: 3/5/14 3:15 PM

1. It is for a special occasion dress. It will only be worn once or twice.

2. I am planning on using a silk chiffon for the rest of the dress (though I am open to suggestions).

3. Yes, "hemless" referring to the neckline and armholes.

4. I wasn't sure. I was thinking either a bridal illusion, or a nude silk chiffon. I have never tried this technique before, so any advice on fabric choice is great.

beauturbo
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Date: 3/5/14 5:35 PM

I think if you are going to use some kind of stretchy, knit net , and skin colored net for that, and only going to wear the dress once or twice, then it's probably fine. Also if that the dress would just stay up all by it's self any ways without that even being there. Then the edges would not ravel and then maybe only curl and it would not need any strength to it or get very stretched out either.

Bias cut wovens might not ravel much sometimes, but they still always stretch.

I think if it was something I planned and wanted to wear more than once or twice and even if it was knit stretchy net, then I would still always stick a reinforcing little piece of round elastic in the neck and arm holes of it, and at least overcast over it. But, at the same time, that would make it more visible. So I think that is just the trade off, durability v.s. looks, when you see garments like that.

Elona
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In reply to k2thyme <<


Date: 3/5/14 5:44 PM

It seems to me that this is a sewing area where the knowledge of those who sew dance and skating costumes would be useful. Think of those outfits the skating pairs wore in the Olympics.

SheBear0320
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In reply to k2thyme <<
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Date: 3/5/14 6:23 PM

I will preface this by saying that the vast majority of my experience is related to skating/dance/fitness costuming and therefore the majority of the fabrics I use are spandex/nylon fabrics. The illusion mesh I use is either 100% nylon or a nylon/spandex blend.

Have you decided on a dress design yet other than the illusion upper bodice portion? While seamless is definitely do-able for the shoulders, you will see on the Rodarte dress that there is a side seam in the illusion which is hidden in the embellishment. I'm pretty sure the same is true of the other dress -- the design lines of the dress as well as the materials used are covering the side seams.

To eliminate the shoulder seams, make a pattern for the upper bodice front and upper bodice back -- I usually do these as separate pieces and work out any fit/sizing issues on the separate pieces before converting them into a single pattern piece. You turn it into a single piece by simply overlaying the seam allowances of the front and back at the shoulders and then cutting as one piece. Quite simple to do when there are no sleeves involved -- also possible to no have an armhole seam, but again the underarm seam is required as the fabric has to be joined somewhere.

I would lean towards using a stretch illusion but that's probably based on my familiarity with those fabrics. If the reason you are wanting to go seamless/hemless is to make it appear to not be there -- then be sure to check the colour of your illusion against your skin under lighting similar to where you will be wearing it. While "nude" would make you think it wouldn't show, it's appearance will be very different against different skin types and colourings. I keep a regular stock of 7 shades of "nude" on hand and I have still had to order other shades for some of my clients.

I know a lot of people do not finish the edges of their stretch illusion mesh -- be warned that unfinished stretch illusion will stretch out and curl over time (and depending on the amount of stretch it is required to make that amount of time can be very short). I finish almost all of my illusion hems with narrow clear elastic -- from the ice, the dance floor, or the stage it is not visible and helps to keep the shapes of the openings as well as a snug and secure fit for ease of movement.

I can tell you with certainty that the stretch illusion will not fray/ravel regardless of how you cut it -- no necessity to cut on bias as the stretch is both directions in true illusion mesh.

I have worked with bias chiffon (both silk and polyester) and find that sometimes it will ravel/fray so you may want to check out the properties of your particular fabric before finalizing your design. As a previous poster warned -- fabric cut on the bias will stretch.

Hope this makes sense. I am still recuperating from the flu so have a bit of brain fog.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
66.0 yards sewn (as of 09/27/14)
133.875 yards purchased (as of 09/27/14)

k2thyme
k2thyme
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Date: 3/5/14 8:10 PM

@beauturbo - I think that I'll try it without the elastic and see if I can stretch it out a decent amount first. I know that bias stretches a lot, so maybe pressing/stretching a lot first might help to keep it in place.

@SheBear0320 - I am fine with there being side seams and seams elsewhere on the dress. I mostly wanted the shoulder/bust area to be the illusion. This is for a fashion show if that helps, so I may have to adapt any skating-style techniques to that. They have to look good far away and up close (when they are looked at by the judges). I have made two dresses and wanted to try something challenging for my third one.

So stretch illusion mesh? Do you have an recommendations of where to buy that? I searched and fund a couple of different places online. Do you have any recommendations? Also, do you know of any place that might come in silk, or would it be only synthetics?

Thank you for your advice!

SheBear0320
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In reply to k2thyme <<


Date: 3/5/14 8:57 PM

Suppliers for stretch illusion mesh -- the ones I use are:

Spandex House
Spandex World
Stretch House
Suzi Spandex (this is a Canadian company -- you didn't say where you were located)

All of these companies will send out swatches -- be prepared that unless you ask for a rush, they may take awhile to get to you at certain times of the year.

Am not familiar with any suppliers for silk mesh -- I have not used the silk off-shoot of Spandex House but it might be worth a try

Silk House

On the bias stretching issue -- I don't know that pressing and stretching will do anything to keep the bias cut fabric from stretching. It really depends on how all the fabrics are being used.

When I'm trying a new technique or idea, I tend to mock up at least a portion of it on a dress form just to make sure the fabrics and techniques perform the way I want/expect them to. Best to find out in the trial stage before putting all the effort into a full garment.

Good luck with the fashion show.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
66.0 yards sewn (as of 09/27/14)
133.875 yards purchased (as of 09/27/14)

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