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Why We Love Underlinings

September 20, 2010

As I’m rolling out this latest project I am reminded of all the benefits to using an underlining – appropriately, of course. First there’s the improvement in the finished look of a garment. It will have increased weight and body – in this case a dress and jacket ensemble in silk dupioni. Without the underlining the whole thing would have been, well, limp. But let’s back up first.

When constructing a garment with an underlining you end up having a definite front and back to your fabric pieces, which can be a time-saver when using fabrics without that feature. Who hasn’t sewn two left sides because of this? I hand baste my underlinings to each coordinating piece of fabric using a contrasting thread. This makes it easier to remove the stitching later in the process. Once you have your underling attached to the wrong side of all of your pieces, you also have a wonderful clean slate on which you can add your tailor’s marks. I like using cotton batiste or silk organza, both of which are excellent for writing on with my chalk pencils. With this latest project the fashion fabric is darker than the underlining, so when any stitches need removing (call it what it is – ripping out the seam!) it’s so much easier to see and work those stitches.

My favorite advantage to using an underlining is just having something to which I can stitch without catching the fashion fabric. Everything seems to float. The best example of this is the hem. I stitch the hem to the underlining and not the fashion fabric resulting in an invisible hemline. Exquisite.

Now that the garment is completely finished and is being worn, the advantages of the underlining continue. The garment will hang nicer,stretch out less, and it is less often necessary that additional undergarments such as slips or camisoles are required. Lastly, the garment actually has improved longevity as it will wear out slower with the underlining.I don’t think underlinings are a bother at all. Do you?

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 26, 2010 3:53 pm

    I read your whole blog and it is wonderful. Some made me laugh, some I could related to so completely and some made me cry…I will be back after our vacation to catch up… 🙂

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