Tip for Layered Fabrics (Underlinings)

My Finished Skirt

With a skirt, or shorts or slacks, every time you sit you put a bit of stress on the fabric, and the heat of your body helps set in the wrinkles and puckers that form from stretching over knees, hips, etc. You can reduce this of course by pulling up your clothing a bit when you sit (men tend do this naturally; ladies, we need to do it too!) Another way to help is by supporting lighter weight fabrics with an underlining. Even medium and heavier weight fabrics can benefit from an underlining too: it helps retain the garment shape, and reduce wrinkling.

An underlining gives your lighter fabrics structure, as well as a place to hide your blind hems and catch stitches

Since I was making this rayon challis into a skirt, I knew it would be prone to stretching out of shape. I used a cotton/ poly batiste (Imperial Batiste from Mr. Halpern, perfect for many underlinings!) to help support it. When you underline a fabric, you’re actually creating a whole new fabric that gets treated as one. The best way to do this is to thread baste the layers together.

Lots of thread basting for the front panel of my a-line skirt

I really like this Japanese cotton basting thread; it comes in four colors, and is easy to baste in and pull out (while you’re there, get the basting needles – really great!) I get it from Susan Khalje, but any cotton sewing thread will do in a pinch. One word of caution: don’t use polyester thread, use cotton. Poly is really strong, and when you pull it out of your completed project, you can cut your fabric or even yourself with the thread – yes, I’ve cut myself with thread! It sounds lame, but it’s true – and hurts.

I’ve also got a teaser photo for you below – I finished my capsule wardrobe! Keep and eye out on Roz’s blog over the coming weeks for my 5-part series. In it, I share my insights into capsule wardrobes, how I came up with the scalloped shape of my skirt pocket, and how I’m planning my future wardrobe projects.

First look at my finished capsule – more to come on Roz’s blog!
Pockets don’t have to be straight!

P.S. If you like a fun pocket, check out fellow Fashionista Samina’s Blog – she does cool stuff with pockets!

2 thoughts on “Tip for Layered Fabrics (Underlinings)

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