Sunday, October 4, 2015

Adding the Stays

Quick work today!  The stays for the back, side back and side front need to be basted onto the outer fabric.  I always do this by hand, because it's quicker for me. Basting all the pieces below took me maybe 20 minutes.

For basting, I always use silk thread.  Aside from making me feel fancy, I find it makes the whole task of basting and the subsequent removal of basting stitches much easier.  The silk thread doesn't tangle up like polyester thread, making the hand stitching nice and easy.  And it's very easy to pull out later, even if you've sewn over it. I keep lots of colors on hand so I always have a contrasting color. Seriously, go get yourself a spool or ten.

When basting, make sure to keep the work flat.  That is - work on a flat surface; don't pick up the fabric and do the basting in the air or in your lap.  Keep the stitches on the loose side so that nothing is pulling.  If you turn your piece over, and you wouldn't know there was a piece of muslin basted onto the back if you couldn't see the stitches, then you've done well.

Also, get into the habit of not tying knots in your basting thread.  This reduces bulk in the seam allowance.  There's a lot going on in a blazer:  many seams and many layers of fabric.  You'll want to reduce bulk in whatever way you can!  So just take a back stitch at the beginning and end of your basting.

After the muslin stay is basted to the fabric, you'll need to make a few of the markings again on the muslin.  Place the pattern piece back on top of your fabric and redo the necessary marks.

There you have it - one more task done.  It probably took longer to read this blog post than it will to baste these stays on!


  1. Where are you basting relative to the stitching line? Is it slightly inside the seam allowance? Thanks!

    1. I'm usually not too careful about it, honestly :-) I'd say my stitching lines are between 3/8" and 1/2" from the edge, so well within the seam line. Once these seams are sewn, it won't matter if, for instance, they get snipped when making notches or cliips on curves. The basting is just there to hold these pieces together until the seam is sewn.

  2. as of today (octobre 18th), this is where I am! A little behind, but I'm slowly making progress.. By the way, I'm using Butterick 4610 (the one provided with the Craftsy class on classic tailoring), and it fits me quite well :)

    1. You may be the furthest ahead of everyone (except me! I have to finish so I can clean everything up to get ready for an influx of house guests!). I have the Butterick pattern too. I've seen lots of nice versions online. I may give it a try one day, although it is very similar in style to the one I'm using. Looking forward to seeing your work on your blog!


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