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As part of my design for one of the garments in my first collection, I incorporate small round openings into stretch fabric (two zippers arrive at the openings). I am looking for suggestions for how best to finish the edges of these openings. My first thought is to use piping – I want the opening to have a strong shape with a well demarcated edge, and I’m worried that binding tape will be hard to shape around a small circular opening (about 2 inches across). I also need to make lots of these and, eventually, give it over to a contract, so I want a method that is relatively quick and easily repeatable. Cover stitch may be another option (I would need to buy a machine for it, though) – but I’m not sure that a cover stitch will easily curve in such a tight manner.



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  • 20150117_152733_large

    Oct 12, 2010, 11.19 PMby mlssfshn

    bias binding would work and could be sewn on in the factory easy with the proper machine. You’ve got to realize sewing contractors have specalized machines not available to the home sewer.

  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Oct 13, 2010, 08.44 AMby katexxxxxx

    Stretch bindings will also work on stretch fabrics.

    Ged, if the garment is taken up by a clothing line, or you go into production, part of the production process is that the garment is deconstructed from your initial design and sample, and a specialist team break it down into processes. Each stage is then tested. No-one in a factory makes a whole garment. Even things like Jaeger is made piecemeal: someone will sit all day doing an 8 hour shift of side seams, or pockets, or collars or hems… The only places where one person makes MOST of a garment are the couture houses, and even there they have specialists for things like hems, buttonholes, and other hand finishing…

    My sister’s landlady at college made whole test sample garments of tailored jackets and skirts for Jaeger: she timed each process, making 2 or 3 samples of each on the way, to give the factory an idea of the time each process should take, and therefore how much it would cost to make each garment. So how long to set the pockets, how long to do the zip, the hem timing, basic seam timing… The garments arrived pre-cut and with all fusibles already in place. Her job was just the sewing part. And she had several industrial machines in her work room that were dedicated to specific parts of the process.

  • Photoge01_large

    Oct 16, 2010, 03.42 AMby gedwoods

    I ended up using the bias binding, which was very successful. When I first started sewing, I tried some binding and the results were pretty bad, so I think I was scared to try again. But with three years of sewing under my belt now, the results just aren’t the same – I had no trouble with the bias binding at all, and the results look very professional. So thanks for that.

    Regarding your comments, Kate, I fully understand. I’m probably still a little naive about the process of having clothes made to one’s specifications as, up to this point, I’ve done all my own sewing. However, I still need to do the sewing until I’ve got the “look” right – my first set of outfits encompass a technical challenge that an experienced sewer might have little trouble with, however, I seldom see (meaning never!) the style of garment I’ve been developing, so I needed to understand at least one solution to the challenge, even if there may be more than one. I’m now happy with the results and am almost ready to give the work up to a professsional. And my first versions, sewn by my own hand, will be good enough to get the concept across and to showcase the product to potential partners and other interested parties!

  • Missing

    Oct 17, 2010, 07.01 PMby losana

    The biggest shock of trying to work with factories to have designs made up is how those little details drasticaly affect the manufacturing cost, and even limit where they can be made as some factories just can’t cope with some of them. Fresh faced and naive, used to being able to create exactly what I wanted the way I wanted it since I was the one actually making it up it put me off the industry fast when I saw how the details I thought made the garmet would be removed because it was simply uneconomical to leave them there, you soon had to learn to design for the manufacturing proccess rather than vice versa or get out of the production line market (which I did).

  • Sam_0020_large

    Dec 13, 2010, 12.36 PMby wardrobe-cat

    No suggestions, but… Go you! Fantastic that you have got this far. I look forward to seeing the technique in question.

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