Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sewing for Belegrim: Double-Sided Tabards

Probably the most versatile and useful piece of garb I know of, the double-sided tabard is something always in my bag. It serves as emergency garb for newbies - just add a belt - and means I will always have marshal yellow on me. Everybody should own one.

That's all good, you think, but I hate working with bias tape on regular tabards and don't want to deal with that weird curve around the neck. Making one will take forever.

Not so! Here's a quick way to get a clean neckline with minimal effort. It looks great and means you'll only have to bias tape the straight outer edges, not the curvy neckline. The example uses a keyhole neckline, one that looks complicated but becomes simple with this method.

First, figure out the shape and length you'd like your tabard to be. We happened to have an old one that fit quite well, so we decided to trace it onto our duck cloth. The size you cut will be the actual size of the tabard. There are NO seam allowances with this method.

Cut out one layer of fabric along your lines. We each layer separately to make the lines more accurate.

Pin down the cut tabard to the other fabric, being sure to line up the fold, and cut the second layer.

If your pattern has shoulders to sew, do so with each type of fabric before this next step. If you don't care about a tapered shoulder, just use the natural fold in the fabric to make the process easier.

Now it's time to draw your neckline on the "wrong" side of your fabric. Like when we were drawing the tabard, there is no seam allowance, so make it true to size. Be sure you draw both the front and back.

Layer the two fabrics together and pin in place around the neckline you drew. If you have any seams, such as for the shoulders, make sure you're putting right sides together as shown above.

Sew along the line you drew, following the entire neckline. In the picture above, we've already begin cutting back the neckhole a little - normally it would be solid white.

Cut out your neckhole close to the seam. As you can see here, our front and back of the neckline are very different, but they're connected by a continuous seam. You'll also want to trim any particularly long loose threads.

If you have any corners in your neckline, be sure to clip them. Basically, cut in close to the corners (be careful not to cut the stitching) so you can turn it inside out more easily. If you need more help, here's a guide with photos.

Pull one layer of fabric through the neckhole. This is how we're going to get the nice clean edges on the outside.

Take your time to push out any corners you have, creating a clean neckline as shown above. Once you are happy with it, you can press the seams.

Check the other side as well. Now all you need to do is add a quick line of bias tape around the edge and you're done!

It doesn't fit! What now?

Don't fret if you find your neckhole is too small on your first attempt. Just flip the tabard so the side with the stitching is out again, and sew a bigger neckhole outside the first. You can even just cut out the first line of stitching, no seam ripping required.


Post a Comment

Delivered by FeedBurner