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Friday, June 5, 2015

How to Add an Overlay

We have had a lot of interest in our sewing group about how to dress up or embellish a bodice to make it unique. There are a lot of different techniques and today we're going to talk about how to add an overlay! I love going through the "fancy" section of the fabric store and seeing all the sheers and embroidered specialty fabrics they have. After today's blog post you will know how to make those pretty fabrics a practical (and gorgeous) part of your sewing creations from now on! 

All you need to get started is your under-fabric (anything non-sheer will work) and your overlay fabric (usually sheer or textured).  Then of course you will want a pattern of some sort. In my example I'm using Tween Melody's bodice, but you can make any size or shape of bodice using the same technique. Ready? Here we go! 

Step 1:  Cut the front bodice piece out of both the overlay fabric and the under-fabric, as shown above. (This works the same if you are using a sweetheart bodice, straight bodice, etc.)   I used a floral mesh overlay and a satin under-fabric. (These are probably some of the most difficult fabrics I could have chosen. Oops. They turned out great though!)

Step 2: Place the overlay piece directly on top of the under-fabric piece. They should both have their right sides facing up. Pin the edges and curves together all around the pieces. I use a lot of pins! In my example I used pins parallel to the edges so I wouldn't leave pin marks in the satin. 

Step 3: Using a straight stitch or zigzag stitch, sew the two layers together by sewing close to the edge all around the pieces. Be careful that the layers don't shift or pucker as you sew. Here is a closeup of what it should look like after sewing:

Because I was using satin, I used a zigzag stitch to connect them, to reduce fraying at the same time. With other fabric you could use a serger (no blade) - or use a simple straight stitch if the fabric layers are both sturdy. The goal is to have both layers together at all the edges, without cutting into the seam allowances at all. 

Step 4:  Repeat these steps with the back bodice pieces (as I did above) and with any other pieces you want to embellish with an overlay.  Sleeves can be really cute with overlays as well. 

Step 5: Now that your overlays are attached, you simply sew up the pattern as instructed!   And that's really all there is to it!

We would love to see what you make using this overlay tutorial!  Please pin this for later and share your finished photos with us in our patterns group so we can all ooh and aah over them!  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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