This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
Make all alterations, bearing in mind the necessity for having an easy fit in all washable materials, especially if you have not shrunken them before making the garment. When the alterations are completed, try the dress on again to be sure that everything is correct before finishing it.
The seams of lingerie dresses may be treated in any of the following ways, suiting your method of treatment, of course, to the fabric and the style of the garment. Handwork is always to be recommended for lingerie dresses, hand-run seams, tucks and hems. Individual workers are, however, subject to time limits, therefore one must choose the very best treatment to which one can devote the time, or for which one can afford to pay, if the work is done by another.
1. French seams may be used on the sheer fabrics. These must be carefully done, the first sewing best done by hand, using a running stitch. The edges must be very carefully turned and creased for the second sewing. This may either be done by machines or hand (Fig. 119).
2. If one cannot make a good French seam, a plain seam may sometimes be used, the edges overcasted or turned and run together (Fig. 217A and B).
3. Lace insertion or tiny veining may be basted over the seams and the edge of the lace hemmed to the material on the right side. The edges of the seam are then trimmed away on the wrong side, leaving a scant eighth of an inch; this is then whipped down into the stitches of the hemming so as not to show additional stitches on the right side of the garment. If limited in time or working on very inexpensive material, instead of hemming the lace by hand on the right side, it may be stitched by machine, the raw edge turned back and stitched again; then cut close to the stitching. Let the first stitching fall one-sixteenth inch inside the edge of the insertion or lace, the second stitching directly on the edge, so that greater strength is added to the raw seam. It is better to use this method only in skirts where the finish is less likely to show from the right side than in waists.
4. Entre-deux may be used to finish seams of very sheer ma-23 terials. Set in with small French seam. Lace may also be whipped on to the rolled edges of seams. This would better be done on seams having straight edges, as it is difficult to keep bias edges from stretching.
5. Fagoting makes a very effective seam finish. The edges may be finished with tiny hems, folded but not sewed, rolled and whipped, or in some cases, simply turned once, the fagoting worked from one rolled edge or hem to the other. Colored thread makes an attractive finish sometimes.
6. Hemstitching by hand is sometimes simulated by turning the two edges of a seam to the wrong side, inserting several thicknesses of tissue or any paper that tears easily between the edges and stitching by machine. The paper is torn away and a loose stitch appears, somewhat resembling hemstitching. Some family machines have a hemstitching attachment, but these have not been so generally satisfactory. A very effective trimming and seam finish is made by having hemstitching done on power machines. To prepare the seams for this, baste as for plain seams in waist and skirt, then fold them back as for an outside stitching. The hemstitching is done on this edge half on the fold and half on the single cloth and the raw edge on the wrong side trimmed away afterward. The operator will usually furnish white or black cotton and black or white silk, but it is necessary to take colored silk or cotton, two spools of either.