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Information and tutorials for folks interested in antique Italian lacework, nouveau fashion, sewing techniques and much much more!

Part 3: Reinforcing a Gusset by Laura Mae

December 4, 2013 by Lilacs & Lace 0 comments

Our retro queen Guest Blogger Laura Mae of Lilacs & Lace has a fabulous project in store for us. There are so many details to this gala outfit that we have decided to break down the process into many fabulous technique-rich posts. Be sure to check out Part 1, which offers tons of pattern handling tips & tricks and Part 2, an exceptionally thorough bound buttonhole tutorial.


[Britex has generously provided the fabric and sewing supplies for a dress I will be wearing to a formal event in October. I will be sharing some of the steps and construction techniques with you as I work on this project over the next couple of months.]



Interior corners can be tricky on areas that will be under stress such as an armhole, which is going to see quite a bit of movement throughout the day.  Clipping extremely close to the seamline is necessary, but the pivot points often show signs of wear long before the rest of the garment.  Reinforcing the stitching with an extra scrap of silk organza can make all the difference.


The first step is always to stay-stitch the inner corner, whether or not you choose to reinforce the area with extra fabric.  A small stitch-length will prevent a cut from migrating past the seam allowance.  But sometimes, a bit more than a simple line of stitching is needed.




Pin a small square of organza in place on the RIGHT side of the fabric.  The center of the square should be placed at the point of the stitching line.




I find it easier to see the original line of stitching while it is not covered with another piece of fabric, so I flip the piece over, and pin from the wrong side.




After removing the pins from the right side of the fabric, stitch directly over the original line of stitching.  This should secure the square to your fabric.




At this point, it looks a little ridiculous with that scrap marring the front of the bodice, but we aren’t done yet!




Clip all the way to the stitched point, being careful not to cut through your line of stitching.




Press each side of the organza towards the center, and push it through to the wrong side of the fabric.



Pull the organza taught, making sure it is not visible from the right side of the fabric and press in place, bringing the seam allowance along with it.





Mark seam allowances in chalk or pen on the wrong wide of the gusset.




Pin the gusset in place.




I like to hand baste at this point to have more control at the interior point.  The edges will not match, especially towards the interior corner – the important thing is to match the reinforced stitching to the seamline of the gusset.





On your machine, stitch from fabric edge to point, plunge the needle, turn, and stitch to the opposite edge.




Trim the excess organza from the edges.




Now is the time to finish the edges however you wish (of course, I prefer to use rayon seam binding!).




Voila!  Your finished gusset!