Fun With Dots - Part 3
Inserting a Gusset - An Easy Way
Really, it is easy, I promise. Many vintage patterns with kimono or cut on sleeves have gussets under the arm for better movement of the arm. While the gussets are necessary and functional, they are not always the easiest thing to sew. These diamond shaped pieces of fabric can be a source of frustration due to their short and angular seams, which sometimes turn at a very sharp angle.
While looking over the instructions for the current pattern I'm using, I came across a section with three different methods of reinforcing corners for clipping or slashing as is needed when inserting gussets. Today I will share with you the last method, which is also the most sturdy (!) and the easiest way to insert the gusset. As you can see, the original instructions have not survived terribly well, but the method is still good.
This might seem like a lot of steps, but I've broken them to make things very easy.
Step One: Mark fabric stitching lines and corner dot on the wrong side of the fabric.
Step Two: On the *right* side of the fabric, pin a square of fabric over the corner to be reinforced. I used the cotton batiste, but silk organza is a good choice, too.
Step Three: From the wrong side, stitch on the stitching line to the dot, pivot and continue stitching along the stitching line, starting and ending about 1" from the dot on either side. You can see this from the right side in the photo below, both the fabric square and the stitching.
Step Four: Clip to the dot through all layers, but not into stitching. Turn fabric square and seam allowances to the inside and press. Repeat steps 1 through 4 for the other corner.
Step Five: From the wrong side, pin gusset into place. The corners that were just created are the points at the top and bottom of the photo; the side seam is at the far left point; the sleeve hem is at the right.
Step Six: Baste gusset into place. This will only take a few minutes, and is important to keep the layers together without pins for the next step.
Step Seven: From the right side, edge stitch through all layers close to folded edge, along all edges, pivoting at corners.
That's it, the gusset is done! In the photo below, the side seam is at the bottom and the sleeve hem is at the top.
At least give this method a try - this might open up some vintage patterns that you'd otherwise pass by because of having to insert the underarm gusset.
Parting Shot: Advance 6841. I picked this up at the local antique shop today. A seller put out some vintage patterns, so after digging through the lot I picked out this one. I might do an Inside the Envelope on this one - there are some interesting things to be seen in what looks like such a simple skirt and petticoat pattern.