Interfacing Woes

I’m getting ready to sew me another shalwaar. Or, actually, according to my post on the 14th, a kameez since it’s the top I’m working on right now.

Anyway, I have no patterns and I have no idea how to make my own pattern – with actual sleeves that fit properly – from scratch, so I’ve taken one of the kameezes that we had the seamstress stitch for me (the pink with aqua and purple embroidery) and copied it into a pattern. I did that, mostly in the middle of the night during my bouts of insomnia the last few nights.

And it still worked. 😀

But now I want to have a different neckline, and I’ve settled on a sweetheart neckline.

Anyway, I’m going to start at the beginning. Well, okay, after prewashing, ironing, laying out the patterns, and cutting it all out. So, at the beginning of the actual sewing.

This is not a detailed version – I’m assuming that you having at least basic sewing skills. I don’t have the time or inclination to go into all the minute details that would be required if you didn’t. 🙂 Still, if you have questions, feel free to ask.

  1. Iron the fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of the facing, both front and back. (Tip: spray the interfacing with water first to shrink it before fusing to facing.), then pin & sew the facing front to the front of the shalwaar, right sides together, then sew together. Do the same with the back facing and back of the shalwaar.
  2. I left excess fabric in the neck are on both the front and back. Two reasons… One, at the time I cut the fabric out, I didn’t know what neckline I’d be using and two, the pattern I was using was highly flexible – it had a fairly high neckline in both the front and back, so allowed for a lot of room to be creative after the fact. Oh, and three. I didn’t want to stretch the neckline out after cutting like I have so often in the past. So this step involved cutting off the excess fabric at the neckline for both the front and back.
  3. Press seams open, ironing on the wrong side of the fabric. (Tip: Iron on the wrong side of fabric. If the heat’s too high and you scorch the fabric, it won’t show.) Then fold the facing into the inside of the front so that wrong sides are facing. Press and pin down, then topstitch around the edge of the neckline around a millimetre from the edge of the fabric, taking care to maintain a constant, even edge. Do for both the front and back pieces.
  4. Put the front and back pieces together and sew the front and back together. I tend to use French seams as much as I can so I don’t have exposed raw edges that’ll fray down to nothing.
  5. Hem the sleeves and the bottom two edges of the kameez.
  6. Match up the sides of the kameez, pin, and sew up until the side slit opening.
  7. Hem the side slit opening from the hips down.

It’s not the traditional order of sewing, but I’ve found that by doing it in this order, while I do end up with more bulk at the shoulders, I’ve also eliminated those pesky problems with puckering and bulging necklines. It also solves the problem of sleeves not matching perfectly or having puckers at the top of sleeves. Plus if the sleeve is not perfectly straight, then you can end up with problems hemming the sleeve as you roll it up into a hem. This way, it works perfectly and lies perfectly flat.

Also, if you gain / lose weight or if you’re still experimenting with pattern pieces and don’t know exactly how it’ll fit, doing it this way makes it easier to take in / let out the garment.

Author: LMAshton
Howdy! I'm a beginner artist, hobbyist photographer, kitchen witch, wanderer by nature, and hermit introvert. This is my blog feed. You can find my fediverse posts at

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