If you're new to this project, let me bring you up to speed. The short story is that I had expected the contrast band to be pieced into the skirt. In actuality, it was appliqued onto the skirt. I was dissatisfied with how that was going to look and had all but decided to use jumbo rick-rack instead when Bunny, of La Sewista! suggested piecing the band using hemstitching. Which is what I did, after referring to Carol Ahles excellent book, Fine Machine Sewing (my review). For those of you who are interested, this is how I did it.
Warning: This procedure is neither for the rushed nor the faint of heart!
First, I pressed under the seam allowance on the contrast band.
Then I pinned the band to the dress, placing the bottom of the band on the placement line.
Next, I stitched the band to the dress, using a straight stitch and stitching very close to the pressed edges of the band.
The next step was one of the most nerve-wracking things I've ever done; seriously, I thought I was going to hyperventilate. From the back side of the dress, I slit the base fabric between the lines of stitching. This was the point of no return.
I pressed the raw edges of the base fabric away from the contrast band and basted the seam allowances down, well away from the seam line. I wanted to make sure they stayed in place while I was stitching from the right side of the fabric.
Next, from the right side, I hemstitched the edges of the contrast band using the Parisian hemstitch, Sulky machine embroidery thread and a 100/16 wing needle. The Parisian hemstitch looks like a blanket stitch, but it stitches in and out of each hole in the main row of stitching five (count 'em!) times. This step alone took nearly two hours.
After I finished hemstitching, I trimmed away the seam allowances very close to the stitching.