Sunday, February 3, 2008

25. The Lining - For Real! (part 1)

I started on the lining today. First up was pressing. The fabric is Ambiance Bemberg Rayon and I wasn’t sure how to set the iron – how hot? Steam or dry? Then I remembered a book that I had bought years ago – More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina.

It is a reference book, organized alphabetically, with 2 pages per fabric. One page has a photo and general information such as how the fabric is produced, common uses and some sewing tips. The second page addresses the same 14 topics for each fabric: pre-shrinking, layout, marking, cutting, interfacing, thread, machine needle, stitch length, presser foot, seam finish, pressing, topstitching, closures and hemming. Sandra recommended pressing rayon with a dry iron set to a medium temperature.

I wish I had remembered this book a bit earlier, as I had already pre-washed both the rayon and the silk organza (the underlining fabric). But a quick check indicated that I hadn’t done much damage. (Of course I had used cold water and the delicate cycle on my machine.) According to Sandra, pre-washing is the right thing to do for rayon, and softens silk organza. Luckily, I’m not depending upon the underlining to stiffen the silk satin, so I don’t think that’s going to be a big deal. Phew! ;)

Oh, one quick tip I picked up on PatternReview for pre-washing. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who recommended it, but someone suggested serging the two cut edges of a piece of fabric before pre-washing it, in order to prevent (or at least minimize) raveling in the washing machine. I tried it, and it worked like a charm! :)

Anyways, back to ironing the rayon. The first time through, I took my time and let each section cool on the ironing board before moving on to iron the next section. Even so, when I finished I noticed that there were wrinkles where it had slowly piled on top of itself on the floor. This may be overkill for lining, but given that I have a lot more pressing to do for this dress, I tried rigging up a solution. I found a long and relatively wide piece of PVC pipe in our garage, cleaned it and quickly sewed up a “sleeve” for it. Then I used existing furniture and a TV tray to hold it about 6 inches below the surface of my ironing board. I attached one end of the lining fabric to the sleeve with a few pins. After I finished ironing a section and let it cool, I rolled the freshly pressed fabric around the tube and was ready to iron the next section! Cool, huh?


I think it would work better if the sleeve (or slipcover) fit more snugly, but overall I really like it, and may try to work up something a bit more permanent than a freestanding TV tray… And I can envision something like this on my cutting table too.

After ironing - the big question: Is it on grain? The answer: Pretty close! :)


Next up – cutting, basting and one final fitting! :)

Parting shot: Sammy snoozing in the Florida sun...




1 comment:

faeriekat said...

Good for you, Gwen! Necessity is the mother of invention, or so they say (something like it). Great idea (I've run into this problem on some of my projects and just let the folds and creases "hang out" rather than iron them again, but I wouldn't have wanted to do that for this dress, either). The picture of Sammy is darling; however, my first guess was that he was afraid to see exactly what is was you were doing! Hugz and snugglez, Kat