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...