Saturday, April 7, 2012

Play it Off

This last weeks challenge on the Sew Weekly was to use a fabric from my stash that was most valuable to me. Turns out after working with this particular fabric, it became my most annoying fabric to use. but I worked it out enough that I am not so annoyed by it anymore. Read on.

I ordered this fabric back in December, when shirting fabric went on sale. I had no idea what shirting fabric was, but I thought the prints were so beautiful, I ended up ordering four different kinds, all with a retro like print. This one is my favorite above all. Now, when they arrived, I was really excited. But to my surprise, the fabric felt like something I had never felt before. I don’t even know if I can describe it properly. It’s light weight, almost a nylon (parachute) feel, but not exactly. Anyways, it’s weird, and it frays, and it doesn’t hem well. Nor does it flow softly, which is what I wanted. No biggie. I can work with this, I’ll figure something out.


I decided to make a dress from a tutorial I had been wanting to try by Prudent Baby. I was really excited to try shirring on a dress for me. I had already done it on a dress for my daughter, but now it was my turn. It is time consuming, but so much fun to watch the work in progress. To be honest, out of the whole process with this dress, the shirring was the easy part and less painful to do on this fabric. When it came time to hemming the dress, I was in all sorts of crazy in the head. This fabric was just not double folding well. I eventually gave up and resulted to zig-zag stitch the bottom, fold it up and hem by hand. Also not easy? Ironing. This fabric would not iron. I didn’t have time to pull out the steamer, so I did the best I could.
Are you ready for the horror story now? I try my dress on. Low and behold there is a huge open gap at the bust. The fabric is too stiff to just drape down, like this:
Nope, it just stuck straight out. Total disaster with this fabric. I decided to add darts to side bust area, and back darts. Did that fix the problem? Absolutely not. What did I do about it? Nothing. I left it alone for an entire day and night. I do better when I walk away. Good thing I did, because that night the Dressmaker Fairy came to me in a dream, and showed me how to fix my itty bitty major problem. The next morning I was ready to tackle the beast. What I did was fold over about an inch of the fabric down the center top, to make a fake buttoned down placket. I stitched both sides down and sewed on five pink buttons. I put the dress on, and waa laa, it fit! Thank you Fairy Dressmaker! I now want to wear this dress. For our outing I paired this dress with a burgandy boyfriend cardi and a wide brown waist belt. This dress alone is more for Summer heat rather than unpredictable Spring temperatures.
Turns out I was being looked out for by another Sew Weekly member. This was her information to me on shirting fabric: " I looked up shirting fabric in one of my books. It is woven from long staple yarns, so that is why it feels different. The books recommends ironing while slightly damp, flat fell or French seam finishes and hemming with a 1/4″ double fold hem top-stitched. My book recommends this fabric as being suitable for tailored shirts, pjs and boxer shorts. Hope that helps with your next project with this fabric."
This info was very helpful and explained so much. Since I have more of this type of fabric to use, I now know what to do and have an easier road to travel. 

1 comment:

Pam said...

A very pretty dress! Looks great on you! I love shirring, but I've only sewn it on little girl's clothing.