crepe backed satin

I'm using crepe backed satin for the first time. I've never sewn with a
shiney fabric like this before. Is there anything I should be wary
about before I start?
Thanks` :)
Reply to
ena86
Everything! ;)
If it's the poly stuff, it'll creep, stretch, pucker, fall on the floor, wrinkle so you cannot press it properly, and snag on the tiniest thing! The up side is that it's as tough as old boots and washable! :)
I have sewn MASSES of this stuff! I'm good at it - but even I have problems at times! Just be careful and follow my golden rules:
Use VERY FINE new pins! Pretend it's expensive silk!
Use a fine new needle: a 60 or 70. Use good quality poly thread to go with it!
Baste anything that has any bias to it!
Stay-stitch all necklines, armholes, sleeve heads, and the facings that go with them!
Use a pressing cloth! Press, don't iron!
Fusible interfacing WILL stick - eventually! You'll need to use a slightly cooler iron, more steam, and press for a longer period, but it will eventually stick.
It responds better to serged seams than straight stitched ones, especially on flared/bias pieces.
Concealed zips look waaaaaay better than any other sort!
Hems will need to be done by hand if you can't roll them on the serger.
There are a few projects I've done in this stuff on my web site: the Ladies in Red in the Wedding Gallery (they don't show to great advantage on the stand), the Bias Cut Disaster stuff in The Learning Zone (made matte side out), and a gown in the costume gallery that has a full circle skirt. This is the tip of the iceberg for me! I've also made capes, kimonos, and a host of other stuff over the years. Oh, and there's an example of it not at all shown to advantage in the Hysterical Costuming section: look at What The Dickens. That dress needs to be made of taffeta, but the customer had already panic bough 16m of this stuff...
If you run into any problems, shout!
Reply to
Kate Dicey
I'd just like to say that i LOVE your site. It's beyond helpful!
I just had a quick question about your post though. What do you mean by "Baste anything that has any bias to it!"? The skirt part of my dress is biased cut, so I wanna make sure I do it right!
Reply to
ena86
Baste it by hand, using EITHER fine silk thread OR machine embroidery thread (great for this and buttonholes!), and sew with a smallish stitch on a very narrow zigzag, like those seams I did/replaced in the bias cut disasters. This will prevent a lot of tears and swearing as it will minimize creep as you sew. And the silk/embroidery thread won't leave big holes if you have to alter the seams, and will slide out much more easily than basting thread - which is often rough old stuff! Try it on before you sew those seams, too! Also, if you have one, try either a roller foot (has little rollers or wheels in) or a walking/even feed foot (gives you feed teeth on top) for sewing the seams. They also help a lot. If this is for a posh and important occasion, the expense is worth it and you'll use them again! :)
Then hang it up or (preferably!) put it on a dress dummy and let it hang for a week before you do the hem! :)
Reply to
Kate Dicey
thank you. that's awesome advice! i totally wouldn't have thought to do that-baste and then zigzag.. i'm so used to using a straight stitch!.
Reply to
ena86
The thing about bias (or seams with any amount of bias even if it isn't a full 45 degrees) is that it's stretchy, and it wants to drop. You need to let it drop a bit to avoid popped seams, so I find with soft drapy stuff like this the best thing is to treat it almost like a stretch knit. :) The other thing you *can* do (if you don't have zigzag available) it stretch the seam a bit as you sew. The danger here is distorting it too much, so it won't go back when you press it, or you get rippled seam allowances showing through as bumps on the outside.
Oh - when basting, don't dangle the fabric from the needle in your lap! Go sit at the table, keep the weight of the fabric ON the table in front of you, as flat as possible, and work like a couture pro!
This poly satin nightmare from hell fabric* just LOOOOVES to do all this tricksy stuff in spades! Don't let it put you off: you have brain cells and it doesn't! ;) You can deal with it. May take a bit of practice, but one day soon you'll be an old hand at it, like me! And it looks sooooh good when you get it right. :)
*
There *are* worse - believe me, there ARE worse fabrics! Just you wait! :D :D :D I'd rather use nice £54 a metre hand printed silk, but what the customer wants...
Reply to
Kate Dicey
Hello,
I kind of missed something. Did you decide to go with the New Look 6348 pattern? Kate is a terrific resource to give the pointer to before you start. She can save you tons of heartache with advice. (Kate: I looked at the pattern instructions and they give *no* extra seam allowance or special instructions for the bias skirt. It has a center back zipper that goes from a straight grain bodice to the bias skirt.)
One of my favorite ways to work with slinky fabrics is to use the Totally Stable fusible paper. You can stitch right through it and peel it off easily afterwards. Would be useful for that narrow rolled hem on the bias skirt. (Don't iron all the way to the edge, so it can roll freely.)
What color did you choose for your crepe back satin? I love that fabric to wear. It will be really pretty!!!
Pora
Pora
Reply to
wurstergirl
had i known crepe backed satin would be this much of a pain i rpobably would have picked something else!
just curious though, what does "dropping' mean? is this actually hanging the bias so that it can stretch?
Thanks a bunches!
Reply to
ena86
yup, i went with the new look one. have you sewn this before? any pointers if you have? :)
"Kate: I looked at the pattern instructions and they give *no* extra seam allowance or special instructions for the bias skirt. It has a center back zipper that goes from a straight grain bodice to the bias skirt."
^ is there somethng that's not in the pattern insturctions that i should do? or look out for?
:)
Reply to
ena86
I think Kate was trying to explain about working with bias. Basically, in the vertical and horizontal directions woven fabrics don't stretch. But if you pull diagonally most of them will stretch. As the fabric expands in the diagonal (bias direction), the vertical and horizontal directions react by shortening. In a bias cut skirt, gravity is providing the pull downward in the bias direction. The skirt will actually lengthen in areas around the hemline (but unevenly). In compensation, the distance around your body will shorten (also unevenly). This makes the lovely clinginess of a bias skirt. But the net effect is that if you don't give extra seam allowances, it will be too tight to wear! (And the waist may drop to rest on your hips.)
Most fabrics will reach maximum distortion after hanging in the bias direction for a few days. So a common way of handling this issue is to have you baste the skirt together either with thread or pins, let it hang and stretch out completely for a day or two, then try it on and adjust the side seams to fit you again. The fit can shrink drastically, so having extra seam allowance is pretty important. (One skirt I made had 4 inch allowances, so a total of 13 extra inches around to play with!) One difficulty is that every time you adjust the fit it gives the fabric another chance to re-distort. One can repeat the hanging and refitting ad infinitum and never feel it's perfect. And, the hemline changes every time you do it, so don't trim it straight until you've decided to stop refitting!
Anyway, I was struck by the fact that the New Look pattern didn't mention to hang overnight or provide extra seam allowances. Like I said in the earlier thread, the wearing ease is 6 1/2 inches, which is pretty generous. That might be their way of automatically compensating for the "shrinkage." I'm not trying to discourage you from making this, because it will be lovely when done. Just want to prevent disasters!
Kate: are there other home-sewing techniques you know for doing bias skirts?
Pora
Reply to
wurstergirl
SH**T! (Fill in as you see fit!)
Best thing will be a concealed zip*: put the dress on, AFTER it's hung a few days, and them MEASURE down the dress WITH THE ZIP to see where the end lands... When you take the dress off, lay it out so that you can squish the skirt into this measurement. You'll see how on the bias disaster page. Look at how I did this on those dresses, and do the same for the skirt section of the zip. Any confusion or problems, shout.
* Remember, with a concealed zip, buy a couple of inches longer than needed: you can't sew to the end of it! Keep this in mind when you do the measuring.
The classic way with a concealed zip is to put it in BEFORE sewing the seam. This *
is* best, but you can usually manage by just ending the seam 2-3 inches below where you want the zip to end, and joining the dots... :)
Reply to
Kate Dicey
The classic way to cut bias garments is with a wider seam allowance to make room for extra drop on some fabrics... Floppier ones tend to drop more. Just add a bit before you cut, but mark where the seam SHOULD be, and sew on that line. I usually allow an inch seam allowance on soft tight weaves, and more on open weaves as they drop more.
Reply to
Kate Dicey
No, I think between us we've covered just about everything. I always let a true bias garment, anything with a greater than half circle skirt, and anything multi-panel and/or very soft fabric rest on a dress stand for as long as possible: up to a week.
Reply to
Kate Dicey
Re: !@#$% Yes, I thought the zipper issue was kind of difficult. The professional seamstress who made the bias dress I wore to my sister's wedding never got that zipper right, though she tried 3 times. Her poor slave helper had to keep ripping it out. Eventually we just ran out of time and I had to wear it with the little end pointing out of my butt. Pretty awful for $300 worth of 4-ply silk.
Oy, what time is it?
Pora
Reply to
wurstergirl
After 2 pm here and I've got a client coming at 4:30 and I'm just starting on her bodice toile...
There's time - it's only a boned wedding dress bodice toile, after all!
Reply to
Kate Dicey
DONE! I think the sewing machine has melted!
Cut and sewn: just need to take some pix and pop the boning in the channels...
Reply to
Kate Dicey
quick question, kate or wurstergirl :) The pattern instructions say to use lightweight interfacing (for the neck) but the woman at the fabric store told me to use medium weight instead. Otherwise, the edges of the neck will begin to flop out. Now I bought light and medium weight interacing just in case, and I was wondering which one you'd suggest using... (I see her point about the neck flopping out, but at the same time I don't want the neckline to look stiffer than the rest of the garment)
Reply to
ena86
Use the light weight and understitch. If it still rolls to the outside, weight it down with a second hidden layer basted to the inside of the loose edge of the facing.
Reply to
Kate Dicey

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