Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Dilemma

Long days at work and even longer meetings, so what am I doing when I am suppose to be paying attention...trying to figure out how to make a dress work! *LOL* Yeap, I am sewing the steps for the St. John's knock-off dress in my head, which is next on my list.

But here is the beginning of my dilemma...The bottom half of the red/black linen dress wrinkled badly.

This is what the dress looked like when I took it off...front and lower back views. The bottom wrinkled a lot worse than the top. Now I like linen and normally don't mind the wrinkles but I usually use "washed linen" which helps to minimize the wrinkling.

But the real problem is that I want to make the St. John's dress using this black linen fabric. Now I know that adding a layer of silk organza will cut down on the really deep wrinkles. So here is what I'm thinking, I would underline the thin linen with silk organza and then add a fine black cotton batiste lining. Now do you think this would make the dress to hot to wear?

And that is my dilemma...I just can't decide if I should have all three layers or just the silk organza? And no, I don't want to wash the linen first...thoughts, comments, suggestions?!


  1. Carolyn, I think that the organza plus batiste would be a good solution. Both fabrics are natural fibers, so they'd breathe. So no, I don't think they'd make the dress too hot to wear.

  2. Carolyn, I agree with Nanflan, both the organza and the batiste are such light, natural fibers, I doubt that they would add to the summer heat problem.

  3. I also think that the three layers will get the job done; that is the problem with linen; when you make a linen garment you must picture it with wrinkles all over it and decide if the stylelines go well with the wrinkles. The red/black dress is a beauty, wrinkles or no wrinkles!

  4. Definitely underline with real silk organza. As to using cotton batiste, I have no experience of how the 3 fabrics would react together. I would suggest either a light weight silk lining or a light weight ambience type lining. In anycase, a lining of good quality.

  5. I think your plan for the three layers will work in terms of reducing wrinkling and not being too hot. However, You may want to place the three layers against one another to make sure that they slide past each other easily. I made a cotton pique jacket, lined in batiste and it rides up on almost anything else I wear under it - which makes it almost unwearable. Since then, I have always been cautious about using a a non-slippery fabric as lining. I will be interested in your final solution to this problem, as I have a few linen garements in the sewing queue.

    P.S. Your piles of fabrics to be sewn from a few posts ago is making me envious! Love, love, love those browns!

    P.P.S. As to your rant the other day - I understand your frustration with pattern sizing. Isn't it annoying when you fall in love with a pattern and it doesn't come in your size? I have that problem all the time with modern patterns - that's one of the reasons I started using vintage patterns - the sizing is more appropriate for me.

  6. Carolyn,
    I wore an unlined linen dress yesterday myself. Cool and comfortable, but what a wrinkled mess!

    I'd go with ambiance lining for the slippery factor.

    Good luck! can't wait to see the finished dress!

  7. You might also want to use batiste for the underlining. It will be a softer hand with the linen. I would stick with your original thought of the batiste as the lining. The batiste has enough slip to it, and I find it to be cooler than other linings.

  8. I offer no help. But, I did want to know what washing does to linen that makes it wrinkle less and makes you not want to wash it. I love linen but the wrinkles annoy me so I'm curious. Thanks!

  9. Do you remember a big article in Threads magazine some time ago (please don't ask when as I am nowhere my magazines at the moment)

    There was an experiment with a wearer wearing different linen skirts/outfits(?) interlined with silk organza and without. Then each garment was photographed at the end of the day (I think it was).

    Even without checking up on the Threads article I would say interline with organza and line with a very light ambience quality lining.

  10. I think the style and creativity of the original dress was amazing, but I think the fabric choice was wrong. That kind of linen really lends itself, in my mind, to a more full skitted look, breezy summery sleeveless...that route. Adding all that lining might salvage the dress, but seems work intensive. But from reading your blog faithfully, I know you are not put off by work intensive!
    Anyways, just my thoughts. I love your blog, I am a "lurker" as they say, but know that I read you religiously, and get great tips and ideas and you are a GREAT motivator! Thanks!

  11. How about underlining the whole thing in the organza, and then making a separate slip-like garment out of the batiste? That way you wouldn't have to wear the extra layer unless you wanted to or needed to.

  12. Carolyn, have you considered fusing the linen with a black interfacing? There's an interfacing- I think it's texture weft, though I'm not sure- that may control the wrinkling, plus you may not have to worry about three fabrics in one garment. Maybe just doing a test fuse, or trying the idea out on another, less expensive cut of linen would help you determine if you think the idea would work.

  13. Like Cidell, I am curious as to why you do not want to wash the linen - I suppose you don't want the softer look? So will you be drycleaning this dress and the proposed dress?


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