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Lining versus Slips
Can Slips be Substituted for Linings?
WildWyoming
WildWyoming
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Date: 8/29/10 1:07 AM

I have the idea that slips are not nearly as good at making a garment look great and wearing well because they are not attached, shaped to the garment, even possibly sized to take stress off the fashion fabric, etc.

However, as a habitual purchaser of fabric bundles, I cringe at the thought of using full price or even moderately discounted lining in even items made from gorgeous bundle fabrics. The exceptions would include things like a wool winter coat, a tailored jacket, etc. because those items get lots of wear and take lots of effort to produce.

I realize that I can use thin, slippery bundle fabrics as linings, negating my objection to lining bundle fabrics. I could see doing this with breathable fabrics that I can't figure out how to use for fashion fabric due to the color versus what flatters me or some other reason. I admit to hating nonbreathable linings, in part because I live in an area that is oppressively hot during much of the summer.

So.........I don't mind making a dozen different separate linings--slips if you will--to wear under skirts, dresses, and pants. I would make these all from breathable, relatively slippery fabrics. But, how will the garments wear and look differently if they are not lined with attached linings? I can tell you that the idea of easier laundering and ironing (when needed) appeals to me as I hate the expense, toxicity, and hassle of dry cleaning. Here, I'm referring to nicer tailored garments you might normally line and dry clean.

Many of my bundles have yielded chiffons and other sheer fabrics that must be either lined or worn over other garments. I have the idea to wear a sleaveless, scoop neck or V-neck, figure skimming (close but not tight) knit dresses, with very flat edging treatments underneath dresses made of these sheer fabrics--or to do the same thing with shirts and skirts.

I also realize that if you're not underlining a sheer, the layers in the seam allowances will be more obvious, especially if the slip is of a different color.

Seems like no one wears slips now, but some things need a lining or slip for decency. What do others do?

janlorraine

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In reply to WildWyoming


Date: 8/29/10 8:54 AM

I make a matching slip for just about every dress I sew. I got the idea from Vionnet. I like to use silk taffeta, but use crepe de chine and charmeuse on occasion. I prefer a slip because the dress is so much easier to wash and iron without a lining. I like to use sheer fabrics for dresses and I also make a lot of wrap dresses. I use laces, chiffons, wool gauze and voiles a lot. I prefer decorator silk taffeta because the added weight of the fabric lasts and lasts through many washings. I cut my slips in one piece on the bias with a full facing so that bra straps do not show. They could almost be called a close fitting underdress.

marec
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Date: 8/29/10 10:09 AM

WildWyoming said:

Quote:
Seems like no one wears slips now, but some things need a lining or slip for decency. What do others do?

I have slips from years past that I still wear. Full slips, slipdresses or chemise style, and half slips. I find slips very feminine and easy to wear.

janlorraine said:
Quote:
I make a matching slip for just about every dress I sew. I got the idea from Vionnet. I like to use silk taffeta, but use crepe de chine and charmeuse on occasion. I prefer a slip because the dress is so much easier to wash and iron without a lining.

Great idea on make slips along with each dress.

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Therisa
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Date: 8/29/10 10:59 AM

I think this subject has to be separated into two topics: economic theory and sewing.

Why does the fact that the fabric came in a bundle affect how much you want to spend for lining? If you like the fabric and think it's worthy of your time in sewing, and you think the item needs a lining, make a lining. It might happen that the lining fabric is worth more than the garment, but so be it. You still got the entire garment for less than you would have otherwise paid.

It's as if you said, "Whoo-hoo! I got this gorgeous fabric for free and now I have more money to spend on other things in my life (including lining).

On the sewing front, as you noted, slips can serve some of the functions of lining. I have a variety of slips, and also make them when needed for a specific garment. It's your choice whether to line or not line. But in the case of the wool dress pants, I have some made of Super 180s from Fishman Fabrics - have been wearing them every winter for 9 years and they are still in beautiful shape BECAUSE OF THE LINING. The Ambience lining prevents sagging and bagging at the knees, and prevents wear between the thighs. I would never again make dress pants without lining them.

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LuceLu
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In reply to janlorraine


Date: 8/29/10 1:33 PM

From Wild Wyoming: "I cut my slips in one piece on the bias with a full facing so that bra straps do not show. They could almost be called a close fitting underdress."


I am intrigued. Do you use a specific pattern for your slips?
-- Edited on 8/29/10 1:34 PM --

cmarie12
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Date: 8/29/10 2:54 PM

I don't have a full slip but I do have several half slips that I wear under garments. Sometimes because in the construction stage, I don't think the garment will need a lining but in the actual wearing realize that it does need something - hence the half slip.

I use to think like you do about adding expensive linings to non-expensive fabric but have come around to the other side of thinking...but you know different strokes, different folks!

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to WildWyoming


Date: 8/29/10 3:29 PM

I'm a lot like MareC and find slips very feminine! I make them out of rayon, and sometimes silk or chiffon. They are in different shades to hide whatever it is I'm wearing underneath. I don't feel comfortable going out of the house without a slip.

I find lining something time consuming and won't do it unless I absolutely have to, such as if the fabric is itchy, or the item is a jacket or coat. There is nothing that speaks "feminine" more than a soft, drapey slip under a skirt or dress. And I use them under knits, sheers, challis, or anything; including corduroy. In fact, I feel bare without one. My latest desire is to make a cotton batiste slip to wear under my cotton summer dresses, but I'm unsure of a design.

Also, I make what I call "undershirts". These are sleeveless tops that are close fitting; some are tank type, like a camisole, some look like a sleeveless t-shirt. They are made also out of rayon, or a very thin polyester. And they are used mostly for warmth. Sometimes I like to leave my button open near my neckline to show the beautiful fabric underneath; it's all part of the same look.

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mssewcrazy
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In reply to janlorraine


Date: 8/29/10 3:33 PM

I used to do this for my daughters when sewing for them but never thought about sewing a whole slip for myself. I have made half slips through the years that I found useful. I can see where your method of bias cut and hiding the bra straps would make things look much nicer underneath not to mention skipping the dry cleaning-never thought about that angle. I am going to have to remember all your hints on the separate liners.

Sew'n'go
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In reply to Therisa


Date: 8/29/10 5:09 PM

Quote: Therisa
It's your choice whether to line or not line. But in the case of the wool dress pants, I have some made of Super 180s from Fishman Fabrics - have been wearing them every winter for 9 years and they are still in beautiful shape BECAUSE OF THE LINING. The Ambience lining prevents sagging and bagging at the knees, and prevents wear between the thighs. I would never again make dress pants without lining them.

Thanks for this posting. Lots of people say linings are a waste of time and to use slips, so it was nice to get this point of view.
WildWyoming
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Date: 8/29/10 5:32 PM

I'm enjoying this discussion.

Yes, economy is an issue. It's not whether the fine bundle fabric deserves a fine lining. It's whether I want to spend the money, and I don't. For years, I'd labor over every aspect of sewing a project, and everything had to be as perfect as possible. Then, the garment was almost too valuable to me. And, I didn't want to start a project unless I had time to do it that way.

So, now, I'd rather use what I have, in a way being perfectionistic about not using more resources, about making undergarments/slips that can be used for multiple fashion garments, etc. even if only to save the earth from more dry cleaning chemicals and to save my budget and schedule from the hassle.

I love the idea of making bias silk slips and of making silk liners for pants, and certainly the idea of letting a little pretty undergarment show at the neckline or possibly at the hem though I'm not sure I can pull that off at my age and in my locality.

Multiple layers are not that practical when it's full summer here because it's too hot for them, but they can be worn for maybe eight months of the year if they are breathable and thin. Besides, I'd rather make a few well fitted liners and more fashion garments so my sewing time is spent more on fashion and less on lining.

Now, having different colored liners can also allow one to change the look of a sheer garment such as a blouse, skirt or dress. I have a floral silk sheer that looks festive over dark red and more subdued and officey over dark blue. My pink and white striped sheer looks kind of meh on me when worn over white, but over black, it looks like purple and black and is more flattering to my coloring.

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