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Bengaline rant
trash this dress?
alexisart
alexisart  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/8/12 7:52 PM

I just made a shirdress out of Bengaline from Fabric.com - poly, rayon and lycra. I spent a LOT of time on it. I now have a dress that could be nice except for the fact that every one of the vertical seams will not lay flat - have a puckered look. I also found that heat bond interfacing was a disaster - it doesn't stick well to it and also seemed to pull it up so the fabric it was attached to (front parts that contain the buttons and buttonholes) were shorter than the other pieces. I had to pull it off for the most part and leave it loose. Still on one side of the dress the facing didn't fit - it was like it was stretched out and wouldn't lay flat. But that I can hide. I have tried washing the dress (cold water on hand wash cycle) tumble drying partly on low (all of which is what instructions on site say and I had washed and tumbled dried the fabric before I sewed it up too) - I've pressed and pressed and the seams just all have this ripply effect. I know I will never be happy with the dress that I spent more time on than usual. I'm sure this has something to do with the vertical stretch. Me and stretch fabrics don't seem to get along at all. I serged the seams after basting them on regular machine. I'm quite disgusted and wondering what I did wrong. I've also found this bengaline seems to just stay wrickled in spots - while other ares seem ok. So pretty when it arrives and such a major pain once one tries to sew! Is it me?

Sew4Fun
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In reply to alexisart <<


Date: 5/8/12 8:47 PM


How disappointing! It's hard when you spend so much time on something. I've sewn with a lot of stretch bengaline over the decades so a couple of things.

You mentioned vertical stretch. Did you cut with the stretch going up/down or around the body? The correct way is to cut with the stretch going around the body, so if you cut with the stretch the other way you may have issues with seams and the dress not hanging correctly.

Next even though stretch bengaline is a woven I treat and sew it like a knit stretch fabric, often using patterns designed for knit stretch fabrics. Simple design lines are important with minimal seams and I would not be fusing interfacing to it for the reasons you have discovered. I did once fuse a good qaulity knit interfacing on a waistband and it held up well so there are exceptions but generally I avoid interfacing. As I said I treat the fabric like a stretch knit. I also sew the seams with a 4-thread overlock/serger stitch and hem with a coverstitch machine.

Lastly like all fabrics there are different qualities. In my expereince the higher the poly count the icker the fabric is.

HTH for future.

Btw, what pattern did you use?

-- Edited on 5/8/12 8:50 PM --

------
Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/

wenznz
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wenznz  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/8/12 8:52 PM

Perhaps the most obvious question to ask is did you cut out your pattern pieces with the stretch going around your body.

Bengaline normally has the stretch running lengthwise rather than across the fabric width, so you need to turn your pieces sideways to how you would usually layout your pattern

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Wendy
Wellington, New Zealand

Lety

Lety  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/8/12 8:52 PM

I bought some of this same fabric a couple of years ago, and yesterday noticed that the stretch was not horizontal but vertical, so I figured whenever I get around to cutting it, I will cut it on the vertical so it stretches widthwise.

jenleeC
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In reply to Sew4Fun <<


Date: 5/8/12 8:55 PM

Thanks for this! I have just purchased some bengaline but have not sewn it yet!

I did have one disaster with this type of fabric - went into auto pilot and cut some pants as normal without realizing that the stretch was on the lengthwise grain not the cross grain....well those pants just getting longer and longer! I took them up twice and then finally tossed them in the bin! I learned from that mistake to always check which way the stretch was running; it had just never occurred to me that a woven would behave like that.

Good to know about the polyester count. I'll watch for that in future.

------
Jenny, Perth, WA

Nan Kay
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Date: 5/8/12 11:10 PM

I was under the impression that bengaline was always a blend of rayon, poly and lycra, but I just saw some advertised that was just poly and lycra. Is that really bengaline? Just curious if someone happens to know! I just don't see how just poly will feel and act the same as the blend.
Nancy

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Nancy

Sew4Fun
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In reply to Nan Kay <<


Date: 5/8/12 11:34 PM

Nancy there are different types of stretch bengaline with different fibres. There are three basic types. Poly/rayon/lycra, poly/lcra and rayon/nylon/lycra. The first two drape and stretch in a similar manner but the poly/lycra version feels ickier and clings to the body when worn. The one with nylon has a different drape and feel because of the nylon, plus a lot more stretch. It's all stretch bengaline though, as long as it has the ribs. HTH

------
Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/

alexisart
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In reply to Sew4Fun <<


Date: 5/9/12 8:13 AM

I did cut it so the stretch was vertical but couldn't have done it the other way since I wanted a longer dress (legs are not my strong point) and it wasn't wide enough. I guess this was a rather time consuming learning process! I did use a 4 thread overlock but don't have a coverstitch machine. The pattern was McCalls 5847, which actually called for topstitching the seams also. Don't think that would help now. At this point it's hanging in the sewing room looking like it should be a nice dress - pretty silver and pearl buttons and turquoise fabric with horrible seams! The fabric is about gone from fabric.com - it's 65% poly. Now they have some that is ALL poly and doesn't stretch and for THAT they say dry clean! I so wish I had a wonderful fabric store with a great selection somewhere within an hour of my house so I could SEE stuff!

Nan Kay
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In reply to Sew4Fun <<


Date: 5/9/12 8:40 AM

Thank you! I'll avoid the all poly then. I checked a couple of pieces I have and one of them is part nylon. There is certainly a nicer feel to it!
I really like the weight of the bengaline for pants, much better than the stretch twills I can find!
Nancy

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Nancy

Sew4Fun
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In reply to alexisart <<


Date: 5/9/12 6:48 PM

Think of it as a "test" of the pattern and sew it again in another fabric. Plus you have learnt some things about stretch bengaline and you won't make the same mistakes again. This is what experience is all about.

Btw, McCalls 5847 is not a pattern I would personally use with stretch bengaline. Not a good match IMHO. Nice pattern though in another fabric.

------
Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/

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