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Forum > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > Taffeta vs. Shantung--wedding dress fabrics ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Taffeta vs. Shantung--wedding dress fabrics
darse
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darse
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Washington USA
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Date: 2/28/13 6:29 PM

While trying on wedding dresses, I fell in love with an Amy Kuschel gown (Fillmore) and decided to replicate it for my wedding dress. Here's a link to pictures of the original gown: Amy Kuschel "Fillmore"

I've muslined out the pattern and have a good fit, so now I need to start thinking about fabrics.

1. Taffeta vs. shantung? I love the rustle of taffeta, but I'm worried about sewing with it since the dress has very visible front seams that won't look great if they are puckered. Is taffeta easier to work with than shantung and less prone to puckering or wrinkling?

2. Lining fabric? I have samples of silk habotai, but it is pretty thin. Does anyone have any other suggestions for a lining fabric, perhaps something with a bit more body to it? The lining on the original dress felt quite substantial, and definitely wasn't silk. Again, I'd like something that will be fairly easy to work with, will breathe (no polyester), and will help maintain the shape of the dress and keep the silk fabric from wrinkling too much. I was thinking perhaps a Bemberg rayon lining?

3. Underlining the skirt? My initial thought was to underline the silk taffeta/shantung with silk organza to help it keep some body and hopefully to reduce wrinkling. Should I be looking at another kind of fabric for the underlining?

4. Underlining the bodice? The dress will have some boning throughout the bodice and it shouldn't show up too much because of the pleating. However, I'm wondering if I need to underline the bodice with something different from the rest of the dress?

Many thanks!
--Darcy
Amy Kuschel "Fillmore"
-- Edited on 2/28/13 6:30 PM --
-- Edited on 2/28/13 6:31 PM --

carry
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Date: 2/28/13 7:11 PM

Have you thought about Dupioni?It has more body than shantung, Underlining with organza works fine. If you want a silk lining on top you could use habotai or crepe de chine whic is easier to use and thicker and bemberg rayon for the skirt. Taffeta has a crisp hand and you see it more in fuller dresses, petticoats that rustle with movement but its slickness may lead to puckery seams in this straight style unless you are really good at taut sewing. I've used Duchess Satin and Dupioni as well as heavy silk satin or double faced all of which had great body for sheaths

MaryDB
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MaryDB  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/28/13 9:45 PM

Yes, underline whichever fabric you choose with silk organza.

I must admit, I prefer silk taffeta or shantung over dupioni, as I am not a big fan of the rough slubs on the dupioni, but any of those would make a nice dress. Personally, I'd stick with the taffeta; you can sew it without puckered seams I'm sure. Underlining would help. Silk charmeuse would make a nice lining, or the bemberg would be fine.

BTW, Billie's at the Sew Expo today had a roll of fabulous silk taffeta in a pale ivory for - I think it was $18.95/yd - a steal.

Good luck!

darse
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darse
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Date: 3/1/13 1:16 AM

Thank you both, Carry and Mary! I had thought about dupioni, but the samples I have (from NY Fashion Fabrics) are pretty slubby, so I thought I'd stick with either the taffeta or the shantung to reduce bulk in the seams (especially in the bodice). And thanks for the great tip about the Sew Expo, Mary! I'll definitely try to stop by this weekend and see what's available!

couturemom
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couturemom
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Date: 3/2/13 6:48 AM

You can underline the bodice with flannel - it gives a slight bit of padding and prevents the boning from showing through. Just make sure that it doesn't change the color tone of your outer silk fabric.

darse
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darse
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Date: 3/3/13 12:14 PM

Thanks! I was wondering about that, actually. I figured I'd need a bit of extra padding through the bodice to hide the boning and the flannel would be perfect. Thanks for the suggestion!

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