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Rayon Bemberg / Ambiance
How to best sew?
littlecottondresses

littlecottondresses
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Date: 2/14/10 1:04 PM

Hi, I need help mastering rayon Bemberg / Ambiance. I like the fabric for lining but find it rather user-unfriendly especially for beginner-type like me. With a few expensive trials and errors, I've got a few things figured out, but not everything. So I thought I'd share what I've learned... and it would be great if anybody could help confirming, correcting, and/or adding to this list.

Preparation:
-- I handwashed and it turned out very wrinkly and would not press smooth. I sort of stomped on it to get the water out , so that might have been the culprit? For second try, I did not wash, just home dryclean using dryel-type, and it turned out better. I used dryel because that's the method of maintenance I plan to use for the garment.

Cutting:
-- I've cut double-layer and the bottom layer turns out wonky (off-grain or even curvy when it's supposed to be straight). Lesson learned: cut single layers only. I guess this would apply to all slippery fabrics.

Sewing:
-- I used 2.5 stitch length, and for some reason that I could not figure out, the seams has pulls across the grain at the stitches. Like I was stitching it to tight. Would longer stitch resolve this? (I used a size 11 universal needle).
-- Sewing straight is difficult, but I'm not sure if it's because of my mediocre skills or because of the fabric itself.

Pressing:
-- Once wrinkled, I found it basically impposible to iron out. So avoid crushing, wringing, or stomping the fabric when wet or damp.

Does anybody have any tip for using Bemberg successfully?

Any suggestion for alternate lining fabric with similar characteristics, of the same price range, and easier to sew? Then I won't have to worry at all about Bemberg
-- Edited on 2/14/10 1:05 PM --

Sewliz
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In reply to littlecottondresses


Date: 2/14/10 1:27 PM

I get the same kind of washing results so I don't even consider using Ambiance if I'm lining something that I want to wash at home. Even if it did wash well for me I would still have to iron the lining after washing and that is too much of a chore.

Synthetic linings, poy or nylon, can be really nice. Even the basics offered at JoAnn can be very well behaved.

I use a smaller needle, a 9 maybe, when I sew this weight fabric and I make extra sure it is a brand new needle. The slightest burr will snag the fibers enough to make ugly pulls. Also "taut sewing" helps, where you create a little tension on the fabric by holding it behind and in front of the presser foot while still allowing the feed dogs to control the motion.

------
Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

frame
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frame
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In reply to littlecottondresses


Date: 2/14/10 1:40 PM

The nature of rayon is that it wrinkles. I love rayon Bemberg Ambiance, but I don't mind the wrinkles. I live in a hot climate and prefer the breathability that rayon gives me over a poly or acetate lining.

It's a personal thing. If you don't like the wrinkles, as SewLiz said, you might be happier with another fabric choice.

By the way rayon also shrinks. A lot. Wrinkles and shrinks. It doesn't sound very desirable, does it? LOL

------
"framed" was taken
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

dresscode

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Date: 2/14/10 1:46 PM

Did you tumble in the dryer after washing? I find this makes it a bit "bouncy" and easier to press out later.

Natalie D.
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In reply to littlecottondresses


Date: 2/14/10 3:09 PM

This really blows me away because I don't have any of these problems. After serging the raw ends together, I wash Ambiance in my front loader on the delicate cycle where it spins out briefly at 400-600 RPMs. I use Ecowash for silkies. Then I put it in the dryer on delicate and remove it as soon as it's done. At that point, it's perfect and ready to lay out w/o any ironing. If I've folded it for storage, then I have to iron out the creases. I use steam and the highest silk setting on my iron and the creases come right out with lots of steam. I do have an iron that has a separate element for steam generation so it can have lots of steam at a lower silk setting. That may be impossible with most regular irons. If I had a regular iron, I'd probably iron it damp after refrigerating it for a few hours--- and then get a better iron. Like wool, I always preshrink it whether the garment will be machine washed or dry-cleaned.

Before I put it (or any other silky) on my cutting mat, I make sure that there are no rough spots. If there are, I take them down with a piece of fine sand paper or an emery board. With Ambiance (and other silkies), I pin the selvedges together at 4-5" intervals and line them up along one of the lines on my mat to mitigate any slipperiness or off-grain problems. I use weights to lay out the pattern piece with 2 pins on the grain line, cutting one pattern piece at a time only (but double thickness), and cut them with a rotary cutter---NEVER MOVING THE FABRIC until the piece is completely cut out and any notches snipped. Then I carefully pull the fabric away from the cut-out pattern piece watching for any little spots where a thread might still be attached and snip those as I go. IMO, scissors return an extremely poor result, single layer or not. I never, ever use scissors to cut silky fabrics unless I am pulling a thread to cut it on the grain line (as for scarves, curtains).

I use a standard throat plate (wide slot) on either my 931 or 440 Bernina, with a 65 or 70 SHARP (NEVER a universal). I never sew more than two garments with any needle. Depending on the length of the seam, I use either the regular foot or a walking foot using a 2.5-2.7 stitch length. After seaming, I usually run it through the serger since it's almost always a lining.

One more thing: When you are using more difficult fabrics or sewing with less room for error, that is where the quality of your sewing and related equipment really comes into play.

------
"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons" Ralph Waldo Emerson

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In reply to Natalie D.


Date: 2/14/10 3:13 PM

Oh man, seriously? No wrinkling? I've got to get a front-load washing machine.

------
"framed" was taken
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

Natalie D.
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In reply to frame


Date: 2/15/10 2:01 AM

It has little to do with the machine, I assure you. That's why I use a delicate cycle with a gentle, brief spin. I actually hate my particular front loader (a Bosch) because it hopelessly tangles anything of length. For instance, I wash my husband's dress shirts all by themselves on a permanent press cycle which is rather short on my machine. Even on the lowest RPM spin for that cycle, the shirts come out in a big, tangled, hopelessly twisted ball and I have to stand there untangling the entire mess. The Bosch people said I have to button up the shirts all the way and then turn them inside out so the sleeves don't get tangled. Did you ever hear anything so ridiculous? This washer left permanent ugly creases in all my sheets (that were never there with the previous washer) and I have to add extra water manually to certain cycles or else it leaves detergent in the clothes despite that I only use about a tablespoon of liquid detergent (one advantage). And there are many more problems with which I won't bore you. Most people seem to love their front loaders and I'm sure there are good ones but mine is a really lousy machine and I hate it, hate it, hate it.

So please know what you're buying before you get a front loader. Some are obviously better than others.

------
"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons" Ralph Waldo Emerson

MsMaryO

MsMaryO
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Date: 2/15/10 8:49 AM

I use Ambience a lot, for lining jackets and pants. here's what I do:

To pretreat: I wash it in cold water on delicate in the washing machine. I hang dry over the shower rod, making sure there are no big creases or wrinkles in it. After it is dry it stays semi-flat. It is easier to work with if I DON'T iron it. Yes, it has wrinkles but it has enough body to keep from sliding all over the table when I cut it out. I press out the wrinkles as I sew the lining.

To sew: I sew my linings with a 1/2 inch seam instead of the full 5/8ths. And I hold the seam taut as I sew it to help with puckered seams.

I use this method when I plan to hand wash and hang dry a garment. If I plan to dry clean the garment, I don't usually pretreat it, I just press it with light steam.

HTH, Mary

------
"Why be difficult?.....with just a little more effort, you can be completely impossible."



2009 out: 25.5 yds
2009 in: 15 yds.

Doris W. in TN
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In reply to littlecottondresses


Date: 2/15/10 9:03 AM

Quote: littlecottondresses

Sewing:

-- I used 2.5 stitch length, and for some reason that I could not figure out, the seams has pulls across the grain at the stitches. Like I was stitching it to tight. Would longer stitch resolve this? (I used a size 11 universal needle).


I learned to use a small (size 65 or 70), sharp type needle (jeans or microtex), and a fine thread like Mettler 60/2 wt. cotton. They'll give the least puckery seams, and decrease that effect where it looks like the fabric has 'pulls.'

This is slippery stuff to work with. Try some of the suggestions here and see which works best for you. I'm too lazy to cut single layers, so I live with some of it being a little wonky, even with the rotary cutter.
littlecottondresses

littlecottondresses
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Posts: 4
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In reply to Sewliz


Date: 2/15/10 11:43 AM

Thanks! I'll try using the smaller needle and the taut sewing method!

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