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Forum > Fabrics and more... > What's your favorite fabric for an easy to wear unlined summer dress? ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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What's your favorite fabric for an easy to wear unlined summer dress?
meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/2/12 9:47 AM

Now that im done nursing, I want to make more dresses to wear in the summer but most of my current favorite fabrics need a lining. I love love love to wear those silky cotton voiles, but even the dark colors are too sheer to skip a lining. And cotton lawn is a favorite, but again sheer. Normally I don't mind a lining, but I'm really in the mood for something a little simpler for everyday sticky weather. So what do others like to work with for those super icky days?
-- Edited on 6/2/12 10:25 AM --

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Melanie

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stirwatersblue
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Subject: Whats your favorite fabric for an easy to wear unlined summer dress? Date: 6/2/12 10:09 AM

The best fabrics for sticky hot summer dresses are linen and rayon challis. Both are wicking and quick-drying, so you'll actually feel cooler as you wear them (I wear layers of linen all through the hot Renaissance fair season--it really is nature's best performance fabric!). Alas, you will need your iron for both of them.

I know knit dresses are all the rage now, too. I see a lot of rayon jersey, which definitely *is* nice and cool to wear... but it also clings unflatteringly to every lump and bump... and, in some cases, invents bumps you don't actually have! LOL So it might not be the best "no lining" choice.

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~Gem in the prairie

meleliza
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Date: 6/2/12 10:28 AM

Yes, I'm looking at some rayon challis, but there's very little selection. Most of it is really very very ugly stuff. I haven't worked with it before. Does it really work without a lining? It seems lightweight and I hear it frays a lot.

. Linen is one of my favorites too, but as you said needs an iron. Still, it's wonderful and I have at least one linen dress planned.

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Melanie

LynnRowe
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In reply to meleliza <<
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Date: 6/2/12 10:37 AM

Rayon/Lycra 11 oz knits. In wovens, I'd go for rayon challis. Easy care, easy wear, love the stuff.

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I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

LynnRowe
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Date: 6/2/12 10:55 AM

Rayon challis is tougher to find, although I see more of it back again lately. Sawyer Brook had some gorgeous challis recently, and carry it quite often.

Some challis maybe be a bit too sheer for dresses without linings, but not all. I've never used a lining with challis, and I've not had any problem of excess fraying.

I prewash the fabric, as it does shrink, then I machine wash the finished garment, but hang to dry.

Fashion Fabrics Club has a large selection, prints and solids.



-- Edited on 6/2/12 11:07 AM --

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I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

marec
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In reply to meleliza <<


Date: 6/2/12 10:59 AM

I like to sew summer dresses with cotton blends. You can find good quality cotton or cotton blends online. I also love to sew and wear rayon challis and have found gorgeous prints with some hunting online. Right now I am working on this dress in a red cotton with white graphic floral. The cotton has a very nice feel, and it is not too sheer. I usually buy from these companies: Gorgeous Fabrics, Michael's Fabrics, Fabric.com (NAYY)

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marjoriekh
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Date: 6/2/12 11:06 AM

Linen and rayon, yes!

Sometimes challis is hard to find in the colors or prints you want, but look around and you may find something. Gorgeous Fabrics has a number of rayon challis' and broadcloths right now. Fabric Mart often does, too. Also check Sawyer Brook. And I almost forgot Waechter's, which has a gorgeous selection of rayons, including a drapey rayon/linen blend called Brussels Washer in 9 colors. (I'm going to be in Asheville next month, so I'm excited to get a chance to look at and touch their fabrics in person.)

Don't forget about rayon batiks, which are my favorites for summer. Waechter's linked above has some. Rayon Batiks at Shibori Dragon closing out at $8.50 a yard. Apple Annie's also has some, as well as many other rayon prints and solids. And there's a very wide selection of batiks at Indonesian Batiks.

I've been making rayon jersey dresses, lining the skirt portion, only, with a lightweight wicking jersey. (Read about my source for $5.75/yd wicking jersey here.) These dresses are my hot weather staples. It's like wearing the world's most comfortable (and absorbent) nightgown, but you look 'dressed up.'

And I have to thank StirWatersBlue for putting me on to fabrics-store.com, her source for linen. Great fabrics and prices!

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marjoriekh

LynnRowe
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In reply to marjoriekh <<


Date: 6/2/12 11:10 AM

Ohhhhh, I forgot about Brussels Washer! That is a fabulous fabric!

------
I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

alexisart
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In reply to marjoriekh <<


Date: 6/2/12 7:42 PM

Well, I had vowed not to buy anything else for awhile until I checked these links! I just ordered two pieces of fabric from Shibori (rayon). They say they add exact shipping - I hope that's not a bad surprise! Just couldn't resist!

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 6/2/12 7:50 PM

Linen and rayon, hands down! I wear many summer dresses (and skirts) and live in them from June to September. (Yes, with my dinosaur legs, one can really gawk) But those are my two "reach for" fabrics.

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"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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