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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > First time sewing taffeta (polyester) and rayon lining! Help! ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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First time sewing taffeta (polyester) and rayon lining! Help!
How to best do this?!
jing88lai
jing88lai
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Date: 10/11/12 9:45 PM

I don't know what possessed me, but the only fabric I could find that I liked to make a dress was this polyester taffeta, and I heard that rayon lining is best... so of course I bought some.

Now... how to sew them without ruining the fabric?!?!

I'm sewing a v-neck princess seam, fit and flare dress (the skirt panels will have about 5-6 inverted pleats.) I haven't started sewing yet, I'm still working on the muslin. I've already read a bit about using tape to hold it together after cutting. I hear that polyester melts easily, so I should use a cool iron?

But what other precautions should I take?

I'm having trouble figuring out how to sew together the princess seam patterns without making the fabric all wonky because the side princess seam panel need to be clipped and spread... will that mess up the fabric shape?

nancy2001
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In reply to jing88lai <<
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Date: 10/12/12 8:12 AM

Whenever I stitch a rayon lining together, I use a size 65 or 70 sharps needle. For rayon linings, I always, and I repeat always, use a walking foot on my machine (an inexpensive generic walking foot is fine as long as it fits your sewing machine) because that's the easiest way for me to get a smooth seam on this thin and slick, hard to sew fabric. And when I attach the lining to the garment, I switch needles to the same size I used when I was sewing the fashion fabric together.

If you have a small or medium sized bust as I do, you probably do not need to clip the princess seams. I never clip princess seams on my garments because I don't need to. When in doubt about anything in sewing, it's a good idea to take some scraps of your fabric and conduct your own test. Cut out a princess seam with scraps, sew it together without clipping the seams, and see how it looks to you.

As far as your iron temperature goes, again take some scraps of your fabric and conduct a test. You may (or may not) be able to go a bit higher on the temperature setting than you think. Also test to see whether or not you need to use a press cloth when you press the right side of the garment. With some fabrics it matters, with other fabrics it doesn't.

You may find it helpful to read some of the fabric guide sewing books in your public library (or buy used copies on amazon). But even if you have these books as I do, the best information comes from the tests you conduct.

------
No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

Pinkytoo
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Date: 10/12/12 11:56 AM

Hand basting and 1/4" Steam-A-Seam LITE (or Stitch Witchery) will be your best friends.

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Sewing is my therapy!

Coconuts
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Date: 10/12/12 12:57 PM

Also a rotary cutter will be a must.

stirwatersblue
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Date: 10/12/12 1:43 PM

Quote: Pinkytoo
Hand basting and 1/4" Steam-A-Seam LITE (or Stitch Witchery) will be your best friends.

Also a rotary cutter will be a must.

Pinky and Coconuts, can you two elaborate on what you mean?

I have a WIP I hope to return to someday--a velvet jacket with Bemberg lining--and I'm eagerly following these tips! But I'm not sure where/why you'd apply the Steam-a-Seam (one of my favorite notions!!)... and I'd love to hear the arguments in favor of the rotary cutter, too (one of my LEAST favorite notions! LOL).

Thanks!

BTW, Jing, I think your fabrics are lovely--what pattern are you making?

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~Gem in the prairie

Lynnelle
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Date: 10/12/12 2:02 PM

I second Nancy's suggestion of acquiring a walking foot.

Pinkytoo
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Date: 10/12/12 2:17 PM

I use Steam-a-Seam (lite)/Stitch Witchery very liberally - anytime I don't want a seam of any kind to slip or slide (e.g. princess seams). If it's a seam you are going to want to eventually press open, that's where the hand basting comes in. As much as I used to resist hand basting, I found that pinning and/or machine basting just aren't as useful. I refuse to set in any kind of sleeve or attach a collar anymore without hand basting it first, it just saves time in the long run (no more ripping it out 10 times, LOL).

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Sewing is my therapy!

Coconuts
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Date: 10/12/12 3:45 PM

A rotary cutter means your fabric stays flat on the table/cutting mat, you're not moving it around or even minimally lifting it like you would with scissors (meaning less chances for the fabric to slide all over everywhere).

jing88lai
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In reply to nancy2001 <<


Date: 10/12/12 5:16 PM

Quote: nancy2001
Whenever I stitch a rayon lining together, I use a size 65 or 70 sharps needle. For rayon linings, I always, and I repeat always, use a walking foot on my machine (an inexpensive generic walking foot is fine as long as it fits your sewing machine) because that's the easiest way for me to get a smooth seam on this thin and slick, hard to sew fabric. And when I attach the lining to the garment, I switch needles to the same size I used when I was sewing the fashion fabric together.



If you have a small or medium sized bust as I do, you probably do not need to clip the princess seams. I never clip princess seams on my garments because I don't need to. When in doubt about anything in sewing, it's a good idea to take some scraps of your fabric and conduct your own test. Cut out a princess seam with scraps, sew it together without clipping the seams, and see how it looks to you.


Oh! So many questions from your answers!

Nancy: I do have small busts, and one of my patternmaking teachers said that in general clipping is a home sewing technique and I would just need to trim really close to the seam line. Even if I don't have to clip the princess seams, what I've found is that when I sew the princess seam on my muslim, I really have to *handle* the fabric and manipulate it so that the side panel piece almost sits at a right angle to the front bodice piece when I first start stitching it (because that's where the curve begins). My fear is that if I have to handle the taffeta and rayon that much, it'll make it all wonky!

Do you continue to use the walking foot when attaching the lining to the fashion fabric? Should I also use the walking foot for the taffeta?
jing88lai
jing88lai
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In reply to Pinkytoo <<


Date: 10/12/12 5:23 PM

Quote: Pinkytoo
I use Steam-a-Seam (lite)/Stitch Witchery very liberally - anytime I don't want a seam of any kind to slip or slide (e.g. princess seams). If it's a seam you are going to want to eventually press open, that's where the hand basting comes in. As much as I used to resist hand basting, I found that pinning and/or machine basting just aren't as useful. I refuse to set in any kind of sleeve or attach a collar anymore without hand basting it first, it just saves time in the long run (no more ripping it out 10 times, LOL).

I'm confused about how you would use this. I've never used neither of those products.

Also, Stirs, I had been planning on using this fabric on a pattern that I drafted myself (which is pretty basic, a prince seam bodice with a deep curved v-neck and a poofy skirt with inverted pleats). HOWEVER, I'm having a heck of a time getting the muslin right and it's driving me bonkers because I'm trying to get this dress ready by the end of the month for one of my best friends' wedding! I might settle on a Cynthia Rowley 1873 if I can't figure out my own pattern. Hrmph.
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