Friday, November 13, 2009

Linings v. Underlining; Coco Before Chanel; Stashoholism Confessional 11-9-09

So it had been quite a long time since I did any fabric buying online, since June, I think. The problem with buying fabric online is that it is not quite as satisfying as buying fabric in person and I buy twice as much!

I was really taken by Simplicity 2473; I love it with the collar for a bit of a coatdress feel with much less work. However, I didn't have anything in stash for it. I decided since I'd finally had the chance to sew up some stash fabric last weekend I would treat myself, since this will be a great work dress throughout Fall/Winter. Before I started looking I saw some gorgeous silk/cotton on in exactly my color on The Selfish Seamstress and *had* to have it. I have worked with silk/cotton once before and found it a really wonderful fabric to sew; as soft as silk but much less unruly.

Luckily, had the perfect hounsdtooth wool blend as well, and at a crazy price. I was hoping for 100% wool; this is 70% rayon, 20% wool, 10% linen, which is an interesting blend. I don't generally have much use for rayon because all the rayons I've tried wear incredibly poorly, but I'm hoping the wool and linen (both of which wear well) will offer some durability.

After I placed my order I had a bit of buyer's remorse in choosing the turquoise. Yes, it is my favorite color, but maybe I should branch out?, 11-2009

When the fabric arrived it was so luscious, so gorgeous, that I decided I absolutely had to have more. Given the price of $12.98/yd (or $11.03 with the 15% discount code they had put into my first order), which is waaaayyyyyy more than I usually pay for any fabric, you know it's good. The red color is a gorgeous lipstick blue-red, exactly the color red I love. The purple is more of a red-purple than a blue-purple, which is not quite to my taste. I bought it with the idea of making a dress for a friend's wedding but I don't know how much of that color I can wear (this is the Violet; I probably should have ordered the Royal). I'm thinking of somehow toning it down with gray accents.

Unfortunately (for you), I bought up the last of the houndstooth, but there are still plenty of yards of many colors of the silk cotton available.


I pre-washed the houndstooth in cold and air dried. It didn't shrink too much along the length, but holy cow did it lose a lot of width! It went from 44" wide to 38.5" wide, and really fluffed up. The fluffing up I don't mind--it will add to the coatdress feel.

But now I am in a quandary. I was planning to line this dress and have the lining cut out. But then I thought, Hmmm, I am thinking that because this shrank so much along the width in the wash it is liable to have some stretching. Should I use that lining as an underlining instead?

What is better to prevent a fabric from bagging out, lining or underlining? Right now I am leaning toward underlining, as that will reinforce the seams as well. Wisdom appreciated.


Wednesday I had the day off for Veteran's Day, so a friend and I hit up a matinee of Coco Before Chanel, a French film starring (who else?) Audrey Tatou as a young Coco Chanel.

I knew this wouldn't be primarily a fashion film, but I am always curious about people's lives. I have to say, I didn't love this movie. Coco's character is frustrating and not especially charming, and it's difficult to see why everyone around her is charmed (I think it's a French thing). There are some sewing/fashion bits, but instead of being exciting they feel forced. She really wasn't that interested in creating fashion until later in her life, and it doesn't work to pretend that there is some foreshadowing. However, it was interesting to learn about her life, which was not a very happy one. My favorite part was the very ending sequence, in which she has become Chanel.

I would say there's no reason to see this in the theater, but put it in your Netflix queue if you're interested.

This was shown at our local "arty" theater (E Street Cinema) and they showed a preview for The Young Victoria, which looks like it will be a Costume Drama in the strongest sense of the word. It's not my favorite fashion era, but I will take luscious costumes from any era! And I have loved Emily Blunt since The Devil Wears Prada. I will definitely try to catch this one in the theater.


Nancy K said...

That's a seriously 'cute' dress. I really am tempted and I almost never wear dresses. I think that I'd be inclined to underline the dress. Is there enough fabric to make the dress since it shrank so much?

cidell said...

I may pee on myself. I think that houndstooth is what I've been looking for to make the Anthropologie coat.

Pamela said...

Wow! You are on a roll with great posts. I purchased some cotton/silk blend while in Thailand (it was sold as 100% silk but I knew better). I think I like it as well or better than some 100% silk fabrics. Color is just as vivid and, agreeing with you, it is easier to sew with.

Venus de Hilo said...

Nooooooo!!! I have already suffered a horrible lack of self-discipline and ordered from twice this week (and used up my 20%-off coupon); don't tempt me to go back!

Vicki said...

I didn't like Coco when I saw it a few months back. She wasn't likable was she? I did like the Young Victoria. It was a good history lesson too. That one is worth seeing.

Nice fabric purchases. Shame about the houndstooth shrinking

gwensews said...

To prevent bagging, I would definitely underline. Good luck and make a beautiful thing. And show us.

AllisonC said...

I agree with underlining, the Chanel movie and your gorgeous fabric choices! Someone lent me a Chanel movie with Shirley McClaine in it that I enjoyed more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning about "Coco". I think you could also "underline" by applying lightweight fusible interfacing. I made a jacket dress for my daughter out of a Rayon/linen blend that was surprisingly unstable. Interfacing the entire dress and jacket did the trick. Just make sure to use a very soft light interfacing.

A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. said...

I wasn't even sure what the difference between underlining and lining was, so I googled it, and found this Threads article. It was sounding like underlining would be a good choice for you, until I read this:

"One fabric that's always tricky to underline is rayon, since even the most well-behaved rayon sags when "hung" on the body. Because this sagging is more obvious over time when the garment is underlined, I don't underline rayon."

Hm. Since the houndstooth is heavy on the rayon, maybe something to consider.

Love your blog by the way! And while I may look like an unschooled fool in the lining/underlining department, I do sew!

Sigrid said...

Great fabrics, looking forward to see what you make from them.

amber said...

Love those new fabrics - the colors just pop and the grey scale on the houndstooth is really pretty. Can't wait to see the projects that come out of these!