The Bridal Gown Part 2: Silk Lining

After much hemming and hawing over the toile, trying to decide if the awkward bits were due to flaws in the design or my own rushed sewing, I've decided that Vogue 8814 will do. I'll need to make a thousand small adjustments to make it match the vision in my head, but really the cut couldn't be more comfortable or practical for a bumpin' fall wedding. I've said yes to the dress.

Below are a few photos of the lining for the dress made from a light, sheer Habotai silk. This stage was both exciting and scary. It's the second most expensive fabric I've ever cut (scary), and because it's full-length it's basically the most realistic mockup of the final dress I'll get (exciting).

Of course it isn't perfect. The edges are unfinished where it's supposed to connect to the outer fabric, there's a weird upper belly pouch that far exceeds what I'll need to "accommodate" a third serving of brisket, and that FREAKING BUTT BUMP wont go away -- even after some tearful adjustments midway through piecing it together. 

Still, I like it. The biggest relief is that a mostly successful slip means the toile-edited pattern makes sense. I will probably do toiles of everything from now on. Maybe one day I'll turn this blog into a sewing and self-care YouTube channel named "Yamanda, Toile My Life."

To recap, for the slip I used the deconstructed toile to adjust the raw pattern.

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Then, as described in my last post, I re-traced the pattern and used it to cut the slip pieces. I learned my first hard lesson from this step. Folks, I am not an expert seamstress, and 100% silk is an expert's choice for a reason. The real stuff is actually thinner and lighter than I expected after a lifetime of wearing the fake stuff, which made it slip 'n slide around on the cutting mat, not to mention snag on anything that moved. I eventually had to Scotch-tape it to the mat like a plebeian. Next time, for the outer fabric, I vow to use a rotary cutter instead of scissors so I won't have to reposition the delicate baby fabric with every breath. 

The other good news is despite all of the mistakes (and swearing) I didn't mess things up enough to inflate the costs. I'm on budget... for now.

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Extra emphasis on the for now. As you can see above, the low total is mostly because I took a risk on discount outer fabric. A few days ago when I found some pretty rayon-satin fabric online, I wanted to learn more about rayon. I asked Google, is synthetic satin bad? Why is it cheaper? What's natural satin usually made of? Will you give me an excuse to be cheap again?

I learned that "satin" isn't even a type of fiber but describes how the fabric is woven. Satin  just means it’s woven in a special pattern in which the threads in one direction are longer and more pronounced than in the other direction, making the surface lustrous. Satin can be made of silk, rayon, polyester, cotton, or even a blend, and synthetic satin is sometimes softer and/or stronger than satin from natural fibers. Mind blown.

This image shows different ways of weaving  metal , but the concept is the same. Satin fabrics are woven more like last two sketches. Essentially, the longer the crosswise grain and tighter the overall weave, the shinier and softer the fabric.

This image shows different ways of weaving metal, but the concept is the same. Satin fabrics are woven more like last two sketches. Essentially, the longer the crosswise grain and tighter the overall weave, the shinier and softer the fabric.

In the end I was not convinced that the mostly silk satin was worth its price (up to $60 per yard), especially if it doesn't actually look or feel better. Besides, after handling pure silk for the lining anything like Habotai seemed too delicate for the style I want, and the traditional duchesse satin (a silk/rayon blend) looked flat and dull, almost like canvas. So I went with "crepe back" satin, a rayon/silk blend that is highly lustrous on one side and rippled matte on the other. It's pretty, but I’m trying to not be naïve about what else the discount means. To be safe and stay humble, I’m assuming that the entire rest of my budget (about $135) could be swallowed by a last-minute rush to buy nicer fabric at full cost. 

Next week I'll make the outer shell from the crepe back satin and attach it to the silk lining. In the meantime, comment below if you have thoughts about the best way to remove stubborn butt bubbles.

xo, Yamanda