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29 Sep 2011 - 20:1971181
Dress help
Not that I can make it at the moment, as my sewing machine is at home, and I'm at uni, but I'm new to the whole sewing clothes thing, and could do with some help with fabric - I have a pattern to make a dress for my Lucy Saxon cosplay http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42433000/jpg/_42433404_lucy_bbc_gall.jpg and I think I know what fabric I want to get - I've found a cheap red satin online - but I need to get a lining for the bodice, and a 'lightweight fusible interfacing' but I don't really know what they are, or if I can find them cheaply. If all else fails, I'll go and ask in my local fabric shop, but thought I'd ask here before I do that!

Secondly, for the same pattern, this one: http://www.simplicity.com/p-2317-misses-special-occasion-dresses.aspx I want a simple back like A, B or C, but without any of the extra bits (i.e. A without the ribbon that's tying it in corsetting sort of thing at the back) I know it's hard to tell when you don't have the pattern, but I don't have enough experience to know... do you think it would work to do so?

Thanks in advance x

~Always take a banana to a party, Rose... bananas are good!
30 Sep 2011 - 09:1471208
Hiya, yeah you should be able to make those modifications to the pattern without affecting how well the dress stays up. If you're worried the straps might not stay in place you can always use some sock glue or double-sided stickytape to keep your modesty.

Bodice lining - your local fabric shop will have a section for 'lining fabrics'. As the lining will be against your skin I would say perhaps avoid the 'shiny' linings as they might stick to your skin as you sweat. If you tell them the kind of garment you're making they'll be able to recommend you something of a suitable colour. You want the lining to be the same colour as the garment judging by the reference art.

Interfacing comes in two types - fusible and non-fusible. Fusible is the type you iron with a damp cloth over the top to join the interfacing to the fabric. The pattern will indicate which fabric pieces need to be backed with interfacing - figure out how much fabric you need to get all of those pieces, lay out a big towel on the floor, put the area of fabric required on the towel, the interfacing on top of the WRONG side of the fabric, and then a damp cloth over the top, and iron the whole shebang. This helps you do the whole lot in a oner without having to shift the fabric around once you've laid it out, unlike using an ironing board. Once your interfacing is on, THEN you can cut out your fabric pieces.

Non-fusible is the type you sew it in, and you don't need to do the whole ironing shiz and you can just cut everything to shape. It's cheaper than iron-on, if that's a factor in your costings, but as it doesn't stay in place when you're sewing, you'll need to pin it in to make sure it doesn't shift.

One last thing - you say you've found some cheap satin online... what kind of satin is it? A lovely dress like that can be ruined by using bad satin. If you look at the picture, the way the light falls on the dress would indicate that it's matt satin, not the shiny satin that's used for dance dresses and so on, which is the normal kind of satin that goes for cheap online. Just a cautionary note - if you're going all out to make this nice dress, it's worth saving up some extra pounds to get some proper matt satin to make it with. Matt satin is expensive, you're looking at a good £10 a metre. But Lucy Saxon's a classy lady - I don't think you'd catch her in a dress made out of shiny dance satin It'll be worth it! Hell, you could rewear it at formal events and things as well.

Hope that helps!

30 Sep 2011 - 10:5771218
Great, thanks for all that wonderful advice, it's really helpful!

I didn't know that there were different types of satin, but now that you say, I think that it probably is the shiny type, so I will shop around and see what I can do under a fairly tight (student!) budget!

Thanks again for the help, I'm really looking forward to getting this project properly underway!

~Always take a banana to a party, Rose... bananas are good!
30 Sep 2011 - 16:5571254
Hey there

madmazda86 has pretty much said everything that needs to be said, but I would add a bit from my own experience:

With interfacing you can get different sturdyness - most shops will have a light, medium and heavy - while they might not look like much when you get them, they do make things very solid - I would suggest probably getting a light or medium at most for a dress unless the pattern you're using says otherwise.

If you're worried about making it fit, a stretch satin might help, but a good quality stretch satin would probably be even more expensive. Best bet is to go to a fabric shop and look at their satins to get the right shine.

With the pattern, it looks easy enough to make dress A but just not add eyelets and lacing up the back - though of course it might gape a bit, so you might have to take the back in a bit after.

Best of luck with it ^_^

02 Oct 2011 - 11:3971351
Another tip is to buy some cheap fabric and make a mock up of the dress first so you can test how the back fits and make alterations from that. It gives you a test run making the dress which is really useful especially if you're new to sewing. Cotton or muslin are good fabrics, you can even cut up some old bedsheets to use.

03 Oct 2011 - 23:2871479
Thanks for the additional tips, they're really useful, and a test run sounds like a really good idea! I have a load of cheap fabric left that my mum picked up for me for when she was reminding me how to use the sewing machine, and teaching me a few bits that I hadn't done the last time I'd made use of one, so if I have enough I'll use that!

~Always take a banana to a party, Rose... bananas are good!
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