Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Fabrics: Charmeuse

Charmeuse is a light weight, satin woven fabric, with a satin finish on the front and a dull finish on the back. It is typically made of silk, but can be made with synthetic fibers like polyester. Silk-Charmeuse is expensive, very delicate, soft and a better insulator. Where as Polyester-Charmeuse, is cheaper, machine washable and doesn't breathe well. So I think the choice of which you would choose to make clothing is already made for you.

Uses for women's wear would be lingerie, evening gowns, blouses etc., and men's wear would be pieces more like jackets and slacks, handkerchiefs, ties and boxer shorts.  Charmeuse does not work well for tailored sewing as it does not hold its shape well, but it is great for flowing dresses.  However, the wedding dress I recently made with this fabric worked well as an over-lay, which I then tailored.

This fabric is very challenging and is not recommended for beginners, because it is extremely slippery and tends to move around a lot through the presser foot of a sewing machine.  At the seams, Charmeuse puckers and pulls but I found finer thread minimizes this.  Some other challenges I went through while working with the sheer Charmeuse fabric were the pins would leave holes and marks where the fabric was pinned. Recently, I found out that a sizing product can be sprayed on before cutting and can be washed when the garment is complete.  At the end of the day, my client was very pleased with the finished dress, and that makes all the little frustrations of working with this fabric worth it.

A few years ago I made my sister's wedding dress with Charmeuse and it was very easy to work with, as it was much thicker then the sheer of its kind.  I had no problems with it then, but it was also a completely different structure and draped very nicely, my sister was incredibly happy with the outcome and so was I. Overall I would say the look and feel of this fabric is amazing!

My Sisters A-Line, Empire Waist Wedding Gown

photograph taken by Lee Sperduti

My Clients 2 in 1 Wedding Dress 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Fabrics: Velour

Velour is a plush knitted fabric or textile.  It is made from cotton mainly, but can also be made from synthetic fibers, like polyester.  Combining stretchy knit properties like spandex creating an appearance and feel of velvet.  Velour has a wide variety of uses in the clothing and upholstery businesses.  Very popular for warm and casual clothing, as well as car upholstery and theater drapes or stage curtains.  Velour is a great substitute velvet because it is inexpensive and feels very similar.

Working with velour can be challenging, due to it being plush and slippery, seams pucker easily when machine sewing this fabric or so I have read.  I have yet to use velour, but from what I can see as long as you take certain steps, it makes it much easier to work with. Here is an eHow on 'How to Sew Velour'  This fabric, I think, is amazing because it is so diverse and is used for so many different products in many types of markets, automotive, theater, sports wear etc.  Making this fabric and textile a great pick!

Car Seats
Blue Bathrobe
Black Dress
Black Studded Shoes
Blue Purse
Black Clutch
Wedding Day Track Suit
Little Girls Black Dress
Vintage Curtains
Red Floor Length Dress

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Fabrics: Cashmere

Cashmere is a fiber from several types of goats.  It is fine in texture, strong, light, soft and is an excellent insulation.  Chasmere goats produce double fleece which consist of a fine and soft undercoat or under down of hair mixed with a straighter, much coarser outer coating called 'guard hair'.  In order for the fine undercoat to be sold it must be de-haired, which is a mechanical process that separates the coarse hairs from the fine undercoat.  De-hairing results in "Cashmere" and is then ready to be dyed and converted into textile yarn, fabrics and garments.  India is the largest producer of raw cashmere, an estimated 10 000 metric tons per year of hair.  The Pashmina, a very popular cashmere shawl, was first invented in India and the Pashmina goal is a special breed that resides in high altitudes of the Himalayas in Nepal, Pakistan and Northern India.  

I decided to keep going with my wool theme starting with 'Tartan' and finishing with 'Cashmere', wool is an amazing textile that is so diverse.  This fabric is fantastic, so soft and beautiful, if you don't own a Pashmina, you should! Cashmere can be pricey, but it seems to last quite a while and can be used as a excellent staple piece for your wardrobe.  Now I have yet to work with cashmere,  however I have done some research and found that it is a wonderful fabric to create with, as long as you take care during the process.  Jackets, Sweaters and Scarves seem to be the most sewn with this fabric since it is a great insulator  why not right?  I think I will use cashmere in my work to make a coat with an amazing lining, something very chic and eye catching.  

Cashmere purse
Black Cashmere Shoe 
Long V-Neck Tunic
Stephane Rolland Dress
Square Tulip Dress

Cashmere Coat