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Fairy tale fabric lining choice

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    Profile photo of JenniferPJenniferP @JenniferP

    I am going to embark on my first heirloom sewing project, a first communion dress for my 8 year old. I have ordered taffeta fabric for the bodice and skirt and would really like something soft and silky for the lining. I saw some lovely silk at my local store but am wondering if that would work with the (polyester) taffeta. If not, what would be a luxurious, soft fabric for the lining?

    And a more general question is how do you manage different laundering requirements for one garment composed of multiple fabrics?

    TIA,

    Jennifer

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    I typically line spring dresses with soft cotton lawn, but I usually make them from cotton or linen. If I expect the dress will be worn with tights or layers underneath, I would probably choose something slippery for the lining. Often I use silk lining, but I like Bemberg rayon a lot too. It’s a pain to work with, but it is comfortable, breatheable and washable. Also, you can find basic colors at Joann and use a coupon.

    I don’t really use polyesther but I imagine taffeta needs dry cleaning? So if your lining also needs dry cleaning, wouldn’t that work?

    If by heirloom, you mean somethig that you would like to last from one generation to the next, I’m concerned that polyesther may not age well. I’m actually remaking a dress for a friend’s daughter that was hers in the 70s. Her grandmother underlined it with some kind of poly or acetate lining fabric and it has yellowed terribly, giving a yellow cast to the entire thing. I will be taking the whole dress apart and replacing the poly with cotton underlining and lining. You will find good advice on the Martha Pullen forums concerning heirloom fabrics.

    FYI, I found some white silk taffeta at Hart’s Fabric and ordered a sample. It is seriously lovely stuff.

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    I know nothing about heirloom sewing but I have sewed with silk taffeta and it is lovely. I would go with natural fibres whenever possible.

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    Profile photo of JenniferPJenniferP @JenniferP

    Thank you for your advice, ladies. I did want to use silk for this dress, but she fell in love with a button taffeta dress online and I cannot find that type of taffeta in silk, hence the polyester. At that point, she was insisting on having a store-bought dress, so I was happy to be able to make one for her, even if it’s out of polyester!

    I will be careful in my choice of lining fabrics, and may go with the silk (funny, the lining may cost more than the dress!).

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    Profile photo of mcholley1mcholley1 @mcholley1

    I just made one of these dresses and used satin (same as my outer) to line the bodice but a lightweight polyester voile for the skirt lining. It worked great. If your taffeta isn’t scratchy you maybe could use the same fabric on the inside…?

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    You’ve probably already considered the weather. It’s always an issue here. My son will make his communion in June, but other classmates do it as early as April. While June will more than likely be warm, April is unpredictable. For June, I would lean toward linen for comfort. Then again, my 3 year old already knows exactly what she wants, so I can imagine what she’ll be like at 8. 🙂

    I think the Bemberg rayon might be a good choice. It feels silky and nice and is comfortable to wear. I usually wash mine, but I suspect it can be dry cleaned just as well. If it’s really hot, I do feel like silk and Bemberg are both sticky. But if it’s not too warm, either will be comfortable.

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    Profile photo of dianelyonsdianelyons @dianelyons

    Hi,

    I am making my friend’s daughter’s matching fairy tale dresses (view B) to wear to their brother’s first communion. My friend picked out a beautiful Liberty Tawna Lawn fabric. I am thinking of underling the dress as well as lining it to give it a little more body. Any advice would be appreciated, I have only underlined fabric before when I made the Messenger bag from the Little Thngs to Sew book and was very pleased with the results.

    Thanks!

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    Profile photo of Liesl GibsonLiesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    Hey Diane, I’d suggest lining with lawn. Kaufman makes a nice line of solid lawns that would be a great lining. I’m not sure you’d need to underline the dress, especially if you’re going to include the tulle, which will give the skirt more body for sure. Does that help?

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    Profile photo of dianelyonsdianelyons @dianelyons

    Thanks, Liesl. That’s a big help!

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