I am writing this post from my powerless home in Long Island, New York. (I finally got a flight back from International Quilt Market in Houston.) All I can say is: Thank goodness for smart phones!
|This bodice is made from a stiff cotton and needs a lining with body.|
|I chose a medium-weight cotton muslin lining for comfort, body, and breathability.|
I was scratching my head trying to figure out what I could write about sewing in a home without electricity when I remembered that I have a darling casual cotton dress in the works.
The dress is a halter-style bodice with a gathered skirt. The pattern calls for a lining. When I first started sewing again, I did exactly what the pattern directed and would dutifully head to the lining section of the fabric store. It was filled with polyesters, which certainly have their place, but not for a cotton dress.
After a while, I started to think more sensibly about garments, particularly linings. I started following my instincts, not the instructions. Here is my best lining wisdom:
Be comfy: The lining goes next to your skin. You want it to be soft and comfortable. I prefer natural fibers: silks, cottons and rayons.
Let it breathe: The lining is a protective barrier for the garment, but it's also an added layer for your skin. Again, natural fibers breathe, wicking perspiration, and heating or cooling your body as needed.
Watch what you wear: You also want your lining to match the drape of your fashion fabric. I like to pair lightweight China silk with silk or silk-like garments. Rayon bemberg is a good, affordable, all-purpose favorite, often favored by high-end-designers. If you can't find silk or rayon locally, shop online. And with cotton dresses, like my current project, I am a huge fan of cotton muslin. It is widely available and comes in a variety of weights (it even works for coating!).
Linings aren't the only way for you to easily improve your garments. Embellishment is another great way to take your sewing up a notch! You'll get fantastic ideas in Interweave's latest and greatest book for sewing enthusiasts entitled Embellish Me. Create beautiful surface designs on projects ranging from tote bags and clothes to cushion covers, lamp shades, toys, and home furnishings! Be the first to get your copy and pre-order your copy of this beautifully illustrated, step-by-step resource today!
I have no idea when the power will be on again, but thankfully my home and family are safe. Sorry if the pictures are a bit dark. I may be trying out my restored treadle machine and hand-sewing by candlelight because I can't go long without sewing!
What are your favorite ways to dress up your garments? And how do you keep sewing when the power goes? Let me know!