05 May 2011

Scrap thread testing - silk charmeuse

Maggie is wanting in progress pics ... fair enough, since I did bug her about progress pics when she was working on her denim corset.  LOL  I waited more than 48 hours before bugging though .... but in her defense, she does have this same silk charmeuse so I can understand her interest in this project.

I spent yesterday testing thread, stitches, and practicing french seams on scraps of the silk charmeuse ... and I am starting to run low on scraps!  I tried out different stitch lengths on my Brother CS-770 (my daily driver and delicate fabric machine) and decided 1.8 setting is too long as it starts to have a gathering effect on the finished seam (note: this may come in handy for the neckline).  The 1.6 setting looks good - little puckering, but not the too short bulletproof look that begins to resemble perforation that the 1.4 setting started to look like.

Now, about the thread itself ... I had gone out and bought Gutterman cotton thread on Nay's advice, because she has done bridal work and sewn much more silk than I have (recall this is my first time sewing silk!).  She verified in chat that I had the right thread by its color number, so that part was good ... the problem I am seeing is this thread seems too stiff for this silk charmeuse!  Honestly, it has a "light boning" effect, especially on french seams (where it is sewn twice).  So I tried what Gloria recommended: embroidery machine thread.  While it still is stiffer than unsewn silk, the effect is noticeably less ... here is my *attempt* to capture this on pixels:

Machine embroidery thread versus Gutterman cotton thread
The stiff part shows, but the curve on the machine embroidery thread sample isn't as obvious.  This is after trying to press both samples, as well.  About that ... this silk charmeuse does not like taking a press.  I should have guessed that when I laid it out and there was hardly any wrinkling even though I had to hide this fabric in a box to keep inquisitive and destructive felines away from it!  I am using a press cloth (don't want any accidental marking of the silk from my more-than-a-decade-old iron) but am just not brave enough to try increasing the heat beyond the silk setting.  I don't have enough left over to cut any new pieces.  (Go ahead and call me chicken!  LOL)

Now, for a little fun and fabric acquisition with little expenditure: here is the "to iron" pile on my ironing board, with my newest acquisition on top: the rayon floral Maggie mailed me left over after she made the very lovely classic keyhole tunic last week (that she hadn't worn as of last night!). 


Floral rayon - It's MINE now!!
 It's about 2 yards ... just enough for ME to make a classic keyhole tunic just like this one ... except in my size.  Not only did I have fabric envy when she posted this ... I had finished garment envy, and since Maggie is iffy about this project I first had to find out what size she made.  Maggie and I do not wear the same size ... I need a size 18 for my shoulders (too many push ups as a mouthy private in the army ...) so I couldn't trade for the finished tunic.  If she ever gets over her "tablecloth fabric" idea and actually wears this lovely tunic she's made ... we'll have matching garments sometime this summer!  Oh and fabric lovers ... fear not.  This rayon floral is now in a truly loving home, where its beauty and classic print will be truly appreciated.  Did I mention its even prettier in person?  It has a second floral motif in subtle white-on-cream to go along with the very pretty pink themed roses that the camera doesn't pick up too well.  Maggie is getting about 2-1/4 yards of my white handkerchief linen with a couple swatches ... the prop in the first pic.  She hasn't been bitten by the linen-love bug ... yet ... but I am intending to fix that with a sample swatch of the FM couture linen (which I now own four colors of ... they're under the rayon in the to-iron pile).

I may not make much progress today, as it is our anniversary and hubby is taking me out (to include hitting Hancock!) once my clothes dry.  I want to wear my simple skirt, a bright pink matching knit top, and my denim mid-Victorian corset.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Thanks for the update!

And I am wearing the shirt! I decided to wear it today just so you wouldn't be able to bug me about it! I really do need something better to wear under it, though. I'll have to make a light-colored corset soon.

And I am getting hooked on linen, I just need to buy corset supplies too and I can't buy both! I've been working on another keyhole-neck tunic from the mushroom brown linen. Remember, the floral rayon was the mockup for the linen version! Doing embroidery on the neck band, too! Just trying to get it right.. This will be the first actual garment I've done embroidery on. (Yes, I know I don't use my emb machine nearly enough..)