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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: chip1980
Date: 02-18-2005, 01:30 PM (1 of 13)
I am trying to sew a christening gown..posted here due to the fabric I want to use. My neice wants the gown to be satin...and I have never sewn on this type of fabric. What type of satin or satin like fabric is the most forgiving...and not show if I have to tear out and re-sew? Also..any hints how to deal with the slippery-ness of the satin type fabric.

I want to also machine embroider some heirloom type motifs on the front...and maybe by the neckline....will hooping the fabric leave I correct that you can't really iron satin?

I am afraid to start this project...but the baby is due in early I have to get going....

Any advice would be welcomed...Thanks...Chip 1980
User: chip1980
Member since: 07-11-2002
Total posts: 6
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 02-19-2005, 01:29 PM (2 of 13)
When I was going to sew a wedding dress, I contacted our County Agent (used to be called Home DEmonstration Agent) .. She is a professional Home Economist and knows all about everything or where to find it.. She sent me a brochure about sewing on Satin, and also one on Pressing Satin.. I think nowadays polyester satin is much easier to handle than old timee skinner satin.. You have to be careful and pin only in the seam allowances because pin holes do show forever... Is your friend Sure she wants satin.. ?? She must not know much about the traditional Christening dresses and how they are handed down from generation to generation With all the names embroidered on the slip that goes under the dress..
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: Sewhappie
Date: 02-20-2005, 03:07 AM (3 of 13)
They do have fabrics out there that are just a beautiful as a satin and much easier to care for. With all the bridal stuff out now you can find just about any color under the sun, some you can even wash and iron. READ the bolt information closely, even copy the info to send along with the gown once is it made, for those down the road who use it the gown. I have serged these fabrics, but for something like this I would use "French seams" that way all the raw edges are enclosed. Do you know how to do this seam? If not, it is very easy to do. Match your seams together, WRONG SIDES back to back, stitch your seam. With a pressing cloth, flat press, do not open the seam, and steams lightly. trim the allowance back to 1/4", open the garment right side down on the board, and flat press the allowance to one side. Once the fabric has set a bit, put right sides together and stitch the same seam, this time from the wrong side, about 1/4", making sure to enclose the raw edges inside the stitching you are now doing. I am sure Mary has something on the site with sample pictures about French Seams.

Have you seen Sewing With Nancy where she has taken her hoop and places a heavier piece of stabilizer, almost like a light weight plastic, cuts out the center, BUT leaves about a 1" or 2" ( or more if needed, but must clear the design area) all around the inner edge. This acts like a support in the frame. She then uses a piece of sticky back stabilizer, sticky side down, and places it under the spot to be stitched out. Mind you that the fabrics are pinned onto the stabilizer, BUT with satin you don't want to pin, so I would try a very light couple of small dots of fabric glue on the back of the fabric to hold it to the stabilizer. TEST it first to see if it would stain the material on a scrap of the same. I have seen her use just about every weight of stabilizer out there, but for something like this I would try a sample of the dissolve away that would come out in either water or Dry Cleaning. If not than as light weight as you can go.
The idea of the heavier stabilizer in the frame saves you from having to re-hoop all the time AND from crease marks on your project. So with other projects all you have to do is slide your project under the needle and double check your placement, the sticky back holds to the 1-2" edges inside the hoop, you stitch your design and then take the project out when done and not have to fuss with the hoop. She did use her fingers in the inner corners of the frame for the first few stitches to make sure that the sticky back was staying in place.
User: Sewhappie
Member since: 10-27-2001
Total posts: 1427
From: blessedmommyuv3
Date: 02-22-2005, 03:13 PM (4 of 13)

HTH! :smile:

Jen in CA
User: blessedmommyuv3
Member since: 05-18-2004
Total posts: 263
From: mommydionne
Date: 02-22-2005, 04:37 PM (5 of 13)
Satin can be finicky, take a look at the bridal section and see if they have a satin-like fabric that you could use instead, it is also very heavy.

But if you are going to use it... always pin in the seam allowance or baste with very fine cotton thread (ie lingerie thread if you can get it), NEW pins are a must, test sew b/c you are going to have to adjust your stitch length based on the weight of your fabric you choose. save a long thin piece of scrap satin to slide under seam allowances when you press or you will get press lines along your seams. If you don't have a teflon base iron see if you can borrow one, be careful with the heat setting b/c you can melt or discolour some of the synthetics quite easily. I like to cut satin with pinking shears even if I am doing french seams cause if frays like crazy.

I've never embroidered it but would likely try something like a temporary spray adhesivie cause Sticky might pull too much on the loose fibres, but watch for seep through that could happen as well.

have fun, satin is beautiful and will make a great gown.
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
From: paroper
Date: 02-23-2005, 08:03 PM (6 of 13)
I purchase IBC pins from Nancy (or anyplace) to use with fine dress fabrics like satin. They are long with glass heads and they don't make very large holes. They are also very smooth can feel the difference when they enter the fabric. It is just extra insurance that you won't pull or damage the fabric. I don't use them for any other type of sewing because they are so fine they fall out of many fabrics and I step on them.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: chip1980
Date: 03-01-2005, 12:28 AM (7 of 13)
Thanks a lot to all of you that responded. I feel like with your help that I am ready to jump into this project with both feet...still a little apprehensive that I will find MUD!!! but then...I ususually feel like that when I attempt something new.

Thanks for the suggestion about the pins and the french seams. I probably would have just used my normal quilting pins...(I generally grab that box because it is out...and convenient) if you hadn't reminded me to get out the glass head ones...or the silk ones. I can't find the ones you recommended around here.

And I have never done french seams...but will try on a couple of scraps of the satin before I start to get the idea into my head.

I did purchase some inexpensive satin like fabric similar to the kind I want to use...and plan to do a trial gown before I do the one for my niece. When I finish...if it looks ok...I will put it into the consignment shop locally. If granddaughter will love it for her doll!!!

Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.

I have learned so MUCH from reading these boards. I am a semi-novice to do it...but no formal lessons. So...from reading these boards...and a good generalist sewing projects are beginning to look like an adult actually did them...not a 5 year old !!!!

Thanks again...Marcia (Chip 1980)
User: chip1980
Member since: 07-11-2002
Total posts: 6
From: Mary Ann
Date: 04-13-2005, 08:18 AM (8 of 13)
I made a Christening gown for my grandson from my daughter-in-law's bridal shawl. It was very "stiff". I found the simplest pattern and made a sailor collar. Some satin just can't be made heirloom.

Good luck
Mayr Ann
User: Mary Ann
Member since: 04-27-2002
Total posts: 3
From: SummersEchos
Date: 04-13-2005, 09:06 AM (9 of 13)
I made a satin christening gown and coat for one of my GD. It wasn't a heirloom, but I did many heirloom techniques on it. If you buy the satin from your local fabric store, try to get the best satin you can afford. At JoAnn's they stock basically 2 kinds in Mich. They may have a bolt here and there of other kinds. The have in stock Baroque or Casa. I would stay away from the Baroque,I know it is cheaper and more flowly. It is dry clean only, frays quite a bit, and shows every little mistake you may make. The casa is a collection that is macine washable, more forgiving, easier to work with. The shine isn't as shiny as the Baroque. It is about 3 dollars more a yard but it is also wider. I agree with the french seams and fine needles. Use a pressing cloth whenever you press it. Something a customer at JoAnn's told me when I was trying to pick out my satin. The baby will be held by many people, including whoever is doing the christening. At the church where my GD was christened, the priest held her up high in front of him facing him then turned her around to face the crowd. Her dress was massive and the coat too. It made for a pretty picture but with the satin he had to have a grip on her.

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
From: MariLynnTX
Date: 04-13-2005, 07:28 PM (10 of 13)
Traditionally, christening gowns are NOT made of satin, but if your niece insists, by all means get a polyester satin, as lightweight as possible. The slip underneath should be a fine batiste for the baby's comfort. Babies get very warm with 2 layers of satin. I wrap the embroidery hoops with bias tape or twill tape because machine embroidery on satin is difficult without hoops. It needs to be very firmly and tightly held. Also, spray adhesive is a good idea. I don't like using sticky on satin. I have used the spray on very delicate laces and batistes without a problem. I have sewed quite a bit, when I was doing custom sewing, on satins, taffetas, velvets, and silk, and I have taught sewing and freemotion embroidery, am still selling my book about it. MariLynntx
Life is a song...we give it harmony or dissonance.
User: MariLynnTX
Member since: 08-13-2001
Total posts: 256
From: Hogmami
Date: 04-13-2005, 09:09 PM (11 of 13)
Marilynntx, where can I buy your book at?
User: Hogmami
Member since: 09-30-2004
Total posts: 800
From: MariLynnTX
Date: 04-14-2005, 10:25 PM (12 of 13)
Carolyn, you can buy my book directly from me. That's how I sell it all over the internet. If you send me your e-mail with your e-mail address, I will send you my information letter. My e-mail is: <email address removed for privacy>
Life is a song...we give it harmony or dissonance.
User: MariLynnTX
Member since: 08-13-2001
Total posts: 256
From: MariLynnTX
Date: 04-15-2005, 02:55 PM (13 of 13)
I sent the e-mail about the book. Please let me know when you receive it; I have been having some trouble with my e-mail. MariLynn
Life is a song...we give it harmony or dissonance.
User: MariLynnTX
Member since: 08-13-2001
Total posts: 256
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