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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: IsabelleB
Date: 05-12-2007, 10:20 AM (1 of 25)
Hi everyone!

I'm starting working on my wedding dress this weekend. :bg:
Some of you asked me to keep you updated on the process, so here goes!

I shall be cutting out the pattern this afternoon, and I'll be making up a muslin before cutting into the dupioni silk.
However, I'm still pondering whether to wash the dupioni or not.
I know this has been discussed on the boards before... It was said that washing dupioni will make it lose its luster. But is that a big deal ? I wouldn't mind myself if it was less shiny. Is it done to wash dupioni? Will it just make it less shiny, or will I end up with a lumpy, ruined fabric?

I hope some of the fabric savvy members here can advise me... :smile: Thank you! I am so excited and happy to be starting my wedding gown :smile:
Isabelle
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
From: MaryW
Date: 05-12-2007, 01:06 PM (2 of 25)
Isabelle, take a good size swatch 6" x 6" or so and wash it a time or two. See what happens.
MaryW
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: IsabelleB
Date: 05-12-2007, 03:35 PM (3 of 25)
Thanks, Mary!
I did that this afternoon. Well, I don't know whether it's because I'd serged the swatch beforehand (it was fraying a lot) but it ended up a lot coarser. Not at all what I was expecting. The warp threads are much more apparent than before.
I'm puzzled!
Isabelle
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
From: AndreaSews
Date: 05-12-2007, 03:42 PM (4 of 25)
Yes, isabelle, that's what I have found as well. Once washed, it lost its appearance of luxury and specialness, and instead of looking crisp, it looked...coarse and mmmmm...not-so-special. I think the agitation causes those hallmark slubs to get grabbed at a bit, which would lead to the changes you were noticing. I'd work it right off the bolt and plan to dry clean.
Andrea
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: paroper
Date: 05-12-2007, 05:11 PM (5 of 25)
If you are planning to wear the dress again it is one thing, but if you are not, I sure wouldn't wash it. I've heard some people say that they prefer duponni that has been washed...not me. I would never wash it regardless of what its future held. I always dry clean silks!
pam

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: IsabelleB
Date: 05-12-2007, 05:51 PM (6 of 25)
Thanks, you two!
Andrea, what you described was exactly my reaction when I saw the washed watch. I had nothing special anymore. Even the feel is different - it's not so fresh, if that makes sense.
So it wasn't me? The washed fabric is really supposed to look that way?

Pam, I don't know whether I'd wear it again. I might, some day. I'm not much into dressing up but it seems a bit silly, such a lot of work to wear a dress just once. I know, it's a wedding dress, but still...

I don't like to put my blog all over the place here, it's not the place for that, but in case you want to see what happened, I posted a couple of large (clickable) pictures over there, showing the difference between the original silk and the washed sample. It's in this article (http://e-zabelle.blogspot.com/2007/05/dupioni-update.html).

Thanks again :smile:
Isabelle
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
From: mommydionne
Date: 05-12-2007, 06:22 PM (7 of 25)
I think dupioni truly looses it "oomph" once washed, I would use as is and dry clean, it just does not has such a nice hand and the sheen is gone,
Jeanette
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
From: AndreaSews
Date: 05-12-2007, 09:50 PM (8 of 25)
So it wasn't me? The washed fabric is really supposed to look that way?
It wasn't you. :) Here's a silk care page (http://www.srfabrics.com/silks/silkcare.htm) from a large e-tailer, which talks about what you've already discovered for yourself.
Andrea
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: IsabelleB
Date: 05-13-2007, 03:09 AM (9 of 25)
Thanks for the link, Andrea. Dry cleaning it shall be, then!
Isabelle
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
From: AndreaSews
Date: 05-15-2007, 08:23 PM (10 of 25)
Here's a great article (http://www.denverfabrics.com/pages/static/Silk/silk-fabric-care-sewing.htm) covering many aspects of sewing with silk. I know this project is an important one to you. Last fall, I dragged my feet over a flower girl dress b/c I was a little nervous about starting it. Poor bride--If it made her nervous, she never let it show. It was worth it in the end though, of course.
Andrea
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: IsabelleB
Date: 05-16-2007, 07:38 AM (11 of 25)
Thank you so much, Andrea. You are always so helpful.
I remember the gorgeous green dress you made for your daughter. (I found the thread (http://swn-archive.sew-whats-up.com/t-20284.html) again) It was dupioni by the way, wasn't it? It looked like it. Your daughter is so beautiful.
Isabelle
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
From: AndreaSews
Date: 05-16-2007, 04:43 PM (12 of 25)
That's right, Isabelle. It was duppioni as well, and also one of those big projects that was personally meaningful and had a lot of (self-induced) pressure on it! That's why I have been following this thread. Once I started, I mean from the very first snip, it was clear to me that it was no different than any other work that I do, except a little prettier :up: then it all came together swiftly.
Andrea
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: Judi
Date: 05-16-2007, 08:03 PM (13 of 25)
I noted that the pros suggest hand washing the dupioni. I have hand washed dupioni - in tepid water, and rinsed really well. It did change the hand, but made it softer - and more drapey.
Judi

Sewing is almost better than Chocolate.
User: Judi
Member since: 06-22-2000
Total posts: 85
From: IsabelleB
Date: 05-17-2007, 04:55 AM (14 of 25)
Judi, thank you. That is exactly what I did yesterday. I cut another swatch of the silk, and soaked it in cold water for an hour. It turned out very different from the first swatch, and I like it a lot - and so does my fiancÚ! :up:
This is a great relief - it means I can soak the whole piece and then not worry about the risk of dupioni being ruined by a drop of water later.
I do like the fact that, like you say Judi, it is more drapey. This is more in keeping with my personality. I wouldn't want the dress to be too stiff.

Andrea, you keep on with your beautiful creations - daughter and sewing included. Your daughter must be such a ray of sunshine! No wonder you wanted to make her such a special dress. Now think of all the prom dresses to come! :bg:

Thank you all! I am happy to be sharing the whole process with you. It is even more enjoyable this way - and I feel "carried" by your advice and general support :bluesmile

I'll soon post an update on the muslin!
Isabelle
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
From: Judi
Date: 05-17-2007, 01:20 PM (15 of 25)
I hand wash all the silk I use, so it won't water spot later. I use tepid water, not too cold or too hot either. and I hang to dry. I do toss it a little bit in a cool dryer to knock out some wrinkles, then hang it. You will have a beautiful dress.
Judi

Sewing is almost better than Chocolate.
User: Judi
Member since: 06-22-2000
Total posts: 85
From: IsabelleB
Date: 05-17-2007, 01:24 PM (16 of 25)
Thank you, Judi. :bluesmile

(I love your motto. Sewing with chocolate, now that beats everything. Although I shall certainly abstain from eating chocolate while I sew my dupioni! :bg: )
Isabelle
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
From: Marilyn in MD
Date: 05-17-2007, 06:26 PM (17 of 25)
Personally, I don't like the character of washed dupioni for garments and always have dupioni garments dry cleaned. In case you want to wear it again in the future, be sure to have it dry cleaned before you store it. And if you do decide to wear it again after the wedding, you could always have it professionally dyed another color. Most dry cleaners can do this for you.

Have a lovely wedding.
User: Marilyn in MD
Member since: 03-13-2006
Total posts: 14
From: dressed2atee
Date: 06-28-2007, 11:00 AM (18 of 25)
Hi I'm new to the site and wondered if you finished your gown?
Sewing is sensational!

Tee
User: dressed2atee
Member since: 06-28-2007
Total posts: 2
From: Kerkyra
Date: 07-09-2007, 05:07 AM (19 of 25)
Hi there, although I haven't tried it myself, I was given some advice regarding the care of silk;

Wash with a gentle soap in cold water

Give a final rinse in a lemon juice solution for sheen and stiffness

Iron whilst damp.

I always recommend to my clients that they dry-clean their garments but I've found (as you have) that cold water doesn't hurt!!

Hope this helps:up:
User: Kerkyra
Member since: 07-01-2007
Total posts: 15
From: IsabelleB
Date: 07-10-2007, 04:52 AM (20 of 25)
That's what I did Kerkyra and the silk turned out just fine.

I'll try and post pictures as soon as the dress is finished and pictures are taken... in the meanwhile you can see the work in progress on my blog here (http://e-zabelle.blogspot.com/search/label/Wedding%20Dress).
Isabelle
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
From: Judi
Date: 07-11-2007, 01:59 AM (21 of 25)
Your dress is beautiful, and the dupioni will be so special for you. It doesn't look overwhelming to me at all, and suitable for your tiny stature.

Perhaps the underlining did add more stability than you'd thought it would, even though it's a very soft, fine batiste. Enjoy your very special day, in your very special dress.
Judi

Sewing is almost better than Chocolate.
User: Judi
Member since: 06-22-2000
Total posts: 85
From: temom
Date: 07-11-2007, 11:17 PM (22 of 25)
Isabella, your dress is beautiful! I agree with Judi, it is not overwhelming at all!
Theresa
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: PaulineG
Date: 07-12-2007, 07:03 AM (23 of 25)
I think it looks lovely - but you'd look good in a sack.
Pauline
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: grandma C
Date: 07-14-2007, 03:10 AM (24 of 25)
OOOOOOHHHHHHHH!! So beautiful and elegant.
User: grandma C
Member since: 01-15-2007
Total posts: 263
From: IsabelleB
Date: 07-15-2007, 03:47 AM (25 of 25)
Oooh! Thank you so much everyone. Pauline, you cracked me up, although I doubt your statement is quite true. :dave:

I did remove the overskirt in the end, as I wasn't feeling 100% happy with it... I don't think it shows on the pictures because you cannot have an idea of my smallness, but the overskirt looked and felt truly overwhelming, and fit neither my frame, nor my personality (nor the groom's). I wasn't feeling like myself. I know one's wedding is the grandest occasion in one's life to wear a beautiful gown, but there's a line between dressed up and costumed.

I came out with another solution... Put the final stitch to the dress on Thursday night and I really, really love my dress now. Oh, I so love it!! Very fresh and pretty :bluesmile

I don't think I'll be share pictures of the finished dress before the wedding in three weeks, but I'll try and find the time to document the sewing process here. You friends really helped me out about the dupioni and were very encouraging - it's only fair I should give back, if only a little. :bluesmile

Thanks again everyone!
Isabelle
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
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