Thursday, January 5, 2012

Interim Update: Prepping Delicate Fabrics

Thank you so much, everyone, for taking the time to share your experience and expertise re: caring for delicate fabrics.

Here's what I can tell you so far:
  • Marina, I take your point about the challenging quality of guipure. The key (or so I think at this point) is to make sure that one cuts to the outside of the stabilizing grid that contains the lace, otherwise it really starts to fall apart.
  • My goal is to use those grids as the anchor for sewing it some stabilizing underlining. My current options are some black power net with stretch 2-way stretch, some navy bra "wing" fabric (the stuff that makes the sides of your bra that attach to the cups on one side and the closure on the other) and some black mesh with no stretch.
  • The best drape is in the power net with a firm, 2-way stretch (but I'm not sure if I should be aiming to use a stable fabric with no stretch). I just don't want the underlayer to make the very drapey lace fall stiffly. Thoughts?
  • There's another alternative - that I might use the guipure to make the lace border for the gathered bodice version of the slip. This would minimize its structural element, while retaining the beautiful border.
  • I have hand-washed 2 swatches: one of the silk and one of the lace; both are currently air drying.
  • Neither appears to have bled much colour at all into the soapy water - maybe the guipure released a bit of dye.
  • Both seem as dark as they were, but they're wet.
  • I'll let you know about shrinkage/hand/sheen etc. when they dry.


  1. I don't think the guipure would work as a lace border on top of the bodice, since the design of it is far too straight. I had the idea that you could use it to add a peek-a-boo element between the bodice and the skirt of the slip, but I don't know how strong it is. My other idea would be to back the lace with bits of the silk charmeuse, baste it together and treat it as one fabric when you sew the bodice. I think that will make the underlining look intentional and shouldn't change the hand too much.

    Of course, I am not experienced with lingerie so others may have better tips.

  2. Yay, go for it! Engineering thoughts and plans are my favourite part of sewing - i can see that you like it too! I am so looking forward to your progress reports !