Friday, February 19, 2010

Luscious. No, Not Chocolate, The Fabric

It's finally here. Whitney's 11 yards of Italian silk peau de soie. It just takes my breath away looking and touching it. It took a while for the decision to be made. At first, she was not real interested in silk taffeta, dupioni or satin. That pretty much left me with the choice of silk polar fleece, silk flannel or silk sweatshirt material. HaHa! She had issues with each fabric and I understood her concerns. So to help her out, I ordered fabric swatches from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago. I also ordered 1/4 yard of the silk peau de soie from Buttons-n-Bolts in Tucson. After the swatches arrived, she could see that the quality was indeed better than the local fabric stores. The local shops carry fabric that is made of acetate or polyester. There is a difference in look and performance. I think Whitney will be glad that we were able to score the silk. Because of the silk being a natural fiber, it will be able to breath and to keep her cool throughout her wedding day. I still need to purchase the silk lining and silk organza interlining for the gown. We're slowly getting there but at least the important stuff is under my roof now.

When I went to Hancock's over the weekend to order the dress form, I asked one of the gals if per chance they dispose of the fabric tubes. She said that they reused them. She asked my why I wanted a tube and I told her that I needed for some bridal silk. She told me she would go get one for me. What a great employee. She always is so friendly and customer oriented when I'm there. I'm truly thankful for her kindness.

I now had to roll up the fabric. The silk satin arrived in a mailing envelope. I was surprised that the 11 yards could fit in there but it did. I needed to unfold the fabric and try to get it flat. The importance of this is to keep as few of wrinkles as possible. Wrinkles can be hard to press out of satin. Another important reason is that I want to keep the iron away as much as possible. I don't want to run the risk of my iron spitting out water. Even though I have a Rowenta, it spits like crazy. I don't want any water stains on the gown fabric so once again, I want to try and minimize creases and wrinkles.

I honestly don't know if I've ever worked with Italian silk satin. I'm thinking my sister Brenda's gown was silk satin but that was so long ago, I don't remember what we bought. When I feel this fabric, I think about all the French and Italian seamstresses in the workrooms of Paris and Rome. To be a part of their world just gives me shivers. Make no mistake, I do not pretend to be of their league, that of couture sewing. I do hope that when I'm finished, Whitney will be thrilled to wear it and that I do the European seamstresses proud. My sweet, sweet husband has asked me on several occasions if I should go to Paris, NYC or North Carolina to shop for the materials. I told him years ago that when the girls married, I would be headed off to Paris to search for lace. Luckily (and realistically) I was able to purchase the fabric here at a close-out price. Whit and I are happy with what we have so far. I won't rule out a trip to Paris or the Alencon region in the future though!

After the bridal gown has been cut out, I'm going to save the selvedge that says "Made in Italy". Long after Whitney has moved and taken the gown with her, I can remember what a priveledge and thrill it was to work work on this gown.

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