Saturday, January 29, 2011

What's a Girl to Do: Swing Dress Fabric Delema

I have a love-hate relationship with fabric shopping.  I love going and seeing all of the potential and dreaming of all the wonderful things I can make.  But, when I go with a specific project in mind, I can roam for hours never seaming to find exactly what I'm looking for.  Sure, plenty of fabrics that would never work for the project in mind draw my attention and focus - but I always have trouble with the task at hand.

When it came to choosing fabric for the Swing Dress Sew Along, I decided that I wanted something in a bright fun color, maybe a little whimsy.  After pacing the fabric store for a while (which is a large warehouse!) I settled on this lovely coral rayon with the perfect whimsical flowers printed on it.

I could picture myself wearing a lovely swing dress and camel colored T-strap heals (that would match the color of the flowers).  It would be a great ensemble for work.  I might even wear out for a date.

The day dream in my head was going just wonderfully. . . and then I washed my fabric.


After washing a small swatch of my fabric to see what it would look like, I no longer loved my fabric choice.  You see, there are some slight wrinkles that the fabric was made with.  They seamed slight and none bothersome, but after washing, it was evident that this wouldn't give me what I was looking for.

Have you ever heard of an iron? you might say.  Well yes, but that is part of the problem.  The lady at the store told me that this fabric doesn't take well to ironing and the fabric is suppose to have a wrinkle in it.

So I decided to go shopping again.  This time I came out with a completely different (and slightly more expensive vision)  I found a lovely navy wool.  This time I could see a very polished look to take to work - perhaps with the same camel colored T-strap heals from the first vision.  (Seriously, I don't know where this shoe vision is coming from, I don't own them and I haven't seen anyone wearing them, but it is oh so real in my head).

Here is a picture of my navy wool, I had some difficulty capturing the true color  picture form.
With the use of a flash, you can see the stripe detail better, but the color is very washed out.
So now I have this lovely wool that could work, but the first vision still dances in my head.  Casey also added in one of her recent posts that she will include how to add a lining in her tutorial.  So if I go with the wool, do I buy some lining?  It is a really soft wool, and not irritating to my skin, so it could go unlined.  But, pretty much all of my work dresses and suits are lined.

Oh too much confusion in my head.  So I will cry out for help.  Please let me know your thoughts.  Do I go with the original fabric and hope that I can see past the wrinkles?  Do I use this lovely wool, with or without a lining?  Has anyone seen the shoes that I see in my head, where do I get them?

Your thoughts and opinions would make my day on this one!

Live the moment, love life!


  1. I know exactly the type of shoes you are referring to! But no I haven't seen them anywhere, will let you know if I do!(Kind of 70's 80's "Working 9-5" secretary or Lois Lane in the original superman but more luxe)
    Such a shame about the other fabric but a timely lesson in pre-washing for me! Haven't done mine yet!
    It may end up one of those happy accidents though since the navy wool is delicious. I personally wouldn't line it, but would go for pretty bound or French seams where possible so you still get a luxe feel on the inside.

  2. I love that you called it a happy accident and affirmed that the wool is an equally wonderful fabric choice. I will definitely follow your advice and skip the lining and go for great finishing on the seams instead :)

  3. Annabelle, I feel your pain, I have too, struggled with the fabric for this project. The first fabric I bought, I wash it like you did yours but my fabric's dye was not set and so the color came out only in certain places. I returned it and still don't know what I am using. Okay back to you, make it in the lovely wool, it's pretty, then later maybe do a summer fun dress, once you can look for fabric without the pressure to find something. The coral was so nice, it's a shame it wrinkled on you so badly. Good luck, can't wait to see your dress! Oh, you could wear slips if the wool is bothering you.

  4. Vintage Girl, thanks for your thoughts on the fabric. I am beginning to feel better about the fabric choice. The idea of wearing a slip underneath is also a fantastic idea. Perhaps I could find a lovely vintage pattern?

    A bummer that you are also having some fabric mishaps. Hopefully it will lead you to find something you otherwise would not have found :)

  5. I am sending you an award. Swing by my blog and pick it up :)