The dress is unlined except for the yoke. I chose a very soft silk for my yoke lining. It may be one of the reasons I was putting off actually making the dress! Those slippery fabrics can really take the wind out of your sails, sewing wise!
I'd heard about Sullivan's Spray Stabilizer about a year ago, and had meant to order some but never got around to it. Early this fall, I happened to see a can on the shelf at Vogue, and snapped it up after talking to the lady at the cutting table about how to use it. I was still a little afraid to try it though - what if it stained my fabric? I figured with this project it didn't matter: my lining was black, and even if it did get ruined, I had enough fabric to recut the pieces.
It really couldn't be easier: you spray the product on your pieces until they are wet, and then leave them undisturbed until they are completely dry. Of course, drying time will vary depending on the weather. I cut all my pieces out the day before I started sewing and stabilized the lining pieces that day as well, so they were ready the next day. The lady at the fabric store recommended putting something like a sheet under the pieces so you don't ruin your floor. I used an old towel because my pieces were small, but next time I'll use a sheet so they can lay flatter.
Here are some comparison photos. First, a 4" x 6" piece of unstabilized silk:
|Soooooffffft and drapey.|
And here's me holding a stabilized piece of the yoke in the same position (but my camera was tilted):
Wow! Can you believe that? Here's me holding all 3 yoke pieces, which have been seamed together:
And here's my favorite photo: sitting on the ironing board with one edge overhanging. It's just suspended in space!
Using this stabilizer made working with the silk so much easier than it ever has been for me. By the time the garment was finished and had been pressed several times, most of the stiffness had worn off and my silk was almost as soft as it was to start with. Once the garment is washed, the remainder of the stabilizer should come out.
I have it in mind to make a dress this spring from a beautiful piece of silk that's been in my stash for over a year. Now I'm not nearly as afraid to use it!
Have any of you ever used a fabric stabilizer like this before?