Saturday, August 1, 2020

Rayon Slubs and Stretch Mesh


All my youtubing found me falling in love with a pair of cropped pants made from drapey rayon in a very soft but assertive print. I went on the search. The youtuber, Linda Lee, no longer had it in stock and it was no longer available. Left to my own devices and disappointment, I went on the search and decided it would be ok to just be a soft and assertive light weight rayon to make my vision materialize. It took a while but I eventually found this Telio rayon from Fabric.com, aka, Amazon, and put in my order. 


Above you can see the fabric spread out. At the corner that is cut there are big starbursts. While I think the pants would be just as lovely if this  fabric was not matched at all, I was determined to match it. It was near impossible. I found that I could match the two largest elements, the cutout star and the large green kaleidoscope design you see above, one or the other.All the other  bits and blobs were randomly floating on the fabric and would never match, a really interesting design. Up close it is a lot like a Rorschach test. 




If you click on the photo and look closely you will see why  it is called "slub rayon". I remember this fabric from way, way back in the day, albeit a bit heavier weight. You can see that some of the threads are thicker and give a bit of texture to this already interesting fabric. I liked that. Those are the slubs.  I am in love with this fabric but you have to admit this definitely looks like an hallucinogenic experience. I guess I'm channeling the Sixties......sigh....

This fabric did not give me much grief to sew. Before I started cutting, I pulled threads to get the straight of grain. I then cut along the pull. Once the straight of grain was established I went to the ironing board and sprayed the crossgrain edges I just cut with Niagara spray starch. I sprayed, let it soak in for a few minutes, patted down the bubbles, and then pressed, up and down. Don't iron this back and forth while there is starch on it. It will pull and wrinkle. Just do and up and down motion.  Once my pieces were cut out I went back to the ironing board and did this starch treatment on every edge of the rayon, iron with a dry iron and organza press cloth. Now all my edges were ready to be sewn.  I went to the serger and serged every edge. Seams would simply be pressed open with serged edges. 


Back to Linda Lee, who really knows her sewing, she suggested lining these wispy rayons with stretch mesh. Now she called it "power mesh". She described it and I did some searching  before buying. This is not the mesh one uses for compression in lingerie and swimsuits. That is power mesh according to my research. What you see above is stretch mesh. It is used in bridal gowns, dance and skating costumes, etc, to give the illusion of skin where there really is this fine layer of fabric. It can make a bride or a ballerina look like lace appliques are glued to their perfect bodies. Stretch mesh to use for lining a thin rayon? What the heck - I'll try it. I'm always up for something new in my sewing. I knew I had seen this fabric at the chains  in the bridal department. THIS IS NOT NYLON TULLE. This is made of 100% polyester and stretches every which way possible. It has weight. It is not floaty. It is drapey, just like the rayon and doesn't pouf. It is decently priced for a lining, ending up at 5.99 a yard in the end. 

Got the rayon slub fabric. Got the lining, Good to go. For a pattern I used my Sure Fit sloper once again and did a straight leg pant with it that has a gathered waist and cropped length, easy peasy. Now when Linda suggested her lining she said to just make another pant out of the mesh and drop it in, no other info. Easy enough.............uh....no.


I did some reading on the fabric and went straight to the machine and uses a zigzag. I ended up with very lettuce crotch seams. I pressed out a lot of that but it was not good.I then walked away, came back and tried to maneuver that into a French seam, using paper underneath, This was a bit better and you can see the crotch seam to the left and inseam going horizontal above. It's full of paper.I was scared  to play with it too much. It could do but this just was not nice. 


I walked away again. Upon returning I decided to just takes some long scraps and serge them, no paper.  Above you can see perfection. There was no waviness and the seams were strong and pretty. I went with simply serging the seams. 


They look really nice from the right side, too.  Now I can "just drop in the lining" and attach the pants and the lining and proceed. 


These pants are near done.Once again, I've decided on a coordinated outfit.(Yes, that is paint on my thumb.) This will make three in a row. I am enjoying the concept of having coordinates. I still don't see myself doing a swap, however, and that's another story for another day. I will share both pieces of the ensemble with you when  they are complete.I am using a Mimi G pattern for the top and excited about that. It may be from one of these fabrics. The pants are lookin' good. I would like to add that I LOVE the lining.It feels divine and just floats with the pants so nicely. More to come............Bunny


8 comments:

  1. Good morning, Bunny! I cannot wait to see a photo of this new outfit! I like the lime fabric, it is so cool looking. I have an outfit I made for the California wedding last summer that is much the same fabric design. I thought of it as watercolors. But, I have never worn that outfit. With my brothers death, we didn’t make it to the wedding; with Covid, I have not been out. The skirt hung oddly at the hemline....maybe the oddness factor will disappear this next week. But, hopefully we will both get to wear this lovely design a lot next summer! You know, I simply loved the fabrics of the 60s. Bold, Beautiful, Fun. Then, came the plaids of the 70s! Thank you for the detail on the stretch mesh.

    BTW, you might like to drool over the fabrics on Ginny’s Fabrics on Facebook; she has a new Etsy shop. But, she hangs collections on Facebook. She loves color. Located in Rochester, MN.

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    1. Thank you for that suggestion, Rosie. I will head right on over. My pants are now finished and I love them. They feel so nice and I am a big convert on the mesh lining.

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  2. great idea to use a mesh lining, so lightweight! and I'm all in favor of assertive prints :-)

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    1. It has some weight and I like that. It really feels good. Yes, it's 100% polyester but it's full of holes and very comfortable. I got my blouse pattern in today and after a cleanup of my studio, I will hop right on it.

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  3. What was the name of the mesh fabric lining and where did you get it. Thank you Bunny. I love reading your posts.

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    1. I honestly don't know the name of it other than it was not tulle. It was definitely 100% polyester and stretched a lot every which way. It was out in the bridal fabrics with all the off white fabrics at my local Joanns, a "super" Joanns. They had a black version in with all the black formal fabrics. I believe the bolt said 9.99 but it was marked down to 5.99 when I bought it. I think it was 60 wide when I measured it at home. It feels heavy and drapes. You can't mistake it as it is nothing like nylon tulle. Glad to help and thanks for reading.

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  4. I've been using stretch mesh in the upper front of my pants for some time to disguise my pudginess. I bought it originally as "power mesh" from some outlet or other, but discovered, as you say, that it isn't the stuff that provides compression. I decided to use it anyway in the front of a pair of light-weight pull-on jeans, just from the waist to an inch below the crotch. It helps a lighter weight fabric hang well over the tummy, the way a slip keeps a skirt from clinging to your jiggly bits.

    I've been using it in the upper front of most of my pants ever since that first pair. I can vouch for its utility as a lining.

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  5. On Fabric.com power mesh is listed as 100% polyester. The stuff that is used for shapeware is called shaper mesh, and is 80% Nylon/20% Lycra Spandex. I don't know if that's industry standard jargon, but it may help clear things up.

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Rayon Slubs and Stretch Mesh

All my youtubing found me falling in love with a pair of cropped pants made from drapey rayon in a very soft but assertive print. I went on ...