Deadlines are looming at work. I haven’t even really begun the “Sew Retro: The Starlet Suit Jacket” class. But, I’m desperate for a distraction. You know, something that’s fun and that you know you can do. Something to look forward to after all the hard stuff has been done for the day. Actually, something to do instead of the hard stuff! This week for me that was my mom’s Jackie O dress. I’ve been sewing a little bit each night while listening to Radiolab podcasts.

Over the past many months, the dress has been fit, cut out, basted to the silk organza underlining, and sewn together. It even has its zipper, and it nearly has its hem (marked, pressed, seam tape stitched on – just needs the hand stitching). The crepe de chine lining has even been prepped, but it still needs to be cut and sewn. It feels so good to have something coming together.

As an aside, how do you guys preshrink your crepe de chine? I followed the instructions in Sandra Betzina’s More Fabric Savvy, which was recommended to me during my first sewing class, but what I really wanted to do was stick it in the wash. I might throw some of the little pieces I have left over from my lining in the wash just to find out what happens. See, even when I’m procrastinating on doing science, I’m still thinking about experiments.

15 thoughts on “Distractions

  1. I am not a scientisit! I know this because I just put the whole yardage of some acetate lining fabric into the machine and crossed my fingers… All the advice said dry clean.
    I can’t offer any advice on crepe de chine as it’s not a fabric I’ve worked with but putting some offcuts in sounds like a good plan – at least you’ll know what the end result will be. Especially if you cut them into a measured square – you can then work out the shrinkage and will know if there’ll be enough yardage should it shrink! And you’ll also know what it will do to the hand too.
    Good luck!

    1. Your throwing caution to the wind was an experiment in itself. I’d say you are more scientist than you give yourself credit for!

  2. Is it silk crepe de chine? I’d totally throw it in the wash. But it’s a very good idea to try with a scrap, first.

  3. This looks fabulous! And I hear you about the distractions! I also have a big deadline looming and all I want to do is sew…lol.

    1. It makes for a peaceful end to the day just to relax into sewing, even if for only a half an hour. Good luck with your own deadlines!

  4. Oh my goodness, that looks sooooo beautiful. Is it a linen? It says a lot about your sewing career that a make on this level of excellence is you taking it easy! I also hear you re distractions and the need for some joyful sewing to rest your brain. I do hope we see the final make on your mum!

    1. Well, so far it’s just been plugging away a baby step at a time. Thankfully the dress is only three pieces. One front and two back halves. It makes for quick cutting and basting. And, yes, it’s Irish linen from It’s gorgeous!!

  5. Your mum’s dress is coming along beautifully. Linen would have to be one of my favourite fabrics and the colour of your dress is stunning. Your mum will be proud to wear this – mine would.

  6. Sorry – forgot to mention that I hand wash my Silk CDC in a special solution made for silk fabrics. I do this because of the delicate nature of silk and I don’t want to put undue pressure on the fibres – if you have a front loader (I do) that would be better than a top loader, if you wish to follow the washing machine route. Another reason – I like hand washing – each to their own, I guess.

  7. the dress looks so beautiful! i absolutely love that color blue. you’d probably be fine throwing the silk crepe de chine in the washer on delicate – hang dry. i wash my silk in the washer all the time – but sometimes for prewashing i hand wash in the sink.

  8. Coming along! I love and wear crepe de chine a lot. I’ve tried a few ways of washing it but I’m pretty picky about the hand of silk–and crepe de chine especially seems to change its hand in water. Even in a gentle soak. It gets “pebblier” and loses a bit of its sheen. (Silk charmeuse doesn’t seem to do this as much.) That might not matter to you but I’d definitely test so you can make sure that’s what you want. What I do now is basically steam the whole thing with my husband’s handheld steamer or press it entirely with a lot of steam just to shrink. That also means, of course, that I won’t be hand washing the final garment–but that’s also because I don’t want to change the hand not because it’ll shrink.

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