Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Leaky Iron, and Bouclè Skirt Progress

I've got issues. Iron issues.

The problem:

The Culprit.

This is my 3rd iron purchase in the past year. First one was a Shark, after 6 months, leaking like a sieve. The second, a Rowenta, worst iron I've ever purchased. Third, I recently bought this Reliable off of eBay, from a great seller. The Relaibles had such good reviews. Day 1: leaked off the bat. Gave it a couple more tries - seemed ok. So today I was pressing good fabric, and of course when I skipped the press cloth, it made a mess of my fabric. Ugh.

Other than the leakiness, I love this iron, and so wanted it to be the one! The way it generates steam independent of the temp setting is unlike any iron I've ever used, and makes pressing easier, better, and more efficient. I have a confession to make here - I iron my sheets. And pillowcase. I just love the look and feel. I have a front loader washing machine, and hate the way it wrinkles and twists things together so tight. It wrinkles my sheets, so I iron them. The Reliable V50 just blasts those wrinkles away in no time. (You may be sensing I like to iron - it's an instant gratification thing.) Very cautiously using it tonight while sewing, I was impressed with how it made the fabric behave. The V50 is the boss of the fabric, most definitely.

After drying my tears over the stained teal silk blend fabric, I emailed the eBay seller about the issue. He was most gracious and emailed me back to let me know he would have customer service contact me tomorrow, as it is under warranty. I am very pleased with his prompt response, and look forward to a new V50.

Once I get an iron that does not leak, I will post a full review.

Onto skirt progress. I had planned to sew the bouclè skirt and finish a couple other items hanging about the studio on Saturday, but alas, life got in the way of my studio time again. I got started on it today, and while normally a skirt is a quickie, in this case it is not for a couple of reasons.

First, the fabric - no idea of content - is a loose woven bouclè that I picked off of a remnant table in PA several years ago. It was a nice sized piece, enough for a skirt, with a little leftover for maybe a clutch. Because of the nature of the loose weave, it needed to be fused to interfacing to make it more workable, which if I am correct in my terminology, is also a form of underlining. I laid out my fabric right side down on my worktable, with the interfacing on top, and spot fused, starting in the center and working out. I did just enough spots to prevent the fabric from shifting. I let it cool and rest a bit, then took my time fusing the entire piece. I let it fully cool and dry from all the steam before I cut out my skirt pieces.

Second, I am using a construction order that is new to me, so I am taking my time. (Translation = I sewed in between multiple loads of laundry and cooking both lunch and dinner today, so in actuality had very little sewing time.) The last issue of Threads Magazine - the one with red lace on the front - has a good article regarding construction order of a lined skirt. The gist of the article is to construct the skirt in such a way so as to make future alterations easier. This caught my eye because my weight tends to fluctuate a fair amount, and I've been on a general downward trend for the last 18 months. I also felt that once I am familiar with the construction order, the process will actually be faster. We'll see. So far I really like the way it is coming together. It's too late for me to see well, so I will have to leave the rest for daytime.

Here are a few construction shots:

Back of skirt with zipper installed, back lining sewn to back skirt piece. Opening in lining for zipper.

Front skirt and lining sewn together.

Darts marked, ready for sewing in one continuous dart.

On another note, I was reading a thread on Pattern Review this weekend regarding Bemberg lining. The poster was frustrated and found it difficult to work with, especially after laundering. Personally, I love Bemberg, and in fact am using it to line this current skirt. It is generally my lining of choice. I was wondering if she really had Bemberg lining, or had gotten her hands on an imposter. In using mine today, I was reminded that the name is on the selvedge, so there would be no mistaking it I guess. Have any of you had difficulty with this fabric?
This pic has the blurries - I must learn to hold my phone still while shooting pics!

Hopefully I will have time to finish this up tomorrow while my people are at school and work. However, since we have an early DMV appointment for my daughter to get her learner's permit, I'd better be off to sleep.

Happy Monday to you, and be well.



  1. I just bought the Threads magazine because of that article. Thanks for the photos of the technique. I can't wait to try it.
    I understand completely about life getting in the way of sewing. My family expects everything and then has the nerve to ask when they can expect to see their new dress, curtains, coat, etc. ...
    I have been sold Bemberg lining many times and have never seen it on the selvedge before. I will be more careful now. Also, I was always told that Bemberg could not be washed - dry clean only. Is this because they sold me a fake?

  2. Thanks for this post - I rarely make skirts, let alone lined skirts, but I was really interested in that article.

    As far as Bemberg marks on the selvedge, I have some that is marked (older stock, mostly) and some that isn't (most of it). All of mine came from reputable sellers, and it's a variety of weights, but all of it is rayon.

    I'd be curious to find out why some is marked & some isn't.


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