Transparent fabric leads to more shopping

I cut my fabric – pale peach coloured cotton – and lining out at the weekend. The fabric seemed a little more transparent than I remembered but I persuaded myself it would be all right because I am lining the dress. I had another worrying moment when I couldn’t find a zip in anything like the right colour but I figured hey, it’s an invisible zip, so white will probably do fine. Then I started wondering if I could add pockets to the dress, but realised they’d show so decided not to. Even that didn’t make the penny drop.

Tonight I cleaned and set up my machine with the right needle and matching thread, and started trying out stitches on some scraps of the fashion fabric. Only at this point did I realise that there’s no way I am going to get away without underlining this dress because the seam allowances show through the fashion fabric! You can see it even when I lay the fabric on top of the lining. I couldn’t get a photograph that showed the effect, probably because I’m working by artifical light, but it’s definitely there to the human eye.

So tomorrow I will be dashing to John Lewis in my lunch hour and hoping I can find something suitable to underline the dress with. I don’t really know what I’m looking for. My sewing books suggest that batiste, organza, and lawn are all suitable choices but I don’t know the difference between them. Also with John Lewis you tend to have to just take what you can get – it’s great there’s a fabric shop close to my office at all, and the staff are really good, but it’s better for very fancy fabric than basics.

Failing getting anything tomorrow I’m going to see the V&A Quilts exhibition with my mum at the weekend, and we’re planning to make time for a bit of fabric shopping in London too. I might even be able to get a zip in the right colour! I find London’s dangerous unless I go armed with a shopping list. I am only looking for two things this time:

  • Jersey in either a very bright colour or a bold print for BurdaStyle 105-05-2010.
  • Orange china silk for a balloon dress that I haven’t found a pattern for yet. I suspect I’ll be combining McCalls 5799 and BurdaStyle 106-05-2010. I’m aware I’ll probably look like I wrapped myself in a parachute but I do love orange and the 1980s.

Maybe the policy of not sewing unless I have a vision of something I really want to wear is paying off. Now if only I could reduce the fabric mountain in the cupboard too.