Sunday, 6 May 2012

Regency Dress #2 - First, Wash Your Fabric



I have to be honest - I came worryingly and carelessly close to going very, very wrong on my regency dressmaking project yesterday. If the lovely Louiz of Random Acts of Yarn hadn't mentioned it on Facebook, I almost certainly wouldn't have remembered to stick the fabric in the washing machine before cutting it. And as Louiz pointed out, I might then have had an unwearable dress after the first time I washed it.

Lesson learned. Wash the fabric, then cut it.

Thankfully yesterday's weather was bright and blustery, perfect for drying washing on the line outside, so I wasn't expecting this to constitute a massive setback.



Main fabric

Cotton for lining


But of course, these things never go smoothly. I went out to fetch in the dry fabric, only to find it covered in white speckles from the laundry powder. Argh. I was so excited about my fabric - such a gorgeous, deep shade of purple - so I hope I can figure out a way to rescue it. Meanwhile, because I've got to get on and make this dress by Friday, I've had to buy some different material (different because the shop where I got the first lot is closed on Sundays). This will be followed up by a sternly-worded letter to the powder manufacturer, as it turns out their product contains bleach, without being advertised for whites only!

So, my new fabric is velvet, which will make for quite a different style! The cotton for the lining (bottom picture) is the closest colour I could find, and although it's not an exact match, it looks good underneath.

12 comments:

Elizabeth Braun said...

Luscious colour! Can't wait to see how it turns out....

liliannattel said...

I am in awe.

helen tilston said...

How disappointing about the washing powder.

I can't wait to see your new dress. I love velvet and finished a painting where the model wore a velvet dress. I just posted about it yesterday should you care to visit.

Have a productive and enjoyable week

Helen xx

Mike Harvey said...

Surely the default assumption these days is that all washing powders contain bleach unless they state otherwise? As for the speckles, won't they brush off?

Baffled of Brum

Bibliomama said...

What a gorgeous colour - my daughter would love it. I would never awesome a detergent contained bleach unless it said so.

Rachel said...

I'm a bit surprised at the bleach too. I would try rinsing the fabric again, if the speckles don't simply wipe off.

christine said...

sadly most washing products contain bleach, usually it's activated at 60 degrees and hotter. I hate washing powders for the reason that you do often get a powdery residue, horrible, but usually brushes off. Washing liquids are much more user friendly. Hope it cleans up for you - can't wait to see the finished dress:) x

lilywanderlust said...

Ahhh I had a problem with washing liquid and one of my favorite dresses, what a bummer!

Ginny Marie said...

Oh, your fabric looks so pretty blowing in the wind! There is a big debate among quilters about whether or not you should wash your fabric first. For a dress, it matters; for a quilt, not as much!

Andrew Cotterill said...

Alas we did try washing the speckles off several times and temperatures, and including soaking over night. If you look closely it is actually little bleached areas of the fabric. What seems to have happened is that pieces of the washing powder got caught in the (relatively) loose weave without dissolving fully, then during drying the wash-rinse-dry process leached and bleached their little local areas. Looking at the box this 'normal' washing powder has between 5-15% oxidising bleach. Other regular ones we have used usually had less than 5%. The super whitener stain remover for whites we have has between 15-30% and warns about it - which overlaps with this one! Interestingly we only washed at 40C (our usual temperature unless doing some whitening). Usually we only use liquid wash (with no bleaching agents). We were on our third wash trying this new plant-derived powder. It has now been relegated for whitening washes only!

Charlotte Klein said...

I bet it'll look beautiful when it's all said and done, Rachel! Can't wait to see the finished product and best of luck with it :)

Too bad about the washing powder though!

Lady D said...

ooh, that's exactly the colour I want for my regency dress.

Post a Comment

Thanks for dropping in! I'd love to hear what you have to say, and if you leave a URL, I'll be round to visit you soon. (Comment moderation is on because the spam has become overwhelming!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...