As I mentioned earlier this week, Cotton & Steel just announced their new rayon fabric collection called Frock which is due to hit stores in February. Now, when your favorite fabric company contacts you and asks if you’d like some sample yardage to accompany a blog tour, you say “OMG YES!!!” right away and worry about the challenge later. What I mean is, I’ve never actually sewn with Rayon before! I’ve bought rayon, but I’ve yet to sew with it. Until now that is!
I had so many different conflicting ideas for projects to make in order to showcase this fabric. I considered attempting something complicated with drapey folds and pleats, like one of those advanced couture Vogue patterns, but I knew I also wanted to make something wearable and well fit. I was then reminded of the principle of Occam’s Razor which, in its most modern definition, states: when faced with many possible solutions to a problem, the simplest one is usually the right answer.
So the simplest solution was to re-sew the pattern I just made many muslins for: New Look 6889. It’s not the most elaborate, knock your socks off sewing project I could have picked, but it made the most sense and I’m really happy with how it turned out. As in, I may have found a TNT pattern kind of happy!
It’s amazing how fabric choice can really make or break a pattern. I was previously on the fence about this New Look dress since I wasn’t sure I was in love with my original fabric choice, but now! …well now this changes everything. So slinky!!
Since this was my first time working with rayon, I approached the sewing process with caution. Rayon isn’t that difficult to sew with, but my favorite fabrics are sturdy cottons, and rayon definitely isn’t that. Like always, I used my rotary cutter and mat to cut out my pieces. I made sure my rotary blade was fresh and sharp so it would have less tendency to push the fabric out of place as I cut (I didn’t bother to try and match prints along the seams this time, but I kind of wish I did. Oh well.). I used extra pattern weights and tried not to handle any cut pieces unless I was actually sewing with them. I tested a few different needle sizes on my scraps and then took my time when sewing. Stay stitching is definitely not a step to skip when working with rayon. Using a lower heat setting with the iron is also a must – All common sense I suppose.
The ladies at Cotton & Steel recommend you dry clean this fabric, but ain’t nobody got time for that in my house so into the wash it went! I pre-washed the fabric on cold in a gentle cycle and tumble dried it on delicate with low heat, and I didn’t notice any kind of change or compromise in the fabric. Rayon totally changes texture when it gets wet, which is alarming if you’ve never tried washing it before, so be aware of that! It bounces right back to normal when it’s dry though.
The Frock collection consists of three different designs, each with a few colorways, totaling eight fabrics. The design I picked is called Hana, created by Alexia Abegg, in the Cobalt colorway. It’s such a beautiful vibrant blue! Nikko is a real fan apparently. She would not leave me alone when trying to take photos haha! …cats.
The bottom line is: Cotton & Steel rayon is pretty dreamy! It’s not a fabric I can race through my machine without care, but I really enjoyed sewing with it. It’s definitely the perfect fabric for this pattern and I can’t wait for summer to come back so I can actually wear it out of the house! Luckily it’s plenty comfortable enough to wear around the house in the mean time. Lucille appreciates that 😉
I only have good things to say about this fabric (and Cotton & Steel in general) so before I start to sound like a broken record, I better leave you with the rest of the Frock Blog Tour schedule so you can see what everyone else is making and loving!
January 27 – Cotton + Steel Intro
January 28 – Jaime // Fancy Tiger Crafts
January 29 – Deborah // Whipstitch
January 30 – Amber // Fancy Tiger Crafts
January 31 – Rochelle // Lucky Lucille
February 2 – Christine Haynes
February 3 – Devon // Miss Make
February 4 – Jemellia // JemJam
February 5 – Anna // Noodlehead
February 6 – Oliver + S
February 7 – Rae // Made by Rae
Well there you have it! Have you ever sewn with rayon before? I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do, being a die hard cotton fan and all, but I totally love it! I think you will too 🙂
p.s. I’m having so much fun with my new camera remote and tripod set-up lately! I seem to have reverted back to that stage of early childhood development where I don’t want anyone to help me with anything. NO! I can do it myself!!! lol