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Old 06-30-2007, 12:44 AM   #1
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Unhappy Ribbon Shirt woes--Sewing help!!!!

All of my beadwork is in a Cheyenne pink background color. I have been wanting to add a new ribbon shirt to go under the old vest.

I wanted the ribbon shirt to be capable of reaching out and slapping the vision impaired, so I found some really cool metalic blue kind of sort of tiger textured lame'. A friend of my wife sewed it for me and was having problems with the edges of the lame' fabric fraying as she sewed seams. She went back with iron on bias tape around the cut edges to try and give the machine something more substantial to sew into. She sewed a beautiful shirt. It was bright. So bright that as I left the ring the first night I wore it and walked back to the car, I sparkled in the dark. However when I was taking everything off, the shirt had spilt down the side seams on both sides.

My problem is I cant find any other normal fabric that has the same metalic umph that the lame has. My only other thought is to get some iron-on interfacing to line the back of the shirt with, or to use wonder-under and a thin broadcloth to beef -up the under side of the lame so that it will hold a seam.

Does anyone else have a suggestion about how to make a ribbon shirt out of lame? All ideas are greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
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I had this same problem with a T dress from that Asian print that I made 4 or 5 years ago. The side seams at the bottom split after the first time I wore it because walking put pressure on the seam. There are two problems with these fabrics is that they are made from woven metallic threads. Everytime you sew them, whether to add a ribbon, sew a hem, whatever, you're cutting the threads with the sewing needle and thus weaking them. The second problem is that (particularly with lame) they are so thin that the weave isn't that strong and its just going to ravel out. What can you do? Not much. My aunt's a seamstress and she suggested I sew bias tape on the seams when I sewed the dress, and that helped but it didn't solve the problem because the material was just so thin and poorly woven that it still ravelled out when there was stress put on it (from wearing). I once made sleeves for a jingle dress out of tissue lame, and those ripped in literally a few hours. I don't know how well a fusible interfacing would do, because I think the threads would still tear apart, only the glue-y wonder under would hold them somewhat together but I'm betting you could see the wonder under through the separated threads. If anyone else has suggestions, I'd love to hear them. But that's my experience with these metallics.

Coincidentally, I've found that not all Asian materials are like that. My rule of thumb now is its raveling out at the edges in the store, on the bolt, then it will when you sew with it too. But not all of them do.
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:05 AM   #3
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Those kinds of fabrics weren't made for doing anything in. I used to try them for just every day office wear, or even just going to church - they just shred. They're for sitting quietly and looking good in, or wearing at a wedding just once. I really don't know of any way to keep them from shredding, so I just got used to wearing them once or twice and then salvaging what I could out of them and turning them into something else I wore once or twice, until I got down to doll clothes to be worn once or twice. Then, if you're really creative, you can put the snippets together with other snippets, mix in glue, and turn them into abstract art.
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:10 AM   #4
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Those kinds of fabrics weren't made for doing anything in. I used to try them for just every day office wear, or even just going to church - they just shred. They're for sitting quietly and looking good in, or wearing at a wedding just once. I really don't know of any way to keep them from shredding, so I just got used to wearing them once or twice and then salvaging what I could out of them and turning them into something else I wore once or twice, until I got down to doll clothes to be worn once or twice. Then, if you're really creative, you can put the snippets together with other snippets, mix in glue, and turn them into abstract art.

i have to wait for a bit in case my moms sleeping in and ill ask her..if she has any other ideas..
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Old 06-30-2007, 03:11 PM   #5
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I have lots of lame but always fuse it to wonder under for designs and stuff. I suppose you should fuse it to a lighter cotton to use it for clothing construction.

There is a type of lame that's even brighter. The backing of it is a sort of knit and usually a different color. It doesn't fray at all.
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Old 06-30-2007, 03:30 PM   #6
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wyo... I think you are referring to the liquid lame'? If so I love that stuff. Yeah....it wears a lot better. You still have to watch it..... not as much.... but it poses a different problem. The metallic will wear off over time. But you can get your money's worth out of it.

As for the tissue lame'....... that's probably why they named it "tissue". When I use it I always bond it to something else. If it's for garment.... a lightweight cotton liner. Even for applique's I bond it. I've had it work rather well for that. It also helps for me to seal the edges. I cut it with my woodburner with the x-acto blade. That really helped on satins too.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:50 PM   #7
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Yes! Liquid lame'!

and what a great tip about using your woodburner to cut fabric. I would have never thought about that. Gonna try it on my next project.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:04 PM   #8
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Yes! Liquid lame'!

and what a great tip about using your woodburner to cut fabric. I would have never thought about that. Gonna try it on my next project.
I recently used a woodburner to cut the ends of Ribbon on a project I was doing and it worked great! I didn't have to go back with fray check or a candle. Cut the work time in half!

Thank you to everyone for the thoughts. I am going to look into a wonder under backing and if that doesnt work, then I will go for the liquid lame. For anyone who has used the liquid lame for clothing, how breathable is it? I saw some of it in the local fabric store and it looked like it would just be hot. Any comments on the wearability of the liquid lame?

Thanks again for the tips!
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Old 07-02-2007, 02:47 AM   #9
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A nice trick for you folks that have found the joy of using a wood burner on fabric (and have some mechanical ability) ...buy a 2 way dimmer switch and wire it into the power line on the wood burner. This will allow you to precisely control the temp the wood burner/soldering iron gets to. This will allow you to melt through the fabric and seal the edge without risking going too slow and scorching it back or leaving a dark edge where the fabric has melted.

As too the lame', you might try cutting the stuff on the bias and using a surger on the seam...but all in all it is pretty week and works much better when used for applique where heat-n-bond is used and a heavy zigzag stitch.
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Old 07-02-2007, 04:39 AM   #10
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The liquid lame' is pretty lightweight and breathable. Not near as hot as a bridal satin or the like. As for me... I don't like polyesters and such. I would line the material with a cotton but that's just me.
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Old 07-02-2007, 09:09 AM   #11
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I don't like polyesters and such. I would line the material with a cotton but that's just me.
I hear ya. I'm not crazy about polyester either... I think I am going to try the liner first and if that fails too, then I will go for the liquid lame.
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:22 PM   #12
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Remember the fool proof test for breathability of fabric.

Hold it up to your mouth and try breathing in. I had some great black satin but did not breath at all.

Thats a great tip about installing the dimmer on the wood burner. I can't wait to cut my RIBBON with it. Even though I can singe a shawl's worth of 1/4" ribbon in about 15 minutes now.
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:39 AM   #13
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Ok first I'm just answering as I can remember these things so I'm gonna sound wierdly blunt...

1) for the reason the sewing machine needle is just cutting the threads.... try the sewing machine needles made specific for types of material... they do make them. Singer even lists on the packets what types of materials certain needles are best for.

2) Fusible interfacing.... it's worth it.

3) french seams work great with satin brocades (oriental satin prints) as long as you keep the fraying down or you'll have great seams with "quills".

4) You know that material they use for bathing suits and ice skating outfits, and how shiny it is, and even comes sequined? The stuff does'nt fray, it stretches and breaths and won't look bad when it gets wet or sweaty.... Lycra. Joannes Fabrics carries it in a variety of bright colors and patterns.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:57 PM   #14
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Ok first I'm just answering as I can remember these things so I'm gonna sound wierdly blunt...

1) for the reason the sewing machine needle is just cutting the threads.... try the sewing machine needles made specific for types of material... they do make them. Singer even lists on the packets what types of materials certain needles are best for.
I know they make different needle types :) But of course you make a hole every time the needle goes through the fabric, that's how things get sewn. And when you have the fine metallic threads they can get broken. It doesn't mean you can't sew it, but it is an issue to consider.

Joann's today was having 60% off a lot of fabrics and 50% off clearance...its still going on tomorrow if anyone wants to check it out (maybe I should post this in the I'm addicted thread). I got stuff for 4 T dresses and shawls, 3 shirts and fabric for 1 ribbonwork skirt and shawl. My mom and I whipped out one T dress and shawl that is a fragile material, and it has seams that we serged, French seams, and had bias tape sewn on and then turned down again. All in one dress. We put bias tape on the sleeves and it wasn't going to be turned down, but it started to ravel out just in me trying it on...so had to sew it again. Anyway I recommend you all check out the sale if you get a chance, at least you can experiment with your favorite ways to sew on really cheap fabric :)
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:13 PM   #15
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I'm now making a ribbon shirt of the liquid lame and it BREATHES!! Its base is a kind of knit.

French seams and bias tape covered seams are good for many applications.

Ballpoint needles are used on knits so you don't cut the threads.

I think cutting the lame with a wood burning iron might do the trick!
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