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Subject: Stiffeners


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 17:42:56 03/10/01 Sat


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[> Subject: Vilene


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 17:43:53 03/10/01 Sat


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[> [> Subject: Amount in Skirt


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 16:08:46 03/11/01 Sun

I'm in the process of finishing my daughter's 2nd solo dress. I'm up to the part I dread...putting it together. My question is has anyone used the vilene from Irish Threads in Nova Scotia and how do you like it? Does it wear well in a dress? I have some of this, but I also have a much stiffer and thicker vilene as well and am not sure which to use. I used the thicker with the 1st dress and had an awful time sewing through it when I put all the pieces together. Also, on the first dress I did not put stiffener in the back of the dress, just the front panels, because I thought the back should be flowing. Am I supposed to put stiffener in the back of the dress?

Replies:
-i USUALLY SINGLE STIFFIN THE BACK OF THE DRESS DOUBLE THE SIDE PANELS AND DOUBLE STIFFIN THE FRONT OF THE BOX PANEL, LEAVING THE BACK OF THE PLEAT SINGLE STIFFINED.

-If you have two weights of vilene, why not use the lighter weight for the back and the heavier weight for the front panel, adding more layers as you see fit? I use the Irish threads stuff, and use one layer in the back, two in the sides and three of four even in the front. If you are using multiple layers, cut any more than two out of the seam allowance adding more as you see fit.

-I have also used the vilene from Irish Threads. Although there are other places you can get vilene, she carries the really wide stuff and she is SO nice and helpful if you have any questions re: how to use the vilene. I'd go with Irish Threads and ask questions when you order it.

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[> [> [> Subject: How many layers


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 16:32:34 10/10/01 Wed

I'm ready to put a dress together and would like to know how many layers of vilene to use for the front panel, sides, and back. I don't want to have any chance of accidental folding that might be permanent.

-I use 1 on the back, 2 on the sides and 3 or 4 in the front, depending on the size (bigger dresses usually get the most)

-We use 1 in the back and 2 on the sides and front with the irish threads boning in the front. Very light and flat

-We also used 2 in the front and side panels and 1 in the back... as for the boning... we placed it in the front, side panels, pleats (top and bottom) and put a small strip in the back because the panel kept caving in between my daughter's legs.. now its flat in the back, but still easy to dance in...looks great

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[> [> [> Subject: How Many Layers Survey 2004


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 13:58:13 01/12/05 Wed

Percent (Votes) Description:

15% (13) Three in front, 2 in sides, 1 in back plus boning
37% (32) Two in front & sides, 1 in back plus boning
12% (10) Two in front & sides, 1 in back NO boning
2% (2) One all the way around plus boning
20% (17) One all the way around NO boning
5% (4) Other, please explain in a post!

9% (8) I plan to use less stiffiner to make it lighter in the future

The results include 86 votes. The percentages are actually a little low since the last option could also be selected.

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[> [> Subject: Sources


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 16:09:40 03/11/01 Sun


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[> [> [> Subject: Irish Threads


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 16:11:16 03/11/01 Sun

-I have also used the vilene from Irish Threads. Although there are other places you can get vilene, she carries the really wide stuff and she is SO nice and helpful if you have any questions re: how to use the vilene. I'd go with Irish Threads and ask questions when you order it.

-They are in Nova Scotia, Canada. Web address is www3.ns.sympatico.ca/pepper/. Pat is very helpful and very prompt in replying.

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[> [> Subject: Vilene Basics


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 19:16:52 03/15/01 Thu

My youngest is growing out of her solo costume that I made last May. I am going to use Vilene on the next one(my first time using it). I have some questions about it. On the last costume I used a very stiff interfacing and it has held up well. I used 3 layers of it on the front and 1 on the back. I did my embroidery through the interfacing and the appliques and the velvet. That made it extra stiff, but the Vilene sample I saw once didn't look like you could really sew through it. The Vilene also was an iron-on product and I'm sure that would gum up the needle anyway. So here are the questions: Do you put your Vilene on after you've done the appliques? Is Vilene an iron-on product? I always use a stiff iron-on interfacing for my appliques, but how do you stabalize the velvet for embroidering on the appliques? I could really use any help you can give. The reason I make my daughters solo and school costumes is to save money, so I really can't afford to experiment on velvet and satin.

Replies:
-Vilene is another name for interfacing. The name is commonly used in Europe and there are many types and manufacturers. I have used several types from several sources and here is what I've found.

1. I use a medium weight interfacing on every piece of fabric in the dress. When I begin to embroider and applique, I use a heavyweight stabilizer (found at Joanns) behind the piece I am working on.

When all the design work is done I apply 1 layer of vilene (from Irish threads) to every piece of the skirt and pleats. I baste it along the seam line. Then I use the fusible vilene (from Irish dancer's catalogue) as a second layer on the front panel and the side panels. Cut this to fit just inside the seam lines so that you are not sewing through it. Hope this helps, it seems to be the best solution for me, but everyone has their own ways and different clients want different looks.

-A bit on what vilene actually is . It is a name given to all the non-woven products made for the manufacturing industry,. They called all products made for the home sewers pellon. Other than that each product is numbered. The company is changing and eliminating the word pellon,
I would not use an iron on interfacing behind your embroidery as it can easily bubble.

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[> [> Subject: Vilene in Skirt


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 19:38:25 03/15/01 Thu

I'm using the Irish Threads pattern and also their Vilene. The bodice is all done (Yeah!), now to assemble the skirt.
Should I follow the instructions which say to baste the Vilene to the velvet, sew the panels together, then trim out the Vilene from the seam allowance? Or is there a better way? I read once on another board (www.sewnews.com/bboard) that you should "float" the Vilene within the sewn panel, i.e.: not to do what is mentioned above, but hang or anchor the Vilene with long stitches from the seam allowances into the four corners of the Vilene. (hope this makes sense) Has any one tried this? I made a little sample of two panels and put the Vilene in following the Irish Threads instructions, and the "skirt" popped so the seam would have been close to the imaginary body and the panels went outwards like wings! Help. What method have you found works the best?

Replies:
-I baste the vilene. I've tried many methods and this is the one that I have found the most reliable, at least for me. Every seamstress has their own little quirks, so hopefully you will find what works best for you

--(OP)Could you please explain more fully? Do you mean you would follow the instructions from Irish Threads, or ??

---I basically follow the Irish Threads instructions, however I only baste in 1 layer of vilene. The second layer I trim inside the seam allowance and fuse it to the first layer. Irish dancer's catalogue also has a fusible stiffener that I have tried for this second layer. I hand baste the bodice to the skirt. I also use a dressmakers form to check the hang sometimes.

-I hand baste the second layer of Vilene to the first layer of Vilene then trim the second layer of Vilene's seam allowance to just inside that of the first layer of Vilene's seam allowance. That way only one layer is caught in the seam. I only do two layers of Vilene on the two front (split skirt)panels of velvet, or the center box panel in velvet. I put one layer of Vilene in the two inside side kick panels (the ones only in satin) and the the next to side panels of velvet.e skirt and I have not put any Vilene in the whole back side of the skirt. You can use another interfacing that is not nearly as stiff. This prevents the Pippy Longstocking look (wings at the hips or the Bustle look (big derier look) completly and has worked successfully for me. Not to mention that the dancer and actually sit down in the dress without folding the Vilene into an odd shape in the back.

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[> [> Subject: Informative website


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 13:09:56 09/20/01 Thu

In my neverending search for supplies I came across this website, www.vilene.com.

-The site is an overview of the companies products . You cannot purchase from them. The qualities that suit Irish dance dresses are available in only 120 to 150 yard rolls through wholesalers most of who sell to business only
PatM

--Yes it is an overview of the product/company, however they do list (under countries) places that carry it. Yes it is a wholesale company, but many on this board may have their resale certificates, thus they are able to buy at wholesale prices. Also, IMHO it's always nice to find out about a product you use.

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[> Subject: Other Stiffeners


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 17:45:12 03/10/01 Sat


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[> [> Subject: Pennant Felt as an alternative


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 22:17:42 03/13/01 Tue

What are acceptable stiffeners? I have been told that I can use pennant felt from Troy corp and that it will give the same look as vilene at a fraction of the cost. Has anyone used this and are you happy with the results?

Replies:
-For the stiffener the pennant fleece looses stiffener fast and does not stand up at all to dry-cleaning . Also heard it sags on damp days. I would invest a little extra and get the good stuff. After all what is another 5 or 10 dollars after all the work you put into your dress

-I got my vilene from Irish Dancer in Maryland and it has worked out nicely.

-Irish threads also has great vilene, Iíve tried others bet theirs is thinner (easier to sew through) but hold up better than the stuff from Irish dancer catalogue. Call Pat at Irish threads, she's fun to talk to anyway! They are in Nova Scotia, Canada. Pat is very helpful and very prompt in replying.

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[> [> Subject: Lampshade material?


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 15:05:06 03/15/01 Thu

I found some interfacing, at a local fabric store, that I used in my first solo costume project. It was lightweight(half the weight of vilene) but stiff and drycleanable. The beauty of it was that it cost $3 per yard, it was 50"wide. It held up so well that I went back to get more for the second solo costume. I thought I needed some more and went back to buy it only to find out that I had bought it all and it was old stock. The supplier had gone out of business a year ago. I managed to finish the costume with what I had without compromising the dress. My daughter is amazed at how light this new dress is compared to her old one, made with Vilene. They told me originally that the interfacing I used was for making lamp shades. I first used it on a school costume to test it out for endurance and it has been terrific. If anyone happens to see this type of interfacing again, would you please post here. I would happily pay for shipping, etc. to get more in the future.
In the meantime I will continue searching for this on the net and locally I will take a sample of it to another fabric store and see if they can order it for me. I guess I'll have to break down and use the heavy Vilene for the next one. Hopefully my girls won't grow out of their costumes until I can find more of this stuff.

Replies:
-Was this interfacing the same type of material that the vilene is or was it a mesh type, if you find a source could you let us know I am always looking for different type of material to use. I have seen a type of interfacing(stiffing) that comes from Ireland that looks like a kind of waffle but is real stiff I don't know what it is called and am looking for that one. Does anyone else know what I am talking about?

--(OP)The interfacing I am looking for looks just like regular interfacing only it is a little thicker and stiff as a board.

-Is the waffle like interfacing that you are looking for somewhat thick? I think I have seen that at a fabric store I use. I can't recall it's name, but I will ask when I go in to hunt for my stuff. A friend of mine had them order it and she is using it for school costumes. I'll let you know, if I find either.

-Do you know what brand it was? I could be that it is still available for the industrial market, but not the "home" user. If you can find out exactly what it was/who made it we might be able to track it down.

-I've used something that sounds similar... it's meant for lampshades, but is very light. Do you know the brand name?

-If this stuff was made for lampshades it is highly unlikely that it is drycleanable or washable. I would stick to known reliable products.

--I've tested mine, it's great, lightweight, and saves over $10/metre, I'd go with it any day, even if it breaks with tradition

--I tested it by using it first in my daughters school costume which she wore for a year and we dry clean several times a year. It is just as stiff as it was from day one. Unfortunately the store couldn't give me any info on brand name or supplier

-Just to let you know, I am searching for the sheet that came with mine... I can find the interfacing, but not the info. Argh, sorry, I'm sure it'll turn up.

--I have been wondering, were you able to find this information? I would love to try something else. I need to replace the lining in my daughter's dress, the vilene is too heavy for the silk. Does anyone else have any suggestions? I live in an area where I have to mail-order everything. Thank you so much for all the help, I love this board!

-Perhaps it is styrene. I'd contact www.lampshop.com and either send them a sample or have them send samples to you. This is plastic, so it would be stiff.

-Could it have been either Craft Fuse or Shade Shaper? Both were available in ordinary fabric stores, ie: JoAnn Fabrics. They are fusible, crisp interfacings, but not as stiff as Vilene. I used one of them for my daughter's first solo costume, but changed to vilene for the new one as she wanted it REALLY stiff. Perhaps a less busy fabric store or department store (Walmart) with a craft dept. might still have some.

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[> Subject: Stiffener in Skirt


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 22:31:44 03/13/01 Tue

I am making a dress out of dull satin and poly raw silk. I was trying to decide if the WHOLE of the back skirt needed a stiffener. Maybe I should add a layer of buckram? I am using several layers of buckram for the pleats and border, as well as boning. Does the satin need the buckram, or would a heavy interfacing do?

Replies:
-Have you tried the newer stiffeners .? The buckram is so heavy and looses its shape after a while The stiff back helps to support the front. I have done several where the novice dancer does not want a stiff back and the front never holds up as well.

-My mum makes my dresses for me, so here's what I learnt from her! She uses the stiffest stiffening she can find...It really heavy weight, but I don't know where it was from (a friend got it for us) or what brand etc...
BUT! A tip, if you donít want it to bend, then use TWO layers of it....and sew BONING across the front, about a quarter of the way down, and the same amount from the bottom, it makes a difference...

-try Irish Threads in Nova Scotia for Vilene to stiffen your dress. Cut it the same as the panels, baste it to the velvet after it has been embroidered and sew the back and front together. Sew the lining hem and watch out for pins. I always end up scratching my arms!

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[> Subject: Stiffener in Cape/Shawl and Securing to Dress


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 12:38:14 03/15/01 Thu

I'm just completing a Championship style costume with a two shoulder shawl. This is my first time with a shawl of this type and was wondering if anyone has made one how much stiffener did you use. Did you go with a layer of vilene or just a regular 'heavy' interfacing!! Did you find that the shawl, needed securing at the waist or did you leave 'movement!'

Replies:
-I use lightweight vilene in these capes. One layer if it is small, and two layers on a larger cape. They flop too much if not anchored at all, so I attach with a swing tie to allow some movement.

--Could you give some details about the swing tie? I'd like to add one to my daughter's dress.

---I do it very simply with a loop beside the zipper, and apiece of ribbon on the back of the cape. The two ends hang down, and can be put through the loop and tied in place.

---I use Velcro on either side of the zipper at the waist. It keeps the cape snug against the body, but lets the bottom flow as it wants to

-Do you stiffen your shawl? I keep finding that when I do this it bends in the middle too much, especially on older (and curvier) dancers. Do yours do that?

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[> Subject: Different types discussed


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 20:02:12 03/15/01 Thu

The man from Celtic Image sent a sample of his vilene to me. It's the stiffest "stuff" I've ever seen. It would be horrible to import. It's the same vilene that I've seen used in the front panel on a dress I worked on for someone. I'd love to find some in the US. Might anyone know where to get it?

Replies:
-Yes, I have also used the vilene from Irish threads and think it's great--using some boning, as well. So far, I have not made a complete dress (though I'm an experienced seamstress in eveningwear and including men's trousers and shirts), but I have "redone several for people to make them stand out more, alter, or rework limp dresses. I think this vilene would be wonderful to add one layer with the other stiffener. If anyone knows something stiffer, I'm still interested.

-The problem with stiffeners is they need to be drycleanable and sewable and flexible. A tall order! If they are too thich a home sewer probably qon't get through the waist with their machine. The boning (not the stuff sold in fabric stores)is the perfect solution for me along with a good stiffener of course

-I had NIGHTMARES trying to sew through several layers of that stuff for the box panel. Where it was folded over for the pleats it was about 1/4 inch thick. No way could I get my machine to go through it. And my dd looked like a dancing lampshade! Maybe there are tricks of the trade I don't know about, but I've had much better luck with the Irish Threads vilene.

-(OP)Thanks for your comments. Actually, one of the dresses I worked on had one piece of this stiffer vilene sewn in the front panel, only sewn in the waist seam. It was loose on the sides. The dress was made in England. It's wonderful, if you can get through it. I have the newest Viking, and it gets through anything. I would love to find this vilene to put only in the front and each side panel. I really like the look of it. Guess i'm running into dead ends, so far. I have one more outlet to check.

-I use the Irish Threads Vilene and a Pfaff 7570 machine. I have been able to get through the front box pleats just fine. The trick I have found is to make sure only one layer of vilene is actually in the seam. If you are using multiple layers, stitch the 2nd or 3rd pieces to the 1st, just inside where your sewing line will be before you attach it to your dress pieces.

-Regarding using the Vilene in the skirt panels, use two layers of V. in the center front panel(or the two split sections of the center front panel). One is cut large enough to be sewn in the seams along with the velvet and one is cut just inside that measurement so that it would float inside the panel. Before you stitch the larger panel of V. along with the velvet, baste the smaller panel of V. to the larger making sure to center it so that it does not get caught within the seam allowances. Then use one layer of V. in each of the front side panels of velvet. You can use one layer of the V. around the back, or just use regular stiffener (very stiff) if you like, or use none at all if prefered.

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[> Subject: How to Flatten Before Sewing


Author:
Anonymous
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Date Posted: 13:37:03 03/15/02 Fri

When I bought the veline for a dress I am making it came on a roll so is not flat. My question is;how do I flatten it out so the skirt does not curve into strange shapes?

Replies:
-Iron it
-If it is Irish threads, it can take a hot steam iron. It will be flexible for a little while then stiffen up again.

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