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Subject: Stiffener in Skirt

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Date Posted: 22:31:44 03/13/01 Tue
In reply to: K 's message, "Stiffeners" on 17:42:56 03/10/01 Sat

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?

-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

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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!'

-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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