Featuring: Hannah Dress
Rayon is my favourite fabric for spring and summer. It’s so soft, has beautiful drape and stays cool and comfortable in the heat of the warmer seasons. It’s also super absorbent so it’s great when the humidity of summer sets in. I was so excited to be invited to collaborate on the re-launch of the Near and Far Fabric Collection from Sew to Grow. I adore the beautifully vibrant Oeko-Tex certified fabrics featured in the collection. I’m sewing “Market Place” which is reminiscent of Lindsey’s travels to many marketplaces on her travels.
I’ve matched the Hannah Dress with the rayon fabric because the fullness of the gathered skirt required a floaty and drapey fabric. Usually, patterns that need something breezy and loose are the best match for this fabric. It is great for summer because of its softness and how breathable it is. These are all features of the Near and Far Rayon. It is a bit heavier at 150gsm (normally rayon sits at 113 gsm to 142 gsm) which, in my opinion, gives even better drape. I noticed that there is a twill weave in this rayon which gives the fabric more strength compared to a plain weave.
To begin my sew, I made sure that I washed my fabric. Rayon can shrink and it’s not a fabric that recovers well (you can’t rewash and re-stretch it after). I also overlocker my fabrics before washing but you can choose to skip this step if you wish. I tend to airdry my fabrics but if your dryer has a cool setting, you could also risk putting it in the dryer. I then go over the fabric on the wrong side of the fabric with the iron. I must be especially careful as my iron only has one heat setting and if you overheat rayon fabric on the right side, you could leave a shiny residue on the fabric. I was really happy to note that there was no shrinkage after the cold wash and the fabric remained brilliantly colourfast!
Next, I made sure that I inserted a sharp new needle. I used a 10/70 needle to avoid snags in my fabric. The Hannah Dress is a gorgeous wrap dress from By Hand London. This required a bit of staystitching on the wrap front and the back neckline. It’s a good idea to staystitch when you use rayon because it can stretch out when you’re sewing. A great feature of rayon is the drape of the fabric, but it also means that you need to stabilise the fabric. It’s the same treatment you would give for fabrics sewn on the bias.
The other tip when sewing with rayon is to make sure you transfer all your markings accurately and you need to use as many pins as it takes to match your markings. This was the case when I was fitting the sleeve to my Hannah Dress. I’m making the dress with the bishop sleeves this time and I found that I had to ease in the sleeve fabric to ensure that the markings matched up. You can also sew a line of gathering stitches to help ease the sleeve in, but it was easy enough to use some pins.
Next, I used the fabric to make some biased binding for the neckline and front bodice. This was my first experience of making bias binding using the continuous method. This is by far the best way to do it!
Overall, I can honestly say that sewing with the Near and Far Rayon from Sew to Grow did not disappoint. All my pattern pieces stayed in shape, and it was enjoyable to sew with. It has a beautiful quality with the slightly heavier weight. Wearing the rayon is even better. I love the drape and here are some pictures from the Spring Festival! Oh! Final tip, don’t forget to let it hang for a day or two before finishing the hem.
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
Full Disclosure: Fabric was gifted in exchange for review and sponsored Instagram Post but all opinions are my own.