Recently I paid an impromptu visit to Walthamstow Market to meet a small posse of lovely sewing pals. I've only been to Walthamstow once before (it takes a lot to lure me east) and although I bought some weird and wonderful notions that time - red interfacing, polka dot elastic and lace trim - I didn't pick up any memorable fabric. On this recent trip, most of the fabric shopping had been done by the time I got there, but everyone was happy enough to make a return trip to TMOS (The Man Outside Sainsbury's) to humour me.
Ah The Man Outside Sainsbury's - what a charmer! I swear he was flirting with me, and if I wasn't already married, I'd probably have asked him out... Before I knew it I'd bought two metres of peculiar looking fabric from my new boyfriend.
It's a flesh coloured scuba (or neoprene?) with a layer of black lace attached. The flesh coloured fabric is a bit sinister looking on its own (think industrial strength support knickers) but is transformed by the lovely, delicate lace layer. In the photo below you can see the two layers attached in more detail - there's quite a sizeable selvedge area at each side.
It wasn't just the charms of TMOS that lured me down this path, there is actually some method to my madness! Ever since I saw Karen's beautiful red lace dress I've been wanting to make a version of my own. I have the pattern picked out - Simplicity 1249 - and I've even purchased a Craftsy course to learn all I can about working with lace. But then this scuba upstart made an appearance and all my careful plans went out of the window. Making a lace dress would typically involve underlining the lace pieces, sewing a separate lining or both. Using my new fabric to make a lace dress would involve sewing the pieces together - and that's it.
I still fully intend to make a properly constructed lace dress and learn the appropriate skills, but I'm also lazy! What I'm going to do is make a dress from the rogue scuba fabric as an experiment - if it all goes horribly wrong then I'll hardly have wasted any money (£4 a metre to be precise). It could look form fitting and classy and a lot more expensive than it actually is. Then again, it could end up looking like something a lady of the night might wear... I just need to dive in!
My next step is to research tips for sewing with scuba knit. So if you've sewn with this fabric before and have any wisdom to share I'd be very grateful. Thank you friends!