Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

lining for rayon challis

SusanGowen | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I’m planning to make a dress out of rayon challis. To preshrink the challis, I put it through a gentle wash cycle (cut edges serged) and laid it flat to dry, which worked just fine.

The challis is laid out on my cutting table, selvage edges pinned together at short intervals. My table is topped with a clear, self-healing mat that has a one inch grid undeneath it. I’ve aligned the selvages over one long grid line, but the fold is not even with a parallel grid line 27″ away. Smoothing the fabric and otherwise moving it around doesn’t entirely fix that– I can see that the challis stretches out of shape fairly easily.

Consequently, I think I need to interline the major pieces to support the challis, to help it keep its shape. I’d appreciate some suggestions for interlining fabric. I’ll likely have to purchase that from an on-line store, so I’d welcome sources too.

Thanks, Susan Gowen

P.S. I tried to attach a photo file, but got no response when I clicked the Attach Files button. My pop-up stopper was disabled for this website. Help with that too, anyone!


  1. Ralphetta | | #1

    In the last 2 weeks there have been many discussions of underlining and interlining.  If you search I think you will find helpful info.

    1. SusanGowen | | #5

      Yes, I've read the recent discussions. They are what prompted my request for recommendations specific to rayon challis.

  2. fabricholic | | #2

    Hi Susan,Are you wanting to line the dress or give it stability? The reason I ask is; what if you put fusible tricot on the material? It would stabilize it, wouldn't it? I have just bought some for a vest at Nancysnotions.com.Marcy

    1. SusanGowen | | #6

      I'm looking for stability. That's what I meant by "support, to help it keep its shape."

      Edited 11/3/2006 9:23 pm ET by SusanGowen

  3. User avater
    user-221153 | | #3

    Rayon shrinks, and it also tends to stretch out of shape. It's possible that it was pulled off grain when you laid it flat to dry.

    Here are some fabric tips for rayon care from Sandra Betzina on DenverFabrics.com:


    I also buy fabric from Denver and these other sources:





    Do you have a description or link where we could view the dress pattern? This would help with suggestions. I frequently use cotton or poly/coton broadcloth for interlining. Denver Fabrics makes you purchase this by the bolt, but Fabric.com lets you get it by the yard, and it comes in many colors.

    1. SusanGowen | | #7

      I'll check out your links. Thanks.
      I wanted to attach a file of a scan of the front of the dress pattern envelope, but I couldn't get that function to work for me.
      I don't think a link for the dress pattern exists because it's a pattern that's probably 20 to 25 years old--something I think is a timeless style. I got it on eBay.

      Edited 11/3/2006 9:25 pm ET by SusanGowen

  4. Teaf5 | | #4

    You might want to re-wet the challis and tumble it dry on very low with a few clean towels to make the fibers set in their most natural state. Then lay it out again and check the grain. You need a light hand to lay out challis--lift and fluff it a bit so that it lands naturally.The beauty of challis is in its drape and flow, so I wonder why you'd want to underline it to give it structure. If the pattern requires structure, then challis is probably not the right fabric for it. I interface waistbands or facings of challis garments and re-inforce the shoulder seams, but never underline. Even if you found a lining fabric with similar properties, it would be better to use it as a separate lining rather than try to get it conform to the challis as an interlining would have to do.

    1. SusanGowen | | #8

      I may try your re-wet and tumble dry with towels suggestion. It's an interesting idea, but I don't quite understand what the towels would add. My dried-flat challis remains soft and drapey.I pulled a weft yarn on each cut end and trimmed the fabric along that line. The corners on each end meet nicely with no extra fabric along the length of the selvages. It's not stretched out of shape that way. The ripples of extra fabric are in the other direction, here and there across the width.I don't want to loose the characteristic drape of challis, but neither do I want the garment to sag just from hanging on a hanger. I think the bodice particularly could do with some stability. There are four vertical tucks (pleats) about an inch wide falling from each shoulder seam, also fixed in place by the waist seam. Therefore, there's about six inches of unpleated bodice in the centre of the front. The tuck nearest the sleeve seems to extend out over the sleeve cap a wee bit, as a military uniform might. When I say that, I envision the uniformed mice in the Nutcracker Suite.I don't know what iron-on tricot is like. I guess I'll visit my favorite fabric store and see if they have any.

      1. Ralphetta | | #9

        I use iron-on tricot interfacing a lot, but I really don't think you would want to use it because it would make a substantial change in your fabric. 

        I read somewhere that the very best fabric for underlining...was the same thing you used as the fashion fabric.  That's too expensive most times, but I do think it makes a lot of sense...particularly with a drapey fabric.  Do you have enough to just underline the bodice?  I've done it with cheaper fabrics.

        1. SusanGowen | | #10

          Yes, actually, I do have enough challis to cut the bodice pieces twice. That would certainly go a long way to maintaining the kind/amount of drape. But maybe I should put tucks in the outside front of the bodice only.

          1. Ralphetta | | #12

            Yes, I would only tuck the one.  Maybe you could experiment with cheaper rayon as the other person suggested.  One of my favorite dresses was from rayon.  I didn't know it was supposed to be troublesome and had no trouble sewing it.  I think I was lucky and got really good fabric.  It washed like a dream and I loved how it felt.

      2. ixs | | #11

        You know, rayon challis can be a very unpredictable fabric; maybe you should buy a less expensive fabric that is as similar as possible and practice on that.  Or, maybe you can steam the fabric as it is laying on your board; I don't think there is any one answer here......

        I have underlined a lot of garments, but it is used to support and change the drape of fabric and help prevent wrinkling.  And it does all that!  

        Then, there is the question of what will happen after you make the garment.  I tried on a rayon shirt that had been hanging in the closet for quite a while, and it had grown!  I knew I hadn't lost that much weight; I threw it in the wash but hung it to dry because it was unwearable as it was, and it shrank back to size.  But it said dry clean only; it was a very expensive shirt, but pretty useless in its present state.

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All