Costume,  Doctor Who,  My Blog,  Rose Tyler,  Sewing,  The Idiot's Lantern

Adventures in Finding Duchess Satin

Its been a while since I made a post so I thought I’d talking about something I’ve been working on and off for about six months, finding Duchess satin for sale.

Sure, it sounds boring, but I cannot believe how hard it is to find Duchess satin where I live! The reason why I’m interested in Duchess satin is because I recently had even more growth spurts. Apparently my body took a break for a few months before starting to grow again. This tricked me into believing that I was done growing when I really wasn’t. So, all the dresses I made for myself to wear as part of a Rose Tyler from The Idiot’s Lantern costume are too big in the bodice and too short in length. I’m so frustrated that I decided to make one last dress, make it as nice as possible with as screen accurate fabric I can find, and then end my struggle for making a dress that will fit me after growth spurts, even if it means I wouldn’t be able to wear it after the growth spurts are done. According to the Bad Wolf’s Closet, the dress used in the episode is made out of Duchess satin. Since this was as screen accurate fabric as I could find, I began to search for white Duchess satin to dye the right color for the dress.

Before I talk about searching for the fabric, here’s a picture of the Rose Tyler Idiot’s Lantern dress….

Rose Tyler in the Idiot's Lantern

I already had some Duchess satin that was pink, but it wasn’t the right shade of pink for the dress. Because I already had Duchess satin, I knew how the fabric felt like, looked like, and could take scrap fabric with me to the store to compare the fabric for sale. After many trips to Joann’s, I couldn’t find fabric like it. Well, that wasn’t true. I did find fabric that was the same as the Duchess satin, but it was far to shinny for the Rose Tyler dress. Also, after looking through every since bolt of fabric I could find at my local Joann’s, I couldn’t find anything for sale by the name of “Duchess satin”. In frustration, I turned to the internet.

For almost six months, I’ve been searching on and off for Duchess satin. I did find some for sale on Etsy and Ebay, but both cost more than I wanted to spend on the fabric for this dress. One night, while I was sitting up with even more late night growth spurt pains, I found a listing on Ebay with the title “Duchess/Contessa Satin”. That puzzled me because, although I’ve heard of Contessa satin, I never saw the names Duchess satin and Contessa satin used for a listing for the same exact fabric. According to the listing, the two names are interchangeable and both means the same exact fabric. Although this was very enlightening, I wanted to double check on other websites to make sure this information is correct.

After looking up “Contessa satin” in search engines, the only thing I could find describing Contessa satin is a listing for bridal fabrics located here. In the description of the fabric, the first sentence of the listing says the following:

Contessa is a Polyester Matt Duchess Satin….
Although finding this makes me happy, I was still hesitant about using it for the dress. I wanted to see if Contessa satin really is the right fabric I wanted, but I needed to find Contessa satin for a decent price. Since I never looked for Contessa satin on Joann’s, I searched for Contessa satin on Joann’s website. Much to my surprise, I found a listing for Contessa satin and, ironically, the satin was on sale! I purchased some and when it arrived, I compared it to the Duchess satin I was using it as a reference.
This is what the Contessa satin and the Duchess satin look like side by side….
The white fabric is the Contessa satin. The pink fabric is the Duchess satin.
 The photo doesn’t show it well, but the Duchess satin I was using as a reference was shinny. Not super bad, such as a poly/costume satin, but it had more shine to it than Contessa satin. I’m not sure why this is. My theory is that the Duchess satin I have cost less by-the-yard than the Contessa satin so in order to make the fabric cost less, the fabric had to be more shinny than normal. (Just like Casa satin from Joann’s and poly/costume satin. They’re made from the same material, but the shinny poly/costume satin costs less than the more dull Casa satin.)
Although the fabric I found is not named “Duchess satin”, it seems to still be Duchess satin. I wish I knew this months ago because Contessa satin is widely available where I live. (It’s located in the bridal fabric section of Joann’s) I can go on and on about how frustrated this made me, how irritated I am that I had to do months of research to find out the name is interchangeable, and I couldn’t find this information by doing a simple search, but I’ll stop before I go into a full rant mode.
Anyway, I’m going to use the Contessa satin for my new Rose Tyler dress. I will need to dye it, but I knew that before I decided to go through with this project. I am excited to move forward with this project! Unless I have more growth spurts. Then this dress will be delayed even longer. And I’ll become one very frustrated seamstress.
That’s all for now!
%d bloggers like this: