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Working With Silk and Silklike Fabrics

Working With Silk Like FabricThere it is!  It's love at first sight.  Your heart wants no other fabric.  Careful.  This is how a relationship with silk and silkies start.  As a beginner, there are stars in your eyes and all you think of is the amazing things you're going to make out of that amazing fabric.  Unfortunately, the honeymoon is short-lived.  First there are little misunderstandings.  Maybe you're just not understanding enough.  It ends with a big blow up and you never want to see Silk again!  "Get out of my life!  I'm sorry I even laid eyes on you!  I give and give and give and you give me nothing, Silk!  I hate you!"  Or maybe that was just me?  Yes, we've all been there and yet those beautiful fabrics keep calling to us and we go crawling back, because maybe this time it'll be different.  Le sigh.

As your fabric counselor, I'm here to help you have a better beginning (or second or third beginning) with fabrics that are sheer, slippery, shiny, silky and everything else that we want to wear, but are kind of scared to work with it.  In thisweek's tutorial, I provide some tips and tricks that I've learned in working with these fantastic fabrics and they are fantastic, perhaps just a little high maintenance.  I'm not ready to call them my BFFs or anything but, when it comes to making fun garments, it's nice to at least be on friendly terms with them.




Categories:  Basic Video   |   Halloween   |   Halloween - Fabrics   |   intro to fabric   |   Professor Pincushion Posts   |   Videos

4 thoughts on “Working With Silk and Silklike Fabrics

  1. ProfessorPincushion

    yes, if you have a plate attachment like that, you can definitely use it instead of using the tape trick. I just only have the one plate with my machine. You can try using a walking foot, just try it on a scrap first to make sure it works for you. I’ve tried it before and for that split nano-second the foot is up, sometimes thin, slippery fabrics shift and I end up with a weird looking (not-so straight) stitch.

  2. tillie

    Would using a walking foot lessen the chance of puckering when sewing on silk and silk-like fabrics. Also, would this be an appropriate use of a straight stitch plate to prevent the fabric from being sucked in?

  3. ProfessorPincushion

    I’ve definitely been there. That fabric definitely has a mind of it’s own, doesn’t it? It could be that the fabric tension is too tight and that’s why it’s gathering as it’s stitching. Maybe loosen your tension a bit. Practice on a scrap of fabric until you’re satisfied. Also, I found that I don’t quite have as many problems if I’m sandwiching the fabric with tissue paper and then sewing through it. The tissue paper tears off quite so easily. If you find that it still tends to gather as you’re sewing, pull the fabric taut on both sides as it’s feeding through the machine. That should lessen the problem. If you plan on doing a zipper, I would recommend doing an invisible zipper as that will probably look the nicest. We have a tutorial on the installation of this type of zipper. I can’t see your pieces so I don’t know how salvageable it is but probably the only thing you can do is taking out the seams and resewing with the tricks in this video. I know that’ll be frustrating but it’s better than tossing it. Just put on a good movie, grab a cup of tea and go at it. It makes taking out seams not so bad. Don’t give up! I know you can do it and I want to see a picture when you complete your skirt. 🙂

  4. rpete144057

    I am a self taught quilter, who would like to make my own clothes. I found some beautiful silk like material for a beginner skirt. After a very aggravating session of trying to cut the pattern out while chasing it across my cutting table, it was finally cut…now when I am sewing a seam it pulls, and makes a gathered seam. I was so frustrated I just sat it aside..not wanting to throw in the towel and throw away the material but not quite sure how to salvage the project? what would be your advice? I have the 2 front panels sewn and am on the back panels where I should sew to the notch (zipper) AAGGH! I never thought about installing a zipper in this fabric!!!
    Thanks for your wonderful videos!

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