Silky smooth fabrics are so gorgeous to wear but for a sewist, they can be a challenge. The most important thing is to take time and be gentle with your fabrics! Here are some of our top tips for working with a silky fabric.
1. Choosing the right fabric
Consider the weight, stretch, opacity and drape that you would like. Each fabric will has different properties, some need layering. Have a look through some clothing inspiration and investigate what fabric is was made out of. Have a look at your fabric description and find out the GSM (weight), whether it has stretch and usually you can see the opacity by the photograph. If you're in person, hold up the fabric so you can see how it falls and drapes, if you're shopping online, kindly ask for a video of the drape if there is no photograph.
Each fabric will have different washing instructions. Some will be dry clean only. If you're unsure what to do, just wash a test strip so that you don't ruin your beautiful brand new fabric!
Use a rotary cutter with a fresh blade along with weights. Do a test run on scrap fabric to get make sure your blade is nice and sharp and you can get a feel for cutting a silky fabric.
4. Pins, Thread and Needles
Use Silk pins and pin on the seam allowance so that holes are not visible on your garment. Use a small, thing needle and make sure it is fresh and sharp. Again, test on a scrap piece of fabric. Use cotton thread. Once it's cut you can baste the fabric to keep it together (make sure again this is in the seam allowance). Using your test piece, pop it through the machine and correct your tension, stitch length and needle quality. If the fabric is prone to fraying (most likely it will be), a popular choice of seam is a French seam.
Use a pressing cloth, do not apply too much heat or pressure. Once more, use a testing strip and make sure it works with your fabric!
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