Product was successfully added to your shopping cart.
EZ Quilting Burda Logo image alt text image alt text image alt text image alt text image alt text image alt text
0item(s)

You have no items in your shopping cart.

The UK's favourite sewing pattern website

Sewing Techniques - Begin With The Right Pattern

Sewing With Sheer Fabrics

When you think of soft, pretty, feminine fashion for everyday as well as special occasions, sheer fabrics almost always come to mind. Sheer fabrics like chiffon, organza and voile have also become popular year-round choices for home decorating, from window valances and bed canopies to elegant table dressings and chair drapes. While sheers may require a bit more attention than most fabrics, yet you can successfully create the light, airy looks you love by following a few easy guidelines:

Layout:

  • Use a single or double thickness layout with right sides together.
  • Use a "without nap" layout.
  • A cutting surface with a contrasting color will help you get the best view of your sheer.
  • Soft sheers will slip easily off grain, especially when cut on the bias. Use pushpins to anchor the fabric to a padded cutting surface. Insert pins along the selvage and across the cut edge of the crosswise grain.
  • Pin only within the seam allowances, especially on crisp sheers. Extra fine pins are suitable on crisp sheers, but may easily fall out of soft sheers. Insert pins at more frequent intervals than usual.

Cutting:

  • Use scissors with serrated blades or a rotary cutter to reduce fabric slippage as you cut.

Sewing: 

  • Use a standard universal point needle in a light to medium weight size, such as size 70/10 H to 80/12 H (Schmetz) or size 10 to 12 (Singer).
  • Stitch with fine cotton-covered polyester thread, or try lingerie thread.
  • Set your machine for a slightly smaller stitch length than usual – about 10 to 15 stitches per inch.
  • Increasing the pressure on the presser foot may be helpful with some lightweight sheers.
  • Use a small, single-hole throat plate when sewing straight seams. This prevents toe fabric from being "swallowed" into the machine. A narrow straight stitch foot and / or flat-bottom presser foot may also be helpful.
  • If you do not have these machine attachments, consider moving the needle to the far left to provide support on three sides of the fabric.
  • If needed, substitute organza (for soft sheers) or organdy (for crisp sheers) in place of a commercial interfacing.
  • Seam options for sheers include a double-stitched seam and French seam.

 

Tips for Sewing Fleece

Fleece fabric is strong, hard to puncture or tear and doesn't pill. It also doesn't ravel, so there is no need to finish the raw edges of seam allowances or hem allowance.

Pinning:

Short pins get lost in the fleece, so use long ones...the type with bead heads are easiest to see.

Stitching: 

  • Use a narrow zigzag stitch. Experiment on scraps of the fleece, adjusting the stitch width and length until you like the way the seam looks.
  • Stitch slowly and carefully. Because stitches are hard to remove, this will actually save you time.
  • When sewing around curved areas (such as necklines or armholes), stitch slowly and be careful not to stretch the fleece as you guide it through the machine.

Pressing:

Avoid pressing with an iron. Often, finger pressing will do just as good a job. If the seam allowance still curls, topstitching can eliminate the problem and add a decorative touch. If pressing is absolutely necessary, use a press cloth between the fabric and your iron.

Hemming:

For an easy hem, topstitch ¼" (6mm) from the cut edge of the hem allowance, through all of the layers.

 

Working With Satin Fabrics

It seems that all year long, satin remain the fabric of choice for special occasions. Wedding dresses & accessories, prom fashions, holiday party dresses and other special occasion designs depend on this smooth-surfaced, shimmering fabric for a look of elegance and drama. Since it's a fabric you probably don't sew every day, it makes sense to review some simple guidelines to make the most of your one-of-a-kind outfit:

Preparation:

  • Use a double thickness cutting layout, right sides together.
  • Use a "with nap" cutting layout – satins tend to shade in different directions.
  • Pin within the seam allowances only, using fine pins
  • Mark with dressmaker's chalk, as fabric-marking pens tend to bleed into the fabric, and wax dressmaker's carbon may leave spots.
  • Cut with scissors with a serrated edge or a rotary cutter for a clean, precise cut.

Sewing:

  • Test a standard universal point needle in Lightweight size, such as a 70/10 H (Schmetz) or a sixe 10 (Singer) If runs or pulls result, try a lighter weight Microtex needle with a sharp point.
  • Use standard or fine cotton-wrapped polyester thread, or a lingerie thread.
  • Set your machine for a slightly smaller stitch length than usual – about 10 to 15 stitches per inch.
  • Increasing the pressure on the presser foot may be helpful with some lightweight satins.
  • Use a small, single-hole throat plate when sewing straight seams. This prevents toe fabric from being "swallowed" into the machine. A narrow straight stitch foot and / or flat-bottom presser foot may also be helpful. If you do not have these machine attachments, consider moving the needle to the far left to provide support on three sides of the fabric.
  • Interfacing options include sew-in wovens or nonwovens. Also consider organza or organdy for lightweight satins.
  • Sew plain seams. A French seam is also suitable for straight seams, but not for curves.

Finishing:

  • If finishing seams with a serger, use lightweight thread or woolly nylon thread to prevent thread imprints on the fabric face.
  • If the garment is underlined, the hems can be hand sewn; otherwise, the hand stitches will show on the right side. Silk organza is a great underlining for satins because it has a soft hand but will support the weight of a hem.
  • Press satins with a warm, dry iron, preferably on the wrong side of the fabric. If you must press on the right side, be sure to use a press cloth.
  • Avoid steam, as satins tend to water-spot.

Press seams open over a seam roll or seam stick, or insert paper beneath the seam allowances to prevent ridged from forming on the face of the garment.