Guide to sewing slippery fabrics

Sewing slippery fabric can sometimes make you feel frustrated and ready to give up! But don’t fear, we’ve rounded up some great tips to help you master floaty troublesome fabric whether you’re making a drapey blouse, sateen dress or silk camisole!

Why not try your skills out on our issue 64 Butterick shift dress pattern shown here in lovely sateen fabric? Read more about issue 64 here!

1. Make a toile (test garment) from an inexpensive polyester before you cut into special material.

2. Wash or dry clean your fabric before starting to work with them.

3. Use a new, universal, Sharps or Microtex needle, size 9/60-10/70. Larger size needles can leave holes or cause the seams to gather slightly as you sew. Blunt needles can snag the fabric and cause runs.

4. Use a ‘with nap’ layout when cutting out fabric that has a sheen to them to ensure any shading is the same way up throughout (ie lay all pieces head to toe in the same direction).

5. Use sew-in interfacing for stability. If you do use a fusible interfacing, use a press cloth to avoid glue marks on your garment.

6. For transparent chiffons and voiles, use another layer or two of the fashion fabric or sheer organza as the interfacing to add the support and stability without spoiling the transparency
of the fabric.

7. When pressing, use a silk setting on the iron and always use a press cloth. If possible, press from the WS. Heat will damage the shine on your fabric and create shadows on your finished garment.

8. Avoid using marking pens that may ‘bleed’ into the fabric or washaway pens on fabric that are dry-clean only. Instead, use fine chalk markers on the wrong side of the fabric or thread, tracing to transfer marks.

9. If possible use dressmaking shears that have a fine serrated edge on the blades – the serrated edge holds slippery fabric in place as you cut, making them ideal for fine fabrics, silks, satins etc.

10. Prevent the fabric shifting and sliding around by laying the fabric on an old sheet or cardboard cutting board.



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Categories: Great British Sewing Bee Series 5, Great British Sewing Bee Series 6, Learn to Sew