What’s Your Scariest Fabric To Work With?

We all have those tricky fabrics that we avoid like the plague. For me it was silk and silky fabrics of any kind even Rayon. I loved to handle them and look at them in the store, but forget about sewing something, let alone it looking good. Long story short, I decided that I was going to tackle working with these fussy but gorgeous fabrics.  Silk was my first choice to work with because, well it’s silk it’s the cream of the fabric crop in my opinion.

I learned a few great tips for working with silk, one is that there are very inexpensive and easy ways in which to stabilize the fabric so that cutting it out will eliminate the fabric shifting. With zero shifting you’ll have precise pattern pieces to sew with. I’ve written about my favorite techniques here so that you can practice yourself.

Another issue with tricky fabrics is using the right seam finishes so that the garment or project will last a good long time. For many silk projects I use French seams. Recently I made a pair of silk pants and I did not use French seams. Sure enough, I blew out my pants. Fortunately, it was on the inseam of the pant leg so there were no embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions. Lesson learned!

Also, it is important to use the proper thread and needles when sewing with silks and silky fabrics. I change to a fresh, new microtex needle and in many cases I will use a silk thread in the machine.

To torment myself further I absolutely adore satin garments. Love the sheen, the weight, the drape just everything about it except for its fussy nature. I made a satin full circle skirt and just check out that invisible zipper! No puckering there. With satin however, it’s how it behaves after you’ve sewn the garment. Satin wrinkles easily and water stains anyone?

circle skirt  Whats Your Scariest Fabric To Work With?My next tricky fabric to tame is chiffon. I’ve made a skirt lining out of chiffon and it turned out okay, plus a cami, but I could certainly use some more practice. I’m also interested in minky. I’d love to make a plush robe, but I hear it can be a bear to work with.

What are your worst fabrics to work with? Have any particular juicy horror stories we could all relish in? Give me the details in the comments section below!

Special Offer: Four free patterns included with purchase of the  How To Sew Tricky Fabrics Live Webinar.

*you will receive these 4 patterns, along with the recording of the webinar in the thank-you email sent a week after the live event.

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 Whats Your Scariest Fabric To Work With?

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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5 Responses to What’s Your Scariest Fabric To Work With?

  1. Mea Cadwell says:

    Metallic organza. Little bits of cut off ends were floating around my house for who knows how long. And the stuff shifts each time an ant takes a step on the planet!

    I also want to know why you needed 30 yards.

  2. Susan Cary says:

    I second the vote for velvet! I’ve sewn with silk velvet and rayon velvet, and they are both a nightmare, even if you based them first!! Above and beyond considering the nap, Your needle has to be perfect, your tension has to be perfect, and you have to have chosen the correct thread for the velvet of choice! Even if you get your seam to come out even at the end, you still have the nightmare of pressing it flat. this procedure is so touchy that one misstep and you flatten the nap which will never stand up again!

  3. Sarah Jo Armstrong says:

    I had to make a medieval dress out of a stretchy burn-out velvet complete with a lace overdress. And a hooded, zip front robe out of burlap

  4. Kelly Boyd says:

    I just bought 30 yards of red velvet for a new project and after I bought it I freaked out because I forgot about the nap! I also have to make my own pattern for the velvet so I am doubly scared! Oh and it has a satin lining!