Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! Sewing Silks and Slinky Fabrics.


Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.  And again, I say "Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!




Remember that episode of the Cosby Show when Denise made Theo a designer shirt.  The infamous Gordon Cottrell (may not be spelled correctly), yep that is what envision every time I attempt to sew something silky.  




 
I am not happy right now, it’s the end of my month of sewing Tops/Blouses, and I have only completed (hemmed and wearable), three tops. Actually that is good for me considering the month that I have had and the little sewing time that I was able to take advantage of this month.   My goal was 5, so of course I want to rush and try to finish these two I have on my table.  I am OCD, so I must get them done by tomorrow or I will turn into a pumpkin.

This post is about my inability to sew a straight line and or have a decent hem on anything silky and or slinky.  I have watched the videos, read the books and practiced (boy I need more practice).  I have not yet mastered this concept.  I have a closet full of knit tops, nothing silky or slinky because I am deathly afraid of what the outcome will be once I get on the hemming end. 

I have a Janome 6600 Professional that came with a walking foot.  I use it every time I sew something silky and it still comes out wonky.    I am determined to get this even if I have to glue my butt to my chair and sew silk remnants until my freaking fingers bleed (no not really), but I let nothing conquer me. 

Help please!, LOL, “NO I MEAN IT”. 

16 comments :

  1. I know and feel your pain about slippery, silky fabrics Melanie. HAVE YOU TRIED THIS STUFF?: Steam-A-Seam 2, comes in (I guess) regular and Lite; 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch widths. Let me say before I forget to mention, I really don't know the difference in the regular and the Lite. I use both and get the same WONDERFUL hemming results on silky, slippery as well as knit fabrics.
    . On silky stuff I serge the entire hem first,then apply the SAS to the wrong side of the hem (you press it on - paperside up. It's a two sided adhesive covered with peel away paper. NOTE: I always work with small sections of the hem at a time, maybe 6 or 7 inches. Applying it to a large circumferenced hem does take patience - but the end results are well worth it.
    . Afterwards, I flip up my hem the width of the SAS (1/2" or 1/4" depending on the width SAS used) then press again.
    . In the final step I actually stitch the hem in place.
    Like I said, it makes a wonderfully finished hem on silky fabrics and on knits. If you already know about SAS, sorry, just disregard.

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    1. Faye, thanks so much I will give this a try and sounds like it will work wonderfully. Thanks again.

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  2. Have you tried the gelatin method for silk? You can find the method here. http://thesewingspace.com/2011/11/21/gelatin-your-chiffon-or-the-tip-that-keeps-people-talking/

    Test first.

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    1. Thanks Beajay. Can't wait to check it out.

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  3. Thanks for asking that question, Melanie. I'm in a similar dilemma. I have been struggling with knits. Using a needle for knits, zigzag stitch and the fabric still slips around. The stitches are not uniform. I would use my walking foot, but can't figure out how to attach it (I guess I gave up too soon). I usually end up serging the garment without sewing it first. I still would like a sewn seam (OCD ?). I bought Sullivan's Fabric Stabilizer spray for slippery silky fabric but I haven't got to that level yet so I don't know if it works. I read about it on Erica Bunker's blog. Steam-a-seam sounds like something good to try.

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    1. Robin, I will give the Seam spray a try and let you know.

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  4. I think you stabilise the hem before sewing, as Faye suggests.

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  5. I feel your pain, a few weeks back I helped my daughter make 14 super hero capes for my grandsons b'day party, as the fabric kept slipping out from under the needle I said who bought this fabric! lol!from what i can see your blouse turned out great!
    Helen

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    1. Its so aggravating. I love the fabric Helen, I will conquer this though.

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  6. I loved that episode of Cosby show!!!! It was so realistic...we've all made a disaster or two! I have no advice about the slippery fabric - oh wait, maybe try putting paper under it and then ripping the paper out when you sewed the seam. I'm not a slippery fabric sewer but I have heard that tip. I really enjoy your blog by the way.

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    1. I know, I can watch it over and over again. Will give the paper a try to see how it comes out.

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  7. It's funny because I reference to this episode in the past on one of my blog posts. Lol I love it. Your top is cute and the fabric is too. Is it an ITY? If so, I have that one and the burgundy one. I love the feel of that fabric. As far as conquering your strife with slinky fabrics, try starching your fabric. Let it sit, then iron. After it has cooled it should be more manageable. It has worked for me with most slinky fabrics. But you will want to make sure you can iron the fabric you're using. A light setting can also work sometimes, too.

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  8. I've heard sewing silk with paper under it and then ripping the paper away works. I don't know though I tend to sew with less expensive fabrics. Also, we/ve all had moments like Denise didn't we? I loved that episode!!!

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    1. I will give that a try Nothy Lane, and I do love this episode.

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