How to sew with Silk fabrics
Recently we made a red silk blouse with the sewing pattern Butterick B6710. Later we made a pink silk cupro silk blouse. And made of stretch silk: a white blouse from chain fabric. Silk is a very nice fabric to work with and to wear. But we do have some tips to make the sewing project easier.
Sewing with silk fabrics
Silk is a very fine fabric because it feels wonderful on the skin and is nice and cool, especially in summer. In addition, the fabric has a luxurious and classic look. Even the most casual clothing is suddenly very chic when you wear it with a silk blouse.
Sustainable and environmentally friendly
Opinions on silk differ in terms of sustainability. Ahimsa Silk is the so-called 'peace silk' or 'peace silk' is made by silk caterpillars that have first been given the chance to become butterflies (unlike other types of silk in which the caterpillars die during the silk production process.) Producing the silk therefore takes longer and the silk is more expensive. But the silk is beautiful and very environmentally conscious! The silk is also increasingly called: 'Vegan silk'. If this aspect is very important to you, check whether the silk you buy has been produced in a good way.
Cupro is a silky fabric with a lovely touch. It is made from a cellulose fiber produced by treating cotton cellulose with cuprammonium salt. This is where it gets its name: Cuprammonium rayon is the reference to the production process that the cellulose has undergone to become 'cupro'. As a raw material for cupro, cellulose is therefore used, usually the cotton fibers that are too short to be spun. Due to the fineness of the fibers, Cupro has a silky grip and shine. It is very easy to drape and drape smoothly. It is also anti-allergenic and anti-static. Cupro is often referred to as a 'silk-like' fabric, but it has a completely different basis.
Cutting silk fabrics: a great tip!
If you are going to sew with silk fabrics, there are a few steps that you should pay extra attention to. This already starts with cutting the fabric. The fabric often slips easily during cutting and this is a huge frustration for many seamstresses. You can use extra weights and especially the fabric extra pins to the paper pattern pieces. But it is even better to baste the fabric with a thin, sharp needle beforehand. You can do this quite roughly, but either way it is better than pins and working with weights. Lots of extra work, but well worth it!
Sewing with silk fabrics
It is advisable to always pre-wash the fabric and iron it neatly afterwards. With silk this is not so much because of possible shrinkage, but more to remove the fabric fold and prevent water stains.
Sewing silk fabrics is basically the same as sewing light weight fabrics. Pay particular attention to the correct sewing machine needles and use thinner pins.
Be sure to use thin iron-on stabilizer if you are going to sew two layers of fabric together. Thin nonwoven will not affect the shape and a little reinforcement will not hurt the seams. Buy the thinnest you can find.
Some seamstresses also work with tissue paper to sew two pieces together. If you put it under the fabric, the fabric will slip less. Later you can very carefully remove the paper.
But the very best remains, just like with cutting: basting, basting and basting again. it will definitely take more time but the result of your sewing project will be better.
The following also applies for buttonholes: use stabilizer (slightly thicker) or place a piece of extra fabric in between. For example cotton. Take fabric of the same color.
Silk is a very nice fabric to wear. It has a luxurious and timeless appearance and it always feels very pleasant on the skin.
Vegan silk and cupro silk are our favorites.
Cutting and sewing silk takes extra time. You will have to baste the fabric a lot to be able to cut and sew it really neatly. But it will pay off because it will be more pleasant to work with silk and the result will certainly be better!
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