Sewing With Specialty Fabrics
Ivana Musura | Date posted: May 28th, 2012
Only a couple of weeks into the Introductory Sewing course, there always seem to be a few (very ambitious) students who are interested in complex projects involving more difficult fabrics. At least they think they’re ready to tackle them. Did I mention that they have only sewn in a straight line on remnants so far? I might have missed that part, but nevertheless, certain students want to work with more advanced fabrics, such as jersey, right off the bat. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing better than being motivated and wanting to try new things while learning a new skill, but you also have to be realistic.
Learning to be a great sewer takes years of practice and many attempts at a variety of projects involving an array of fabrics. Yes, this also applies to those students who think that just because their aunt’s great-grandmother’s cousin used to make gowns from scratch, the skill has been passed down to them genetically.
To determine where you stand and if you are really ready to move on to a project using a more difficult fabric, ask yourself these five questions:
1) What size needle will you need?
2) What will the tension and stitch length on the machine be set to?
3) How will you finish your seams?
4) What kind of thread will you use to sew your garment?
5) What are the care requirements for the garment you are making?
If you are staring at the screen wide-eyed right now and are having trouble coming up with answers to the questions above, chances are that you’ve got some more practicing to do before you can think about making that silk charmeuse dress that’s cut on a bias. My advice is to start off slow, play with different fabrics, and make projects that increase in difficulty as you go along. You’ll learn your strengths and find areas where there is room for improvement. And this way, you’ll be on the road to being a pro in no time!
Ivana Musura has been surrounded by fashion ever since she can remember. She has been sewing since she was 10 years old and continued to boost her creativity by making custom outfits and accessories to...