Silk Bias Cut



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Sewing silk ? I have lot’s of silk/satin ?

sari’s with beautiful beading and embroidery. My friend gave me these to use the fabric to make pillows and home decor but after looking at it, I have decided the fabric would make beautiful silk blouses,skirts and even really nice formal to semi formal dresses.
My question is about sewing silk and satin. I have some nice patterns but I have no experience with silk and satin.
Is there anything I need to know about cutting or sewing the silk together so it doesn’t destroy the fabric in the seams?
Do I need a special thread ? bias tape? or can it just simple be sewn together?
just think I’ve seen silk garments shredded/coming apart at the seams before.

Silk is very prone to abrasion damage, but it’s got the best resistance to breaking by pulling of any common fiber of comparable diameter. It’s pretty cool stuff, but can be tough to work with.

1) Cut the fabric with paper. Yahoo won’t let me clip in an old answer here, so I’ll just refer
you to

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.crafts.textiles.sewing/browse_thread/thread/d1e361ee1526b3e5/c35055baddf1d02c?q=cut+paper+slippery+scissors+kay+group:*.sewing#c35055baddf1d02c

2) Underline silk with something heavier to make it look richer and “hang heavier”. Well washed cotton flannel works well for a lot of things; so does a heavy polyester lining fabric.

3) Test all your candidate seam types before deciding what you want to do. I pink lots of plain seams on silk. If it’s going to be something where the seam edges are exposed, I’ll often hand overcast to prevent fraying, just because that’s the second flattest method of preventing fraying. If you happen to have a serger, one of the easy ways to make a french seam is to do the first seaming with the rolled hem stitch on the serger, and the second by hand or with a sewing machine. If you’re trying to keep the fluidity of the silk, then consider hand sewn french seams… or
machine sew the first seam, hand sew the second.

4) Thread. Silk thread is lovely to work with and quite expensive. My current favorite is Tire brand. But silk sews nicely with plain ol’ polyester dressmaker thread like Gutermann. Your choice.

5) Needles: Microtex or sharps for wovens. Ballpoints for silk knits.

Garments that come apart at the seams may be doing so from several reasons:
a) the seams, being firmer, may have allowed that section of the fabric to abrade away.
b) some fabrics (taffeta being notorious for this) have problems with “seam slippage”, where the
fabric disintegrates under the least little bit of stress. It’s usually a combination of slick yarns and yarns of two different sizes in the fabric that starts this ball rolling. Underlining, french seams, flat felled seams and fusing the seam allowances may help. But it’s not common.

http://www.amefird.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Minimizing-Seam-Slippage-2-12-10.pdf

Try not to be afraid of silk… it’s wonderful stuff to work with IF you cut it accurately. If you don’t, it’s going to be trouble all the way. I try to get the beginners I teach over Fear of Silk fairly soon in their sewing journey — I sneak silk suiting in with some lightweight silk habutai for lining as a cosmetic bag or jewelry roll project. After they’re done, I tell them they’ve been sewing silk. >:-)

The one thing I would caution you about is that silk snags easily, so if you’re going to pin, keep the pin holes in the seam allowance. And preferably use good silk pins, not the young nails known as quilting pins.



Sewing tutorial: Drapey Silk Tanktop







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