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Made by a Fabricista: Tackling Your Fear Fabric!

Do you have fabric types that you shy away from? I'm talking about the fabric you look past when shopping in person (walking really fast to get to the next type) or click past online (click, click, click past to ignore its existence all together)?

Very lightweight fabric such as chiffon (which I used for the top in this blog post) is my fear fabric. But you can overcome this fear by using some tips from online bloggers or purchasing additional tools for your machine. A combination of this will make the experience more pleasant and make you feel like, "Yes, I can manage a fear fabric and get a result that will make me try again!"

Here is my journey using lovely chiffon.


My original plan when I first spied this fabric was to make a dress. Not just any dress but a fitted-in-the-bodice maxi dress.  Well, even though I made a muslin, I hated the dress on me and since this was my blog post fabric, I was so very disappointed!  I knew I had to create something so I salvaged what I could and made a cute little summer top. When I put it on, it feels ethereal, not because I didn't make it sturdily but simply because the fabric is so flowing and well, summery!

       

So, how did I overcome my fear of this lovely fabric?  I used the tools that I had and the internet to find some additional hints.

   

Here is what I found helpful via the 'net.
1.  Use tissue paper in between the layers of fabric when you cut.  This keeps the two layers from slipping and sliding all over the place.  An additional tool I highly recommend is to tape your layers to the surface you are cutting from.  I used ordinary scotch tape and it helps tremendously when trying to keep layers straight and on-grain rather than cutting something off-grain and having a huge mishap!


2.  If you have to turn a tube as I did with the back ties, I thought that tool Julie and Melissa used in the wrap dress fit-along was just brilliant. I went straight to eBay and purchased a Fasturn myself.  It was worth every single penny!


              
Those ties turned out so nice!  

           

3.  For loop and shank buttons, use an elastic pony-tail holder instead of a very narrow fabric tube.  It works like a charm and when I secure the elastic to the fabric, I use scotch tape.  It holds the elastic much better than a few pins and also tears away after securing it to the fabric. Since you can't see the 'tube' I thought it would be fun to use purple, one of my favorite colors!

                   

4.  And for heaven's sake, use a rotary cutter with a fresh blade or a very sharp pair of quality scissors.  For this fabric, I like my smaller Olfa cutter that many quilters use.  

  

Here is what I used that were machine based:
1.  Sewing machine tools included a single hole throat plate.  This is so essential so that your fabric doesn't get sucked down into the bobbin case.  If you've ever used one, you will know exactly what I mean. If you don't have one of these, just use tissue paper, the kind that you put into gift bags and sandwich it between the throat plate and the fabric.  It works awesome too!  


2.  Use the proper sized needle.  I used a size 60/8.  I also used that size in my serger.  How often do you change your sewing needles?  I do with every project and I never regret it.  If you try and use a needle that is too large, it will likely cause big holes in your fabric and worse yet, it will snag the fabric.

       

I couldn't leave this cute little top unembellished, so I used this dainty pom-pom fringe on the hems at the sleeves and lower blouse.  I think it adds just a little sort of something unexpected.  What do you say?

             

This pattern is New Look 6395.  I was attracted this pattern because it called for lightweight fabric and it was a simple design.  There is so much room to embellish this top that I hope you'll try it and make it your own!


Thanks for reading!  I love hearing your thoughts and I hope that next time I try chiffon I will have a dress to show for you all!  Remember, with the right tools and know-how--

                              

Sue from Ilove2sew!


Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips. Cute top.
    Bobbi

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the great sewing tips. I love the tiny pompom trim adds a great detail to your top.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Joen! I appreciate your kind words!

      Delete
  3. I keep a roll of toilet paper by my sewing machine. I small square under the fabric before the start of each seam helps to hold the fabric in place and allows the seam to start with a clean stitch. It pulls away effortlessly when you are finished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea! Thanks for sharing it and I will try that out!

      Delete
  4. Wow, your top looks great! I am also afraid of chiffon, but I am planning to make a dress. When you made your maxi dress, what fabric did you use for the lining?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used a lightweight woven cotton. It worked great!

      Delete
  5. I love this. And I ((HEART)) you so much for the great ideas for cutting, sewing, and finishing these fabrics. I am in the midst of making a double georgette item, and I am going to keep in mind many of the things you mentioned. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good ideas and explanations with your tips. Thanks. Your blouse is lovely, and the pom-pom fringe is the perfect detail.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is awesome stuff!! This is on my list of feared fabrics, loved all the tips. I don' think I've ever had a 60/8 needle, where do you buy yours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 60/8 needles are a little harder to find and I purchased mine at JoAnns. When I see them in stock, I snatch up a few packages!

      Delete
  8. Thank you for this post! I, too, am afraid of Chiffon. Your blouse is lovely by the way.

    I have a full circle bellydance skirt to make. Didn't know about the 60/8 needle - thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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