Tag Archives: silk

I sewed silk!

Pretty dress

… In about the teensiest, most tentative way possible.

Last summer, we bought the girls a couple of shirred-top, recycled-sari-silk dresses at a stall at a street fair. They’re not exactly well-made, but they’re extremely pretty. The only problem was that they were strapless. However, a fortuitous accident illustrating the inadvisability of cycling in a long, frilly silk skirt provided a fair bit of mangled hem that needed to be sliced off. Fortunately there’s plenty left to frill around in—and now I had fabric to spare to make some spaghetti straps. Which didn’t stop me from putting the project off pretty much all winter, but finally last night I was bumming around the sewing room, poking dispiritedly at the mounts of *stuff* and not really feeling able to start anything major. Tyo pointedly suggested that perhaps I should GET THAT DONE.

Silk + Bike rear-wheel = BAD

Well, I got them started, anyway.

After sorting through the mangled mass to find a bit that wasn’t too shredded and melted, I very gently ironed a portion and cut out two strips, each about 3 cm wide. The ironing was very much NOT facilitated by the fact that I didn’t use a press-cloth when block-fusing Armoweft interfacing onto Osiris’s coat; Armoweft is the nicest interfacing I’ve found yet, but the glue does seep through when you’re fusing with it. So my iron’s foot was covered with gunk. I do terrible things to my iron, honoured readers, but this was unusually bad even for me.

But, back to the silk. My strips were cut on the bias, more because the portion of the skirt I I’d had to cut off had been cut on the bias than because I wanted skinny little spaghetti straps. I actually think these straps turned out a bit too skinny.

Anyway, once I finally got them pressed, I pulled out a brand-new, super-fine needle (65/9) and sat down with some scraps to play with my tension and stitch length. I was too lazy short of time to look up what kind of a stitch length is good for bias silk, (I know Sunni and Sherry have both weighed in on the topic), but eventually went with a short stitch, but pulling while I stitched. Which makes the fabric scooch all over the place, but anyway. When I was done, I had straps. When not being pulled on, the straight stiches actually look a bit zig-zagged. Interesting.

Spaghettie straplets. Also, never feel bad about your shirring again!

I used the bobby pin method for turning the straps. I love this method WAY over using a cord on the inside of the tube, but really for slippery silk I think anything would’ve worked. These were the easiest little tubes to turn, ever. And once I ironed and stretched them to maximal skinniness, they didn’t look half bad, despite my wonky stitching and general incompetence.

Some careful handwheeling got them nicely attached in the front, and now all I have to do is stuff a child into the dress long enough to measure the length to attach them in the back.

And who knows, maybe I’ll get some actual *real* sewing done one of these days…

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