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Seam Finishes for Silks

Tame the slinkiest of fabrics with these finishing techniques
Threads magazine - 139 – Oct./Nov. 2008

For some people, the idea of sewing silk fabrics is terrifying. Certain silks are more challenging than others, but there is nothing more rewarding than sewing an exquisite garment, using the best fabric and the finest seam finishes.

Before you begin, there are a few things to keep in mind while sewing silks. A simple way to ensure good stitch quality is to adjust the stitch length. For silks, shorten the stitch length to 2mm; you’ll have fewer puckers. As you sew, hold the fabric both in front of and behind the needle to give the fabric a little tension. Don’t pull the fabric through the machine-just lightly guide it.

After you sew any seam, press it flat to meld the stitches before you proceed to the next step.

Honing your skills when sewing silk is all about using the right sewing aids and choosing the right techniques for stitching. It’s the difference between homemade and professional.

Linda Lee
From Threads #139, pp. 61-64

More on seam finishes

• Complete Guide to Seams and Seam Finishes
• Video: How to Sew a French Seam
• Video: How to Sew a Stitch and Pink Seam Finish
• Video: How to Serge Seam Allowances
• Video: How to Sew a Single-fold Clean Finish Seam


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  1. design4u | | #1

    Thanks for the info and assistance, i think this will be very helpful because I have a few fraying fabrics to try it on.

  2. User avater
    Mike32 | | #2

    This is one of the best articles about sewing sheer and silk fabrics. I came looking because I want to make a silk chiffon skirt--and the fabric was very costly! So can't afford any errors. I think the double zig zag will work perfectly. thanks again.

  3. DesertMermaid | | #3

    Brilliant article! I haven't advanced to the level illustrated as I am a novice. Thank you! I feel more inspired and encouraged to try "difficult" fabrics :)

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  5. twohanz | | #5

    Thank you for the great article. I'm making a silk blouse for my Aunt's 100th Birthday, and while I have an overlocker I wanted something smarter and the French Seam info is just what I needed.
    I particularly found useful the Bird and clamp idea brilliant as we can always use an extra hand from time to time.
    Seems there are many uses for the japanese Clover Clamps.

    Cheers David.

  6. 2gaudygals | | #6

    The jacket featured in Seam Finishes for Silk, can anyone tell me what the pattern is or where I might find it? Thank you,

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