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Sewing with Silk: Design Details

Video: Threads magazine

Instructor Katrina Walker shares methods for testing how a silk fabric will perform when you sew certain silk design details, in this episode of the Sewing with Silk video series.


Gathering and easing are common elements of a garment, and it’s important to test these in your chosen fabric. Silk comes in many varieties, and you want to match the fabric to the details you plan for your garment.

Dupioni, for example, creates full, stiff gathers. Chiffon and georgette can be tightly gathered, and the fabric falls softly against the body.

Pleats, darts, and tucks

Use your iron to determine how crisply a detail such as a pleats, darts, and tucks can be formed in your fabric. Press in a mock dart or pleat, and see if the folds are sharp and long-lasting. Also take note of whether impressions from underlayers form on the fabric. Katrina demonstrates these tests on fabrics such as shantung, organza, and charmeuse, which behave differently.

These tests reveal a silk fabric’s special characteristics. Once you have identified them, you can work with them to create beautiful, unique silk design details.



About This Video Series

In this 20-part workshop, textile expert Katrina Walker introduces us to silk fabrics. She covers the gamut from silkworm to crafting beautiful silk garments, so you never need to fear working with this luxury material. Episode topics include sericulture: how silkworms are cultivated, and how the silk filaments are harvested from cocoons. You'll learn about the many categories of woven silk fabrics, including crepes, satins, and jacquards. Katrina also offers advice for matching your fabric…

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