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Sewing with Silk: Sewing Tips

Video: Threads magazine

Katrina Walker, instructor in the Sewing with Silk video series, shares tips for handling this slippery fabric successfully.

First, she suggests installing a walking, or even-feed, foot for smoother, more even fabric feed through the machine. This keeps the fabric layers from shifting.

Taut sewing

When sewing silk, use your hands as if they were an embroidery hoop, holding the fabric firmly and tautly under the presser foot. You’ll have better control of the fabric, and will obtain more accurate results. Katrina demonstrates this method at her sewing machine.

Starting a seam

How do you keep the fabric from being pushed into the bobbin area when you start a seam? Begin by using a fine, sharp needle. Opt for a single-hole, or straight-stitch stitch plate if you have the choice on your machine. There is only a small hole for the needle, so the fabric can’t be punched down into the bobbin area.

When starting to sew, wrap the needle and bobbin threads around your finger and hold them tautly behind the presser foot. Hand-crank the needle into the fabric, then start to sew.

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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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