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busybee | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hallo everybody from a very cool UK.

I have a bit of a problem that has bothered me for years and now I wonder if Gatherings can come up with some ideas.!!  About 8 years ago I visited a very expensive fabric mill in Scotland (Reid & Taylor) – their outlet shop attached to the factory where they sell bargain pieces etc. It is exceptional quality and very very expensive. When i saw such wonders and metre lengths set out at a fraction of the proper cost I went a bit mad (As you do)  and bought quite a lot. Most of it is wonderful woven fabric and easy to sew. What I did also buy was about 3 metres of the most wonderful cashmere lightweight wool fabric, perhaps medium to lightweight in an exquisite duck egg blue (very light-coloured), will show every mark. I’ve realised this wasn’t a good buy as its 100% cashmere and I just dont know what to make that I can get some wear out of. We dont go to many upmarket social functions. I gather that cashmere is not a very forgiving fabric to sew and I’ve got £50  – £60 worth of this beautiful stuff in a drawer. Has anyone got any ideas and sewing tips for a fairly advanced sewer that is shaking at the heels with this prospect!!

By-By  Winifred


  1. ShannonG4d | | #1

    I don't know where you heard that cashmere is not forgiving to sew....it's wonderful!  I've made several items from cashmere.  The same techniques that will work for fleece will work for cashmere! 

    I did find a couple of things were helpful.  First, I used a smaller needle than I might have originally chosen.  The smaller needle (a size 11/75 is the biggest I'd use) went through the fabric like butter.....it's a joy to work with.  If you're not planning to line the garment, press the seams flat and topstitch them on each side of the seam to hold the seam flat.  I use a twin needle for the topstitching, and trim close to the stitching on the wrong side.  It makes a very secure, beautiful seam finish for an unlined piece.

    For a pattern suggestion....I'd do a coat.  That shade of blue would be stunning in a coat, perhaps with a silvery grey or soft beige lining....just scrumptious!  You'd feel like a million bucks wearing it, and it would dress up or down depending on the garments underneath. 

    I have a piece of cranberry red cashmere that is destined for just such a project!


  2. mimi | | #2

    Winifred:  Hello from Delaware, warm and very humid :)

    Lucky, lucky you!  The cashmere sounds absolutely beautiful.  Would you consider a sleveless dress?  I'm thinking something timeless that could be worn in all but the hottest months.  Maybe something by a designer, Vogue patterns has some really nice ones.  Check out the website at http://www.mccalls.com

    Please excuse the drool marks, I'm as jealous as can be!


  3. SewNancy | | #3

    I vote for a coat as shannon suggested. I made one years ago and it was very warm and light. I made it in a sewing class and the teacher suggested lining it in a lighter weight wool to make it even warmer. In retrospect I would have used a silky lining for the sleeves to make it easier on and off.

    1. busybee | | #4

      Thankyou all for your speedy and positive replies to my posting. I do feel much more like having a go.  Will get it cut out and let you know how it goes. The next thing i want to get hold of is "louise Cuttings" one-seam pants. Never seen it in this country. I suppose i will need to order it from her web-site?  By to you all ( much warmer here now)  Been looking after 2 very lively grandchildren!!

      Love Winifred

      1. mem | | #5

        Hello Winifred from trying to warm up Australia.I would go the whole hog an line it with silk charmouse and perhaps create a wardrobe around it . Perhaps pants skirt etc and then tie in the lining with a shirt which you could wear  under the jacket which you would make out of your beautiful fabric. It could all be semi casual and therefor more frequently worn etc.

        1. busybee | | #6

          Hallo Mem,

          What a wonderful idea!! Thanks for that.

          Bye   ...  Winifred

  4. Heather | | #7

    100% cashmere is easy to sew as people have said--but it is delicate and doesn't wear very well so don't make anything that will get a lot of stress or hard use. Your fabric sounds beautiful--get it out of the closet and use it!

    1. busybee | | #8

      Hallo Heather,   Thanks so much for your post. I did wonder if it was fairly fragile in wear, and was a bit worried about the coat idea because of seating ( or rather wearing)  As it happens , I have 2 mtrs 20  at 150  so probably not enough anyway. I think I will go for a jacket of some sort without too much detail and incorporate the topstitching idea with silk thread ( when I get down to it!!).  This week I discovered ahalf-made skirt and top in silk, abandoned years ago because it didnt suit me.  It is a very busy pattern but quite muted colours all running into each other with many shapes etc but no matching.  As I love loose flowing pants for the summer I rose to the challenge and have now a lovely pair just waiting to be stitched which I shall call my "jigsaw pants."   There are seams everywhere with lots of piecing principally at the  front (under my top?) and at the back just under my bottom! I challenged my husband to search out the seams and although he looked pretty closely, couldn't see any!.  So I'm quite proud of this novel achievement although it would never work on a fabric other than this type of all-over design.     Took me ages getting it all to fit  hence the jigsaw!!   All the best  Winifred (busybee)

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