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Sewing crochet-like fabric

flytootall | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I found some fabric with large open squares (1½”) and I’m going to make a beach coverup (simple pattern with side seams only).  I’m not sure how to sew the side seams, since there are such wide open spaces.  This fabric resembles a large check fabric, with some of the checks missing.  I thought about using water-soluble stabilizer strips on the top and bottom.   The color and openness of the fabric doesn’t allow for any other type of fabric to be used to stabilize.  I thought I would use the selvage (3/4″) and sew it on top of the finished pressed-open seam.  I would sew the front and back of the dress wrong sides together.  If there is a better way to sew this very open fabric, please let me know.


  1. mygaley | | #1

    You may consider sewing it like a piece of lace, overlapping the front and back side seams perhaps 1+ inch or whatever it takes to match, then zig-zag down one pattern outline and trim off the excesses.  If you are worried about stability, you could do another row of stitching.  Look in a book on shaping lace wedding bodices and you will see this method.  Since your fabric is a pattern, I believe this will make your seam disappear.  God bless you, Galey

    1. flytootall | | #2

      It's hard to describe this fabric and I did see that method you mentioned in a couple books I have and that will probably work, but I'm not sure how to deal with these large open spaces.  The best way to describe this fabric would be if you took strips of 3/4" ribbon and wove them together, but left an inch between each ribbon (vertically and horizontally).  If I did overlap the seams, there would be spaces where I would be sewing on air (can't think of a better term this late at night).  The thing that concerns me the most are the open spaces and how to deal with them while sewing the seam and also after the seam is sewn.  Thank you.   Linda

      1. KarenW | | #3

        I've sewn this type fabric by putting strips of water soluble stabilizer under and over the fabric (so there's a layer against the feed dogs and another under the presser foot) so you're essentially sewing on "something".  Then you can gently pull it away or dissolve it after stitching.  Tissue paper will work as well but can sometimes be more difficult to completely remove.


        1. flytootall | | #4

          Thank you for the suggestions.  I will try them both--the water soluble stabilizer and the overlapping and see which works best.  Since Houston is flooded, I have a great excuse to stay home and sew all day!!!

          1. mygaley | | #5

            Hey Houston girl:  Try to stay dry and please don't try to pass through moving water.  In the meantime, imagine your seam to be like stairsteps first on one side and then on another.  When your seam is sewn, you will be trimming the excess from your ws and also possibly the rs, depending on how you matched the "ribbons" .  The zig-zag will take care of any raw edges, but it doesn't sound like you will have many.  Let us know how this came out.  Galey

          2. flytootall | | #6

            It's raining again.  Not good.  I tried both the methods (water-soluble stabilizer and overlapping the seams) and I really wasn't happy with either of them.  A lightbulb went on in my head and I decided to encase the seams in Seams Great (1-1/8" width) and used a multiple zigzag stitch (a zigzag stitch with straight stitches in the "zig" and the "zag" of the stitch) next to the fold, so the seam would be a scant ΒΌ".  I then trimmed the Seams Great to the stitching.  Since it's white (the fabric was a bright coral), it showed through the open spaces, so I took the selvage edge of the fabric (about 5/8" wide) and folded that over and encased the side seams.  It worked out great.  It gave the side seams the strength and stability they didn't have with the other methods.  I also encased the neck and armhole edges with the folded-over selvage.  It is sort of stretchy (loose weave), so it worked out great around the curved edges.  Wonders never cease.  Thank you for your tips.  Linda

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