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Sewing straight seams in sheers – nee…

Lisa_Leighton | Posted in The Archives on

I am about to sew several sets of voluminous sheer curtains, and I would love some advice about how to sew the seams (miles of them) straight without adding just as many miles of interfacings or tulle. Keeping the fabric from slipping about is nearly impossible, and I end up with lines of snake stitching.

These will be half-inch folded over half-inch side seams, and hems of about six inches, so hairline or French seams won’t do.

Any suggestions gratefully received. Thanks.



  1. silkscape_ | | #1

    Hi, Lisa.

    Not sure I understand why french seams aren't possible. The side hems are 1/2" hems? But you have interior lengthwise seams b/w panels to create width? Why can't those be different? Where would you use interfacing or tulle? I'm missing something.

    Anyway, I'm certainly no expert on home dec or sheers. But I find that when I need something straight I go with the grain. I am more likely to cut crooked than to sew crooked. So I tear whenever possible. You could also pull threads and follow those.

    It also helps to use sticky notes to guide your fabric into place before it gets to the presser foot.
    Use pins both vertically and horizontally to prevent fabric shifting in either direction. Alternate them.

    If you can, use a flatbed surface. The large surface will help keep the fabric from shifting. If you have it use the needle down positiion too.

    You might want to try basting tape in addition to the pins. YOu can put the tape inside the seamline, outside it, or both. It'll not only hold the fabric layers together, but serve as a stitching guide since the fabric is sheer and you can see the tape.

    I dont' know if this helps any. As I said, I don't usually do this kind of thing. Let me know how you do....

    1. Sandmom | | #2

      *When I sew with a slippery fabric I use a large magnet i.e. 1" by 2" as a seam guide. I butt the fabric up against it and taunt sew. You have to be careful of your machine if you do this, some computerized machine don't like this but all the others don't care. Use a large sewing surface if possible not just the arm and you also might try starching the side seam area before you sew it makes the fabric stiffer and easier to sew. I got the magnet at the hardware store. JoAnn's sells a fancier one in the notions dept.

      1. Lisa_Leighton | | #3

        *Great ideas, thank you. There is also a tip in Threads 97 (#9, page 56) about avoiding puckering in seams by using a size 11 quilting needle and 50 wt. cotton thread. With all of that, the sheers are looking better than I had hoped. Thanks again.

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