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sewing with geogette and other slippery

Michianna | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I just made a skirt of two layers of georgette and it was such a battle to lay out and cut out properly.  Are there any tips or tricks that can be applied next time?  And what about how much much! much!stretch happens in the diagonal fall of a skirt?  I am about ready to run back to the old traditional fabrics that stay put!


  1. bonkers | | #1

    Hi Michianna, Is your name a reflection of where you live? I live in Michianna as in Ind./Mich. area. Those who live here are familiar with the name. About your question, I just read some tips about that subject. One was lay tissue paper between the layers of fabric and pin the fabric to the paper before cutting it out. I don`t know how that would help. I have found that to cut one layer at a time and hand basting is the only way I can manage that slippery stuff. My machine does a poor job of sewing sheer or slick fabrics, so I avoid them whenever possible. I know, that doesn`t help much! I think some of the Threads magazines had addressed this  subject, I know some of our members of this site have the answers you need. They will never fail you if you just wait a few days. Bonkers

    1. Michianna | | #3

      Yes, I live near the Michigan/Indianna border.  Thanks for answering my question.  The georgette skirts in stores are so expensive (but appealing) so I would love to master this.  The skirt I just finished turned out well in spite of all my frustrations.  I hemmed each layer with my serger, making a fine rolled edge that looks ripply and feminine.

      1. bonkers | | #10

        Michianna, Great to see you live near me! I live near Walkerton, Ind. If you live in Michigan, this is a little town 25 miles southwest of South Bend on Highway 6. I live in the country though. I guess you are enjoying the terrible weather along with us!1 Good old Rik Mecklingberg!! Sorry about this local stuff ,I know you sewers from Australia etc. don`t want to see the local comments!!

        I think Woodruff has given the best suggestion I have seen for a while. I am going to do that from now on.  Back to the sewing machinw. I am doing the most hated job of all. Patching!!

  2. diday | | #2

    One suggestion I read was to lay the fabric out on a bedsheet on the cutting table to keep it from slipping.

  3. woodruff | | #4

    If you plan to wash the finished garment, here is a trick that makes it all pretty easy:Lay your fabric out nice and flat on a bedsheet somewhere. Then spray it heavily with spray starch. When it is dry, it will have a somewhat crisp and papery hand, like good cotton, and will be very easy to work with, even without any pressing. When the garment is complete, toss it in the washer to remove the starch.I have found that this works beautifully for slippery silks, rayon, and polyesters--anything you plan to launder at home.

    1. Michianna | | #5

      Genius!!!  What a great solution.  Thank you.

    2. Cherrypops | | #6

      These are my 'dreaded' fabrics. I have always had troubles with them. I love my cottons. I knew about the bedsheet for grip, still had troubles sewing them, But NOW, with your excellent suggestion about the starch, I am not afraid anymore. Thank You Woodruff!


      1. woodruff | | #7

        You are welcome, guys. I believe I may have learned this trick myself either from Threads magazine long, long ago, or from a class I took. Whenever it was, it has prevented a number of grey hairs for me.

        1. Cherrypops | | #8

          That is why I love this place. I am realatively new to Threads magazines, have never taken a class, and really appreciate all the experience shared by you and all the other members.


    3. MaryinColorado | | #9

      Thanks for the wonderful tip of using spray starch!  Genius!

  4. NansiM | | #11

    Another thing that works really well for the cutting out part is:  old vinyl tablecloths used with the flannel side UP.  This works like the old flannel boards used in the younger grade classrooms and now quilters also love them to display possibile color combos of their squares beforesewing.

    For garment sewing, chiffons, silks, georgettes, etc. all stay put nicely when laying out.

    1. woodruff | | #12

      Good idea, NansiM! I'd try that myself if I were working with a slippery fabric I couldn't starch and wash afterward.

    2. Michianna | | #13

      Does anybody have a suggestion for a great lining fabric to use under georgette?  The past 2 skirts I made I lined with polyester suit lining fabric, and it has 3 things that make it less than ideal.  1.  It makes swishy sounds when you walk. 2. It is more crisp than the kind of drape that georgette has.  3. It makes static electricity and the layers stick to each other rather than hang or flow. 

      My RTW that I get at better stores have lining that looks like silk crepe sort of stuff but I have never seen it in a fabric store, and can only imagine how expensive it must be to buy by the yard if it is really silk.

      1. NansiM | | #14

        Joann's sells one whose name I can't think of at the moment, but it has a softer, mor e matte finish and it has nice drape that would work well with your georgette.  It doesn't have that shiny crispness of the other poly suit linings you spoke of.  also, what about a lightwight silky knit in a color to match?

      2. Josefly | | #15

        Have you ever used Bemberg rayon, or "Ambiance", as a lining? It is wonderful, feels wonderful, not hot, doesn't "rustle" and no static cling. It's not cheap, in my opinion - minimum $6/yard - but so nice. It's slippery, though, and not easy to find, though Joann's has it in limited colors, and it can be found in many colors online. I used it to line a sheer cotton voile skirt, and was very pleased with it. Also made a camisole of it to wear under the blouse.

        1. Ralphetta | | #16

          I was going to suggest Bemberg, also.

        2. Michianna | | #17

          I will try to check out bemberg next time I'm at JoAnne's.  Sound like the answer!  Thanks so much.

          1. Josefly | | #18

            I forgot to mention that there will be some shrinkage with the rayon - be sure to pre-shrink first.

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