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Sewing with Tencel

Josefly | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I have been wanting to try sewing with Tencel, and have finally seen some in my local fabric store. Someone mentioned that the drapiness of Tencel is enhanced by cutting it slightly off-grain, at about a 15 degree bias. Any experience with this, anybody?


  1. JennyNZ | | #1

    Nice drape but be careful around zips.

    We were given this to use as a sample fabric at an advanced dressmaking class (it was a class I took with my mother to glean a few industry tricks, although we are both already very experienced dressmakers).  It might pay to interface where the zips are first to stop the creeping.  The instructor also suggested sewing zips in with good side face down against the feed dogs and it helped to pull it through as it moved quite a bit.

    I did like the feel and drape of the fabric, and may make an outfit from it someday, once the tricks were applied it behaved itself nicely.

    1. thehat | | #6

      just a thought did you try a walking foot to help move the cloth I just have a good time with mine  I just sewed a skirt that I used it on and the skirt is called the grate skirt . I chosed  that nylon cloth ,that is something else to work with just something light for the summer

      1. JennyNZ | | #7

        Walking feet sound great...but my machine's a bit old.

        I'm currently using the same Globe sewing machine my Mother gave me for my 8th or 9th birthday and I'm now 32!  It's a great work horse - never been serviced (touch wood), no electronics probably helps.

        My first major purchase after I have finished renovating my house will be an extra machine, with all the fancy features people rave about.  I have been eyeing up some of the machines that do imitation hand stitches, and the mandatory keyhole button hole.  In the meantime I make do with what I have.

        I will keep the Globe, especially after a friend told me how her electronic machine's control panel blew (complete with smoke) when the power surged in the wind last weekend.  A surge protector will have to be purchased with the new machine too.

        1. User avater
          Becky-book | | #8

          Remember to UNPLUG your new machine (or the whole surge protector) when ever you leave the sewing room.  Who knows when a storm will blow in when you are away.  Better safe than sorry! A lightening strike in the neighborhood could be enough to fry it's brain! even through a surge protector.


        2. lilah | | #9


          You may be able to get a generic walking foot for your machine.  Mine cost $40 about 15 years ago.

          1. JennyNZ | | #10

            Thanks Lilah,

            I will try and find one.


  2. woodruff | | #2

    Tencel is generally pretty drapy, even on the straight grain. To get the best behavior out of bias, I believe it is best to go with the true bias, but unless you're really experienced with this type of sewing, I would not recommend cutting this particular fabric in this way. In fact, in a bias workshop I took from her, Marcy Tilton advised against choosing rayon (Tencel is a sexy, next-generation rayon) for any bias garments, because, she said, it became unmanageable. This, from an expert, yet!

    1. Josefly | | #3

      Thanks, Woodruff and JennyNZ, for those tips. I'll cut on straight grain. I love the feel of tencel, even more than of regular rayon, so I'm looking forward to trying it.

      1. mem | | #4

        I have found a walking foot very useful with this fabric.

        1. Josefly | | #5

          Yes? I'll try it.

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