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Tips for Working with Fluid Fabrics?

VictoriaNorth | Posted in General Discussion on

Share any tips or problems you have had working with fluid fabrics like those used in our Fluid Fabric Challenge.


  1. edf | | #1

    I'm not even close to those people in the Fluid Fabrics challenge, however I recently tackled my first drapey silk project. I found that stitching the seams with tissue paper under the fabric worked well -- just plain old stuff from the Christmas wrapping box. In smaller areas such as around the collar stand and corners, I used a coffee filter. It was easy to tear away and seemed to help keep the fabric under control.

    1. jjgg | | #2

      for slippery fabric, that once cut won't maintain its shape;
      First: Cut everything single layer. Nothing gets cut on the fold nothing gets cut out two at a time. If a pattern piece calls for placing it on the fold, you copy the pattern piece so you have the entire pattern.Second: I don't work with seam allowances, just sewing lines, so any seam allowance will have been removed from my pattern piece.With the fabric flat on a table (and yes, you need a table wide enough to accommodate the width of the fabric so it is not draping and pulling off on the side of the table and skewing the grain (more on this later) lay the pattern pieces on the fabric and thread trace around it on the sewing lines, leave of course enough room between each piece for seam allowances but don't worry about a "5/8 inch seam allowance" leave about 2 inches between pieces.After all pieces are thread traced while the fabric is flat and straight on the table, then you can cut it out leaving a generous seam allowance around each piece. You will match up the basted line when sewing so irregular seam allowances don't matter. Also, mark your notches etc.If you don't have a table that will accommodate your fabric width, you can cut 'chunks' of fabric on the straight & crosswise grains and lay single pattern pieces out that way. This will use up extra fabric because you can't butt 2 pieces close together that way, but it is one way of taking care of it.It's all about grain, you must keep the grain on these fabrics straight. If it's a bias outfit, then do the same thing, lay the fabric out and fuss with it to get it straight, sometimes I will thread trace a 45* line onto it to get the bias 'straight'as always (this should be my mantra) it's not "Quick and Easy" but it works.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #3

        Thank You so much for this great information!  Mary

      2. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #4

        I have to echo Mary's comments. I knew this but had forgotten it. I'm getting ready to make 5 pairs of lounging pants from charmeuse and also a top, so the information was especially timely for me. Thanks so much for your post.note: Did any of you play jump rope when you were young girls? We often had long ropes, with a girl on either end to swing the rope. We would line up and run in, jump, and run out, usually one at a time. Sometimes one would get stage fright, for lack of a better euphemism, and not be able to just run in. We'd stand there swaying back and forth, usually with our hands raised, in time with the rope swinging, trying to make ourselves run it. We called it "fighting the buzzard". I tell you all that to tell you, my *getting ready* to sew these lounging pants is akin to fighting the buzzard right now. I keep looking at the fabric and the pattern and just can't quite make the final commitment.

        1. sewslow67 | | #5

          Hey JQ; that is hilarious!  I love that ..."fighting the buzzard".  What a hoot.  And thanks for taking us back to some wonderful memories, too.  You've given a lovely gift;  thank you so much for that.

          1. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #9

            SS67 -- you are most welcome for the stroll down memory lane. and Threadkoe -- Was it Jimmy Durante who used to say, "I've got a *million* of 'em." But you may be too young to remember the old self-named "Schnozzola" and his wonderful humor.

          2. sewslow67 | | #12

            Oh, I remember "the Schnozzola";  I loved the guy and his weird and wonderful sense of humor.  And yes, I think he was the one who said: "I've got million of 'em".  What fun to go down memory lane ...

            "Thanks ...for the Memories ..."say Bob Hope.  (another one of my favorite people).

          3. MaryinColorado | | #14

            I remember watching the Bob Hope specials for the troops.  Was it his show that had those dancers that looked like a kaleidoscope?  Lucielle Ball, Carol Burnett, Red Skelton...oh it was Red Skelton that had those incredible dancers and Gertrude and Heathcliffe!  I was pretty little but I recall those wonderful shows...and the first time the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan!

            I can barely remember Jimmy Durante, didn't he also say "ha cha cha cha"?

          4. KharminJ | | #15

            Yep! That was Jimmy! I loved Red Skelton, too, but don't remember the dancers ~ I do know that the June Taylor Dancers did marvelous things on the Jackie Gleason Show, "Live from Miami Beach"! Loved the aerial shots of the shoreline/skyline in the opening!KharminI'm not *that* old, am I??!

          5. MaryinColorado | | #16

            Naw, we aren't that "old" we were just babies then, tee hee!  My mother gets a kick out of being called "an antique little girl". 

          6. KharminJ | | #17

            I like it!

          7. Palady | | #18

            >> ... those dancers that looked like a kaleidoscope? ... <<

            Might you mean the June Taylor Dancer's who were shown from above camera angle as they moved through their routines?  The group was the lead feature on the Jackie Gleason show.

            The Google page has options.




          8. MaryinColorado | | #19

            I can't remember for sure, it probably was them.  I can just barely remember Jackie Gleason.  It seems that I was afraid of him because he seemed so mean on that show "The Honeymooners".   Children are so impressionable, it could have been just one episode and something completely misconstrued by a little girl.

          9. Ralphetta | | #20

            No, from books that I've read, he wasn't a very nice person. Maybe you were just intuitive.

          10. MaryinColorado | | #21

            Thank You.  Mary

          11. joyfulneedles | | #22

            Mary, I think it was Jackie Gleason was the one with the kaleidoscope dancers,  that would be the June Taylor Dancers.  I loved all the old variety shows. 

            I just finished reading the rest of the comments, I loved the opening with the dancers.  I do remember that Mr. Gleason had several characters besides the Honeymooners.  One was Joe the Bartender.  I can't remember the rest right now. 

            I do know we only saw what our parents were watching.

            Edited 4/8/2009 12:15 am ET by joyfulneedles

          12. MaryinColorado | | #23

            Thanks for the reminder!  Such talent from the choreography to the dancers to everyone involved in creating and producing them.  Such harmony! 

            I'd love to see shows like that on tv instead of the junk and noise offered today. 

          13. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #13

            Sigh, I am a late boomer, too young to remember some of the oldies, but young enough to have watched the re-runs and the old movies! Too old to be a GenX, but not really a Boomer either, tee hee, on the Cusp as they say. So I can say I do remember, SORT OF, tee hee I still love listening to those "Old" crooners..... Cathy

            Edited 3/30/2009 7:29 pm ET by ThreadKoe

        2. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #6

          I never had heard it called that before! Just love it! Got to make another sign for the studio..."Quit fighting the Buzzard!"...tee hee hee...Thank You! Cathy

        3. MaryinColorado | | #7

          Tee hee hee, I'm rollin on the floor!  Thanks for the giggles!  And for the trip down memory lane...jumproping, I loved it, but didn't like running in when it was double Dutch with the double ropes!  Sometimes they were so heavy, it hurt, especially if they were whipping that rope too fast!  Did you ever play Chinese jumprope with the rubberbands? 

          1. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #8

            Mary, I don't recall Chinese jumprope. How was this played? We had a number of variations to jumprope. There'd be a lot of girls, and sometimes we'd let the boys play, too, so this could go the entire lunch hour and certainly an entire recess. We'd start with regular jumprope,and jump once, then twice, etc on to 10. Then we'd do "hots", which was fast, then we'd do "high water", where the rope never touched the ground so you'd have to clear an extra few inches. Then came "low water" which was the opposite of High, of course, but not as easy as it sounds. And we had "backwards" which meant a bit of different timing because you were going in from the opposite side. And the dreaded double dutch, which I was never really good at. There may have been others, but these are all I can recall. Sorry everyone, didn't mean to get so far astray from sewing....

          2. jjgg | | #10

            It's amazing how this went from fluid fabrics to jump rope, but oh my, grade school all over! and I loved Chinese jump rope (why on earth did we call it Chinese?) and yes, the double dutch did hurt if your legs got slapped with the rope!Can you imagine trying to play jumprope now!

          3. MaryinColorado | | #11

            Ha ha ha, no I cannot imagine jumping rope now, I'm sure I would hurt something!  Although it has only been a couple years since my last cartwheel.  Mary

        4. Teaf5 | | #24

          "Fighting the buzzard"--what a great line! Never heard of it, though we jumped a lot of rope. The rubber band version didn't last long; the bands kept breaking all the time, or the boys would use them to trap us against trees or poles. In school, we had Tinikling, a Pilipino jumping dance, on rainy days for P.E. It was particularly deadly, as instead of ropes, long bamboo poles are beaten and clapped together in time to a song. A sharp rap on both sides of your ankles with a large bamboo pole: agony!All of those games gave me the same "fighting the buzzard" feeling you mention about getting started on a big project; sometimes, we just have to push ourselves, but at least in sewing, it's a lot less painful....

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