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To say I was excited to get my hands on this floral silk would be an understatement. I waited for the mail to arrive each day until the package was delivered and created sketch after sketch of what I would create from it. With the weather warming and longer days ahead, I eventually settled on a sexy little summer dress.

In designing this dress, I wanted the top to be delicate, feminine, and above all- uber-comfortable. I envisioned something sexy yet not too revealing. Finally, I settled on this basic design and let my Instagram followers help dictate the rest.

If you follow me on instagram, you know how much I love taking polls throughout my sewing projects and letting you guys make the final decisions on the details. My followers weigh in on how long a skirt should be, let you pick the lining color, and pick up some helpful patternmaking and sewing tips along the way. It’s such a fun process that I love sharing with my followers. You can join my Instagram sewing parties HERE.

Regardless of what you decide to make, having a few extra sewing tips will come in handy. Before getting started working with luxurious fabric like this silk, here are just a few helpful tips and tricks to consider.

Helpful Sewing Tips When Working With Silk

  • Use an extra fine or ultra-fine glass head pins or silk pins when sewing silk. They will glide through your fabric easily and will not leave snags or permanent pin-holes that could damage the finished piece.
  • Test your machine with a piece of scrap silk fabric before you begin. Adjust the tension, needle quality, and stitch length before you ever begin sewing your project.
  • When pressing, be sure to use a pressing cloth to protect the silk from direct contact with your iron. I like to use a piece of silk organza or scrap piece of muslin for this. Some silks can handle steam, while others cannot and will be permanently damaged. Be sure to test first on a scrap piece of silk before you begin sewing and avoid the headache later.
  • Use pattern weights rather than sewing pins when cutting out future patterns. Sewing pins can leave permanent holes in your fabric so avoid using them when possible and do your best to keep puncture marks within your seam allowance.

Caring For Silk

I love having high-quality clothes in fine fabrics, but personally don’t love the excessive expense in caring for them. If you don’t want the hassle and expense of dry cleaning either, you can wash 100% silk by hand. It takes less than ten minutes and will save you a ton of money over time.

Start out by filling your sink with cold water and a gentle detergent. Lightly agitate for 3-5 minutes then remove your clothing from the water and rinse until the silk feels clean and residue-free. Lay it flat to dry.

Hanging 100% silk can damage the natural fibers in the fabric and warp the shape of your clothes. Avoid damaging your clothes by laying the item flat and the fabric should dry within a few hours. Then hang it, wear it, love it, and repeat. Easy enough right?

The moment I tried on this dress, I didn’t want to take it off. I absolutely love the ruffled detail around the hemline and the draped bodice. During the hot summer months, the back straps will feel so light and airy and I can’t wait to dance in this flowy silhouette.

Making your own clothes is not only freeing but such a fun outlet for self-expression. If fashion is saying who you are without having to speak, surely making your own clothes takes the concept to a whole new level.

I hope you loved these sewing tips on working with silk! Hopefully these tips will make your next sewing project easier than ever!

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Lisa Mecham

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