Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Silk Workers Respect


There are some sewing projects that can go either way – this one went the other way. 
Simplicity 3596
I picked up some pure silk chiffon at a bargain price £2.99 instead of £18 p/m. Took what was left on the roll, about 2.2m and went home smiling. I liked the muted colours of the olive green shot with turquoise blue and gold. Another perfect top to wear with jeans. The Simplicity Stepford top pattern was still hanging around the sewing room so I made another one.
I love silk, who doesn’t? Floaty, soft, expensive – what’s not to like?
For those of you who work with silk chiffon – RESPECT!
For me- absolute nightmare. Slippy, flimsy, bias cut stretchy, fraying, so thin I could hardly hold it or even know which side I was working on.  Having to do French seams ’cause it’s expected and is better than zig-zagging such fine fabric. Machine stitches were too heavy for the hem and I had to hand-stitch it all the way round with teeny tiny stitches. Ripping out was a scary business too as one slip of the ripper and the silk would be ruined. Anyway, to prove how tenacious I am, I completed it. But wayward project that it was the jinx was not finished yet….(or else the daemons are following me).

Then went outside to take the photos:

Self timer – too much to the right

 Self timer, too much to the left

And then there was the one of just the fence (not published).  Ended up needing help. DH stepped up to the mark.

All the advice I read said: DO NOT insert an invisible zip in silk chiffon. Did I heed it? Did I heck?
I inserted the full length 22′ zip then had a bustle thing happening at the rear end and so ripped out the lower bit and shortened the zip by 6″ to just below the band and still there’s some weird ruching thing going on back there. And straight?

I got so fed up with the slippy silk that I abandoned the underskirt hanging down as I just couldn’t get it even all round – it’s cut on bias just to make life doubley difficult. It’s still there but cut to fall inside the overskirt.

I had to hand stitch the front wrap bodice too to keep it from gaping and to keep some pleats in place. There are a few areas of the sleeves that are puckered too, but you’re not going to see them close up as I’m embarrassed enough.

 So, to make myself absolutely clear – anyone who sews with fine silk, chiffon, georgette and other such ethereal fabrics – my admiration and esteem knows no bounds. You are my heroes!

What I’m listening to – Karl Orff’s Carmina Burana, specifically O Fortuna, or otherwise known as the theme tune from the Omen (1976)

Thanks for reading. Ruth


12 thoughts on “Silk Workers Respect

  1. Fabric lust. It's clouding my vision. So cute! Why don't I own this pattern?

  2. Ruth, now all My respect goes to you. This a such a fresh, light, lovely, lively blouse ahhh I want one !! But I do not know if I have the patience to sew one. Last time I did, I used silk paper to sew it and I had to tape the fabric over my cutting table. If I am not mistaken, Paco Peralta had a neat technique to sew that

  3. Even if you had trouble sewing this fabric, I think you did a very great job !! The thing is the more flimsy is a fabric, the more it would be hard to sew with, but the more the result will be beautiful. I really love your top !!!I have already made this pattern twice but in a knit fabric(you can see them here : You made me want to do it in some "ethereal fabric" !

  4. I don't like when I have to sew with the kind of fabric. Silk chiffon is hard to deal with. But I can see that you did great job and the top looks fine!

  5. Really like this blouse. I still have postpone the experience of sewing silk chiffon. Some day maybe!

  6. Ruth. – First, I love the style blouse. I understand, these fabrics are made by the devil, are a temptation, but …. Watch these posts in my blog, maybe they can be of help in the future. I became my own methods: first, always cut from a paper sandwich. Without moving the paper, stitch at seam lines .. From this, everything is easier, you can even insert zippers (you can reinforce the area with organza strips also cut on the bias). At your disposal, call me .. :-)

  7. It was bought and made in your honour

  8. Thank you Anne-Marie all advice gratefully accepted

  9. Knits, now there's an idea. Just had a look, love the beach pic. Nice job

  10. Thank you for kind thoughts but close up it's really not so fine

  11. I like that – devil fabrics Too true. Thanks for the extra help. I must make the tennis skirt again soon.

  12. that's a really pretty top, despite the frustration

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