I often get questions from my readers about using natural silk fabric:
What can I sew with silk?
Is silk fabric good for casual outfits or only for party dresses?
Which is the best silk fabric for dresses? Skirts?
Can I use silk fabric in interior design?
Can I make pajamas from silk fabric?
What types of silk are good to make a lining?
How do I choose silk fabric suitable for my project?
In this article I will try to answer some of these questions.
In this article I want to take you into my workshop and describe in detail how I made this blue dress. I will discuss how to get inspired, how to choose a fabric and a pattern for sewing projects, how to cut and sew the dress. I can’t bring it down to “5 simple steps” or “a 3-hour sewing project”; there are plenty of such posts out there, but this is not one of them. I didn’t strive for simplicity with this project.
What robe I would like to sew and why I can’t find it easily for sale in stores?
1. I want a silk robe (but don’t want it to cost a fortune, it is a dress for home not for going out)
2. I don’t want it just for 10 minutes wear, I want to lounge around my house in it for hours.
3. I want it with zipper or button closure (not just with a belt, which is not comfortable)
4. I don’t want it too short or too long ( I want it to be comfortable, right?)
5. I want to feel good in it so it has to be roomy enough for lifting, flexing, and waving my arms around.
6. I don’t want it a solid color, prints are better because I can wear it without fear that every drop of water can destroy the garment.
7. I want it with some sleeves to cover my arms ( but not too long that they become inconvenient)
8. I don’t want it completely shapeless and baggy, I want it to have some shape to show off my curves.
9. I want it to be decorated with some trims and buttons but don’t want it to have too much of them so it becomes really over decorated.
10. I want to be able to wash it in water (not dry cleaned only) – this is a dress for home wear, who can afford dry cleaning for home clothes?
So with all this in mind, what choices do I have to be able to buy one? I think absolutely none.
That’s why I can sew a silk robe and I am going to show you how easily you can make one too – even without a pattern.
Headbands are cute hair accessories and often are not only practical but also fashionable. I found a few reasons for wearing (and sewing) headbands.
1. They can absorb sweat and keep it from reaching the eyes when you are running or exercising
2. They also can keep unruly hair out of your face
3. A headband can be a stylish item for your head especially if it has an interesting shape or decorated with ribbons or fabric flowers
4. Headbands can transform ordinary outfit into something special and exceptional
5. A headband is a very easy item to sew for a beginner sewist and can be a step in your sewing journey, it’s a really good item for practicing
6. You can use your scrap fabric to make as many different headbands as you wish
With that being said, let me show you how to make a turban headband.
Manufacturers of silk garments and bedding usually don’t bother to pre-wash fabric they work with. That’s why they put labels saying “Dry Clean Only”. I am against dry cleaning whenever possible because of chemicals even if it is organic. In China, they make silk fabric for at least 5000 years. And people cared for traditional silk garments long before dry cleaning. Silk is tough fabric, it only appears to be delicate! It certainly can be washed in water.
In this post, I continue my series of articles about working with 100% silk fabric. Now I would like to talk about different types of stitches and seams appropriate for natural silk fabric.
I know that basting and pinning are not among the very popular sewing techniques, but for many types of silk fabric, it makes perfect sense to baste and pin. The last thing you want is to screw up a 50 dollars a yard piece of silk trying to make something nice out of it faster.
I am talking now about all kinds of basting: basting pattern pieces, basting hems, pleats, gathers, set-in sleeves, positioning pockets, etc. Basting is also very important for a first fitting.
I made two silk pillowcases recently (you can find a step-by-step tutorial on my blog) and some fabric was left over, so I decided to sew a sleep mask and I would like to share with you the steps, the project is quite simple even for a complete beginner.
Why not make a nice sleep mask from 100% silk fabric especially that is not difficult? You will get the mask exactly as you want it, it can be customized easily to your face if at first it doesn’t fit well and at the same time you will improve your sewing skills and will be better prepared to next more complicated sewing projects.
There is no more sensitive skin than on your face. So why do you sleep on a polyester pillowcase and make skin even more prone to problems? Use 100% silk pillowcase, especially if it is very easy to make so it doesn’t cost a fortune.
I heard many nice things about silk pillowcases. And after I made a silk fitted sheet I decided to make 2 pure silk pillowcases with embroidery on them to go with the silk sheet.
Here is a tutorial to show you how easy it is to sew your own silk (cotton and linen will do also of course) pillowcase.
I decided to make a fitted sheet for my queen bed out of good quality pure silk fabric. And why not? Natural silk bedding feels exquisite but unfortunately, it is really expensive, I looked online and the cheapest price for a queen fitted sheet was 150 American dollars (not for the best quality), and normal price was above $400; I am talking here 100% silk, not the polyester “silk-feel”.
But after all, we spend a third of our lives sleeping. So why not to spend it in luxury and as comfortable as possible?
And here is the result of my work. I think it looks great! And how it feels? Oh, it is the nicest sheet I ever had!
In previous articles I wrote about the benefits of silk, most common types of silk fabric, and how to cut chiffon (and other slippery fabric). Now let’s talk about interfacing, threads, needles, sewing machine settings for silk fabric – basically the specifics of the tools and notions used for sewing silk.
Silk fabrics especially chiffon, organza, georgette, gazar, gauze, charmeuse have a reputation of “difficult to work with”. In my opinion it is not the material itself that is creating problems. Most of the difficulties have as a main cause either the lack of adequate tools ( sewing machine, needles, threads, etc. ) or the lack of experience – I believe I can help on both fronts.