How to sew sheer fabric using only a bobbin thread for stitching

How to sew sheer fabric using only a bobbin thread for stitching

I sew a lot with silk chiffon and organza fabric. And not only because it is very beautiful, it is also very comfortable to wear in hot climate, it is breathable, lightweight and soft.

Chiffon and organza are often used for evening and wedding gowns, but I like to use chiffon and organza for everyday wear too. I mostly make shrugs, blouses and scarves from 100% silk chiffon. 

Why shrugs? When you are over 50 the skin on your arms doesn’t look young anymore (unless you are a movie star and use Photoshop a lot) and wearing sleeveless or spaghetti strap dresses is often not an option if you care how you look, the sagging skin on the arms just doesn’t look nice.

So, I decided for myself that I will make a shrug for every sleeveless dress I made before. And I made shrugs from chiffon and organza fabric which is so lightweight that I don’t even feel I have some sleeves to cover my aging arms.

But there are some difficulties working with sheer fabrics. I wrote an article how to cut chiffon without problems. And now I want to show you some trick I use to sew darts that look good in sheer fabric. 

When you sew darts in sheer fabric you can’t just backstitch to secure the seams, it doesn’t look nice. And if you make a knot at the point of dart you still can see some threads through the sheer fabric.

But there is some technique that makes darts look nice and eliminates the need for backstitching and knots.  This technique is quite simple and at the same time it fascinates me every time I use it. I don’t know really if there is a special term for this in English but I call it “one thread stitching”. 

What is the technique? If I make the long story short, it is using a bobbin thread for threading the needle also. So, when you are sewing darts you are using only one thread from the bobbin to make a stitch.  Let me show you how to do this.       

1.  Wind the bobbin using 100% silk thread (of course, the thread has to match the color of your fabric). Silk threads are just amazing! For sewing chiffon and organza you must use them. They are very thin but they are also very strong.  Here is an affiliate link where you can buy 100% silk threads for your projects.

2. Thread the needle with the bobbin thread. It is a bit tricky because you have to thread it from the back to the front of the needle (exactly opposite to the threading the needle the regular way).

3. Connect the bobbin thread you just inserted to the needle with the upper thread (which you still have on your sewing machine left from sewing previous projects, right?) using a knot.

4. Pull the upper thread so that the bobbin thread is going all the way to the spool pin and make sure that you have enough thread to sew the dart because you will be sewing only with the bobbin thread.

5. Now you are ready to begin sewing the dart.

Keep in mind that in this video to the right I didn’t sew a real dart, I just used a piece of chiffon fabric to illustrate the tip. You have to be really careful at this step. You will have to sew the dart from its point to the side seam (which is the opposite you are used to, right?).

Position the fabric next to the needle and lower the needle to the point where you wish to start. Make sure that the needle actually goes into the fabric and you don’t have any excess thread in the needle so it doesn’t make a loop in the beginning of the dart. Lower the presser foot and start sewing gently guiding the fabric along the seam line letting the fabric feed naturally.

6. After finishing the seam secure the end of the dart by making a knot.

This “one thread sewing” technique can be used for sewing darts in sheer chiffon and organza fabrics.  This tip can be a challenge if you never used it before and it takes some time to master the technique, I suggest practice on scrap before sewing.

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  1. Jonathan

    Thanks so much for posting this.

    • Olga Balasa

      Thank you! That’s so nice of you to say!

    • Olga Balasa

      Thank you for your sweet comment!

  2. Meig

    Absolutely amazing technique!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Olga Balasa

      Thank you! Did you try to do it?


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