Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Sewing - Sewing Sheer Fabrics

Sheer fabrics have a bad reputation!  They're gorgeous, but take a little more time when sewing with them.  There are a few things you can do that make it much easier - they're still not as easy as a piece of good old cotton, but it'll be better!

I'm making little c a ghostie scarf for Halloween pretend play, so I'll use this piece of foil printed tulle as an example.

*sheer fabric
*tissue paper
*size 11 ball point sewing machine needle

Cut 2 inch strips of tissue paper.  You're going to use this as a backing to sew the sheer fabric right onto.  It'll rip away when you're finished sewing, but in the meantime will give support to the fabric.  I'm just hemming, but you would do the same thing if you were sewing seams.

Change your sewing machine needle to the size 11 ball point, set your stitch length to a smaller number of stitches than you usually use, and put a piece of tape over your presser foot.  The tape will keep the foot from catching through the holes in netting or catching on the fabric.

To clarify a bit more, the tape goes over the top of the presser foot, around the front, and onto the bottom.  This covers up the prongs at the end of the presser foot so they don't get stuck in the netting.  I've drawn onto the side view of the presser foot below to show tape placement.

Layer a piece of tissue paper underneath the seam or hem you are going to sew, lower your presser foot, and sew as you normally would, making sure not to pull the fabric (that will make puckers in it).  Add in additional pieces of tissue paper if needed. When sewing something nice with sheer fabrics, you really don't want to have back and forth tacking done at the beginning or ends of seams - it'll show through.  Instead, pull a thread to the back of the seam and hand tie a small knot. 

When finished, simply rip the tissue paper off your fabric ...

... and you're finished!

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Hi,

    Where exactly do you put the tape under the presser foot--directly underneath the needle or slightly in front? It's difficult to tell from your photo.


    1. Hi! I've added another photo above that shows a side view of the presser foot and explained a bit more how the tape goes around the presser foot so that the prongs are covered up to keep them from catching in the netting. Some presser feet don't have prongs on the front and don't need to have this done. Hope that helps!