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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Silk-- is it a summer fabric? ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Silk-- is it a summer fabric?
comfortable or too hot to wear?
Margasweet

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Date: 5/24/12 4:18 PM

I've got a lot of silk of various kinds, and am ready to just sew it up into clothing. Silk chiffon, silk charmeuse, silk linen, raw silk (noil)-- can I start making summer clothing with it, or is it better for winter? For years I've bought silk when I find great deals on it, and now I just want to put scissors to it and get going. Much of it is nice, drapey, seems like it would make pretty summer dresses, skirts, tunics... as long as it's not too hot.

What's your experience?

Thanks.

------
2015 fabric in: 30 yd; sewn 16 yd.; given away 7; projects 11 (5 gift bags, tablecloth, 2 gauze chemises, 2 table runners, Poppy vest); UFOs 2 (journal cover, sage green tank dress); upcycles 1 (velvet shirt cuffs=zippered bag). Totals this year +7 yds, since 2007 +79 yds

2016 fabric in: 18 1/2 yds
2016 fabric sewn: 12 1/2 yd
2016 fabric given away
projects: 9 (library curtains, 4 zippered bags, 2 quilted table runners, 2 receiving blankets)
projects started: white/burgundy knit tunic 2 1/2 yd, tablecloth with border & lining, baby kimono & pants 1 yd, 3 burp cloths
UFOs completed: red quilted table mat
upcycles:

PattyE
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PattyE  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/24/12 4:45 PM

I buy silks more than anything else. I've got/used 4-ply crepes, crepe-de-chines, silk linen, silk tweed, silk/cotton, silk jersey, and more. I make tons of summer things with silk. I find it breathes very well. Can't wait to see your creations!

------
Stash: 202.625 yds. @ 04.17.16

nicegirl
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nicegirl
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Date: 5/24/12 5:16 PM

It's really individual. I loooove silk, but it makes me more sweaty than cotton in summer, and not noticeably less sweaty than polyester. I still wear it, though, because it's too pretty to leave on the shelf. Cut into it!

------
http://theslapdashsewist.blogspot.com
=================
2007: purchased 115+, sewed 105+
So close to parity, yet so far

Trying again in 2008
Yards purchased: 133
Yards sewn: Somewhere around 95

2009? I give up

Margasweet

Margasweet  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/25/12 8:26 AM

Thanks for the advice! I'm starting a wearable muslin (from cotton lawn) and then will cut into the first silk, once I make sure the pattern is suitable for me.

Marguerite

------
2015 fabric in: 30 yd; sewn 16 yd.; given away 7; projects 11 (5 gift bags, tablecloth, 2 gauze chemises, 2 table runners, Poppy vest); UFOs 2 (journal cover, sage green tank dress); upcycles 1 (velvet shirt cuffs=zippered bag). Totals this year +7 yds, since 2007 +79 yds

2016 fabric in: 18 1/2 yds
2016 fabric sewn: 12 1/2 yd
2016 fabric given away
projects: 9 (library curtains, 4 zippered bags, 2 quilted table runners, 2 receiving blankets)
projects started: white/burgundy knit tunic 2 1/2 yd, tablecloth with border & lining, baby kimono & pants 1 yd, 3 burp cloths
UFOs completed: red quilted table mat
upcycles:

clothingengineer
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In reply to Margasweet
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Date: 5/25/12 9:02 AM

For me I find it keeps me warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Like other fabrics it depends on the weave. Charmeuse has a very tight weave and unless it is a looser style can be hot to wear. Raw silk generally has a looser weave. I'm a big fan of silk jersey. It has the drape of rayon but is smoother and IMO more comfortable to wear.
twinkle72
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twinkle72
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Date: 5/25/12 10:00 AM

I think it depends where you are. It's too hot for a Florida summer, but perfect for your typical English summer. I think it might be a little too hot for just about any North American summer, unless you are in an air-conditioned situation, which is often the case. I have glove liners and long underwear made of silk, so silk can be pretty warm even though it is light and thin.
Elona
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In reply to Margasweet
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Date: 5/25/12 3:02 PM

I have found that woven tees like these (a very nice and shapely pattern, btw--nothing like the photo) are great in hot, humid weather when made of lightweight 'China silk'.

This rather inexpensive silk is very airy and comfortable, and has the advantage that it will dry in minutes, even in rather tropical conditions.

------
Elona

NancyZL
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In reply to Margasweet

Date: 5/26/12 11:20 PM

I just finished a silk chiffon Anna Sui blouse (have yet to do a review) &
wore it into NYC for dinner where it was about 80 F. and quite humid . It was quite comfortable walking around . I also have 2 RTW silk wrap-around skirts which I purchased in Hawaii & wear all summer here in the humid Northeast & love them. So I'd say yes to silk as long as you also keep an eye on the style, loose and flowing is the key.
Sew4Fun
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In reply to Margasweet

Date: 5/27/12 3:15 AM

Personally I find silk uncomfortable to wear in summer. It's ok, better than say polyester, but I find it doesn't breathe enough for me. I tend to avoid it in summer for this reason. For me it's a good fabric for the in-between seasons.

As others have said though it probably depends where you live. I would call 80F pleasant, not hot, and therefore totally suitable weather for silk. Summer heat to me is 100F.

------
Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/

creative1
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creative1
International AUSTRALIA
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Date: 5/27/12 4:18 AM

What do you think of silk chiffon? Is it less hot than other types of silk?
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