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Use fabric stabilizer for hemming & sewing chiffon. (Tip/Technique)
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Review rated Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 23 people   
Posted by: Mandolin82
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About Mandolin82 star
WA USA
Member since: 5/8/03
Reviews written: 23
Sewing skills:Intermediate
Favored by: 1 people
tips added: 3
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Posted on: 12/2/05 10:21 PM
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This particular tip is for hemming, but the stabilizer can help out anytime you have a flimsy fabric that is difficult to work with. Your fabric has to be washable.

I just made a dress with miles of chiffon flounces to hem, for which I used the rolled hem on my serger . In order to make hemming them easier (or even possible) I used a liquid fabric stabilizer (in my case I used Palmer Pletsch Perfect Sew).

After cutting out the flounces I spread them on a waterproof surface. Then I used a foam paint brush dipped in the stabilizer to dab at the edges (into about 1.5 inches from the edge) until they were wet with the stabilizer, and then let them dry (running a fan makes it go faster). In the past I have also just dipped whole pieces of yardage in stabilizer - makes it a dream to cut out! Another option is to put the stabilizer in a spray bottle.

It was SOOO much easier to hem the chiffon once it was stabilized. I used my washer to wash out the stabilizer afterwards, although if you had a small project you could rinse it out by hand.
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14 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Mirza said...
Great idea, now another item I need to purchase. Thanks! I didn't even know there was such a thing as liquid stabilizer.
12/3/05 5:51 AM
SewVeryTall said...
Making these slippery wiggly types of fabrics stable is truly the only way to go...good tip! Does the PPPS work better than spray starch? [I usually spray this on with the fabric over a big towel]
12/3/05 6:55 AM
Patti B said...
I wonder if you could use the dissolved water soluble stabilizer for this? Rumor has it that you can dissolve scraps in a bit of water and use it for similar tasks. I haven't tried it so I can't judge.
12/3/05 11:52 AM
Mandolin82 said...
I haven't tried the spray starch, so cannot compare it. And I have all sorts of scraps of the water soluble stabilizer waiting for me to try to dissolve them in water, but who knows when I'll get around to trying it.
12/3/05 2:24 PM
mamacita said...
I have had trouble recently with the cut edges of some slippery,slinky knits rolling as soon as i cut out pattern..with 1/4 seam allowances...this is murder! Do you think this stuff would be a solution to this problem? would I dip the whole piece? Does it gum up the serger or machine? thanks...
12/9/05 10:30 AM
Mandolin82 said...
Mamacita, I think it would be worth a try. You could dip the whole fabric, or use a spray bottle. It doesn't gum up the serger or machine at all, at least not for me. Marta Alto of Palmer/Pletsch uses it all the time for machine embroidery, which I'm sure she wouldn't do if she were concerned about it gumming up the machine. I'd try a test swatch and see if it does what you want.
12/10/05 0:04 AM
Muria said...
This is exactly what I needed to know. Thanks! My daughter's favorite fabric is chiffon. Ugh! :)
1/26/06 1:15 PM
nancylg said...
Where did you find the perfect sew liquid spray? nancylg
7/8/07 7:39 PM
Mandolin82 said...
Nancylg, I am able to buy the stabilizer at one of my local fabric stores. You can also buy the stabilizer at the Palmer Pletsch website, http://www.palmerpletsch.com/
7/9/07 11:04 AM
AmyMac said...
Thanks for this tip. I have never heard of liquid stabilizer until a friend told me about it and then I found this. I was sewing charmeuse bias binding onto brocade and this seriously helped me from more days of frustrating hand sewing. I found a roll of Sulky wash away stabilizer and sprayed it on.
12/11/09 12:48 PM
majivah said...
i was in the store buying some solvy to use as stabilizer just today to use for a chiffon wedding veil i am making... i have been trying to finish the edge with a rolled hem on my sewing machine and having no luck of it, was attempting various other finished edges and needed the water soluble Non-paper stabilizer for it... i had heard that you could dissolve the sulky solvy into water and make your own liquid stabilizer, i wondered if this wouldn't just do the trick... when i got home i started searching for some insight one the matter, this was just what i needed! i did a couple practice pieces tonight, but i think i am finally ready to tackle the real deal without fear of destroying the whole thing, so thank you!!
9/18/10 1:09 AM
niptuck said...
help! I've got a 65 ft wedding table skirt to make. I have to hem the top & make it solid enough to pin to the top linen. I can't use a wash out stabilizer because I doubt it will ever be washed. it is a very delicate toole with attached flowers. any ideas?
4/17/11 8:26 PM
niptuck said...
help! I've got a 65 ft wedding table skirt to make. I have to hem the top & make it solid enough to pin to the top linen. I can't use a wash out stabilizer because I doubt it will ever be washed. it is a very delicate toole with attached flowers. any ideas?
4/17/11 8:28 PM
Mandolin82 said...
I haven't had to do anything like that. Try posting this question on the message boards and I bet you get some hints.
4/18/11 12:01 PM

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