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Tips for sewing charmeuse
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MrsCharisma
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Date: 3/4/13 11:53 AM

For the love of all that is right and good...I bought yards (different prints) of poly charmeuse whose prints just caught my eye. I want to make blouses of 3 of them and a dress with 1.

I cut a blouse the horrors! I tried stabilizing with freezer paper - didn't work. The fabric wouldn't "stick". I finally got it cut out reasonably well and now my machine wants to suck it down whenever I start sewing.



This is not boding well for the beautiful blouses and dress I dreamed of when I saw these fabrics. Suggestions?

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www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Stylist 7258 | Kenmore 1503 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 39.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

LynnRowe
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In reply to MrsCharisma
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Date: 3/4/13 12:02 PM

Cut with rotary cutter, easiest is to place tissue paper underneath the fabric and cut as one.

Use straight stitch foot, small hole needle plate, and dual feed if your machine has it.

Don't start the seams right at the fabric edge, no point to that anyways as most seams are then crossed into the seam allowance by the 5/8" or whatever the allowance may be.

If really problematic, start 1" into the fabric, then backstitch to the seam allowance and forward again from there.

Handbasting seams first may seem like a PITA but gives the best results, imo, and is faster than stitching and unstitching.

Charmeuse needle-marks, so be sure of your seams before sewing them. Use extra fine pins.

HTH!

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MrsCharisma
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Date: 3/4/13 12:36 PM

Ah. I must be learning. I thought for a minute about hand basting as I hand basted the zipper on my skirt.

I will incorporate your tips! thank you

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www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Stylist 7258 | Kenmore 1503 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 39.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

Lisa p
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Date: 3/4/13 1:33 PM

I'll echo everything Lynn has mentioned . I would only add pin in the seam allowance only sometimes pins can leaves marks in this fine fabric.

kkkkaty
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Date: 3/4/13 1:50 PM

are these washable? If so, you might try some spray starch. Spray the heck out of it....

thread
-- Edited on 3/4/13 1:52 PM --

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clothingengineer
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Date: 3/4/13 1:54 PM

When I made my last silk charmeuse blouse I held down the pattern pieces with weights and cut using a rotary cutter. I used the walking foot on my machine and if I needed to hold anything together during construction I used my extra-fine silk pins (which can be purchased at Joann's). They don't leave holes in the fabric like normal size pins do.

The best interfacing I've used for charmeuse is the Pro-Sheer Elegance from Fashion Sewing Supply. It is very lightweight so you don't lose the hand of the fabric and doesn't require a high heat setting when fusing.
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In reply to MrsCharisma
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Date: 3/4/13 2:28 PM

I did the same thing and bought several similar pieces after promising myself years ago that I would never under any circumstances sew this stuff again. I couldn't resist the print. I used a pattern with simple lines to reduce seams and cut it with a rotary cutter. The material was slipping all over the place. Even the serger didn't like it much. Double stick tape (like steam a seam) helped in places. You have gotten some good tips here. I will incorporate some of them myself.
MrsCharisma
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Date: 3/4/13 3:08 PM

Yay for PR! :)

It is washable and we own loads of spray starch.

What do you guys use for weights? My cans of tuna don't seem to be cutting it...

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www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Stylist 7258 | Kenmore 1503 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 39.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

clothingengineer
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In reply to MrsCharisma

Date: 3/4/13 3:11 PM

I have regular Dritz pattern weights (which I believe are filled with fine lead shot) but I've heard of people taping together washers from the hardware store.
chicaem29
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Date: 3/4/13 3:43 PM

I second (third?) the spray starch. It is my go to for any slippery fabric (even silk charmeuse because I always hand wash instead of dry clean).

I find poly charmeuse has a tendency to pucker like crazy at the seams, but some poly charmeuses are better behaved than others, and if they're all prints, if you do get puckering it probably won't be noticeable.

Good luck!
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