Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Plum Ensemble Story Part 1 - Sewing with Microfibre

A friend of mine wanted me to help her with one of her outfits for her upcoming wedding. She had bought a dress but needed a few items made to go with it.


Since it would be a traditional Malay wedding, modesty and discretion are called for. One of the items needed is a headscarf (or a 'tudung'). I found a deep plum fabric in a microfibre weave called peachskin, which was satiny smooth with a medium hand. Perfect!

(totally off colour on camera)

Microfibre fabrics require some special attention. Use a microtex needle size 60/8 H-M in your machine and sew with a stitch length of 2mm - 1.5mm (very fine!). The fabric tends to pucker with sewing so for straight-stitching, it would be preferable to use a straight-stitch foot with a straight-stitch needle plate, although not essential. Because I was going to edge it in an embroidery stitch, I used a multi-purpose foot with a multi-purpose plate and had no problems. I also found that it really helped to reduce the puckering if I kept the fabric taught under the foot.

To make the headscarf, I trimmed 1.5 metres of fabric into a square of roughly 114cm side. I considered narrow-hemming the raw edges but the fabric does not take a crease well so I decided on scallop-stitching the edges instead.
While doing that, I had to pull the fabric away from me as I sewed, or else the fabric would bunch up under the needle.

The excess fabric outside of the scallops was trimmed away, revealing a nice scalloped edge.


The headscarf completed.

Before starting on any sewing project with 'special' fabrics, I always consult Sandra Betzina's 'More Fabric Savvy'. It has a large index of fabric how-to and is, in my opinion, an invaluable resource for any sewing enthusiast.

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