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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: lauraann
Date: 08-27-2005, 10:26 AM (1 of 6)
Okay, I'm new to this forum but not to sewing. I've sewed tons of things. A friend's Mom asked me to make her lined drapes, a lined valance and 3 sheer panels. I said no problem. I made the linen drapes and the valance. I cut the sheers to length, hemmed them and then finished the side seams. Once I laid them out, the sides pulled up making the top uneven. The sheer fabric is loosely woven (I'm finding out how loose!). Anyway, then I laid it out so the bottom was straight, cut the top again, sewed another strip onto the top because now I didn't have enough to make the header. Okay, so now I've got a long enough piece.

I folded over the header, rod pocket, turned under the seam allowance and stitched. Midway through the rod pocket started bunching and looked terrible. Everytime I touch this fabric is warps out of position. I'm about ready to reimburse her the $90.00 plus $50.00 for labor and call it a day. Does anyone have any idea how to do this?
User: lauraann
Member since: 08-27-2005
Total posts: 1
From: dmoses
Date: 08-27-2005, 11:15 AM (2 of 6)
"Sew Much Better" has this advice for sewing sheers...

Use a fine needle, fine thread, and short stitch to sew delicate sheers.
Increase presser foot pressure so fabric feeds more smoothly.
Taut sewing may be required for smooth, unpuckered seam. Hold the fabric *gently* taut in front of and behind the presser foot as you stitch.
To reinforce areas of stress, use self-fabric or organza instead of interfacings, or use interfacing designed specifically for sheers.
On sheer fabrics, a basting glue stick or water-soluble fabric adhesive, work better than pins for basting...more secure so fabric doesn't slip as much.

Hope this helps. :bluesmile
Take care,
User: dmoses
Member since: 02-22-2002
Total posts: 964
From: DorothyL
Date: 08-27-2005, 12:33 PM (3 of 6)
A walking foot couldn't hurt.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: AndreaSews
Date: 08-27-2005, 07:01 PM (4 of 6)
I have felt your pain. Some tricks that have helped:

Do you have a scrap to run through a few times and just re-check your tension and stitch length? And is your needle fresh? I struggled over one such project and nearly threw it all away. Finally, I opened up the machine and went through the manual instructions for cleaning and oiling, and the machine took on the project without any hassles, and I didn't need to use any of these special techniques, either.

Is the fabric getting pushed down by the needle, and going below the plate? There's a single hole needle plate availbale from dealers, I think it's called the straight stitch plate. The corresponding presser foot also has just a small single hole. That can help keep things in control.

"Magic Sizing" spray, available at Target, etc, in the laundry section. Gives flimsy fabrics a touch more "body," which helps when they misbehave. It made it a little easier to handle, not falling out of shape everytime I exhaled.

Once you hack your way through the rod packet, could you try and hang them on something level, even if it's not the customer's window? Then you can let it drape and hang and pin/glue-tack it, much the way we mark a skirt hem.I wish I'd thought of this sooner. You ought to see my daughter's drapes!

When all else fails with flimsy fabrics, plain tissue paper that you use in gifts can be used to keep everything in place while it is sewn. It's laborious, so not a first choice, but it works like a dream. Cut strips, place under the fabric so the feed dogs don't grab too tightly, pin, and sew. I once needed to sandwich it, with a layer on top and a layer on the bottom. The sewing goes much more smoothly. But, the needle dulls quickly (throw away and replace after this project) and then you have the chore of carefully ripping the paper out of the seam.
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: bridesmom
Date: 08-28-2005, 05:51 AM (5 of 6)
Lauraann I just wanted to sympathize with you. I finished some sheers about a year ago and after that experience, I don't think I'll ever attempt them again. Its tough enough sewing a blouse in a lightweight fabric that slips and slides all over the place. And - Welcome~!
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: mommydionne
Date: 08-28-2005, 07:41 PM (6 of 6)
I hate sheers too and what do I have in my living/dining room. Go figure, I actually gave up the hemming and stitched microfibre edging to "encase" the sheer panel, it looks very nice and gives them some weight as I don't have any other window coverings. I found my serger was best once I got the differential feed set to the sheer fabric, when sewing with the machine I prefer to slide some tissue (old pattern tissue) under my fabric and tear out later or use a water soluble stabilizer like aquafilm. Good luck!!
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
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