8 Tips for Sewing with Sheer Fabrics

McCall’s M6893

Whether you’re sewing up something special for prom, a wedding or other special occasion, or just planning ahead for your summer wardrobe, chances are good that there’s a least one sheer fabric involved in the adventure.

These fabrics are often slippery to both cut and sew, and of course every inner detail shows through, so proceed with caution and handle with care. Follow these helpful tips for sheer success:

McCall’s M6836

1. Cut the fabric using layers of tissue paper above and below to keep things from shifting. Use fine pins to avoid leaving marks or, better yet, pattern weights.

2.Use sharp shears with serrated blades to help prevent slipping and to achieve an accurate cutting line.

3. Choose basting or tailor’s tacks for marking. Avoid dressmaker carbon and markers for obvious show-through. Don’t clip into the seam allowance to mark details, as most sheers tend to ravel.

4. Interface areas requiring it with self fabric to avoid color changes.

5. Line or underline sections where modesty is an issue.

6. Set up the machine with a small, sharp-pointed needle and lightweight thread, such as Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP Fine, a 60-weight thread. A straight stitch foot and single-hole needle plate help keep soft sheers from being pulled into the machine.

7. Use narrow seams—stitch and trim to minimize show-through. A narrow serger seam is also acceptable, as is a French seam.

8. Hems should also be narrow—either machine stitched or hand rolled. Or, for a more dramatic look, like on a full skirt, choose a deep double hem.

Dual Duty XP Fine