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My Fabric Information Assignment

Dear Friends,

Image courtesy of gd-wholesale.dom (texindex.com.cn shown in the corner is in Chinese)

In my couture class, we had to choose a fabric and then describe the characteristics of it and strategies for how to sew it.  Our professor gave us the template to complete so that the information would be uniform.  On Friday, we are to present our information and give everyone a copy along with a swatch of the fabric.  I had intended on doing silk chiffon, since that is the fabric I’m using with my Vionnet-inspired dress but I ended up buying silk georgette by mistake.  And, so, that is the fabric I will be talking about!  By the end of class, I will have fabric information sheets  and swatches for 12 different fabrics to put into my notebook.

My information was drawn from the Claire Shaeffer and Sandra Betzina books listed at the end.  I encourage you to add these two books (or later editions) to your collection.  They are quite helpful in figuring out how to work with the different fabrics.  After all, we can’t sew velvet the same way we sew quilting cotton!

Fabric Name: Silk georgette

Fabric Characteristics: Loosely woven double sheer with highly twisted yarns in both the warp and the filling.  Usually made of silk or polyester, it is suitable for evening wear, blouses, dresses, and scarves (Shaeffer, 1994)

Fiber Content: 100% Silk

Machine Needles: Universal-H point or Red Band Needles; sizes 60/80 to 70/10 (Shaeffer); New 60/8, 65/9 H (Betzina, 1999)

Thread: Fine machine embroidery thread in silk or cotton (Betzina) or mercerized cotton (Shaeffer).  According to Betzina, polyester thread causes georgette to pucker.  However, Shaeffer suggests that extra-fine cotton-wrapped polyester or long-staple polyester (100/3) is okay for non-silk georgette.

Hand Needles: Sizes 8 to 10 (Shaeffer)

Stitch length: 1.5 to 2.0 mm straight stitch (Betzina)

Seams: Very narrow French, false French, standing-fell, machine-rolled, flat-fell, whipped, double/ply, tissue stitched, taped (Shaeffer and Betzina)

Hems: Narrow–machine-rolled, rolled-hemmer foot, hand-rolled, shell, merrow, mock-merrow–or wide double hems (Shaeffer).  Create a rolled hem by threading bobbin with Thread Fuse and stay stitch hem crease with wrong side against feed dog or create a rolled hem with a serger/overlock (Betzina).

Closures: Button loops, zippers, snaps, hooks and eyes (Shaeffer).  Machine buttonholes with fine embroidery thread.  Seam allowances should be interfaced with organza and zippers sewn in by hand (Betzina).

Layout and Cutting: Mark with chalk or tailor tacks.  Do not use wax chalk because it will stain (Shaeffer and Betzina).  Use a “without nap” layout and can be cut double thickness.  Since either side of the fabric can be used, the wrong side should be marked to ensure consistency.  Georgette has a mind of its own and needs to be pinned to paper to stabilize it for accurate cutting.  Using sharp scissors, cut through all layers (Betzina).

Pressing: Press using a dry (and clean) iron on silk setting.  Steam will cause water spots (Betzina).

Betzina, S. (1999). Fabric Savvy: The Essential Guide for Every Sewer. Newtown, CT: The Taunton Press.

Shaeffer, C. (1994). Fabric Sewing Guide, Updated Edition.  Radnor, PA: Chilton Book Company.

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