Tips for Sewing Rayon
Posted on 18 November 2016
So you want to try sewing with rayon but you're not sure what you need to do. By following the steps outlined below, you will eliminate a lot of the frustration & anxiousness people sometimes feel when sewing with fluid fabrics like rayon, silk and silk like fabrics.
1. WASH YOUR FABRIC:
Rayon shrinks so you need to pre-wash & then dry & iron before you sew with it.
2. LAYING YOUR FABRIC:
When you cut your fabric, lay an old, clean sheet or some cotton fabric from your stash (that you don’t mind cutting) on your table first. Then lay your fabric on top.
Out of all the tricks to handling frustratingly slinky fabrics, I found this one the most helpful.
3. PINS & WEIGHTS:
Using pins AND weights to secure the pattern will help fabric from moving around. You can simply use cans from your pantry (just be careful of any rust).
Use very sharp pins so you don’t snag the fabric.
Tip: if you buy pins with black paper inside the box, leave the black paper inside. It helps keep your pins sharp. (Google: ‘Crown Fox Pearl Pins’).
4. CUTTING YOUR FABRIC:
Whether you are using a rotary cutter or scissors, sharp is the key here.
Use a very lightweight interfacing.
My preferred method: I iron the cut fabric pieces onto uncut interfacing & then cut around the fabric, rather than cut my interfacing pieces to size first.
6. NEEDLE & THREAD:
Use a fresh, very sharp, fine needle. I use a ‘Schmetz’ Microtex Sharp Needle (70/10).
Use a good quality thread. (My preference for my sewing machine is Rasant).
7. MACHINE FOOT:
Most people find that their normal machine foot works well. Others prefer a ‘walking foot’.
8. WHEN THE INSTRUCTIONS SAY TO PIN:
SERIOUSLY, PIN! It will ruin your close relationship with your unpicker, but it’s worth it.
Also, lay your fabric down on a flat surface to pin seams together. Something so simple makes a HUGE difference.
A cautionary note: DO NOT SEW OVER YOUR PINS. Not only will this blunt & potentially break the needle. The last thing you need is a trip to the hospital to extract needle shards from your eye!
9. FABRIC SLIDING AS YOU SEW:
One of the main issues with sewing fluid is your fabric sliding. It’s hard to avoid.
Use lots of pins (very sharp & within the seam allowance so you don’t snag your fabric).
Take your time when you sew. Don’t rush sewing with rayon or other fluid fabrics. Sew a small amount & then re-adjust your fabric making sure that your raw edges remain aligned.