Skirt Failure: 6 Tips for Sewing with Sheers

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts,Sewing

I found a free skirt pattern that I’ve been dying to try with some chiffon and it was a complete failure. See how the side seams are bunchy?

AAAGGG! All that work…not exactly wasted I suppose. Cutting the fabric out was much more difficult than I had imagined, but the sewing was a disaster.

Next time I’ll do some things different:

1. Use a smaller and new needle (size 70 is good).

2. Have a new machine or at least one that has really a good and responsive tension dial. This was my main problem – my machine is old and unrepairable and the tension dial doesn’t work. Grrr.

3. Use a presser foot with a flat bottom – the standard foot is usually flat.

4. Use a smaller than average stitch length (2 instead of 2.5).

5. Try a walking foot if you have one so that both layers of the fabric feed through the dogs evenly.

6. TEST FIRST! Experiment on a little scrap of fabric before sewing the side seam of your actual skirt.

I will make this skirt work, even if it means I have to get a new machine. I will conquer sheer!

For now I’m going to try the side seams again and maybe take off the fitted waistband and sew some wide elastic there instead. I think it will distribute the gathers more evenly and hopefully look a little more full.

And then I will make an under skirt and wear the darn thing to church!

I have some more yellow polky dot chiffon that I’m going to use and try the pattern again. Hopefully I can get it right the second time!

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