Conquering Sheer Fabrics

Archive for August, 2015

Fusible Interfacing

My work with NL6213 deserves a second post here. My fabric is semi-sheer. The blue print opaque. The white? Definitely see-through/transparent.  This garment was a real mile-stone for me. I didn’t hesitate because it had transparent areas. I simply asked myself “Which finish shall I use?’

I opted to use a very light weight, fusible interfacing purchased from Fashion Sewing Supply. I’m sure there are similar interfacings available elsewhere. I know Louise Cutting has a very nice selection.

I cut full-size copies of the fronts. (Did not interface the back.)   I’m not sure if it was the very bias shapes of the pattern or if it was the interfacing, but it really stretched during fusing. I pulled it up several times, replaced and re-fused.  And yes I did think I was doing the lift and press routine instead of the slide and iron. I’m  inclined to believe it was a combination of bias fabric, the interfacing itself and my way of fusing. But do be careful when fusing this interfacing.  I know I will be more careful next time.

Once fused into place it handles like an underlining. Better, even. This combination of fabric and interfacing felt like a single fabric. It was so light weight, that I couldn’t feel the difference between interfaced-front and not-interfaced back.

I’d share a photo but transparent white photos no better than black, dark-blue and chocolate-brown. A good look a like would be the lightest-weight silk organza.

It could be considered an expensive solution. You can find polyester linings for around $4/yard. This retails for $8-10 plus shipping.  I used a full yard for just the fronts.

Despite the cost and difficulty at the ironing board, this is an excellent solution. My front is completely opaque, comfortable to wear and retained it’s hand.


Big, Big Facings shared this blouse as my basic block but it also is worthy of mentioning here because this is an excellent example of how to handle a sheer fabric. In a word: Facings. Big big facings.  Some might say semi-lined

My garment fabric is a cotton voile which is semi-sheer or almost opaque. Don’t mind you knowing where my belly-button is, but I don’t want the two dark spots shortly north  and my underwear to be visible.

I cut the above facings from a cotton batiste using the same pattern as the garment.  I just laid them on the fold of  cotton batiste; cut around the neckline, shoulder, armscye and a few inches down the side seam. I eye-balled at the fold a few inches lower than where my cut ended at the side seam and free-handed a curve between the there and the side seam. Later, I trued the front and back side seams. I also cut nylon-tricot, fusible interfacing. To cut the interfacing I used my new ” pattern” the just cut and trued facings.  I included the darts in the batiste and interfacing. I stitched the darts and shoulder seams of the garment and facing (batiste),  then fused my interfacing to my facing.  I slashed the interfacing along dart lines so that it would overlap and lay flatly.  Works. Not especially pretty on the inside and not something I would do for a challenge or competition.

I stitched the now interfaced facing to the garment at the neckline; right sides together. Turned and finished the neckline. I serged the side seams of the garment separately from the side seams of the facing. When turned and smoothed into place, the wrong side of the facing is towards the wrong side of the garment and the interior of the garment is smoothly finished. This is a nice finish because the voile is not completely sheer and the seams are not highly visible.

Note that the facings at this point are mostly ‘free’. They are attached only at the neckline.  I serged the sleeve to the garment catching the facing at the same time. Yes, this took a little pinning and some manoeuvering under the serger foot. I didn’t think it was all that fiddly.  I finished the facing-hem with a 3-thread serger overlock. Finished the sleeve and bottom garment hem with a wide rolled hem using Maxilock Stretch in Gold.

Facings were secured at neckline and armscye but that still allows them to move around and be out-of-place.  I tacked the facing to the side seam which helps keep them in place once the garment is on.  I am finding that when dressing I have to be sure to pull the facing down at center front and center back. Both garment and facing fabric have a little cling. Besides the facing wanting to stick, the garment back wants to hug my high hip.  Overall, I think this is a lovely summer blouse and excellent use of facings/semi-lining.


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