Conquering Sheer Fabrics

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Knit Lace

This is a lovely cardigan completed in 2013 and first shared HERE. It’s the most recently completed garment that qualifies as sheer because of the knitted, cotton lace.  I used the selvage for the sleeve and bottom hems. The neckline and front lapel, are fused with SAS, turned and stitched. It was an extremely fast garment made so because of these finishes. While  polyester crepe plus SAS created a stiff hem, this knit plus SAS has the perfect weight. SAS was a really good choice.

Amazingly soil-resistant,  I’ve not laundered it once and it is one of the most worn garments in my wardrobe. The knitted lace fabric works well all 4 seasons.  Unlike the previous garments, this one does not scrunch down into nothing. If I take it with me,  it needs a little room in the suitcase or often is tied around my bag’s straps IF not worn.
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That completes the roll-call of sheer garments currently in my wardrobe (excluding lingerie which I did not sew). I am pleased to see that I have been working with sheer fabrics and have developed some experience. Although not all good, I know it’s important to know what not to do as well as to celebrate my successes.

Outstanding in my mind, is that these garments are all 3rd layers. No blouses, skirts, tops, why?  I have had some of all those in the past. They passed out of my wardrobe for modesty reasons. I don’t mind showing a little shoulder. Don’t mind a hint of bra or camisole. But do not want to disclose my other underwear or exhibit unclothed most of my body.  Also, I associate sheers with summer wear because on their on they are light weight and cooling rather than heat retaining.  From here on out, my challenge will be sewing sheer tops, that will preserve my modesty while exploring more sewing techniques that create fine, strong seams on these thin fabrics.  I’ll also be contemplating mult-seasonal use of sheer fabrics.

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Why make another blog?

Blogs have become a replacement for the binders and notebooks that I normally collect. Blogs don’t take up any room in the house — beyond the computer which is used for much more than blogs. I find that they are easily searched. I love blogs. My own especially.

But why do I need another blog?  Sheer fabrics are long-standing challenge for me.  I want something similar to my Cover Stitch Cookbook. I want to explore uses and techniques with sheers and create a media to which I can return and review how I did something. Unlike the Cover Stitch Cookbook, I don’t plan to create a physical binder. I won’t 100% rule out eventually creating a physical binder. At least initially I think that the online media will be enough.  I keep the Cover Stitch Cookbook next to the cover stitch machine for easy reference. I don’t anticipate needing to pull up sheer instructions and follow them step by step.  That’s something time will tell. If it becomes apparent  I need physical media, then I will create it.

While this will be a separate group of posts devoted to 1 sewing subject, working with sheer fabrics, the blog won’t be especially busy. I plan to make one garment every month that somehow incorporates a sheer fabric. Again, I won’t 100% rule out making more than one post per month, but the plan is to consistently work towards mastering sheer fabrics and developing a number of applications. In time, this blog will be a nice fat reference book.  For now, it’s two tiny posts about a bold plan.

Hello world.

Sheer Fabrics defeat me.  Partly it is that I have little use for sheers in my life. I mean, how many sheer curtains do I need to hang? Don’t forget, we’re talking cold Dakota weather. Sheer curtains aren’t the first choice up here. No the first choice, is either nothing, or something with a significant R-factor.

And, I don’t really care to sew lingerie.  Especially the kind that make use of sheer fabrics. Think about it. I would invest lots of time and varying amounts of money for a garment that will be worn 5-6 minutes for 5-6 times. I’m sure I can get the same effect from RTW and for the time the garment will be worn, who cares about fit, eh?

Nonetheless, sheer and semi-sheer fabrics make their way into my stash. I do try to avoid them.  On the most recent fabric order, the last thing I did was go back and check that I didn’t have any sheers in the basket. So how did I get 2?  Well they weren’t described as sheer. Their description was “silk chiffon”.  The vendor was entirely correct. I should have known that chiffon be it polyester, nylon or silk will by it’s very nature be sheer.

One saving grace of sheers is that they fold compactly. They don’t necessarily stay neat on the shelf, but they do fold into a small amount of space. But right now I’m looking at a significant amount of sheers. In my stash. Waiting to be utilized. Almost, begging to be utilized.

I seriously considered donating them all. But in retrospect, sheers seem to be a weakness for me. As much as a consciously try to avoid them, my subconscious keeps bringing them home. I say time to figure out how to make use of sheers in my life.

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