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Working With Slippery Fabric

Sometimes a fabric comes along that just needs a little extra love and attention to ensure a smooth and enjoyable sewing session. The viscose crepe that was in the March SewHayleyJane boxes was the perfect fabric for so many beautiful spring outfits but definitely needed a little extra care. Read on for my top tips.

Preparing The Fabric

Pre-wash and dry your fabric as you plan to launder your finished garment. When you are ready to cut your pattern hang the fabric up and spritz with a spray starch which will stiffen the fabric and make it easier to cut out. Test first on a scrap

Getting Ready To Cut

Fabric can slip and slide all over the place, resulting in seams that don’t quite match up. I really recommend taking a little extra time and cutting your pieces in one layer, mirroring any pieces that should be symmetrical. You can draw around the pieces with chalk first, lining up any fold lines after you flip and mirror the other side.

Cutting Out

Scissors can lift up the fabric and easily pull it out of shape as you cut. It will be much easier to use a cutting mat and rotary cutter. You can rough cut your fabric first, larger than the pattern piece before placing it on the cutting mat. This is much easier than wrangling with metres of fabric! 


If you have smaller pattern pieces that need interfacing it’s a great idea to cut the interfacing piece first, then fuse it to a larger piece of your fabric before cutting it as one. The interfacing acts not only as a stabiliser but also as a template.


Pins, pins pins!! Use more pins than you usually would when sewing with slippery fabric, helping to keep those seams together.  It can also be helpful to hand baste some seams including darts and pleats before going over with the sewing machine. 

Use Tissue Paper

As well as fitting your machine with a shiny new fine needle, you can use tissue paper when you start sewing your fabric. Slippery fabric has a habit of being pushed under the plate, so pop a small strip of tissue paper under the first few inches of your fabric and sew. Once you’ve finished the seam you can easily tear it away.

Finishing Seams

This kind of fabric is the perfect one for practicing your french seams, neatly concealing the raw, and very easily frayed, edges of the fabric inside the seam helping to prolong the life of your beautiful garment.