Soft Shell Makes
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 11th February 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Today, I’m back on the Minerva blog with a new guest post. Recently, I’ve found myself evaluating my handmade wardrobe and realised that I do not have that many solid colour items. So when on the list of products to review was this Stretch Soft Shell Fabric (92% polyester and 8% spandex) I jumped at the opportunity to test it.
I had ambitious plans for this piece of fabric. I planned on making 3 items out of 3 m. After I washed the fabric, which is very soft to the touch, I carried on and cut my projects out. Please be aware that the fabric holds the water when washed. I thought my washing machine had broke and washed the fabric twice. Every time the fabric was still full of water, even though I put it through an extra spinning cycle.
Because I picked petrol to work with, I felt that on my second top I need to break it a little and layered it with lace. To do so, after I cut the bodice pieces in the soft shell I placed them on top of the lace and based them onto the lace before cutting into the lace.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the interfacing went on without a hitch. Usually, I struggle to add interfacing to stretch fabrics that have a synthetic fibre composition. I did use the setting for wool/synthetics on my iron to make sure I did not melt/singe the fabric.
After testing on scrap of fabrics I got the best result using a super stretch needle with a small zigzag. At times the thread kept breaking, until I realised that I was using cotton thread with a synthetic fabric. For the seams I used the overlocker as this is my preferred technique for stretch fabrics.
Needles and pins damage the fabric. I discovered this when I was inserting the invisible zip into the trousers. After that I switched to using clips. This fabric behaves a little like faux suede fabric.
For the hems, I used interfacing on the inside to stabilise the fabric and to minimise the appearance of waves when sewing them.
Although I made three garments I decided to keep for myself just the tops and gifted the trousers to a friend whom they fitted better than on me.
The first one is the Butterick 5497 view C.
The second one is the Wanted Tee from Vanessa Pouzet. I made the long sleeve version.
Because the fabric is of a medium weight I’ll be wearing both tops when the weather is colder.
My tips with working with this stretch soft shell fabric:
• the fabric is not breathable, so I suggest you use it for garments that are not too close to the body or for summer garments.
• Use the wool/synthetic setting on your iron or test temperatures on scraps of fabric.
• The fabric does not fray at all so, there is no need to finish the raw edges if you don’t want to.
• Mark on the fabric which is the right side as both sides look the same, and you might easily sew the pieces wrong.
• Match your fabric with polyester thread
• use pins only within the seam allowance as the needles leave holes in the fabric. Wherever possible I used clips.
• Consider interfacing the hem area to prevent the fabric from creating waves as you stitch the hem in place.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. And please do share your makes on Instagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts and/or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I would love to see what you create.
Simona @ Sewing Adventures in the Attick
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