Satin is a luxurious and elegant fabric that is often used in party clothes and formalwear. However, it can be difficult to work with due to its slippery texture and tendency to fray. Here are some tips for sewing with satin:
- Follow a nap layout: Satin can shine differently and colour appear different hues depending on which direction its held. Cut all your pattern pieces with a one way layout so they all sit in the same direction. This uses more fabric so make sure you follow the yardage recommendation for a nap layout as well.
- Use pins sparingly: Satin can be easily damaged by pins, so use them sparingly in the seam allowance and always remove them before sewing over them. Use pattern weights to hold your fabric in place when cutting out. And for pinning fabric, I recommend entomology pins as they are incredibly sharp and fine.
- Use a sharp small size needle: Satin is very fine, so make sure to use a sharp needle in a small guage to prevent snags and breaks. A sharps or microtex needle is a good choice for satin.
- Consider using a walking foot: A walking foot is a special attachment for your sewing machine that helps to feed the fabric through the machine more evenly. This is especially helpful when working with satin, as it can be prone to slipping and bunching when layered.
- Finish your seams: Satin has a tendency to fray, so it’s important to finish the edges to prevent this. Use an overlocker, French seams or a zigzag / overcast stitch along the edges of your fabric. You might want to do this even during the pre-wash!
- Adjust your tension: Satin can be prone to puckering, so it’s important to adjust your tension accordingly. If your satin is puckering as you sew, try loosening your tension and see if that helps.
- Use a press cloth: Satin can be sensitive to heat and can be easily scorched. When ironing your satin, use a press cloth to protect the fabric from direct heat and iron on the wrong side of the fabric. Keep your iron turned low as well.
- Be mindful of bias cuts: Satin can stretch and warp on the bias. If you’re cutting your fabric on the bias, be sure to handle it carefully and pin it in place before you begin sewing and use staystitching to avoid edge stretching out.