Mood Sewing 201-933-7565
« Back to Blog

Mood How-To: Stabilizing Silk With Paper

Blythe silk top available at J. Crew.

Blythe silk top available at J. Crew.

Do you avoid sewing silk simply because it slips and slides and you end up with wavy, puckered seams? Here’s an easy way to resolve that, courtesy of Michele of Mood NYC’s silk department:

1.  Purchase some parchment paper from your local grocery store, or use pattern paper. Kenneth D. King, couture designer and Mood School teacher, likes to use cash register tape (available at office supply stores).

2.  Cut paper into 2″ strips, approximately the length of each seam you have to sew. (No cutting involved if you’re using cash register tape.)

3.  Place your garment pieces right sides together and pin to paper strips, with the paper being the bottom layer to feed through your machine.

4.  Stitch all three layers together.

5.  Gently tear away paper from seam.

Pins and paper help stabilize silk when stitching. We show a roll of Mood's pink cash register tape here to use for easy paper strips.

Pins and paper help stabilize silk when stitching. We show a roll of Mood’s pink cash register tape here to use for easy paper strips.

silk tip 2

Gently tear away the paper to reveal perfectly stitched seams.

Here's Michele showing you the parchment paper she likes to use when she sews silk.

Here’s Michele showing you the parchment paper she likes to use when she sews silk.

You’ll notice how the paper stabilizes the silk and prevents it from moving while stitching, so your seams are straight and pucker-free. Michele also reminds you that having a fresh needle in the appropriate size for your silk fabric is half the battle.

What about you, readers? Do you have any silk sewing tips you’d like to share here?

10 Responses to “ Mood How-To: Stabilizing Silk With Paper ”

  1. amy jane

    This is a good tip that I’ll have to try! I’ve used tissue paper in the same way and that helps. Tissue paper also really helps if you are sewing with sticky materials like leather or vinyl. Excited to have found your blog! : )

    585 days ago   |  
  2. Caroline

    great tip! I just made my first ever successful bias project by using this technique. I also held the fabric with the tiniest smidgen of tension as a I sewed. That prevented any puckering or waving. I am so excited to have conquered bias! Looking forward to trying this on regular silk as well.

    589 days ago   |  
  3. Rita Lucido

    I have a question about the gelatine method. If you are sewing on a fabric that should only be dry cleaned, will dry cleaning get that gelatine out after you’ve completed the garment, or is the suggestion that you rinse out the finished garment to remove the gelatine. Seems like it will take quite a bit of agitating and wringing to get all of that out.

    593 days ago   |  
    • Meg at Mood

      Susan Khalje just rinsed it out in the test fabric, and it seemed to come out quite easily. Always test something like this first independently.

      593 days ago   |  
  4. Ginger

    Ooh, cash register tape! That’s a great idea! Does sewing through the paper dull your needle quickly?

    593 days ago   |  
  5. Elizabeth

    I’ve tried this method several times, but each time, little bits of paper remain in the stitches that I can never get out (even with tweezers). Very annoying. I will try again with the cash register tape and see if a different paper makes a difference.

    Thanks!

    593 days ago   |  
  6. Sartorosity

    I sometimes use freezer paper to cut out slippery fabric. Maybe I should try sewing through it instead of removing it.

    593 days ago   |  
  7. Sartorosity

    Mood’s Twitter feed a while back mentioned a trick using gelatin by Susan Khalje?

    593 days ago   |  
  8. Kacie

    Cash register tape – GENIUS!

    593 days ago   |