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The Essential Guide to Sewing With Sheers

with Sara Alm
The Essential Guide to Sewing With Sheers
Sew the drapey, delicate garments of your dreams. Discover handling, sewing and finishing techniques to achieve professional results with sheer and lightweight fabrics.

Join Apparel Arts instructor Sara Alm to get comfortable stabilizing, marking, seaming and finishing sheer and lightweight fabrics. Learn to manipulate patterns to add eye-catching design details and customize the opacity of your garment. Cut and stabilize these finicky fabrics successfully for confident construction. Sew details such as pintucks, pleats, gathers or ruching. Master a variety of seam finishes on sheers: French seams and enclosed seams as well as bias tape necklines and armholes. Plus, sew perfect clean-finished hems, picot hems, baby hems and wide-finished hems on sheers. Learn techniques that will unlock all the elegance of garments made with these exquisite fabrics.

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Lesson plan

16:11

Lesson 1. Introduction to Sheer Fabrics

  • Meet your instructor, pattern designer Sara Alm, and learn more about some of the sheer fabrics, pattern types and linings you might use to create beautiful layered garments.

39:07

Lesson 2. Pattern Alterations for Sheers

  • Add ruching, pleats and pintucks to any pattern piece with Sara's guidance. You'll learn how to create duplicate pattern pieces to assist you in adding a ruched layer to the side panel of a skirt, for example, or create tiny pintucks on the front of a blouse. You'll slash and pivot or spread your pattern pieces to add fabric right where you need it.

37:35

Lesson 3. Pretreating, Cutting & Marking

  • Get a solid foundation for sewing sheer fabric by pretreating: staystitching, washing, drying and ironing your fabric. Sara shares some tips for helping your fabric stay on grain and retain its character. Now you're ready to lay out, cut out and mark your pattern pieces. You'll also learn how to apply wash-away stabilizer to areas where you might need more control.

23:22

Lesson 4. Stabilizing & Sewing Sheers

  • To add more lasting stability to your sheer fabric, you might want to consider sewn-in interfacing. Sara covers the many options that are available and explains how to prepare your pattern pieces. She'll also discuss your sewing machine setup and what needles to use. Sew along with Sara and see some of the common problems you might encounter. Finally, learn about Sara's secret stabilizing tool, a common household item that might surprise you!

41:30

Lesson 5. Fabric Manipulation

  • Add texture and opacity to your sheer garments with pleats, pintucks and gathers. Sara shows how to sew the pattern pieces you drafted in Lesson 2, with helpful tips for pressing and using a template.

49:43

Lesson 6. Seam Finishes

  • When working with sheer fabrics, you want your seams to look as tidy inside the garment as they do on the outside. French seams, enclosed seams and bound edges are the best choices for concealing the raw edges of the material. Sew along with Sara as she demonstrates these techniques!

21:39

Lesson 7. Hems & Finishing

  • Yes, you can create a baby hem on sheer fabric, using Sara's crinoline trick. She also shows how to sew a simple, clean-finished hem and picot hem and shares some tips for creating fabric-covered buttons to use on your sheer garments.

"Thanks so much for an informative and fun class. So many useful tips and techniques for each phase of sewing, which make me confident to tackle the chiffon blouse in my 'sewing queue.'"
- MoniqueNL
nr Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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