Simplicity Sewing Tips with Wendy Gardiner – Sewing Special Fabrics

Simplicity Sewing Tips with Wendy Gardiner – Sewing Special Fabrics

Simplicity Sewing Tips with Wendy Gardiner – Sewing Special Fabrics

July 1, 2014 | Skills | No Comments

Happy Tuesday Y’all! Today is the last in the series of Guests Posts from sewing guru, Wendy Gardiner. This week Wendy shares some tips for Sewing With Special Fabrics…

In the recent series of Great British Sewing Bee one of the ways that they tested each stitchers skills was to ask the contestants  to sew with slippery nylon, plush velvet and leather! Now, as many sewing enthusiasts will tell you, this can be a tricky task, but with a few pointers, you will be able to sew these special fabrics without any drama!

7047If you are looking for some patterns that feature Nylon, you might like to pick something like Burda 7047, sizes 10-22. This young style jacket is hip length with optional corded waist and hood. Again, it looks great in a lightweight nylon and is the perfect style to take us from the wet winter to spring…and even soggy summers!
6189_env_frontVelvet trousers are a real luxury and can look stunning. When choosing a design to make, I’d keep it simple – avoid things like welt pockets unless you make these fiddly features in a contrast. I liked New Look 6189, theses Capri pants are simple but look great in a plush velvet.

So, do you fancy sewing with special fabrics, here are a few of my tips on sewing velvet and leather successfully.

Use a leather needle that pierces the dense non-woven fabric – it has a groove in the shaft which helps it penetrate the fabric easily. As leather doesn’t fray, edges can be left raw and unfinished. You can of course also cut shapes without any difficulty.

To hold seams together before stitching, try a little double-sided tape. Do take care you don’t stretch the fabric whilst you stitch and if using the suede side of the leather, follow the ‘with nap’ layout on a pattern so that the shading all goes in the same direction.

Like leather, use the ‘with nap’ layout so that pattern pieces are laid out in the same direction, so the pile of the velvet all goes the same way. Use a walking foot to help feed the layers of fabric evenly which will also prevent puckered seams.

Use a new needle to prevent snags or skipped stitches. Neaten raw edges and clip curved seams so that the seam will lie flat when turned through.

Now, why not use these tips to try stitching something a little more adventurous!

♥ – ♥ – ♥

Wendy Gardiner red 2013Wendy Gardiner is Simplicity’s Sewing Guru and loves to share tips and techniques to make sewing easier and fun.
For more tips, fitting advice and to browse and buy Simplicity, New Look and Burda patterns visit

For more Simplicity Sewing tips from Wendy, be sure to check out her other guest posts in this series Learning To SewSewing with Knit Fabrics and Sewing Pleats & Piping! 


Share this article:

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *