Satin is a very special type of material. It has a glossy shine on the upper side and a dull back. It’s soft, cozy and very popular, especially in the production of women’s wardrobe.
This is any material constructed by the satin wave method. This is one of three basic textile weaves.
Originally, it comes from silk. Throughout time, the production of this type of satin became very expensive and was available only to rich people. That’s why the textile construction of satin started to change. Today we have many types of satin used for different purposes. Sateen is one example; it’s a fabric with cotton woven into satin.
Satin is shiny and therefore mostly used for evening outfits such as shirts and dresses or skirts. It’s enormously popular but also tricky to work with.
Previously, we talked about the best tips for sewing with silk. No, we present you 10 best tips for sewing with satin. I hope they’ll help you avoid mistakes!
1. Choosing the satin
As we’ve told you there are many types of satin. All of them have different density and weight. They can be lightweight and heavyweight. What’s also different is the shine intensity.
Which type of satin you are going to choose depends strictly on what your wishes are.
Satin is used for different purposes, from extravagant evening dresses to bad covers. It’s for sure that you’ll choose heavy shiny satin for an evening dress and probably less shiny for your cover!
After you decide what you’re going to sew go and by the right type!
2. Cutting the satin
If there’s one thing all satin types have in common that’s they are all slippery. Everything you do, from cutting to sewing, needs to be done carefully and with patience (like with silk).
To cut satin without ruining it, put your fabric on the table and cut in a single layer. Never cut two or more layers together. This material is slippery and there’s no way layers will be equal! Before you start cutting, put on a non-slippery mat on the table and satin over it!
Take weight patterns to hold your piece of satin fabric and a very sharp blade (or shears). Then cut, but do it quickly.
You should have enough space when doing this, but if your working area is limited, make sure you roll in extra fabric. If you don’t, it will pull the piece you’re cutting and destroy your work.
3. Satin and Water
Satin and water aren’t really best friends. Be aware of water when working with satin. Water easily leaves marks on satin, so when you are ironing don’t sprinkle it with water.
Avoid ironing with steam. Use no or very little steam for satin fabric. Additionally, it can ruin your satin’s shine and we wouldn’t want that to happen, wouldn’t we?
A quick tip – a hand or any other cream will also leave marks on your satin so don’t use it!
4. Satin and Tension
If you want to sew with satin, you have to know that tight, especially skin-tight wardrobe is not an option. Seams became visible in no time if the clothes are too tight. And what you’ll get? Well, holes, big holes. So, ease up on your tension! Before you start working on your satin project, check your thread tension on a small piece of satin you won’t be using. Adjust everything and go!
5. Threads and Needles
Don’t be a skinflint with threads and needles! Satin doesn’t forgive. The basic sewing rule is to always change the needle before you start working on a new project. Not only you should obey this rule blindly when working with satin, but also change the needle in the middle of your sewing if you notice any changes and problems.
Use normal and even smaller needles. By no means should you use heavy-duty needles. They will make big, visible holes.
When it comes to threads they should also be lightweight ones. So, invest some money and it will pay off! Trust me!
6. Finishing Techniques
Before you finish the edges, do a test on a piece you don’t need. This way you’ll decide which finishing seam technique suits you best. Since satin frays easily, use a wider seam allowance. Some people use overlock or serger machine to finish the edges. This can but also might not be a good idea because sometimes these edges look rough. It all depends on the satin type and that’s why we do tests.
7. Pinning and Satin
What we, from our own experience suggest is getting extra fine pins (dressmaking pins). They are longer than standard ones, thinner and sharper. This is all because of holes. As we said, holes are easily visible. If you use a big pin, you’ll get a big hole. And no pressing! Be careful. You can pin in the seam allowance. But that, try to avoid pinning.
8. Smooth and Rough Surface
As satin snags and frays easily, be extra precocious. Every, even the smallest bump, can ruin your fabric. To prevent this from happening, check your working and sewing area twice, to be sure. It has to be smooth and flat. Even if your hands are rough there can be a problem. In this case, put on thin gloves.
To store your satin properly you’ll need a cardboard tube or bolt. Take the material you won’t be using for a while and roll it around the tube. This way you’ll avoid wrinkles that are very hard to set right. One more reason for not to fold your satin!
If you have already decided to work with satin you’ll need to devote some time to it. What is extremely important is that you need not only to be careful but also patient with this fabric.
It moves a lot, it’s slippery and you’ll need time to work on satin projects. But trust me, once you finish your satin shirt or a dress you’ll be absolutely thrilled, full of self-confidence with enormous energy to continue creating.
To work with satin you need to be passionate and calm. Everything takes time. The same is with satin fabric. It’s not alive but it’s like a puppy, touchy and sensitive. If you treat it with patience and love, your love will be returned twice as big. I mean, what girl won’t be amazed by a perfect satin dress she made herself?