5 Tips for Sewing With Viscose Fabric

When I decided to design my own fabric, as a viscose lover, it was my first choice for my fabric base. It's my go to fabric for comfy dresses with beautiful drape, it's easy to wash and care for and I enjoy sewing with it too. After putting some feelers out there on Instagram, I was expecting the mixed reaction I got. I know it's a bit of a love/hate fabric and its slippy reputation can put less confident sewists off. But I'm hear to change your mind!

As a lingerie designer by trade (it was my university degree and my business) I've had my fair share of experience sewing with slippy fabrics, so let me convince you to try again or open your stash to the possibilities of viscose! Dramatic, I know. Anyway, sewing with viscose doesn't have to be a headache, you just need the right tools to help you on your way. Here are some handy sewing tools and tips to make sewing with light weight fabrics a breeze...

 1. Switch to fabric clips

We've all been there, you're sewing with your beaut new fabric, pop in a pin to help you match up a seam, remove said pin and BAM a ladder in the fabric that can't be saved. I've recently switched to fabric clips and oh my gosh I'm a clip convert. I was skeptical that they would hold on viscose fabric, but they grip so well without leaving dents in the fabric. I'm so impressed with them and I won't be going anywhere near my lightweight fabrics with pins ever again!


2. Check your needle

When sewing with fine fabrics (or any fabric for that matter), it's important that you're sewing with a needle that will suit the type of fabric you're sewing with. For slippy, delicate fabrics like viscose, you need to use a ball point fine needle. I know shopping for needles can be a bit of an overwhelming mine field. But don't worry, I stock exactly what you need...


3. Interfacing is your friend

Interfacing your viscose fabric is super important. Choose an interfacing that matches the weight of your fabric (you don't want a super stiff interfacing for your nice drape fabric). This will help stabilise your fabric facing and collars and can even be cut into strips to stableisze specific areas, for example, cut a strip and apply where you'll be inserting a zip, or cut squares to apply where your button holes will be.

4. Try using Fray Check

This is a new product for me, but a revelation. Often light weight fabrics are prone to fraying more easily. Applying some fray check will stop fraying in its tracks. Try it on button holes!


5. Overlock (or zigzag) before sewing

It's always recommended to read through the instructions before sewing anything, but by doing this you'll also understand how the garment comes together and you can see when would be best to finish your seams for maximum longevity. If you're worried you have a fabric prone to fraying, overlock (or zigzag/non overlocker equivalent) the edges of your fabric pattern pieces before sewing them together, being careful not to trim off any seam allowance.

Sometimes I find patterns completely miss out when finishing a seam would be best, or you think it'll mention it later but then you've gone too far in the sewing and can't overlock a section (can you tell I'm talking from personal experience...). But doing it before you sew your pieces together (check you don't need to clip the curves etc before though!), every inch of your garment will be secured on the inside and hopefully last for many, many wears & washes! 

I hope you'll find my tips for sewing with viscose helpful! I know I'm bias, but viscose and rayon fabric types are my favourite to sew with and wear. Maybe it just takes a little practise and confidence, but it'll be so worth it and I hope the above will make you feel equipped to take it on! 

Thanks for reading!
Abi xo

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