Sheer fabric can be some of the most beautiful type of fabric to use for a variety of projects made with sewing machines. Yet many people avoid it because they find it particularly challenging to work with. Fortunately, you can achieve great results when sewing on voile, organza, chiffon, and other sheer fabrics using Juki sewing machines like the Juki TL2000Q1 by following a few practical tips including those listed below.
The Problem With Sheers
Although beautiful, sheer fabric does behave differently than most others. It can be more slippery to stitch when using sewing machines and easily fray at the edges. This can result in crooked stitching and edges that come undone. Since many sheers are transparent, it is impossible to hide stitching mistakes on the back of the fabric, which makes precision important. This is why sewists may avoid using sheer fabric when making projects on machines like the Juki TL2000Q1.
Getting Sheers Under Control
Rather than allowing the fabric to dictate what you can make, use the helpful tips below for success with all kinds of sheer fabric:
- Prewash Sheers - Sheer fabric often shrinks after washing. If the item you are sewing will be worn and later washed, start out by gently pre-washing according to the fabric instructions.
- Secure for Careful Cutting - Sheer fabrics stretch when laid out and can be easily damaged during cutting. To remedy this, lay the fabric on a cutting mat and secure all corners and sides with tape, pins, or tacks. Make any marks with pencil or chalk to avoid staining the fabric, then cut carefully. A rotary cutter works best to prevent movement and stretching during cutting.
- Use the Right Needle - Always start with a sharp, new needle when working with sheers. Choose a universal needle in a small size, something between 8-11 (60-75) for best results.
- Sewing Basics - To avoid issues when stitching sheer fabric on Juki sewing machines, always use a basic straight stitch and a straight stitch needle plate, if you have one. Straight stitch needle plates have smaller needle holes, giving your fabric greater stability as it is stitched. You may also want to loosen your thread tension slightly so your stitches are more relaxed.
- Use Stabilizer - If you find the fabric is bunching up or failing to advance with the feed dogs, try placing a sheet of tear away stabilizer underneath. This is sometimes all that is necessary to support the fabric so it can be easily stitched on a Juki TL2000Q1 or any other machine. Simply tear away the stabilizer after you are finished sewing.
- Avoid Backstitching - Backstitching through sheer fabric usually results in knotting of the thread and jams in your machine. To finish off your ends, try using a lockstitch. If your machine cannot do this, leave a long tail and knot the ends by hand.
- Use A Seam Sealant - Once you have sewn your seams and everything looks great, trim your edges close and seal them with seam sealant. This will prevent the fabric from fraying and unraveling, leaving your seam intact.
If you follow the easy tips above when using sewing machines like the Juki TL2000Q1, you should have few problems preparing, cutting, and stitching sheer fabric. By taking these steps to prevent stretching and keep the fabric supported as you stitch on quality Juki sewing machines, you can expect great results. So working with beautiful sheer fabric will no longer be a mystery!