Taffeta is a beautiful fabric. It gives a look of luxury to any project sewn on Janome sewing machines like the Janome 8200QCP. It is used in the construction of formal garments and some home decor items. Yet taffeta can be tricky to use on sewing machines, causing many sewists to bypass this gorgeous material. Tame your taffeta anxiety with the easy tips below and wow everyone with your amazing results.
Always Prewash Taffeta
Taffeta can feel stiff, making it more difficult to work with as you stitch it on sewing machines. Reduce its stiffness by carefully pre-washing according to the instructions on the end of the fabric bolt. It will be easier to handle and sew once it is a bit softer and more relaxed.
Work With Sharp Tools
One of the easiest ways to ruin taffeta is by snagging it with dull scissors or pins, a jagged fingernail, any jewelry you are wearing, or even a dull needle on your Janome 8200QCP. Avoid this problem by taking off your rings and bracelets when working with taffeta and file away any rough fingernails and skin callouses that could catch.
Always use sharp sewing shears that will cut cleanly without fraying the fabric. Pin with sharp, new pins in the seam allowance to avoid making pinholes in the fabric that will be seen. When you are ready to machine sew, start with a fresh, new needle.
Avoid Marking Taffeta
Tailor’s chalk and water-soluble fabric markers are difficult to remove from taffeta, which is easily watermarked. It is best to avoid marking the fabric altogether. Use tailor’s tacks and cut notches where necessary to preserve an unstained finish.
Taffeta is fragile and can be damaged during pressing. Too much heat can discolor or scorch it. Irons that spray water or steam can cause watermarks. To avoid this, carefully press with your iron set on low and the steam or spray function turned off. Use a pressing cloth to prevent the iron from making direct contact with the fabric. Test the taffeta with a small sample before ironing to see how it will react to the heat.
Hold Tight While Stitching
Because it is slippery, taffeta can be challenging to sew when using any kind of machine, including a Janome sewing machine. If the fabric slides, your seams could bunch or pucker. Prevent this from happening by holding the fabric taut both in front and behind as it passes under the needle. Then slowly begin to stitch.
Make Finished Seams
In addition to being slippery to work with, taffeta also unravels fairly easily at the edges. Pinking the edges can be somewhat helpful. The best way to prevent your seams from unraveling is by making a finished seam that encloses the edges, such as a French seam or a serged seam.
Like many smooth, shiny fabrics, taffeta presents a number of issues that can make working with it a challenge. Fortunately, if you handle this fabric carefully when preparing and sewing with it on sewing machines like the Janome 8200QCP, you should have few problems. Whether you are making prom gowns and party dresses on your Janome sewing machine or making a set of luxurious drapes for your bedroom, the above tips will ensure your projects look perfect when you are finished!