Handmade New Look 6286 Flutter Sleeve Blouse in Turquoise Silk

I've been hanging onto this beautiful 100% silk for a while now. I'll be honest, I don't really like sewing with silk. It's slippery, it frays (and frays, and frays some more), my sewing machine prefers to suck it into the bobbin case and tear holes in it. This color was so lovely, however, that after sitting at the top of my fabric stash for a couple of weeks, I decided that I would heed it's tiny cries to be made into something. I decided upon using New Look pattern #6286, gathered all of my patience, praised my sewing machine and got to work.

About halfway through, I tried it on for the fiance and asked "Doesn't it kinda look like a dance costume?". He chuckled, and while he didn't agree with me, he also didn't disagree.  Before I added the skirt, the wrap bodice and those flouncy sleeves looked just like the top half of a cha-cha costume. I looked at myself a little horrified in the mirror. "Oh god, please tell me I didn't waste gorgeous peacock colored silk to make something you would see skittering across the 'Dancing with the Stars' stage. Please. No."

Luckily, once I added the skirt, and made a few adjustments to the fit, I think it's actually sort of pretty. It's a bit more...ruffly? than things I normally make or wear, but it was actually quite fun to make. I also feel more comfortable with sewing silk now that I have successfully made a garment.

I've been sewing for long enough now that I have a small arsenal of tricks that come in handy. One of the big ones? Using paper when sewing with thin or "slippery" fabrics. I used good old printer paper to sew the narrow hems on the sleeves, as well as around the bottom of this blouse. If I had an automatic hemming foot for my machine, I probably would have used that. They make such amazing, tiny hems, don't they? I also used a microtex (sharp) needle and I swear they make a big difference. I tried utilize french seams as much as possible, and the neckline was finished with bias tape. Would you like to know more of my tips for sewing with silk or other light-weight fabrics? What advice do you have?

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