How to Sew with Crepe Fabric

How to Sew with Crepe Fabric

Crepe is an elegant drapey fabric that’s
ideal for making garments such as tops, dresses, skirts and even accessories like headbands
and scarfs. This fabric can be made with polyester, silk
or wool, but if you’re a beginner you’ll want to start with the polyester. Not only is it more economical but a little
easier to work with. For this demonstration, I’ll be using poly
crepe de chine that was generously provided by Spoonflower. Check out the description for a link to any
of the fabrics used in this tutorial. The biggest issues in working with crepe are: The fabric can be slippery so pieces aren’t
cut evenly or slip when sewing seams. Seams can be puckered or don’t appear neat. The fabric frays so the seam edges inside
will look sloppy. I’ll be providing tips so when you sew with
this beautiful fabric, you can do so with confidence and have great results! Cutting out your fabric pieces accurately,
ensures that you will have an easier sewing experience but if the fabric is more on the
slippery side, this can make it difficult. One method for accuracy is to cut using a
rotary cutter. This will keep the fabric flat on your cutting
mat and less likely to shift. If you want to use scissors, make sure to
use sharp fabric shears and lots of super fine straight pins to prevent fabric snags You could also keep the fabric more stable
by pinning tissue paper underneath the fabric to make it easier. Or if you check the care instructions and
the fabric is washable, spray it with spray starch. Here’s an example of untreated fabric and
one that’s been starched. You can see that one is a little stiffer. After you finish your project, you can wash
the starch out. Let’s talk about needle and thread. For the poly crepe, I recommend using a fine
cotton or polycotton thread. If your fabric is silk, you can use a silk
thread. Your sewing machine needle should be new and
I recommend using a microtex needle size 60/8 or 70/10. It’s very frustrating to do all your careful
prep work and then you end up with either puckered or wavy seamlines. Here are some tips you can use to help. Adjust your thread tension. Sometimes puckered seams mean that your thread
tension is a bit too tight so choose a lower number. You also might want to increase the presser
foot tension so that it holds the fabric more securely and keeps it from slipping. If you’re still having issues, try placing
a strip of tissue paper underneath the fabric. The tissue paper not only works as a temporary
stabilizer, but keeps the fabric from getting sucked through the needle plate. After you finish your stitch, simply tear
the tissue paper off. Also, if you used spray starch on your fabric,
you should notice that it’ll be a lot easier to sew because the starch also acts as a stabilizer. If your fabric layers are shifting on you
so that seam ends up uneven You can use a walking foot when sewing and
this will ensure that the layers are being fed more evenly as it goes through the machine. When sewing a regular straight seam, you’ll
want to finish the raw edges because this type of fabric will fray and look less neat
over time. If you don’t have an overlock machine, you
can sew a zig zag stitch or overcast stitch with your sewing machine on the raw edges. Other ideal seams, for this type of fabric,
are the french seam and the hairline seam. Check our channel for tutorials on these two
types of seams. You want to make sure that your hem doesn’t
look too heavy for such a fine fabric. The ideal hem could be either the blind hem
or the rolled hem. We have tutorials on how to create these types
of hems as well. When pressing crepe, make sure that you use
the correct iron temperature setting. For polyester you’ll use the synthetic setting
and silk will use the silk setting. A really high heat setting could damage your
fabric. For added protection of your fabric, use a
press cloth and iron on the wrong side of the fabric. Once you get the hang of working with crepe,
there’s lot of lovely things, from casual to formal, that you can make. If you have any tips about working with this
fabric, please leave a comment below. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Click on the playlist below to see the other
tutorials we referenced in this video. Also, make sure to check out Spoonflower’s
YouTube channel for other inspiring projects made with their fabric. Thanks for watching!

13 Replies to “How to Sew with Crepe Fabric”

  1. Great tips! Many years ago, I was taught to stabilize fabric with tissue paper as well as the importance of using a pressing cloth. I one to this day.

  2. I read that if you are cutting a bias garment you should hang the pieces son these can relax with gravity. Spoonflower is fantastic! so much to choose you can get crazy!

  3. This was a wonderful vid. I loved see what all you said about using different needles and thread. I knew about the tissue but not the needles. Thanks Tova.

  4. I soak my slippery fabrics in a couple of tablespoons of dissolved Knox Gelatin to act as a stabilizer as well as prevent crepe from stretching while sewing – its better than sugar water. I also use a soldering iron on synthetics (NO cotton/natural fibers -they burn) to seal the fabrics to prevent fraying after the gelatin is washed out …
    The DIY videos of East Indian women sewing these fabrics effortlessly is from years of experience w/strict use for the tools available to them. If you like to reduce stress like myself – look for easy methods to help accomplish your desired outcome. Make it fun!

  5. I always use a walking foot. I like the tissue paper method though, will try that for the next crepe garment. Spoonflower fabrics are awesome! I've used many designs from Spoonflower in their poly crepe de chine to use as linings.

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