Sometimes, when you see fabric in just the right colour, with a pattern that you have instantly fallen in love with, it can be hard not to buy it. But the truth is that some fabrics are so hard to work with especially if you are a beginner, that only the most experienced sewers stand a chance of making something that they are happy with.
Here are 4 fabrics that I think beginner sewers should stay away from, just until they have more experience at sewing.
Satin fabrics are beautiful. It’s so silky and shiny and rich looking. Who can resist it? You probably should.
As beautiful as it is, satin is extremely difficult to work with because it is so slick. Satin likes to slip through your fingers and slide across surfaces. For a beginner getting it to stay in one place long enough for you to cut it properly can be a real challenge. And getting two pieces of satin to stay together to sew can be just as tough.
The best thing about knit fabric is that it is stretchy. That makes it an excellent fabric choice for many sewing projects. However, stretchy knits can be a bit challenging to sew if you’re a beginner. Stretchy knit fabrics pose two problems if you don’t know what you’re doing. Pulling or tugging the fabric can cause stretchy knits to pucker, and on the other hand, the fabric can gather and become quite lumpy in areas where you want it to lay flat, such as the shoulder area of a top or dress. It’s best to stick to simpler fabrics until you are more confident at sewing.
Denim is one of the world’s most popular fabrics, but don’t let the popularity of denim fool you– it’s challenging to sew. When you sew denim, you want to use the right thread, needles, and presser foot, because the material’s thickness will do a number on your sewing machine if you fail to use the proper tools and accessories. Denim is notorious for breaking needles, even when you use the right type. The trouble with sewing denim is that the thick material can cause the presser foot to tilt, which puts undue stress on the needle. Additionally, believe it or not, denim is well-known for fraying, so if you haven’t gotten your seam finishes down perfectly, denim should never be your first fabric choice as a beginner sewer.
Similar to delicate fabrics, sheer fabrics like chiffon and organza are slippery and tricky to sew.
The transparent nature of sheer fabrics makes even the smallest flaw visible from any angle, so you really need top-notch skills to sew sheer fabrics.
The most challenging thing I find about sheer fabrics is stabilizing and cutting them. You have to hold these fabrics extremely taught as you cut them, and it’s not uncommon to only cut through one layer at time for some sheer fabrics.
For example, if you’re sewing chiffon and the project would require you to make a cut in the fold, you have to make two of the pattern pieces, tape them together, and then cut them out so you don’t have to put a fold in the fabric. If that just confused you, then you’re not ready to sew sheer fabrics.