Sheer fabrics include delicate chiffon, very fine cotton batiste, silk organza and some synthetics. Many of these fabrics are not only sheer, but also somewhat difficult to sew. Sheer fabric can make beautiful home decorating projects or garments; however, you may need or want to line sheers for opacity or body. Lining sheer fabrics poses some special sewing challenges to create a beautiful and professional end result.
Underline sheer fabric for garments or home decorating projects. Use this option if you are willing to sacrifice some of the delicacy and sheerness of the fabric but are looking for a quick and easy lining option for sheer fabric. Select a lightweight, good quality lining fabric with a drape similar to your sheer fabric.
Cut pattern pieces from both the outer sheer fabric and the lining fabric. Work carefully to keep both the outer and lining fabric on grain when lining sheer fabrics. Experiment with using a second layer of sheer as a lining.
Stack the outer sheer fabric and sheer fabric lining pieces together. Pin using very fine pins as needed. Sew the two layers together as one, finishing seams as desired with a serger, zigzag stitch or pinking sheers.
Choose to line sheer fabrics using a more traditional loose lining for sheer fabrics if you want to maintain the soft flow of the sheer fabric. Opt for nude-toned fabrics to maintain a look of sheerness even when you line sheer fabric.
Cut lining and sheer fabrics using sharp scissors or a rotary cutter fitted with a fresh new blade.
Sew sheer fabric seams using French seams, narrow bound seams or mock French seams, since the seams will be visible through the fabric. Experiment with a narrow rolled seam on the serger, using matching thread as another option.
Sew lining seams as you prefer. Plan to place the lining seams facing the inside of the garment so the neat, finished side of the seam shows through the sheer fabric.
Attach the lining and sheer fabric as appropriate for your project. Sew the two layers together using a French seam.
Always use a new, small needle in your sewing machine when sewing with sheer fabric. Lighter, finer thread may help you sew more evenly on sheer fabrics.
The feed dogs on your machine may snag or damage fine sheer fabrics. Place a thin piece of tissue paper beneath your sheer fabric to prevent this.
Tips and warnings
- Always use a new, small needle in your sewing machine when sewing with sheer fabric.
- Lighter, finer thread may help you sew more evenly on sheer fabrics.
- The feed dogs on your machine may snag or damage fine sheer fabrics. Place a thin piece of tissue paper beneath your sheer fabric to prevent this.