31 July 2007

Sewing Brocade

In the comments to my previous post, I was asked about special tips on sewing brocade. I really don't have any magical tidbits. I used an 80/12 universal needle (as this was a heavy brocade) with plain old Gutterman thread and a straight stitch length of 2.0 mm. The only words of caution I can offer are: make a muslin of your garment first. You want to know that all the fitting tweaks have been made prior to sewing up your brocade. Taking in seams is okay, taking out seams is not. This fabric has a long memory - once a needle has pierced it, this fabric will always show the holes. If the project is particularly special to you, you may want to even confine pinning to the seam allowance. Also, be sure that you use burr-free pins and needles, as this fabric can snag fairly easily.

Writing this made me think about a few of the gorgeous brocades at Thai Silks. I prefer the silk/rayon brocades to any of the yucky polyester ones. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some of my major picks:


I really want one of these fabrics to make the pattern below. I'm really partial to the second one at the top. C'mon Thai Silks, it's time to put that one on sale!

8 comments:

Isabelle said...

Gorgeous fabrics!! My favourite is the first on the second row.
I sewed brocade once, and you're right, they do have a long memory. Makes a project so special, though!

Summerset said...

I like the 2nd one in the 3rd row. I already have something made out of the 1st one in the 1st row!

One more thing - seams must be finished as brocades can be what I call a "shreddy fabric". They can fray badly, usually the cheaper the worse it is!

Anonymous said...

Now see you've gone and answered my question and made me feel all confident about trying this pattern...http://www.flickr.com/photos/75949855@N00/695796208/in/set-72157600552523015?edited=1 in a brocade. You've even found a website with brocades for me to order from...how fabulous! I am having such a hard time deciding which brocade to use. I want to use a brocade for the dress and a solid for the sash. I think this would have a nice Asian effect. What do you think? (I ask because you seem to have done a lot of sewing for formal events and could probably tell me if this pattern will work in a brocade.)

Vicki said...

I like the 3rd one on the top row!

Shannon said...

Anon - I think the dress you posted would like very nice in brocade. My only concern is the square neckline. Since brocade is a heavier fabric, it can stand away from the body during movement - something I assume you don't want in the bodice region. So, be careful to fit this area really well to eliminate the gaping.

Janimé said...

Ooooo, one of those would look really nice with that pattern.

Marji said...

do they ever put them on sale?
I used the dragonflies in my SWAP - in the turquoise colorway.

Marji said...

Do you get Julie's email newsletter? today she's put up one of her brocades for $7/meter - reminiscent of the top middle here.