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Sewing with pashmina fabric/scarf

golfherjan's picture

I am making a vest from a pashmina scarf (30% silk 70% wool blend) and need some ideas on how to keep the fabric from pulling apart at the seams.  The fabric seems to be loosely woven and if you tug at the seams it rips apart.

deemail's picture

you might take a page from (post #32396, reply #1 of 1)

you might take a page from Coco Chanel, she used loosely woven fabrics all the time and tamed them by applying the fashion fabric (your pashmina) to silk (poly silk would be fine with machine stitched rows that would sink into the weave and disappear.  After lining/quilting (this is really what she was doing) the fabric, she then cut out the pieces and sewed them together as one.  If you adjust the seams to be at least 1 inch, you will be able to trim one side, and fold the other side over it (called flat-felling) and hand stitch invisibly to the inside layer.  Pashmina and fabric should both be pre-shrunk before assembling (whether hand washing or dry cleaning, treat the fabric as you mean to treat the vest).  Extra facings for armhole, hem and neck/front will have to be cut from the poly silk and applied as usual.  You will retain the 'hand' of the pashmina and yet have added to the body and stability.  I would also suggest that you really think before adding a buttonhole through this fabric, it is so loose that a bound buttonhole might be the only safe way.  You might consider button loops in the edge seam, or ties, or perhaps nothing, rather than cut into that fabric more than you have to.  If you have the Threads indeces, there was a great article about her sewing methods that might help, but basically, she layered her fabrics, pinned them in place and then stitched from the right side, pulling slightly so the machine stitches could "sink in."  I have used this technique several times as I am always attracted to heavy, nubbly, textured fabrics....it really works nicely.....good luck.