Slinky
by Shannon Gifford
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  • Slinky

    Slinky fabric has taken the sewing world by storm! This fabric is uncomplicated, easy-care, and great for travel. Plus, a well-made slinky garment is beautifully slimming to wear!

    Pretreatment:

    Machine wash, cold water, no bleach. Machine dry, cool temperature (not high heat). This fabric is Super Easy to care for!

    Needles and Thread:

    Use a ballpoint/jersey needle 75/11 or 90/14, for your seams. Twin needles, size 2.5/75 are excellent for twin needle finishes. Polyester thread is the best choice for this fabric. Before you sit down to sew, take a couple of scraps and test the stitches on your machine. Run a seam across the grain, another seam with the grain, and another at an angle. Not only will this give you a feel for the fabric, it will also allow you to adjust the width and length of your stitch for the most professional results.

    Seams, Seam Finishes, and Hems:

    Use a medium width and length zigzag for seams (2.0 length, 2.0 width), to maintain the stretch of the fabric as it is worn. linky does not ravel; seam finishes are not necessary. However, if you choose to have a finish, use tricot binding (such as “Seams Great”) wrapped around the seams and zigzaged in place. If you have a serger, use a 3 or 4 thread balanced stitch. Be aware that this might add weight to your seam; be sure to test a scrap of the fabric to see if you like the finish. Hems in Slinky can be completed using a twin needle or a coverstitch. Lining is not necessary. In fact, you may find it adds too much weight to the project.

    Slinky does tend to stretch during wear. Because of this, you will want to stabilize areas that you do not want to have "grow". Good examples are the neckline and the shoulder seams. These can be stabilized by stitching clear elastic in the seam at the same time as you stitch the seam. Do not stretch the elastic as you sew. This will hold everything in place as you wear the garment, yet give the fabric the ability to move with your body.

    Interfacing:

    Not usually necessary to interface, but if you must, use a medium weight knit such as Fusi-Knit. Be sure to match the stretch of the interfacing with the stretch of the fabric. Also, use the minimum amount of interfacing necessary; you do not want to interfere with the drape of this fabric.

    Pattern Suggestions:

    Simple, uncomplicated shapes are best. Tops, cardigans, tees, tanks, skirts, dresses, and pants are all great choices. Be sure any pants, skirts, or dresses have plenty of ease in the design, as a tight fit will look skimpy in this fabric. Choose a pattern with simple lines. Vertical lines are best; horizontal ones will tend to sag. For instance, a horizontal bust dart would not be a good choice. A vertical princess seam would be perfect.

    Additional Tips:

    Fold-over elastic makes a good neckline finish for slinky garments. You may require a stabilizer in the shoulder seams of some garments. Clear elastic is often used for this stabilization, and it works very well. However, there may be cases where you do not want the shoulder to stretch; in this case, use a strip of selvedge from a thin woven fabric (such as silk organza) and stitch it to the shoulder seam. This will prevent the shoulders from sagging under the weight of the fabric.

    Because the fabric has weight and drape, be careful to check your neckline depth on your garment. Make v-necks or scoop necks a tad higher than you would normally wear them, and use strips of interfacing to stabilize the neckline area. This will help prevent the fabric weight from pulling the neckline lower than you intend.

    Do not touch the iron to your fabric. Instead, hover it over the seams and let the steam permeate the seams, then remove the iron from the area and use your fingers to press the seams open. Your iron will imprint the fabric, much like velvet. In fact, there are design possibilities for this fact that you might want to explore; you can emboss designs onto your slinky by placing the fabric on a large rubber stamp with a simple graphic design. Place a piece of organza over the fabric to protect the iron, and then press down with the iron to imprint the design on the slinky. I've seen some gorgeous border-print type designs done in this manner, one of which I know was done because the owner got too close to the fabric by mistake. She simply made this into a design opportunity...and it was stunning!

    Take your time, and you'll have a terrific garment you can wear for years:)

    Copyright (c) 2014 by EmmaOneSock