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Written by Julia Mulcair on August 7, 2023

Sewing with fine fabrics, the Imby's Flowy Top

Me Made May has just ended, and once again it's been an endless source of inspiration. One make that caught my eye was the Imby's Flowy Top sewn up by @you_can sew.   I'm a sucker for a big sleeve and floaty tops and this pattern has those in spades! The pattern is the work of @karmme_apparel.  It is a free pattern (how generous is that!) available as a digital download.

Here is the inspiration.

sewing with fine fabrics image 1

I love Cath's version and was so inspired to sew my own.

When some new silk cotton voile arrived in store I knew it would be perfect! This pattern has a lot of volume, so requires something quite lightweight to handle all those gathers and not become overwhelming. Silk cotton voile is lovely and light with a soft floaty drape, perfect for this make.

I have put together a couple of issues you may face when sewing on fine fabrics.  Each machine will sew differently, and I recommend practicing on some offcuts before sewing your garment. This prevents unnecessary and uninvited reverse sewing.

The beginning and end of seams can be trouble spots. The fabric can be pulled down into the machine. This can be avoided by using a Straight Stitch Needle Plate. Head to Quilting Accessories : PFAFF Australia (pfaff-australia.com.au) to find the correct Straight Stitch Needle Plate for your machine.

Poor fabric feed can also be a problem. Ensure you engage the IDT on your PFAFF to get the best feeding and stitch quality.

Excellent quality thread is always advised, I prefer to use Rasant thread. This is a 50wt cotton-wrapped thread with a polyester core. It is strong and reliable.

Start your project with a new, sharp, fine needle for delicate fabrics. Fine needles like the PFAFF Microtex 70 Microtex Assorted : PFAFF Australia (pfaff-australia.com.au) will ensure the sharp point of the needle penetrates the fibres of the fabric without pushing the fabric through the hole in the needle plate.

I sew on the PFAFF creative 3.0 which has inbuilt IDT system, which when engaged for sewing, handles the fine fabric beautifully.

I like to start my seams 1.5 to 2cm into the seam then reverse stitch with fine fabrics, rather than trying to start at the very start of the seam. This is when the fabric can be pulled down into the feed dogs with fine fabrics.

sewing with fine fabrics on the pfaff creative 3.0

With the technicalities sorted it's time to get sewing!

The stitches used are basic, you will only need a straight stitch. I used a 2.5mm for my sewn seams and 4mm for my gathering stitches.

There are printed instructions for the pattern, as well as a sew along on A sew-along for #imbysflowytop - YouTube

The construction is simple, with any tricky moments explained well in the sew-along.

The top came together in about an hour and the finished product is impressive.

The pattern is one size, suggested for sizes 8-12, but I feel it could fit up to a size 16

I have layered here with a long sleeve top for the cooler weather, but this would work as a lovely summer top too.

julia wearing her finished flowy top

I hope this inspires you to get sewing

Until next time, happy sewing

Julia xx

Article written by Julia Mulcair
Julia Mulcair is the owner of Pitt Trading, an Australian online fabric store and the lingerie society, a monthly subscription service for lingerie sewers. She grew up around fabric, and has been sewing for 30 years. Julia focuses on garment sewing, with a particular love of lingerie making. She shares her makes on Instagram and YouTube and is always working on the next lingerie design!

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