Breaking Into The Silk

I have a confession to make – I hoard silk.  Every once in a while I pull out the container with my silk stash and murmur “my precious” as I pet my collection.  That collection includes a piece of silk my mother bought when I was in high school and a bolt of silk crepe my grandmother had bought to sew into ladies’ delicate undergarments. Did I mention the 25 fat eighths of solid color dupioni I’ve had since 2005?

Oh, I’ve used a bit of silk dupioni in a table runner and have made a few wall hangings out of silk ties, but the bulk of the reds, yellows, purples, and lustrous prints has been awaiting my magnum opus.

But as I work towards using up the fabric I have rather than buying more, all that silk is beginning to niggle at me.  So I’ve begun easing bits of it into small projects, like pillows.

The silk I own is mostly dupioni, which has a shimmer, but is prone to shred at the edges – not good for cutting into small pieces.  Other silk in my collection is slithery.  All except the crepe ravels badly.  What I do to counteract some of this behavior is to iron fusible knit interfacing to the back of the material before I cut it.

silk_backingThis interfacing comes in white and black and makes the silk much easier to handle.  The only downside is the seams are a bit bulky, especially with the dupioni.  I sometimes iron them open to try to deal with this.

I decided to make something functional with my silk, and settled on a large pillow since some of my decorative pillows look a bit tired. I pulled out a hand painted silk scarf I picked up for a few bucks at a tag sale and my collection of dupioni fat eighths. After fusing interfacing to the backs I cut some simple squares and rectangles and sewed them together.

silk_pillowI used 30 weight cotton thread for the stitch work after fusing the top to fleece. Then I recalled some leftover batik backing material and made what turned into a flange around the edge, with mitered corners.  I used up the last of that batik to make the back, combining it with the last of another piece from my stash.

pillow_backThe buttons came about after I realized that none of my zippers were long enough and by this time I was on a kick to use only what I already had.  So I finally used the sensor buttonhole maker on the sewing machine I’ve had since 2006.

The buttons came from my jar of all those extra buttons that come with clothing.

buttons_closeupNow all I need to do is buy a pillow form to fit.  That is not in my stash, drat it.


Filed under In Process, Techniques

2 responses to “Breaking Into The Silk

  1. jennyklyon

    Beautiful! I collect silk too-never ever have enough!

    • Thanks! Since you’re a fellow silky, have you found a really good needle size for sewing silk? I use either size 8 or 10 microtex sharps, but would love to know if something else would work better.

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