Sewing on silk?

I am thinking about altering a silk dress I own so I can wear it to a wedding next weekend. It floor length and I think tea length would be more appropriate for this setting. I have so many dresses I bought to wear once to some semi-formal event that if I could alter one rather than purchasing yet another dress that would be awesome. Is silk hard to sew on - are there precautions I should take?

Try doing an online search using “sewing silk” or some other variation.

Using that search term, I found several helpful sites about sewing silk, one of which is

Good luck!

[QUOTE=vaknitter;1331162]I am thinking about altering a silk dress I own so I can wear it to a wedding next weekend.

My dear, I think sewing on anything is hard. I’m pretty sure that silk would require a special needle plus maybe special thread.

I’m a practical person and if I had to alter something by next week I’d probably change the obvious offending characteristic by drawing the skirt up with some pretty brooches, maybe just in front and then put a gorgeous contrasting knitted stole/shawl with it. If it’s a really fantastic stole who’s going to notice your hemline? Stylists do it all the time. Draw the eye away from one thing by accentuating something else. They make big bucks doing that.

I had a dress made for one of my daughter’s weddings. It was a tea length dress with a full length underskirt. It could be worn either way. Best idea I ever had. Hope a seamstress will post and help out if you really want to hem the dress. I don’t think you’ll ever be able to let it down again.

I haven’t sewn in ages… literally years and years. But I do remember you had be careful the needle was sharp and go fairly slowly so you don’t pull any threads.

Do you want to machine-stitch or hand-stitch the hem? The method is different for each.

In either case, though, you’ll want to use a bright, shiny, new needle.

For the machine, use a MicroTex Sharp point; do not use a “Universal” point or, worse, a “Ballpoint” needle. Pin the fabric to tissue paper (yes, the kind gifts are often laid in inside the gift box) so that the feed dogs don’t mark the fabric as it travels over them. Use the finest pins (yes, “silk pins”) you have. “Fine” as in small diameter, not necessarily most expensive.

Let me know if you plan to hand-hem it. I have some tricks. (Former costumer, clothing maker not only for myself, probably will start up again now that I’ve lost YES YES YES 50 pounds)


DogCatMom - thank you ! There is quite a lot of fabric and it is in 2 layers (meaning I have to hemx2) and I am not consistent with my hand work so my plan was to use my machine. The dress is brown so thread is easy to match and I don’t think the difference will be noticeable. I have to pick my serger up from being fixed tomorrow so I will check and see if they have the needle you recommended.
Thank you again