May 21, 2013

Sheer Experience Revisited

Back in September 2012, I blogged about my experiences of sewing with a sheer fabric.  If you want to check out what I said then, click here.

Now I'd like to share with you my recent 'Sheer Experience'.  The same details from the first article still apply, but this time I DIDN'T LINE THE DICKENS OUT OF IT!

I needed a new ‘something’ to go over top of a sleeveless tank top.  (I next to NEVER wear anything sleeveless for numerous vain reasons).  And my girl friend had sent me bundles of this red, black and white floral sheer.  Sheers are the other thing I’d likely not buy or wear comfortably.  But here it was (the gift of a netting type of sheer fabric) and I’d just completed the black slinky tank top as a style example for the hands-on bodice fitting classes.  Kelly, my office assistant, took one look at the sheer and suggested I sew the diagonal hem cardigan to go over it.  This is actually Style #4 in Beyond Bodice Basics, and I added sleeves to the design.  What a perfect suggestion!

Here are the finished garments:

 This is the 'Slinky Tank Top'.

Front View – Diagonal Hemmed Cardigan in the floral sheer

Back View - Diagonal Hemmed Cardigan

¾ Length Sleeve with 4” of shirring in the center of the sleeve

Close-up of the shawl style of collar

Close-up of the sheer floral pattern.  Notice the 'white wall' through the fabric.  It takes on a totally different appearance with white behind it rather than the black slinky tank top.

Hemming was easy!  Since this sheer net fabric wouldn’t ravel or fray, I left the cut hem edges untreated.  This again is something I wouldn’t generally think of doing, but numerous tests including clean finishing, zigzagged edge, serged edge and the rolled edge all proved unsuitable for this sheer netting that had many diagonal edges.  All of these techniques simply pulled the edge out of shape.  Thank goodness my friend sent lots of yardage – I needed it for these tests.

Here’s what Style #4 from Beyond Bodice Basics looks like minus the sleeves.  Fabric choice sure makes an impact as we all know.


  1. I noticed your cardigan in a recent video and admired it very much. It is very attractive. Thanks for sharing a closeup of the fabric.I couldn't tell it was like netting. Did you use a serger to put it together?

  2. Hi Anna, Yes on most of the seams I used the serger, but for the hem, I just cut it and left it 'raw'. Because it was on the diagonal, it stretched out of shape when I tested either serging or clean finishing. Raw was fine...the net doesn't ravel/fray. Kindly, Glenda

  3. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that print! Wish I could buy some of it. Do you know if it is available? That is the prettiest version of that top I have seen. If there was a fabric store anywhere near, I would be on my way to find something like it. Thanks for the great pictures.

    Hugs, Joy

  4. Joy, I think I might have at least a couple yards of it remaining. My girlfriend sent me miles of it!! She picked it up in Hawaii for $2.00/yd!! I might have time this weekend to measure and see how much I have left. Someone also told me that our local Springfield fabric store had this same fabric, though I haven't been it there in a while.

  5. Do you think two yards would make that same top for me? I haven't seen it anywhere, but I haven't been anywhere for a while. Is it soft against your skin? I sure would buy it from you if it isn't itchy. I have very sensitive skin, and that is why I don't care for lace trims. Lace fabric may be different.
    It sure is all the rage right now.

  6. Joy, I've just measured, and there is 2 yd remaining. You are welcome to have this fabric. BUT, I don't think 2 yd is quite enough. I'd need to pull my pattern out and do a layout. Because the front dips down, that alone takes 1 yd and the back might fit on less than 1 yd, but I don't think you'd get the sleeve in. You could always make it sleeveless. I did a sleeveless version out of black and it looks great over my cowl neck blouses.

    This lace is amazingly soft to feel. I too have very sensitive skin and generally NEVER wear lace because I find it too scratchy. But I've worn this top all day in class and then another day out to dinner, and didn't find myself scratching constantly.

    So let me know if you want my leftover. I'd be happy to send it on to you. It would look great over a black, white or red cowl neck blouse.


    1. Sure. I can make a sleeveless version. I will probably make it shorter too.