Using Silk Organza Selvedge To Stabilise A Seam

skirt section b5880

I am hard at work on my B5880 dress. (Let’s not dwell on deadlines for the Big Vintage Sewalong, shall we?)

I’m sewing with a viscose twill of most magnificent gorgeousness. I chose the fabric for its drape as well as the Oriental floral print which just seems to sigh, We’ll always have Paris. 

The drape struck me as suiting the dress’s side tuck ruffle, and it does. But man, all that fabric is heavy. So heavy, I was concerned about the front waistline’s ability to maintain silhouette and not bag or stretch. (There are no instructions for stay stitching in this pattern’s instructions.)

I turned to a length of silk organza selvedge, cut into a deep strip with pinking shears. I chose to work with the organza’s selvedge because it’s light, but tightly woven and extremely stable.

selvedge strip silk organza

Which I pinned and then stitched just inside the seam line of the front skirt waist.

silk organza selvedge pinned

silk organza selvedge stitched

Here’s hoping this works! Here’s hoping a lot else works. We’ll know in – ooh – about 48 hours. Wish me luck…

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15 Responses to Using Silk Organza Selvedge To Stabilise A Seam

  1. JLR says:

    I can’t wait to see how your beautiful fabric morphs into a dress!
    Silk organza has become one of my favorite sewing notions. I recently made a summer jacket out of a vintage crocheted lace tablecloth, and used the organza a lot: straight strips (selvage and not) for stabilizing; bias strips for invisibly clean-finishing seam allowances and facings; and ecru satin-faced organza for the lining. I literally could not have completed the project without silk organza. (And, yes, I do machine wash and dry organza ahead of time. I’ll hand wash the garment, but I’m confident there won’t be any shrinkage, etc. surprises.) In addition to yardage, I keep half-inch, inch, and two inch strips (both straight and bias) on hand, cut and ready to go.

  2. fabrickated says:

    Great tip! Please let us know where you bought this lovely fabric. Thanks Karen.

  3. redsilvia says:

    I think you came up with a good solution to that potential problem. Isn’t the usual tip to sew the waist seam with stay tape or ribbon? Silk organza is strong and light, so that should work. Can’t wait to see this lovely dress.

  4. Kathy Lynch says:

    Sounds like just the “ticket” to handle the ruffle weight. After reading JLR’s comment too, I now know how I’ll handle some crocheted cotton lace I have. (I keep looking at it, loving it…..then putting it away again. What a chicken!) Viscose twill is LUSCIOUS, isn’t it! 🙂

  5. Funny you should post about this today. I was talking to Julie at Sew Over It about silk organza to stabilise seams earlier this evening. She cuts a bias strip about 4cm wide. One end is then pinned to the ironing board and using lots of steam she stretches the strip as far as it will go. What you are apparently left with is a lightweight, narrow ribbon that will not stretch any further and can be used to stabilise any edge that requires it. It is also useful where your edge is slightly stretched as you can often ease the fabric back to make it the correct length.

  6. J K Willliams says:

    Oh the anticipation!

    I appreciate these practical inventive tips! Saves the novices among us those whatever made me think I could sew throwing project across the room moments

  7. Krystyna says:

    Hi, you could use rayon seam binding ribbon. It doesn’t stretch, but it is flimsy enough not to affect the seam itself. I bought some from, which sells 5m lengths or on reels, but lots of places sell it.
    Thank you for your blog,

  8. Shelley says:

    This is going to be beautiful!

  9. PsychicKathleen says:

    This fabric is so gorgeous in a photo I can’t imagine how lovely it must be to see and touch! Great tip on stabilizing with silk organza especially cut on the bias 🙂 Thank you!

  10. Is the fabric from the man outside Sainsburys at Walthamstow? He’s had some really beautiful silk viscose this year along with all his other wonderful fabrics.

  11. Gorgeous fabric. I can’t wait to see this dress. Xx

  12. judybushey43 says:

    Gorgeous fabric and great sewing tips.

  13. esewing says:

    It’s going to look lovely ! I have used organza to stabilise fabric before and it does the job without adding weight , look forward to seeing it finished .

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