Or, more specifically, lessons learned from the mistakes I made while sewing my first cotton silk scarf. I believe in paying it forward.
1. Colors print beautifully on cotton silk — at least via Spoonflower they do. I’ve printed several photographs on basic combed cotton, quilting weight cotton, cotton poplin, linen/cotton canvas and silky faille (that last one was a swatch), and this cotton silk has by far the most vivid, lovingly printed colors of all of them. Absolutely enamored with it. (Might as well be, given the price.)
2. If you’re working with a lightweight, drapey fabric like satin, be careful how you bunch it up as you feed it into the machine. If you’re not careful, it may fold under itself and you’ll feed the fold into the needle and it will show. Forever. No matter how carefully you undo it.
3. Hand-rolling a hem takes a really long time and it’s tricky, especially when the fabric is slippery, but it does get faster as you go on, it’s absolutely worth the time spent on it, and it’s actually pretty relaxing. I listened to Pop Culture Happy Hour the whole time I was sewing this and it was the best.
4. That said, at first, the 36″ x 42″ dimensions that had seemed small at the time of buying and receiving the fabric will feel like three hundred and sixty four miles instead when you baste-stitch it… and when you stitch it… and when you hem it. Jesus Christ.
5. Lessons learned from making a cotton silk scarf for someone who knows about silk scarves and with my mom around to dole out some advice: iron on low heat and preferably with something between the silk and the iron. If you wrap up fabric in color tissue paper, there’s a chance the tissue paper will bleed. Use the thinnest needle you have because seriously, every single stitch you don’t roll into hiding will show on the fabric.
6. Finally, cotton silk scarves can be worn a myriad of ways, according to the Internet! My favorite is by far the neck tie, but I showcased another four ways in this post and there is so much more out there. This cotton silk scarf was too heavy for certain tie styles, and my hair was too short for some others, but the possibilities are endless.
7. If you sew a scarf with cotton silk printed with an original photograph you took, and you sew it by hand and it takes you three days, you will feel ridiculously proud when you’re done. Like, so proud you could burst. Good thing to remember.
Have you ever sewn with silk or similar fabrics before? Got any tips to share with me? I’m happy to learn from anyone’s mistakes, not just mine! And also from anyone’s experiences and successes, of course. Those, too, are good teachers. Either way, feel free to share them in the comments!