Tips and Tricks for Sewing Sliding Slippery Fabric

Deep blue satin cloth

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Slippery and sliding fabric can cause major frustration, but sewing is fun, so use these tips and tricks to keep sewing fun! The first step, take a deep breath and relax. You can do this! Use these tips as a guide to making the fabric manageable.

  • Lots of pinning! Pins can hold the fabric in place and be removed as you approach the sewing machine needle. It may take more time, but it takes less time than ​using a seam ripper to remove stitches that aren't where they are supposed to be.
  • Hand Basting allows you to have more control of the fabric and hold it in place for machine sewing.
  • Temporary fabric adhesive spray can be your friend. Use this notion in a very well ventilated area. It will hold the fabric where you want it while you stitch it in place. 
  • Grab a glue stick. Test it for visibility and washability on a scrap first. Use a light application of school glue stick on the seam allowance to hold the fabric in place.
  • Baste the fabric in place with fusible tape. A very narrow tape may be just perfect to hold the fabric in place while it's flat on the ironing board and make it stay in place while you sew it. Be sure to keep the fusible tape in the seam allowance.
  • Many people swear by gift wrapping tissue paper. Place a layer between the fabric to eliminate the sliding. Even better, spray both sides of the tissue paper with temporary spray adhesive and then use it between the fabric. You won't have any adhesive directly on the fabric, but it will provide enough "sticky" to keep the fabric in place. When you're done sewing, the tissue paper rips out like it was never there, since it has become perforated with the needle.
  • An even feed or walking foot can help feed the layers of fabric evenly through the sewing machine.
  • Work with the sewing machine pressure adjustment to see if more or less pressure helps to hold the fabric in place.