Cost Effective Alternatives to Silk Fabric

Have you ever wondered why silk fabric is so expensive? Well, as it may be, silk is an extraordinary material. It is derived solely from the delicate, fine threads spun by silkworms. Since it takes 12 pounds of fully-spun silkworm cocoons to produce 1 pound of pure silk material, you can imagine why the fabric is so high-end and high-priced. But that’s not all. Silk retains a wide range of luxurious qualities that make it a highly sought-out material by sewing professionals and hobbyists all around the world. But not everyone has the budget to constantly work with pure silk, which is why there are so many innovative alternatives that are more cost-effective and budget-friendly.

Continue reading to learn more about silk, and some cheaper alternatives that will work well for your next sewing project.

Indianapolis Formal Wear Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Formal Wear Alterations 317-845-9077

The Origins of Silk

The organic matter used to produce silk comes from silkworms, which are the caterpillars of the Bombux Mori moth. The production of silk began in ancient China (the Silk Road), and for the past several millennia it has continued to be a rare and naturally-occurring commodity used for all sorts of applications, from clothing and apparel, to home décor, tapestries, purses, shoes, curtains, and so much more. Silk is a strong and sturdy material, yet extremely lightweight.

It is highly suited for dying applications, and retains color for a long time. Best of all, it is smooth and dreamy to the touch, and will flow properly when sewed that way. Now, there are still some disadvantages to the material. Silk is high maintenance and requires very gentle cleaning according to very specific criteria. Furthermore, it is expensive. Fortunately, there are some great alternatives to silk that work well and fit the budget.

Blended Silk Fabrics are a Cheaper Alternative to Pure Silk

The best alternatives to expensive silk include blended silk fabrics, such as linen-silk, cotton-silk, silk velvet, organza, shantung (also known as slub silk), and even satin in some cases. These fabrics deliver much of the same, sought-after qualities as silk, but come with a much friendlier price tag.

Linen-Silk – Incredibly similar to silk, but a lot cheaper.

Cotton-Silk – A cheaper alternative with very similar properties to silk.

Silk Velvet – Very lustrous, and a lot warmer and softer than other velvet blends, such as cotton or synthetic elements.

Organza – A sheer fabric that is very fine, yet crisp. Common applications include interior home décor, such as curtains and table linens, as well as formalwear.

Shantung (Slub Silk) – This fabric originated from China’s Shangdong Province, and has a rough, tweedy texture to it, making it well-suited for applications such as

Satin – Glossy on one side, and matte on the other, satin is made with pure silk, and will be the costliest of all the alternatives. For cheaper satins, look for ones made with cotton or synthetic fibers.

Indianapolis Clothing and Formal Wear Alterations You Can Trust

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Request a free estimate for Indianapolis Alterations, today.

Indianapolis Alterations
Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077

Tips for Sewing Quilted Cotton Clothing

Quilted cotton clothing is a familiar staple in almost everyone’s closet. This medium weight cotton material works well with all body types, shapes, heights, and drapes, making it a perfect addition to your wardrobe. But when your quilted cotton clothes need some altering, you might want to review some important tips for sewing clothing made of quilted cotton. Continue reading to do just that!

Indianapolis Clothing Repair
Indianapolis Clothing Repair and Alterations 317-845-9077

Quilted Cotton Clothes are Stiffer Than Other Cotton Fabrics

Quilted cotton is often used to make purses, bags, and you guessed it, quilts, but many clothing garments are also made from such materials. Because quilted cotton is a stiffer type of fabric compared to other types of cotton materials, many people are hesitant about sewing it up or making repairs. But if your cotton skirt or button-down jacket snags or tears, don’t be intimidated by the repair project. So long as you have sewing experience and know how to use your sewing machine, you should be just fine. If not, there are always professional alteration shops you can rely on to help you correct any sewing mistakes or alteration errors you’ve made.

Here are some fundamental tips to follow when sewing quilted cotton clothes:

?? Know Your Limit – As mentioned, if you are nothing more than a novice seamstress, it is not wise to attempt your own clothing repairs or projects. Even if you are a sewing hobbyist, be sure you know your talent’s limit. If you believe that the repair is too complex, it is best to leave it to a professional. If you are attempting a full clothing creation, be sure to take on a pattern that is simple and straightforward, like one without sleeves. Sleeves are hard to manage as a beginner in sewing.

?? Have the Right Tools – The right tools mean everything when it comes to any repair. As for quilted cotton, the same theory applies. Before repairing or altering a quilted cotton piece, be sure you are fully equipped with the proper materials and tools to get the job done to specification. For quilted cotton specifically, have on hand marking tools, cutting tools, thread, lining, and your sewing machine set up and accessories.

?? Practice Makes Perfect – Because quilted cotton is stiffer, it is sometimes more challenging to work with, especially of you do not have experience working with it before. Even if you are a pro at sewing, like a player up to bat, you might need a few practice swings before making your final stitches or alterations. So, use some scrap pieces of quilted cotton fabric to practice the type of stitch required to repair or modify your garment.

Need Some Help With Sewing and Alterations in Indianapolis?

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional home décor and clothing alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your sewing projects, costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Call 317-845-9077 to request a free estimate for Indianapolis Alterations, today.

Indianapolis Alterations
Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077

4 Ways to Prevent a Sewing Machine From Swallowing Fine Fabric

As someone who uses the sewing machine often, you know there is nothing more frustrating than that moment your fabric gets sucked under the needle plate. No matter how easily your sewing project is coasting along as you run your fabric through your machine, this sewing blunder can happen to anyone at any moment in time. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent your sewing machine from destroying your fine fabrics. After all these materials are not cheap; right? So, we must protect them at all costs. Plus, we want our finished pieces to come out perfect!

Rather than researching every single possible way you can prevent sewing machine fabric swallowing, simply continue below to learn the top four methods that are sure to work for you.

Indianapolis Clothing Repair and Alterations
Indianapolis Clothing Repair and Alterations 317-845-9077

Switch to a Finer Needle

When sewing with fine fabrics, one of the best ways to prevent sewing machine swallowing problems is to simply switch to a finer needle. You can find the vast array of needle types and sizes at any local fabric or craft store, as well as online, through various vendors and retailers. Opt for needled labelled 60 or 70 on the pack.

Cover the Needle Plate Hole

Although this might sound like it could impede your sewing project process, using a but a sticky tape to cover the needle plate hole is a great way to quickly stop a sewing machine from swallowing up your fine fabrics. Try to use a very small piece of tape, as small as you can make it while still covering the hole. Then, before you begin stitching, pierce a single hole in the tape with your sewing machine.

Never Start on a Raw Edge

Beginning your sewing work on the raw edge of a piece of fabric is a common novice sewing mistake. What sewing enthusiasts eventually learn is, doing so will cause your sewing machine to suck up your fabric underneath the needle plate. So, in order to prevent this from happening one surefire precaution is to never start sewing on a raw edge. For pleats and darts, start from the inside and work your way towards the edges. For seams, start a little inward from the edge.

Consider Chain Stitching

Another common method to prevent a sewing machine from swallowing up fabrics, especially fine fabrics, is to use the chain stitching approach. Chain stitching is the process of sewing together multiple pieces without stopping in between to lower or raise the presser foot. This technique is often used to speed up the sewing process. For those in a hurry, chain stitching is your go to sewing machine method.

Need Help With Your Sewing and Clothing Modifications?

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional clothing alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your sewing projects, costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Call 317-845-9077 to request a free estimate for Indianapolis Alterations, today.

Indianapolis Alterations
Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077

How to Get Your Fabric Ready Before Sewing

Before you ever thread a needle through, it is important to take the proper steps to prepare your fabrics for a sewing project. Continue below to learn everything from confirming the front and backside of your material, to washing, ironing, pinning, cutting, and even identifying the grain.

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Indianapolis Sewing and Alterations 317-845-9077

Fabric Preparation Guide

When you purchase your sewing fabrics and materials at the store, they are not necessarily “sewing ready” in their current condition. To ensure the best possible results of your sewing project, it is important to pre-treat and prepare your fabrics prior to any cutting, pinning, or stitching. On a side note, if you wish to color treat or dye your fabrics, this must be done before you begin stitching as well. Here is a brief rundown on the best ways to prepare fabric for sewing:

Cleaning

At the store, fabrics are not fully-protected on the shelf. So, when you bring them home, they are likely covered in dust, which can contain some very undesirable, microscopic contaminants like dead skin and dust mites. So, your first best-practice for prepping your fabrics is to wash them with a quality liquid detergent, either by hand or on the delicate cycle in your washing machine. Also, be sure to lay them flat and allow them to dry to completion. Do not dry them in the dryer, even on low or air only. The process can still cause visible changes in the quality of the fabric.

Pressing

Once your fabrics are clean and dry, you will want to perfect them by releasing any lines, warps, crinkles, or wrinkles. You can choose from a selection of options. You can press fabrics with a fabric pressing machine; you can iron them by hand; or you can steam them. Either way, pressing out your fabrics will give them an added luster, and make sewing much easier.

Identifying

There are certain things you need to locate or identify before getting started with sewing. After washing, drying, and pressing your fabrics, your next step is to determine which is the front and which is the back. Typically, this is pretty obvious, as backsides are usually faded or have indiscernible patterns. The fabric front is referred to as the right side, which should be the side you plan to have facing outward in your sewing piece. Another important part of this step is to identify the direction of the grain. The grain is important to the way your piece drapes, and ultimately, performs. Warp are lengthwise threads, while weft are crosswise, which run parallel and perpendicular to the selvage.

Cutting and Pinning

At this point, your fabrics are ready to begin the sewing process, but not before a few more steps. Here, you can start measuring and cutting out your fabric pieces or templates. You can also start pinning any appliques or pieces to your fabrics. Be sure to avoid any wrinkles by laying your fabrics flat during this step. Also, be sure to pin pieces together inside the seam allowance to avoid bunching. When cutting, be sure your scissors or shears are as sharp as they can be for fine cuts.

Need Help With Sewing in Indianapolis, Indiana?

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional alteration services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your sewing projects, costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Call 317-845-9077 to request a free estimate for Indianapolis Alterations, today.

Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077

Modern Elements of a Sewing Room

If you finally have some space for a sewing room, it is something to celebrate. Start by imagining your dream sewing space, and then write down a list of everything you want, and everything you must have. For a basic guide, there are certain elements of a traditional, yet modern-day, sewing room that you can use to create your final plan.

Continue reading to learn what these elements are, and where you can get additional sewers’ advice you can trust.

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Indianapolis Alterations Shop 317-845-9077

Sewing Room Basics You Need to Consider:

Lighting

You will need to see when you work, so be sure your sewing room has proper lighting. Tabletop lamps combined with sufficient overhead lighting are recommended for smaller rooms. Larger rooms might require additional floor lamps or sconces.

Power

Electricity is going to be something you will use in your sewing room each time you are in there. Your sewing machine, iron, steamer, and other electronic devices will require power. So, be sure to coordinate your outlets and power strips accordingly.

Flooring

There is an ongoing debate among sewing enthusiasts on which flooring is the best for sew rooms. The real answer depends on your personal preferences. Many prefer smooth surfaces, like vinyl, laminate, or wood, to make sweeping and cleanup easier. Also, finding small needs and other sewing accessories in shaggy carpet is not easy.

Sewing Station

You will need to set aside enough space for your sewing station. This might include a table and chair that houses your sewing machine and all your sewing accessories.

Cutting Table

If you plan on cutting your work fabrics, you will need a cutting station. You can get quality cutting tables online, or at your local sewing retail store.

Ironing Station

Working with fabric will naturally cause wrinkling and cinching. To make sure your sewing pieces are smooth and wrinkle-free, add in space for an ironing and steaming station.

Hanging Space

If you are working with clothing or larger, draping pieces, you will want to have space in your sewing room to hang items up. Simply go with a few racks, or create your own built-ins.

Storage

You will need a place to put all of your extra sewing products and supplies, so be sure you set aside space for this in your sewing room schematics. You can add bins and drawer systems, armorers, cabinets, or shelves.

Waste

You will have things to throw away when you are in your sewing room working. So, be sure to have plans for both your garbage items and your recyclable sewing scraps.

Additional Elements to Consider:

Mirrors – If you plan to sew clothing and other wardrobe garments, tall mirrors can deliver convenient fittings and gauge size adjustments.

Computer – Add space for a computer if you are running a business, have a blog or website, a video channel, or other internet and bookkeeping needs.

Display Station – You might decide to display your work, whether for at-home sales, personal attribution, or organization, add room for a display station.

Need Some Sewing Help in Indianapolis?

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional sewing alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Request a free quote for Indianapolis clothing alterations, today.

Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077

Advice for Sewing Lining into Clothing

For those who do their own clothing repairs and modifications, sewing in a lining typically seems like a lot of effort for very little reward. But the truth is, linings are important to have in many types of garments. From blazers and jackets, to leggings, coats, pants, skirts, and more, linings usually serve a function or purpose. For this reason, it helps to lessen your anxiety about adding lining to your clothing by learning some quick tips and tricks.

Continue reading to learn some advice for sewing lining into any piece of clothing you own.

Indianapolis Clothing Alterations
Indianapolis Clothing Alterations 317-845-9077

Best Fabrics for Lining

There are many types of clothing and garments that are great candidates for lining. In fact, some items actually require lining. Otherwise, you might flash the whole town! For instance, a sheer shirt or skirt will certainly need a less-sheer lining to create a non-see-through look. Or, an itchy wool sweater might be more comfortable if it had a silk or soft cotton lining.

Do you have an extra-clingy dress that shows too much detail and curvature? A lining will help it to drape more naturally, and ambiguously. In other cases, a lining hides ugly seams that you do not want visible, like inside blazers and coats. Regardless of your lining needs, there are some simple ways to, well, simplify the process!

Lining vs. Underlining

There is a sewing practice known as underlining, which delivers the same results as lining, but using a different process. To underline a garment, a pattern is cut from a main piece or a separate lining fabric, and then the two pieces are basted together. Lining simply mirrors the piece of clothing, but on the inside. Furthermore, lining is only connected at certain points, while underlining is entirely attached to the garment.

Measuring Your Lining

Since lining is inside a garment, it will need to be just a little smaller, but the same shape. The general rule of thumb is to add a half an inch to your seam allowance when sewing. If you do not want the lining to show at the hems, be sure to adjust the lining at the hem at a half an inch to an inch shorter than the clothing piece.

Need Help With Your Sewing and Clothing Modifications?

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional clothing alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your sewing projects, costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Call 317-845-9077 to request a free estimate for Indianapolis Alterations, today.

Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077