Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Jul 31, 2018

Sewing With Double Gauze


Gauze.

It's beautiful.  It's lightweight.  But it can be a PITA to work with.

For one thing, the layers can easily separate (see top photo).  For another, it's prone to fraying--the looser the weave the more fray-prone it is.  It's also shifty.

I'm working on a men's shirt using a luminous striped cotton double gauze I purchased at Metro Textiles last MPB Day (and we will be visiting Metro on our upcoming MPB Day too).

I'm using a new-to-me vintage Seventies men's shirt pattern on this project, Butterick 5897.  Such a groovy-looking pattern and it even includes pattern pieces for a vest and tie, along with a number of different collar variations AND a princess-seamed version!


I knew I'd have to stabilize my double gauze in order to work with it successfully, so I reached for the Niagara spray starch.  I hardly ever use spray starch--in fact, I'm pretty sure my can dates back to 2009, the summer I started sewing.  Luckily, it's full of preservatives!


I am happy to report that this stuff works like a dream.  Look how beautifully the yoke attached in back.  I could never have achieved this result without the spray starch.


On a starch-related Instagram post, a few people have said that scented spray starch attracts moths.  Is this true?  I don't know.  I will launder my shirt as soon as I'm done with it and I expect the spray starch will wash out, so I don't think it is an issue.  Have you ever heard such a thing?

This well-matched sleeve placket is also something I could never have achieved without the aid of my spray starch.


My fabric has a very widely spaced stripe and I just couldn't see how I could get a good-looking collar out of it so I decided to go with a lightweight solid cotton instead.  I know it looks a little corporate, or yuppy, or banker-y (or all three) but it was the only good option I could come up with.

The collar looks stiffer than it is in the photo below due to the spray starch.  It should look much softer after laundering.

Here's the collar just pinned.


And here's the collar sewn on.


All that's left to do is to make the cuffs--also solid white cotton, attach them, and then make the buttonholes and attach the buttons.  I'll also need to hem the shirt. I should be able to get all of that done tomorrow.

And that's it!  Have you ever sewn with gauze or double gauze?  What did you make?

Have a great day, everybody!

27 comments:

  1. Cathy!
    Cathy!
    Cathy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't heard of commercial spray starch attracting bugs ...I just don't know.
    However, in the past, I have mixed up cornstarch and water and spritzed it onto fabric to stiffen it and I was warned to wash that out....

    If it's a men's shirt is it still princess seams or is it prince seams?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve wondered about that myself! 😉

      Delete
    2. Those seams were named in honor of Princess Alexandra, wife of Edward VII. She was very curvy; her dressmaker resorted to those seams to fit her.

      So, "princess" seams no matter what gender wears them.

      Delete
  3. Starch does attract bugsand not because of the smell -- it's edible.

    https://www.craftsy.com/quilting/article/to-starch-or-not-to-starch/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful! I made two dresses from double gauze last summer and another this year. (All three fabrics were from Cloud9 fabrics). I won't say it is the easiest fabric to work with (it sort of reminded me of the annoying properties of rayon and slippery knit put together), but I did like wearing the garments. My main complaint about it is that it is a B if you have to unpick any stitches, and is very prone to runs as a result. I also found that it couldn't take any seam strain and would pull at the stitches (my dresses last year both featured double rows of bust tucks that are not at all tight, but I guess just my summer moving around was too much for them). I had to reinforce the stitching a couple times and realized neither dress was wearable this year. (I turned one into a top, but it looks a bit worse for wear anyway).

    One of these days I'd love to join you for MPB day--hope you have decent weather!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What did I make? A wadder! I tried to make a tunic dress, and with the aid of spray starch, it seemed boardlike. I tried to make summer pants, along the lines of pajama pants, and the fabric clung to my legs like wrinkly leggings. Never ever again, even though it IS cotton.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If I was going to worry, I’d probably worry more about silverfish than moth larvae. Silverfish love cellulose fabrics anyway, and starch on top of it? It’s just adding a layer of gravy! The moth larvae might be attracted to the starch, but not the cotton.
    All of which is a moot point because washing will remove the starch, and frequent usage/cleaning will discourage any bugs... they don’t like to be disturbed!
    I’ve not used this type of fabric before, and I think I’d be a little leery based on your description one others comments. Do you find the nature of the double gauze is really worth the sewing hassle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just finished a double gauze shirt with a front placket that laces up. I really didn't have a single moment of trouble and did nothing to the fabric differently than I would see cotton voile. No starch, no stablizer, nothing. I am guessing it depends on the exact fabric you are using.

      Delete
  7. Such beautiful work! Hope to see a sew-along some day!

    ReplyDelete
  8. As soon as my sewing room organizational push is completed, I plan to make a recent pattern for my niece. I purchased a double gauze chambray-colored fabric and will use a recent pattern (Vogue 9305) and a spray I read about in a recent blog (I no longer remember where). I bought the spray to use on the edge of a chiffon skirt in my plans, but it seems to be the perfect solution and alternative to starch on all kinds of creative projects. The name of it is Terial Magic Fabric Stabilizer, and it can be purchased in gallon jugs as well as smaller spray bottles. I bought mine recently on amazon.com, but is available on Ebay, as well. It gets rave reviews to stabilize fabric for quilting, machine embroidery, and even Cricut enthusiasts sing its praises. Keep it in mind should you ever find another need to stabilize your fabric. You still do beautiful work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much -- I think I'm going to give Terial a try!

      Delete
    2. When I went to look up the MSDS on Terial Magic, I came across another option...Vodka...with or without adding starch or cornstarch
      Here's one http://www.right-sides-together.com/make-your-own-starch-spray/

      Delete
    3. And a lime!!
      --Erik

      Delete
  9. Hi Peter. Nicely done! A mandarin collar in that same white would have also worked well with that fabric but for a different vibe.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's a really good looking shirt and it will be so beautiful to wear. I love the way cotton double gauze feels on the body. Utterly comfortable.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have at least one project in a gauze planned. But it is a more crinkly gauze. I don't think that ironing with starch is going to solve any problems. That is a beautiful shirt and was just made for white collar and cuffs.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Once again, BEAUTIFUL work, Peter! Just beautiful!
    --Erik

    ReplyDelete
  13. I made a summer robe last year with a U.S. brand of cotton double gauze and found it very ravelly and shifty. This year, I made a tunic and a princess seamed blouse (complete with button holes) with Nani Iro Japanese cotton gauze. Night and day difference. The Japanese fabric was a joy to sew and hardly ravelled or shifted; even used a size 80 Universal needle. The only thing was that one of them is a gorgeous bold blue so I hung it to dry after going through the wash. The next time I wore it, it was too big on me! After that, I put it in the dryer (comes out with hardly any wrinkles) and it fits properly again. So no hanging up to preserve the bright color. All the garments are super soft and comfy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I hand washed my shirt I rolled it in towels and gently squeezed out as much water as I could. I didn’t want the weight of the water to stretch or otherwise stress the fabric.

      Delete
  14. Double gauze doesn’t iron nicely upon completion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That hasn't been my experience. Maybe it depends on the individual fabric.

      Delete
  15. I have sewn crinkled single gauze only, so no separation problem. I hand washed, towel blotted, and line dried. The problem with crinkle cotton single gauze is that the crinkles are irregular and very tiny. Have not figured out how to prevent the presser foot from pushing them out of place, even when sewing vertical seams. Not really noticeable, but...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I sure wish I'd read this before I made a shirt from double-gauze just a few months ago. That starch would have curbed some of cursing. I'd sworn off working with it in the future, but armed with your advice I am ready to try it again. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails