There it was, just dumped on the floor with everyone treading all over it. I thought ‘what a waste!’, so I asked if I could have it and the technician said yes. This rarely happens now, as the college reuses unwanted fabrics or ensures that they are recycled properly. I guess this was one of those times where graduating students were told to remove all their items before leaving, but some evidently preferred to let others clean up after them…
Anyway, someone’s rubbish is someone else’s treasure, and what a treasure it was! This translucent nylon fabric is so light, it feels like the tissue paper used for wrapping presents. It beckoned me to turn it into something wonderful and I did!
I have seen similar garments made out of sheer materials and have always marvelled at the workmanship involved, as you cannot hide any mistakes inside. I decided to test my sewing skills by making a sheer French work jacket.
The cutting went fine as, unlike chiffon, this fabric is stable and doesn’t have a bias stretch. Once everything was cut up, the sewing began. So did all the problems! I realise now why no one wanted this fabric. If you get the thread tension wrong, it puckers very easily. When you start sewing, sometimes the thread doesn’t catch and you end up with sections where there is no stitching. I got around this by overlaying a thin piece of paper and this worked well (although it was painstakingly slow…)
The next problem was the ironing. As this is a synthetic fabric, I had to put the iron on the lowest setting but had to check that each crease stayed as I ironed it. Any increase in temperature will cause the fabric to turn yellow and shrivel up.
After spending three times as long as I would usually take to sew this style of jacket with normal fabric, I finally sewed in the buttons. By this point I was extremely tired and the only solace was that my new sewing machine made my life much easier.
And there you go! A jacket so sheer and light that it almost feels like you aren’t wearing anything.