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quick tip // use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabrics

Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Before we kick off the Rowan bodysuit and tee sewalong in a few days time, i thought it would be good to do a little primer, with one of my all time favourite sewing tips.

Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

I love little sewing tricks and this is one that my Granny taught me when I was a teenager and close to crying about not being able to sew chiffon without my machine tearing it up.

Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary
Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary
Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary
Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary
Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been in that situation. Ever sewn with a delicate fabric that keeps slipping as you sew or worse is being pulled down into the plate and being eaten up as you sew? Tissue paper is the solution!

Simply place a layer of tissue paper under your fabric as you sew, that is between the fabric and feed dogs/plate. This will help stabilize it and give the feed dogs something a little more solid to grab onto. Once you’re done with your sewing you can just carefully rip the tissue paper away. This is my favourite trick for sewing with super delicate fabrics like chiffon or crepe de chine. Works every time and removes a lot of headaches. It’s also very helpful when sewing slippery knits with small seam allowances and will be a huge help when sewing V neckline option on the Rowan tee/bodysuit pattern.

Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

But there are even more uses for tissue paper even before you reach the sewing stage. If you’re having trouble cutting slippery delicate fabrics (they have a tendency to slip right out of the fabric sheers), then place tissue paper under the fabric and pin them together before you cut. This will help you maintain an accurate cut and remove a lot of headaches for you!

The even better news is that it’s actually pretty easy to get your hands on a nice stash of tissue paper. I have actually never bought any for sewing, because it’s included in wayyyy more pretty packaging than you’ve probably noticed. I have a drawer full of it, and pull it out any time i need to sew something slippery.

Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Start saving up all that tissue paper that people stuff in gift bags or wrap your purchases in, and hoard it like a crazy person, because it’s going to be your best friend when sewing with delicate fabrics.

Any questions or ideas for other ways to use tissue paper when you’re sewing? Let me know in the comments!

Quick sewing tip! How to use tissue paper to stabilize delicate fabric and knits when sewing // Rowan tee and bodysuit tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Don’t have the Rowan sewing pattern yet?! Order Rowan today! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNrowan and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

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About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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artcoopsville
artcoopsville
4 years ago

I use tissue for tracing patterns onto. I’ve also used it to stabilise knitted fabric when sewing button holes.

Linda Hinds
4 years ago

thanks, you’re a lifesaver! I was struggling with some slippery jersey the other day and was ready to give up, I’ll go and give it another try now with some tissue paper :-)

Lyda McPherson
4 years ago

Thank you. I’m was prepping to sew an outfit for a summer wedding complete with a light, flowy scarf. This is just what I need.

cat
cat
4 years ago

A god send Ms. Megan!

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[…] Fold the V neck band [9] in half with right sides facing each other. Using a straight stitch, sew ¼” (0.6cm) from the raw edge along the inverted V. My favourite trick at this stage is to place some tissue paper behind the fabric as you sew. It helps when working with narrow seam allowances and slippery fabrics by giving the feed dogs something stable to grip to. Check out this post for more on sewing with tissue paper. […]

Beky
4 years ago

Thank you, great tip. LOL Wish I had known this when I was dealing with Chiffon a couple of months ago.

Laicie
Laicie
3 years ago

How do i remove the tissue paper if some of it is still sewn into the fabric?

Laura Wood
Laura Wood
1 year ago

Where can I find tissue paper wide enough for a midi skirt pattern to stabilize chiffon?

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[…] Tissue paper: used for a trick when sewing those nasty, nasty knit fabrics. I won’t be explaining the trick here, but here’s an article teaching you how to do it. […]