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One of the big fashion trends right now is the semi-transparent/sheer jacket or overblouse. This is beautiful worn over a dress or a camisole.

One pattern which works well for both an overblouse and a jacket is Vogue 1165. You can eliminate most of the work by making the roll up sleeves (View B) rather than the cuff and placket version. You can use sheer fabrics such as Chiffon, Georgette and my favorite, Silk Organza.

·To sew on silk organza, you need a fine needle 60/8 or 65/9 HJ or HM, which has a sharp point. Be sure to use lighter-weight thread (such as fine silk machine embroidery) so that the seams will not be bulky.

·As far as interfacing goes, you want to use self fabric, such as another piece of organza to maintain the fabric’s transparency.

·For the lightest weight invisible hems, read the blog post called, Sheer Magic, written by one of my most talented students, Billie Burk.

·Since Machine-washing and machine-drying softens organza slightly, preshrink only if you want to change the hand. Fabric does not shrink so you can use it as is. Dry-clean finished garment.

For more great tips on working with Silk Organza and many other types of fabrics, refer to More Fabric Savvy, check out my Fabric Photo Dictionary and enroll in the Power Sewing WebTV Show where you will learn tips and techniques that will take your sewing skills to the next level!

Let us know: What’s your favorite sheer fabric?

Sandra Betzina is the host of the Power Sewing WebTV Show and designs a full line of patterns for Vogue under the Today’s Fit Tab.

Sandra has also produced a skill series of 11 DVDs and is the author of: More Fabric Savvy, Fast Fit and Power Sewing Step-by-Step. Her new book, Power Sewing Toolbox: Tips & Techniques Not Found in Pattern Instructions will be released in October, 2010.

For more information about Sandra Betzina and Power Sewing visit www.powersewing.com.


  • Missing

    Apr 26, 2013, 08.16 PMby EyeSumm

    hi, where can I find this kind of sheer material?

  • 3a3428ec3922d929aaa557062b6f59b8ce3598e3_large

    May 25, 2010, 12.01 PMby sewverytall

    Hmmm…the paragraph with the link to Sheer Magic was something I was particularly interested in reading, to see if she does sheer hems the same way I do them. Above Sandra states that it’s about sheer hems, but unfortunately, it only talks about french seams, not hems. I have found that washaway stablizer and tissue paper can really help in working with sheers.

  • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

    May 12, 2010, 08.21 PMby wzrdreams

    Any info on the other garments pictured above? I adore that shear racerback tank.

  • Chillies_large

    May 12, 2010, 04.37 PMby mspickle

    Check out this .pdf for tips: http://www.ca.uky.edu/HES/fcs/FACTSHTS/CT-MMB-179.pdf

  • C94b10e754a19be626dd3ae051241a7e18f9a7d8_large

    May 12, 2010, 02.26 PMby jj1

    Cut fabric with tissue paper ( the one that uses in gift box), fabric on top.

  • Missing

    May 12, 2010, 01.30 PMby lollygirl

    Rotary baby, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane while working with these fabrics.

  • Missing

    May 12, 2010, 01.22 PMby engk916

    i put tracing paper under the fabric and pin through all layers to keep the fabric stable while i cut.

  • Img_3334_large

    May 12, 2010, 12.59 PMby Jodi Wade

    I am making a dress out of Georgette at the moment. Any tips on how to cut the fabric without it moving around ridiculously? What I cut out barely resembles my pattern pieces…

  • Missing

    May 12, 2010, 11.20 AMby gzofian

    Any tips on cutting out when the sheer slips and slides all over the table and then piecing when the same happens?

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      May 14, 2010, 04.55 PMby hermelina

      I tried a pice of fleece under something slippery and that worked.

    • This is a question
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