The temperatures have dropped and we are officially in Fall. After sweltering summer days with high humidity I welcome these cooler temperatures. It is a perfect time to transition my wardrobe into warm and cozy wear.
As a Brand Ambassador with of Shannon fabrics, I have generous stash of textiles from them. Over the next few months, I will be using them up and showing them here and on Instagram.
The Sydney Luxe Cuddle is a bold dense fabric with a textural stripe throughout. I love the bold Mango color which pops adding brightness to a gloomy day.
I thought it would pair well with McCalls 8347 for a statement poncho.
Sewing Luxe Cuddle fabrics requires a few specialized tools and tips for success. All of them are completely achievable with your domestic machine. Here are a few considerations to aid your success.
Control the Fluff
I eliminate excessive lint and fluff in my sewing space when using these fabrics by cutting it with a sewing scalpel. Work from the backside of the fabric. Trace the pattern pieces and markings on the backing.
Use the sewing scalpel to gently cut through the backing only. Do not go all the way through the fabric to cut the fibers. This prevents blunting of the fibers, but also it reduces the lint and fuzz produced.
Aggressively Secure the Fabric
The fabric can feel slick and slippery to the touch and can shift while sewing. Secure the fabrics with pins
or fabric clips.
Use a #90/14 Topstitch needle and polyester thread
The needle penetrates the dense fibers and the synthetic thread secures the seams unlike a natural fiber thread which may break with wear.
Use a walking foot and if possible, a serger
My Baby Lock Altair has a digital dual feed walking foot. It makes it easy to achieve consistent stitches on difficult fabric and multiple, thick layers. It worked a treat on this fabric.
I choose to finish the edges of the seams using my Baby Lock Accolade. Serging the seams significantly reduced the bulk and helped them lay flatter.
Fluff those Seams with a Stiletto
When sewn, the fibers are tucked into the seams . Rub the tool along the seam to fluff the fibers and mask the seam.
My plan was to sew the poncho in view A exactly as shown on the cover. As it was coming together however, I had to change my plans in a few ways.
By the looks of the illustration, I assumed the collar top would end under my chin and button closed. It does not! It is woefully oversized and there is no way I could button it up as pictured.
Rather than recut and shorten the collar by half. I adjusted how I installed the facing so the stand collar could function as an open collar. Once I made that change, I decided to forgo the buttonholes and add a hand sewn snap buckle closure instead. It served to add a little dimension and improve the functionality of the neck opening.
The density of this fabric made using a belt unwieldy. It was not flattering to belt all of that bulk around my midsection. Instead, I opted to sew the sides closed from the position of the buttonholes to the bottom of the poncho.
I decided to cut the back on the fold to reduce the need for a seam there.
With the changes I made I love my finished poncho. I paired it with my DOPE pouch from my book Represent! Embroidery.