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Topic: beaded Sari (Saree) fabric - can you machine sew it?  (Read 2152 times)
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« on: April 22, 2011 06:04:44 PM »

I keep my eyes open for free stuff in my area and I hit the jackpot again.

I received a whole lawn leaf bag full of new Sari fabric.

Half of it is silk and half sheer fabric.

(the lilac fabric is sheer)

Most of it is heavily beaded at the edges or one end.

Just a few shown below, but I received about 35 different pieces.

They are at least 6 yards long.

I would like to make some simple wispy summer tops.

Thanks for the expert advice on sewing Sari fabric with a machine.   Definitely going to crush the beads to avoid breaking the thread.  I can't wait to make a hankerchief-hem tank top (maybe several) 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011 04:27:46 AM by money2burn » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2011 04:51:58 PM »

I've stitch up the ends for my mother in law - she wears saris exclusively when out and about. Sari fabric is traditionally 6 yards long plus another almost yard for the blouse piece if that's provided. 4 yards is not usual from my experience. Plus that type of fabric - heavily beaded or sequined - is commonly used in shalwaars in Sri Lanka, and I've got a buttload of those that I sewed, so yeah, I've got some experience with that kind of fabric.

It can be sewn by machine, but you can't just zip zip zip when you're sewing over the beaded areas - you need to go slow and carefully or you could end up with a broken needle. If it's ALL beading in an area you need to sew over, then I would be inclined to sew by hand. Be aware that it may sort of bubble - the beading will cause the fabric to behave differently and pull due to the feeddogs and sewing foot. From that sense, sewing by hand may be easier.

If you can, I would suggest that your seams, as much as possible, avoid heavily beaded areas. Sequins and embroidery aren't as much of a problem since the machine needle can usually get through those easily enough. I'd go so far as to say that I would remove beads along the seam path, honestly.

For what you have in mind, this could be a pain in the butt. Good luck. Smiley

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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2011 04:54:59 PM »

I should mention that, when shalwaar fabric (you can buy kits that include the fabric for a blouse, pants, and shawl) is beaded, the beading usually forms a specific pattern that allows for sewing in non-beaded areas, so it's less painful to work with than what you're dealing with. The patterns will usually form a neckline area or the beading will be for sleeves or for the body of the shalwaar, but there are specific boundaries/shapes to the beading that clearly indicate where it's to be used, if that makes sense.

« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011 04:59:51 PM »

Also to add to what LMAshton said...if you must sew over a beaded part, I've read that you should remove the beads that will fall within the seam.  That way you get a flat seam and won't have to worry about broken needles.  It's slightly more time spent than just machine sewing it as is, and quite a bit less time spent hand sewing it all.  Good luck!

« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011 02:07:58 PM »

I sewed over the sequins and it crushes them and makes them go white where theyre bent out of shape, not sure about beads though. No damage to the needle.
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011 01:03:01 PM »

One tip about removing the beads...take some needle-nose pliers and crush the beads.  That way you are not cutting the thread that is holding them on and running the risk of losing a whole string of beads.

Don't call it trash...I can make something with it!!!
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