Sewing with Seersucker

For my springtime shirt made with McCall’s 6044, I’m using some pink seersucker fabric I picked up at Joann Fabrics, during one of their many sales.

seersucker_fabric

This fabric is challenging to me in two ways:

  • It’s a plaid, so it will require careful matching to get everything to line up nicely
  • It’s seersucker, which presents challenges in cutting, interfacing and pressing.

This is my first time sewing with seersucker, so I consulted the Great Google for advice.  Here’s a summary of what I found:

Seersucker

The care instructions on the bolt at Joann’s say you shouldn’t iron the fabric.

seersucker_care

 

Test

So I decided to test this theory. After doing a test layout to make sure I have enough fabric to cut my pieces even including plaid-matching, I cut a small (4×4 inch or 10x10cm) swatch of the fabric to test.

Here’s the fabric right after cutting and before ironing.

 

1_before_iron

Before irorning.

The puckers are noticeably flattened out after I went after the fabric with a hot iron and lots of steam.

2_after_iron

After ironing.

After laundering, lo and behold the puckers returned:

3_after_laundry

All puckery again after the wash.

Set back next to the original fabric, other than the fraying it looks like the texture is still the same:

4_compare_original

And it looks like the original, un-ironed fabric.

Interfacing

Next, I decided to try some fusible interfacing to see how that affected the seersucker.

4_interfacing_ironed

Seersucker immediately after applying the fusible interfacing.

5_interfacing_ironed

Seersucker, wrong side after ironing.

There’s still a little bit of pucker left, but by and large the seersucker is much flatter after the fusible interfacing has been applied:

6_interfacing_ironed

Seersucker, right side after ironing.

For my project, I will be using sew-in interfacing, rather than fusible, so the seersucker will retain its unique sucker-y texture. I’ve worked with sew-in interfacing previously, while making pajamas, so it isn’t all that intimidating or inconvenient to me.

Update: Some readers are wondering if seersucker has a right side and a wrong side.  Based on my experience with this sample, I think the answer is yes.  Careful inspection shows the pattern on one side of my plaid fabric to be just a little bit more vivid than the other side.  But the difference is subtle.  So I’ve selected the more vivid side as the right side, and I’ve been careful to mark the wrong sides of my pattern pieces during cutting.

In our next installment, we’ll be adjusting arm sleeves on the pattern, and maybe we’ll have a discussion on plaid matching.

3 thoughts on “Sewing with Seersucker

  1. Autumn

    I am sewing a dress using a plaid seersucker fabric and used magickal Google to help me find the best interfacing to use for the bodice. Thanks for the suggestion! I think I will try a sewing interface. The fusible disintegrated in my dryer.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *