Sewing with Voile

I couldn’t resist the siren calls of Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Voile.  The prints all arrived and the solids are on their way.  This is how happy I was when it got here!  Seriously so excited!!!

Made with Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks Voile

(Back it up!  Back it up!  What is Voile?  It’s a light weight woven fabric (this is 100 % cotton) that is has a wonderful drape (hangs nicely) and gathers particularly well.  For this reason, it is used often in garments (such as dresses, blouses and skirts) and also curtains.  The term apparently comes from old French and means veil. (Which is derived from latin and means covering.)  The fabric is lightweight and a bit shimery and silky.  The lighter prints are somewhat transparent, so you’ll want to layer them with another fabric (such as the solid colors, once they arrive) underneath if you’re using them for garment construction.  You don’t need to do this with the darker prints, unless you want to!)

It’s true that I have a LOT to get done before Christmas – but I knew I had to test this out.  So I made myself a shirt.  I used Jennifer Paganelli‘s (Sis Boom) Meaghan Peasant pattern – but I modified it by extending the shirt top, rather than attaching a “skirt” portion at the bust line.  Hmmm – I should have taken pictures.  Anyway, I liked the pattern – so I’ll probably make it again and then I can take some pics.  I wore the shirt tonight and it was comfortable!  Oh, and the print is called  Baby Bouquet in the Meadow colorway.

What I really wanted to tell you about was sewing with the voile.  It really is so buttery soft.  I know that because this is a new substrate (Anna Maria used this term often at quilt market – so I had to throw it in there.  And by the way, Anna is not the only one introducing new substrates to the US fabric/quilting companies….more on that later!) many of you are questioning if you will be able to use it.  What changes will you need to make?  Will you need special presser feet or other tools?  For this shirt, the only change I made was to shorten my stitch length.  I started out with my machine’s normal length (which is 2.5) and felt the fabric just slipped around a little too much.  So I took the stitch down to a 2.0.  For me, this was the only change I made….well other than pinning well.  And I suppose you should always pin – I just get lazy or in a hurry or something.

I will continue to work with this and let you know any trick and tips I come up with.  I’m going to work with it on my serger as well as shirring to see what other adjustments (if any) need to be made.  And if you’re ready to take the plunge and start working with voile yourself, use the code LITTLE for 20% off the voiles in my store for the next week.

All for now – but much more voile talk coming your way!

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13 Responses to “Sewing with Voile”


  1. 1 SarahB December 12, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Oh goodness. I think this fabric may be the final push to get me to sew a shirt for myself! Love yours!

    • 2 Melanie December 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm

      That is the same with me. I’ve made clothing for myself before – and for shirts I just find the typical cotton restricting and uncomforable. I suppose it’s b/c I’m used to wearing knits most of the time – I rarely wear nice button up type shirts. Anyway, I wore this shirt last night and to church today, and haven’t felt restricted at all. Love it!

  2. 3 craftapple December 13, 2009 at 1:19 am

    I have that pattern too! My plan is to make it in the new year. Very cute shirt!

    • 4 Melanie December 13, 2009 at 3:09 pm

      Yeah, I decided to get it b/c Anna’s dress was so cute. But then I thought, when am I really gonna wear a dress. I can wear one to church on Sundays – but people will think I’m pathetic if I wear the same dress each week. Long story to say – I thought I’d wear a shirt more often 🙂 SO then I made the changes I wanted and got started. You’re so tiny, it might not matter – but I thought the elastic measurments were a little too short. I added 1.5 inches to the sleeve elastic measurment – and I’m so glad I did. Anna also said the elastic was a bit too tight on her to be really comfortable. Just something to keep in mind when you start your project 🙂

  3. 5 michelle December 13, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Very cute! P.S. You look fantastic…have you been working out?

    • 6 Melanie December 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks! Yea, remember me telling you that I weighed what I did when I was pregnant with my 3rd child….who is now 3? Um – think it’s no longer baby weight at that point. SO I’ve been very mindful of my calories (pain in the butt) and also really getting way more physical activity (even when I’m too busy) and obviously it’s paying off. Still not to my starting point…but also not as fat anymore. 🙂

  4. 7 Aunt Marie December 13, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Sure proud of you, Mel! The new blouse is cute and YOU are cuter! Love ya lots!

  5. 8 colour du jour December 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Oh, how I wish I some room in my open-to-buy. OTB — room on my fabric shelf to buy some more.

    I have sewn voile, back in the 70’s. The old is new again–it made lovely peasant blouses back then and I’m seeing more & more “peasant syle looks” now.

    Because of the loose weave it will be prone to stretching. A couple of tips: careful handling with any cuts on the bias especially with garmets, stay-stitch (1/8th inside seam allowance, a single layer like the neckline or waistline.

    Also during the cutting process, have all of the yardage supported on a table or chair, not letting the weight of the voile hang over the edge causing it to stretch.

  6. 10 colour du jour December 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Forgot to say I really like your blouse and it cooks sweet on you!

  7. 11 Atia January 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    lovely job on the blouse, and thanks for the tips on working with the voile. That 20% discount is really tempting too!

  8. 12 jenny fish February 5, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I just comment on this shirt on your next post. I am sleep deprived!

  9. 13 flytte tilbage til danmark July 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    My brother recommended I might like this website.
    He was totally right. This post actually made my
    day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!
    Thanks!


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