Sewing with Double Gauze
Blogger: Deanna Mackin
Sewing with Double Gauze
Have you ever wanted to try sewing with double gauze but didn’t know where to start? Today’s blog includes simple tips and tricks for sewing with this unique fabric base. Double gauze is a lightweight, woven fabric that is airy, breathable, soft and flowy. It consists of two thin layers of cotton gauze tacked together and once washed and dried it offers a nice, crinkled texture. It is a wonderful fabric choice for spring and summer dresses and outfits. With a little extra care, double gauze can be used for most patterns that call for lightweight woven fabrics. Here are a few tips for successfully working with double gauze.
- Serge or zig zag all raw edges around the perimeter of the fabric before pre-washing and drying to prevent fraying.
- Always pre-wash and dry fabric before sewing. Double gauze can have significant shrinkage and the texture can change quite drastically after being laundered. It is recommended to wash the fabric in cold water and tumble dry with low heat.
- Before cutting, iron the fabric using a lot of steam- this will allow for easier cutting. Once the garment is complete, spray with water and put in the dryer on low to bring back the crinkled texture.
- Sew a “stay stitch” onto single layers of fabric around all curved pieces (main and lining) before starting to construct the garment. A stay stitch is a shorter straight stitch sewn 1/4” to 3/8" (0.6-1 cm) away from the raw edge. It will stabilize curved seams like necklines, armscyes, and leg openings to prevent stretching and distorting when sewing.
- Before sewing pieces together, serge or use a zig zag stitch on all straight, raw edges of the pattern pieces including bodice or top side edges, shoulders, skirt and ruffle edges. This will stabilize the seams and prevent fraying.
- For skirt and skirt ruffle pieces, serge or use a zig zag stitch on long, raw edges along the top and bottom of the pieces before sewing the gathering stitches. This will prevent the double gauze from fraying significantly during the gathering process.
- Consider using the French seam method for visible seams like unlined bodice seams or skirt and skirt ruffle seams. For more about sewing a French seam, refer to this short video tutorial. How to Sew a French Seam – Little Lizard King
- Lightweight interfacing, no heavier than the double gauze itself, should be used on straps to prevent stretching when the garment is worn. Interfacing should also be applied to button and snap plackets.
- Be careful with pins as double gauze can snag easily. Use fine pins and keep them inside the seam allowance when possible.
- Double-sided hem tape can be used to secure layers together before sewing. This will offer structure to the seam and prevent shifting and sliding of layers when sewing. It can also be useful when hemming to omit the need for pins.
- Use a needle designed for lightweight fabric.
- A walking foot is not required but can be helpful for evenly feeding fabric through when sewing.
Although double gauze will work well for many patterns, there are several tried and true favorites that sew up beautifully with this fabric base including the Isla Dress and Romper, Brunswick Dress, Barcelona Dress and Top, Napoli Dress and Top, Cannes Dress and Top, Stardust Nightgown, Glastonbury Skirt, the new Tulum Pants and Shorts, and the patterns featured in this blog- the Astoria Baby Playsuit and the Byron Bay Skirt and Top.