Guest post | Amy Butler

by Admin on 11/08/2011

in Guest Blogger, Sewing+Fabric

I want to give Amy Butler a warm welcome to Amy is on a bit of a tour showcasing her new line of fashion fabrics. Today Amy gives us some hints and tips about sewing with Rayon and Corduroy.

A big thank you to Kathreen for letting me swing by and share some of my favorite Rayon and Corduroy sewing tips. I know working with new fabric substrates can sometimes be intimidating but with these simple hints you will have no problem getting started on a new project!


  1. It is always best to use a needle made for fabrics that stretch, something like a 75/11 needle will work great. I also recommend a polyester thread or a poly/cotton blend for your projects.
  2. When sewing with Rayon (or any stretchy fabrics) make sure the fabric does not drape over the side of your table when cutting or sewing. Your fabric will stretch and it may alter your pattern pieces or seams.
  3. Pre-wash your fabrics and press them before you start cutting. The general rule for washing rayon is machine wash warm water, normal cycle with like colors. Use only non-chlorine bleach. Tumble dry low, remove promptly to prevent wrinkles, use a warm iron if necessary. For pressing you should always press on the WRONG side of the fabric, if you must press the outside be sure to use a pressing cloth to protect your fabrics. Since everyone’s washers, dryers and irons are different I highly recommend you use a test piece of fabric before washing your full yardage.
  4. Choose the right pattern when working with Rayon Challis, it is an extremely versatile fabric and can be used for many different sewing and craft projects but some will turn out better than others. Rayon Challis has a soft drape that is perfect for dresses, skirts, blouses and other garments. Projects that have a lot of intricate details and tailoring are often better suited to other fabrics.
  5. You can use interfacing with your fabrics, it will make certain areas of your project look more finished, stronger and easier to sew. When choosing an interfacing select a weight similar to the weight of your fabric and either a sew-in or iron-on will work fine. If you use an iron-on interfacing it is best to apply a small piece to your fabric before using it to make your project.


  1. Since my Corduroy is a fine wale I recommend using a smaller needle – something like a 70/10 would be a good size. Cotton or polyester threads (or a cotton/poly blend) will work well when sewing Corduroy.
  2. As with all fabrics it is best to pre-wash your fabrics before sewing. The general rule for washing Corduroy is to wash in warm water, normal cycle with like colors. Use only non-chlorine bleach. Tumble dry on a low setting, remove promptly or line dry. Use a warm iron and press on the WRONG side if necessary. It is always a good idea to test your washer and dryer settings on a smaller, test piece of fabric before washing your full yardage.
  3. Corduroy fabrics have a nap, when sewing with this type of fabric you want to make sure you lay out your pattern pieces so the nap is always going in the same direction.
  4. Using a pressing cloth when ironing or ironing on the WRONG side of the fabric can help prevent crushing the nap.
  5. Choosing the right pattern for your Corduroy prints is important. Again, this is a very versatile fabric so it can be used for many different sewing and craft projects. Corduroy is great for structured garments, bags, children’s toys and much more.

I hope these tips help you get started on your sewing adventures with these new substrates. Be sure to stop by the Sew Mama Sew to get more info about my new fabrics and a free pattern! Thanks again to Kathreen for joining the tour!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Lisa August 12, 2011 at 10:41 am

I’m a fan of corduroy – love these prints and suggestions!


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