Double gauze is perfect for an easy-breezy no-fuss summer top. One last summer make for me, and considering the heat index in St Louis is in the 100s this week, it will definitely be getting some wear!
Double gauze fabric is created when two thin layers of gauze are tacked together at regular intervals which gives the fabric a nice puckered finish and lots of body.
I did not have experience sewing with double gauze and was looking forward to learning some tricks that I could pass on. Although it is not as straightforward as sewing with a plain weave cotton, it is worth it for its airy comfort on those hot sticky days. And because of its textured finish, an uneven stitch here or there is not noticeable.
For other pattern ideas, check out this article in Threads magazine.
Double gauze sewing tips:
Pretreating: Machine wash. Dry flat or hang dry before cutting.
Use flat-felled, french or serged seams.
Bias tape works well, be extra careful to catch both layers when turning and sewing edges.
Hems should always be turned under or serge the edges to keep from fraying.
Steam away those wavy seams!
The double gauze we have in the shop seems more tightly woven than what you may be used to seeing. It also has a really beautiful texture which is even more pronounced if the fabric is machine dried.
However, the machine drying also really pulls in the fabric, so you will want to dry flat or hang dry before cutting out your pattern. Otherwise, the item will "grow" as the fabric relaxes when wearing and you could end up with a garment much larger than expected. That's what happened with the Kabuti tee i made. For the Shirt no 1, pictured above, I dried flat and it was much more stable.
If machine dried, the fabric in the shop shrinks about 10% in width and 15% in length. If dried flat or hung to dry, shrinkage is about half that (5% width, 7% length).
Double gauze has a loose weave, so it is important to secure your seams to keep from fraying. Flat felled seams are perfect; I also used french seams on my Shirt no 1 and they worked fine.
Bias Tape Finish
I wasn't sure about using bias tape for the neckline, but it worked beautifully. Be careful to sew close to the edge of the fold to catch both layers when securing the tape.
Due to fraying, sew a turned under hem or serge before hemming. I found that sewing a smaller (3/8") hem made it easier to get a consistent hem width. However, this fabric is so forgiving that even if your hem width varies somewhat, the fabric texture disguises it. Especially once steamed...
Steam, steam, steam!
Steam is your best pal when sewing with double gauze. Press all your seams as you go, and then give them a good shot of steam, hovering over the fabric, to bring out that beautiful texture and smooth out any waviness.
Have you sewn with double gauze? Please share your tips and tricks!