Colette

Sewing with seersucker

25

chevron dress

Yesterday, I wore this dress. I made it a few years ago; this is actually a terrible photo of me in it from 2007, hence the short hair. I don’t really wear it much because I prefer brown in small doses. But pulling it on made me realize that I really really need to sew with seersucker more often.

The striped fabric for this dress was cut on the bias, and the stripes were then matched at the center seams to form chevrons, which are quite flattering. Chevrons that point upward also have the advantage of drawing the eye toward the face, which is always nice. And the bias cut eliminates any need for closures (other than that top button at the neck, of course).

But what really makes this dress shine is the seersucker fabric. It is so comfortable, light, and airy. The slight sponginess of the fabric makes it incredibly comfortable, and the cotton makes it easy to wear and easy to clean. Not only that, but the natural wrinkles make it a good choice for travel (though it still may need a steaming from time to time). What could be more perfect for summer?

Seersucker is a light cotton fabric woven in such a way that crinkles develop throughout. It’s often made in stripes and plaids, but all sorts of patterns exist. Originating in western India, it became popular more recently during Britain’s colonial period. In the US, it is often associated with southern menswear due to its popularity in the hot and humid summers there. In fact, I just learned that the US Senate actually holds an event called Seersucker Thursday in June, in which seantors don the light fabric.

So, in honor of my renewed love for seersucker, I thought I’d share some lovely fabric choices with you all.

These traditional seersuckers above are from Denver Fabrics and are all under $5 a yard.

This vintage transportation themed print is adorable.

Lovely sailboats in a fresh print.

A very springtimey floral.

This pretty Japanese seersucker is on sale and comes in a couple colorways.

The seller of this fun print says that it is travel themed, but to me it appears to be traffic cop themed. Weird, but cute.

Sewing tips

Generally, seersucker is pretty easy to sew and doesn’t require special treatment. Because it’s a cotton, you should certainly prewash for shrinkage.

The only really tricky part is pressing. If your fabric is a real, true seersucker, then that crinkly texture comes from the way that it is woven: threads pull in such a way that the fabric wrinkles. So even if you press a seam and it loses its texture, the crinkles will return once it’s been washed and dried.

But there may be some fabrics that are not “true” seersuckers, and have been artificially crinkled through other means. these can lose their texture when pressed, so it’s best to test this out on a swatch before you sew. To be safe, you may want to use a light touch when pressing, and just use the tip of the iron on your seams.

And last, of course I had to throw in this lovely version of Parfait in seersucker, from fanny_fatale:

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 25

Tasia sewaholic.net

Oh I love seersucker! You’re right, the natural texture makes it so easy to wear, since it’s OK to be a little wrinkled. I always picture it in navy and white stripes so it’s nice to see the cute examples you shared. The seersucker prints are adorable, especially the sailboat one!

Chedva bellysbutton.typepad.com

Thanks for sharing the tips! I just bought some seersucker and I was wondering about washing and pressing. Your dress is beautiful, as is the seersucker Parfait.

AnnetteB onpegsandneedles.blogspot.com

You make me want to go out and find some seersucker! I remember wearing it way back when – and loving it.

Melissa whenmelissawasgood.blogspot.com

Be still my heart! I LOVE seersucker. Suits, sundresses, flirty skirts… If it’s seersucker, I cannot resist.

Olga

I love your brown dress!!! I just copied your picture to my “inspiration” folder so that I can find a similar pattern or make one myself. And, I think the color looks nice on you. So, about ironing the seersucker: assuming it’s a “real one”, do you press it flat before cutting the pattern or do you just de-wrinkle it by steaming or drying in the dryer and cut as is?

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I cut it as is without ironing, maybe some steaming. Since there’s no need to iron the finished garment ever, I don’t see any need to press it flat before cutting… plus, I think you’d get more accuracy if the fabric is in the state it will be when worn.

Thanks for saying the color looks nice on me. I’ll probably get into brown in the fall. :)

angie.a jemimabean.blogspot.com

haha, I commented on the wrong post. Sheesh. :D Trying again… What’s the difference between seersucker & plisse? (note I’ve done absolutely no research on this fact before I asked. ha!)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Plisse is the name for those “faux seersucker” fabrics I mentioned that are given texture through chemicals rather than the weaving process.

I’ve often seen nylon plisse, so I suppose fabric content could be another potential difference. Seersucker is always made up of cotton.

Sara sara-sundries.blogspot.com

I love seersucker! My late grandfather were a blue/white seersucker suit to my august wedding (quite a while ago…). Nice!

Shanna hideabook.com

I just got some lovely wide striped yellow and white seersucker fabric. I love the idea of making chevrons from the stripes. Thanks for the idea, I’m so going to do that!

Casey elegantmusings.com

Seersucker is one of my favorite, warm-weather fabrics! I have lately been on the hunt for a cheery seersucker to add to my stash for a future frock. :) I love all those print seersuckers that you posted–they’re so fun!

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com

SwanDiamondRose swandiamondrose.com

i love seersucker! i want a shrunken up little jacket and maybe a dress. i’ve been looking in thrift stores. i love the striped and florals best. yey seersucker!

Rachell Reilly

Seersucker is fun! When I was in high school, my aunt was having a baby boy…my cousin. So for my next project in sewing class, I made a darling little romper out of mint green and white seersucker. Everyone at the baby shower ooohed and awwwwed at my handiwork (uh, machine-work) and the fabric.
So anyway, I agree with others that seersucker is a great fabric for all ages. Thanks for reminding us about it. I might have to get some to make my next shirt for work!

Lene

Is it possible to do the Colette dress in seersucker? Keeping my fingers crossed…

Lene

And that would be the Crepe Dress, of course…

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I think it would look lovely in seersucker!

Gail Ann Thompson

It would be wonderful, and a great service to your customers who don’t live in major metropolitan areas, if you would mention the fabric stores (such as above) where your fabric has been purchased. I live in 2 places, one near Kansas City, MO. the other near Duluth, MN, both, once upon a time had fabulous fabric stores, but now……JoAnn’s, Hancocks, or quilt shops. Sigh!!!

thepilatesbiz.com thepilatesbiz

Stacey, thanks for sticking with the blog all this time, very cool to hear from you. And I like your blog! Had to laugh at your kitschy purchases.

Liz

Thanks for the seersucker comments. I have several yards of the 60’s or 70’s versions of large plaids and a 4 year old granddaughter. Do you have some ideas to make use of this fabric with her in mind. The plaids are large with blues, peach and light green on a background of white. I would appreciate any ideas or pattern suggestions.

kai

i dont understand why you dissed on your short haircut, you look adorable in this photo!

you have such a classic, retro look, you can wear short or long hair and look fab!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Sorry, that read wrong, I’m sure… I meant the quality of the photo, not my hair! :)

Amethyst42

I did end up ironing my seersucker before sewing. It was folded on the bolt, and had a huge crease I didn’t want sewn into my garment. I just pressed lightly and used a lot of steam. The (wanted) wrinkles game back without a problem, just jetted some steam on the fabric from the iron.
My .02.

We’re sorry, comments for this post have been closed.