Sewing with boucle can be daunting but if you follow some simple steps it should be a lovely fabric to sew with. I recently made a new pinafore-style dress using boucle fabric and some velvet piping trim.
Pinafore Style Dress
Boucle fabric is not usually used for sewing into dresses and pinafores and generally used in coats and jackets. But I wanted to experiment and see how it would look in a maxi-style pinafore dress. As it was a thicker fabric, I thought it would make a perfect winter dress. To add a touch of contrast I also wanted to add some velvet piping trim in a dusky pink shade. I did also toy with the idea of using black velvet piping instead, but in the end, opted for pink as it was just a little softer and complimented the shade of the boucle fabric.
I was envisaging myself wearing a winter-style pinafore dress with tights and boots and a fine knit sweater layered underneath, walking through the snow on a winter’s day! All cosy in my boucle fabric pinafore dress! Not that we get much snow here in England. I do like to romanticise things and it’s also how my ideas appear in my head which then turn into sewing pattern designs!
So What Is Boucle Fabric?
The word Bouclé refers to a type of knotted, irregular yarn and also to the knitted or woven fabrics made from it.
Bouclé fabrics are usually made from wool or cotton, and often have multiple colours or shades combined in the weave.
The nature of the fabric is generally loose and open weave in structure which is used to accentuate the features of the yarn.
Where Does The Word Boucle Come From?
Boucle is from the french word boucler, which means ‘to curl’.
This is one of the ways to identify boucle because of the curly, course-like appearance of the fabric.
It is a more heavyweight fabric and usually somewhere between the softness of a woollen fleece and the natural texture of marled linen.
Does Boucle Fabric Fray?
Because of the open weave nature of the fabric, boucle can fray as soon as you cut into it. So it is important to handle the fabric with care and use some sort of neatening method on the seam allowances to prevent further fraying whilst wearing it.
Luckily for me, the boucle I chose was of a much tighter weave and I didn’t have too much of an issue with the boucle fraying. I did also plan to line the bodice of my pinafore to enclose any of the raw edges and to help with prolonging the life of the garment.
Bouclé definitely needs to be lined and will fray badly when cut. Keep in mind while selecting your fabric what sort of end result you’re looking for.
I am so pleased with how my boucle pinafore dress has turned out! Yes, it’s definitely on the heavier side as far as fabric is concerned, but not overly heavy and the pinafore doesn’t feel bulky either. It is so warm to wear and I feel super cosy when I wear it. Luckily for me, I chose the tighter weave boucle, so I didn’t have any fraying issues! Although I did handle it with care whilst I was sewing my pinafore dress, I also overlocked all the raw edges too. The bodice part of the pinafore dress was also lined so all raw edges were neatly and safely enclosed.
Would I Recommend Sewing With Boucle Fabric?
Yes definitely, just choose your fabric carefully and keep in mind while selecting your fabric what sort of end result you’re looking for. I was prepared to experiment with mine and had no idea if my design would work with such a heavy-weight fabric! But that’s all part of the fun in dressmaking for me! Adding the velvet piping trim between the gathered tiers of the skirt was a little tricky due to the bulk of all the layers, but it worked out really well in the end!
How To Sew With Boucle Fabric?
- Use a walking foot on the sewing machine.
- Adjust your sewing machine stitch length to 2mm or 12 stitches per inch.
- Use a slightly different needle in your machine such as size 70/10 -90/14.
- You can use most threads like cotton, polyester, or a blend of them.
- You may need to tack your pieces together before sewing as sometimes pins are not enough, as the fabric can move around quite a bit.
- Iron your boucle fabric with care, using a cooler setting and even a pressing cloth to protect the fibres.
- Take your time and ensure you overlock all the raw edges or line your garment.
My Boucle And Velvet Piping Pinafore!
I love how the velvet piping has just made the pinafore ‘pop’ with colour. The contrast detail is perfect. I also think my pink linen floral blouse goes perfectly with the pinafore!
My pink crochet shoulder snug makes the perfect warm accessory! You can get the PDF pattern for this if you fancy making one here!
I am wearing The Fleur Pinafore here and there is also a pinafore sewing pattern that is ideal for beginner sewists too! The Poppy Pinafore is so versatile and can be made in any length that suits you. Get the pattern here!
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