Suggestion which method to take for sewing with old Cotton

Started by posaune, May 01, 2024, 05:12:07 AM

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Hi all of you, this week I have to sew a pants for a friend of mine. She wants a summerpants (wide legs and elastic waistband) but cut from a very liked bed cloth. The pattern of the cloth is very lively. But the fabric is very tired and weak, and often washed. I could rip it very easily. Now my question: which kind of seam could I use to give some stability?
Lg posaune


The most stressed seam will be the seat seam I think. Maybe its the best to keep it flexible by using a shallow zig zag? Maybe with an additional bias strip?
Not sure either.


hmm...seems you have a fun project :P
I think you may have to experiment.  A few ideas:

You could line the entire pant in a light weight muslin to reduce stress on fabric
You could do a fusible interfacing at edges where you will be seaming or some type of tape as Peterle suggested.  For example 5/8" strip for 1/2" seam allowance.
You could also do a fusible interfacing at weak spots to give it stability or if you have time and there's not too many you could hand sew reinforcements behind the weak areas- similar to repairs in denim and work clothing.

I think the strongest seam would be a felled seam with single or double needle or a french seam, but if the fabric is very weak or loose I'm not sure if you will be able to sew over it that many times.

If the fabric is really weak all over you could consider block fusing it, but you would need to find a quality very light so it doesn't get too structured and also make sure it won't "bubble" with washing.


I was recently gifted some old bedsheets to make toiles from. The cloth doesn't machine well. As you say, it isn't strong either and probably never was, even before all the washes (the weave is too loose).

In my case it doesn't matter, because I use the sheets for test garments, but the neatest results are to be had from overlocking (which also has some flexibility).

The seat seam, though? Overlocking probably wouldn't hold up. Perhaps if the seam was reinforce with stay tape too? (and possibly an additional line of machine stitching along the tape?) I stay the shoulders of T-shirts when overlocking them and it does work.

Bifurcator's idea of fully lining the pants would be a good way to go. Let the lining take the stresses.


Hi Posaune, for a next project like this:

-cut all parts in the vintage fabric

-find a lightweight cotton lining (I use a cotton poplin from a wholesaler that costs abt. 3,50 euro per metre that I also use as lightweight pocketing...)

-spray the cut parts in the printed fabric on the wrong side and press them onto the pocketing fabric and press dry

-cut out roughly and turn around

-now fine-cut the two layers and overlock them

-make up the garment

-after finishing rise it, dry it and iron

Cheers, Hendrick


Maybe put a piece of paper under it when sewing. Weak paper that will tear easy for removal. (I was thinking that going through the sew machine might cause problems.)


Wouldn't it be better to not make extra strong seams? Like sewing an exceptionally fine woolen. (Not that I've EVER done this.) With the super expensive woolens, it's my understanding that because the fabric is so delicate, seams are sewn to allow thread to break/seam to fail rather than have a super strong seam that will cause the fabric itself to tear - a more difficult, if not impossible repair.

This actually sounds like some sashiko stitching could be interesting.