Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Machine work

We do a lot of hand-sewing around here, but sometimes it's all about patient machine work.  For this small shade, we bound two layers of green sheer linen with 1 5/8" twill tape on 4 sides.

This ripply self-lined linen was a little hard to handle.  First the twill tape was secured with a narrow strip of fusible interfacing tape.  The fusible stuff penetrated both fabric layers, serving as basting.  Then it was folded and pressed and top-stitched, with the corners mitered.

For this lacy unlined cotton, I wasn't sure I would do a good job matching the pattern using a French seam.  So I sewed right sides together, and felled the seam.

Pressed to the side, the felled seam is very cool.  This really beautiful fabric is about to become a softly gathered London shade valance.

More about French seams here.

Some may disagree with me, but for sheers, especially stretch panels, when the budget does not allow for hand-sewing, I prefer the blind hem of a regular household machine to that of a blindhemming machine.  I think the blindhemmer makes a stitch that looks too commercial and also distorts the fabric if the tension is not just right.  Say what you like, I happen to like the domestic machine blind hem.  I love those little V-stitches all in a row.  I love that it looks like a person made this using a machine, not a factory.

Patient topstitching creates precise headers and pockets to complete these sheer linen stretch panels.  The fabric was cut by pulling threads to be sure it was cut perfectly on-grain, in both directions.

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