Monday, November 29, 2010

Striping fabric with scraps

In some previous post, I wrote that I used scrap pieces of cotton to stripe fabric. I didn’t want to use fabric marker because it looked too uneven for my taste or buy ribbon because the cost would have been considerable. Now I try to explain how I made the stripes. Of course you could buy bias tape, but it doesn’t necessarily work if you’d like the width to be different from the available selection.

Depending on the base fabric, you need to cut the stripe fabric on lengthwise grain or bias; lengthwise for regular fabrics and bias for stretchy fabrics. Go through your scrap fabrics. Pick a fabric that is preferably not as thick as the base fabric. I had just the opposite and I noticed that the thicker stripes crinkled the base fabric a little. Try to find a piece to cover the length of the stripe. You can either stripe a whole fabric or already cut pieces.

Cut the fabric about three times the width you would like the stripe to be. I advice you to make some test runs with the stripes, because the width depends pretty much from your sewing habits. In my case, I made a stripe about 0.5 centimeter width and started with a piece of 1,5 centimeters width. Draw the pieces next to each other and cut them out one at a time. The larger the piece is you are handling, the easier it’s to manage. Especially the lasts pieces are hard to cut if you don’t have enough space to hold the fabric and more if it’s slippery. Use sharp-sharp scissors.

Draw lines as markings for the stripes to the base fabric. In the end the marking will probably vanish underneath the stripes, but do try that the marking pencil can easily be washed out. Tightly fitted clothes are harder to stripe than straight ones. For example straight legged trousers are really easy, while with skinny ones you need to do decisions about curving the stripes or accepting the collisions with the seams and stripes. Of course reference pictures may give you direction, which to follow.

When sewing the stripes on the fabric, line the edge next to your markings. The allowance on the inner edge depends on your sewing, but it should be less than the desirable width of the stripe. I sew the stitch little under half a centimeter from the edge. This way the allowance won’t peek under the stripe, the result being neat and tidy.

After stitching the piece on, iron the stripe to overlap the allowance. Then with iron or using your nails, fold the broader “allowance” in half so that the outer edge follows the stitch line, but doesn’t preferably go over it. The structure will be thicker if so. Then sew the stripe from the loose side.

I left my stripes with one over stitch, because they are not visible from normal distance. Black is rather forgiving color in this case. Of course the stripe can be overstitched twice if balanced look is pursued. I tried making narrower stripes also. It’s possible, but requires some finger agility and nerves to achieve.

No comments:

Post a Comment