I have been experimenting with various ways to create custom fabrics. You might have seen photos on my Facebook page with a few of my favorites by embellishing with:
- needle felting
- thread art with the Dream Frame
One that you might be surprised about is using the serger with a simple 3-thread overlock stitch and the blind hem foot. This purple bad is a perfect example. We made that bag in my Craftsy Class Sew with your Serger – Quick & Easy Gifts and most recently at the American Sewing Expo. I could see using this fabric as a collar or cuffs, color blocking – what about the flap on my back jean pockets!
Supplies from WAWAK sewing:
PREPARE THE FABRIC
1.Cut your fabric larger than you need for the pattern piece, the serged line takes out a minimum ¼” of fabric. Chalk mark lines parallel to the grainline. Choose any width you want, these are 2” apart.
2. Chalk mark lines perpendicular to the previous chalk lines.
SET UP SERGER
3. Set up the serger for a 3-thread wide overlock stitch. Dis-engage the knife and attach the blind-hem foot (your blind hem foot might look different, check your manual)
4.Test your stitch: fold a piece of fabric and (more…)
I love sweaters and shawls, especially since I am always cold in the air-conditioned restaurants (not that we have needed air conditioning in Michigan this summer!). Thinking of the wardrobe challenge, sweaters are one of the items that I end up buying. Yes I do know how to crochet, yet trim on a jacket is about as far as that usually ends up. A small knitting machine sits in the corner of the studio (on my bucket list to learn how to use 🙂 ).
I was recently sewing a fringe skirt and the tweed scraps falling on the floor reminded me of meeting a women wearing a really cute, long, loosely woven (sweater looking) vest. It was at the annual conference for ASDP, so I had to ask the question that only sewer’s are allowed to ask each other “did you make that?”. She had indeed! I was really intrigued when she mentioned using water-soluble stabilizer and scraps from her last sewing project – yes, scraps!
Below is an example of using scraps from my tweed skirt:
NOTE: WAWAK sewing has offered my readers a discount for July – yeah!
Purchase a minimum of $30 and receive 10% off your entire order – Use coupon code WAB714 when checking out (expires July 31st) Thank them when you order, they are the best! :))
- Lay out one layer of water-soluble stabilizer (54″ for a scarf)
- Randomly place yarn, scraps, hairy yarn, etc.
- Place another layer of water-soluble stabilizer (same length as the first piece) on top of the yarns
- Using long pins, pin through all the layers
- Starting at one end, stitch down the center of the stabilizer, stitching through all the layers. Be careful not to sew through any pins, stitch all the way to the end. (Draw a straight line down the center if you need something to follow).
- From the center, align the edge of the presser foot with the first stitched line. Stitch a second row, and a third, and 4th, until you get to about 1″ from the edge of the stabilizer. (If your machine has a Laser Vision Guide, like my Brother Dreamweaver, this would be the perfect application!)
- Continue stitching rows along the entire length of the stabilizer until you have the desired width.
- Turn the fabric and stitch a row from side to side, across the width of the stabilizer.
- Continue to stitch row after row until the entire length is filled.
The width of the stitched rows depend on how tight you want the weave of the new fabric or lace. Just be sure to keep it somewhat tight or the yarns will fall away.
The next step is easy! Rinse the fabric panel in warm water and watch the water-soluble stabilizer disappear or throw the fabric in the wash on a hand-wash cycle, again with warm water.
Above you can see the stabilizer has disappeared and I am left with a loosely woven fabric. Notice the stitching lines, this is good to keep in mind when you choose the thread color.
Who would have ever guessed
could go so far!
A few more tips:
- Throw the fabric in the dryer to soften the hand
- The stabilizer and yarns shrink up after washing and drying, keep that in mind if you need a specific length.
- The more yarn and scraps, the thicker the fabric
- To make an outfit, stitch all the pieces together before washing out the stabilizer
This is a great technique to use for June’s Fabricate Challenge – which I extended the deadline until July 31st.
Have you ever tried this? If so, please share any tips you might have!
Fab-ri-cate (from dictionary.com unabridged – based on the Random House Dictionary)
- To make by art or skill and labor; construct
- To make by assembling parts or sections
- To devise or invent
- To fake; forge
That definition pretty much leaves the door open for ultimate creativity, wouldn’t you say? One idea includes designing your own fabric or altering a fabric into something totally different, which is what I did with the above jacket.
The fabric used for the applique trimming is a polyester / satin. A lightweight fabric with fabulous drape, perfect for a blouse or lining (both of which I plan to add to jacket). That fabric, if left alone, would be a nightmare to create appliques or cut-outs, so I fabricated – sounds like a bad word 🙂 !
The trick – Heat N Bond, now available from my favorite place WAWAK Sewing and comes in 5 yard and 35 yard pieces. At first I wasn’t too sure about this stuff, but basically you iron it to the back of the fabric and it makes it easier for you to cut out an applique – especially if you are using the Brother Scan-n-Cut
This is how easy an applique can be:
- Choose a design – for the sleeve I enlarged a design already in the scan-n-cut memory.
- Place the bonded fabric onto the cutting mat (the paper backing on the heat –n-bond makes it easy to stick)
- Press the start button (told you it was easy!)
Peel off the backing and place the appliques on the garment.
Once you have the perfect placement, use a press cloth and press the applique in place. Notice I attach the appliques before sewing the sleeve together.
Even though the cut of the scan-n-cut prevents the fabric edges from fraying, I still stitch the applique in place. I choose the blanket stitch and stitched around each applique. That took some time, but it looks great. Almost looks like leather!
I followed all those steps for the jacket front and again used a blanket stitch.
Of course I could cut these appliques by hand, but I really like the fact that all the front pieces are exactly the same! By the way, don’t look too closely at my studio – can you tell I have been working 🙂
Well, that’s one fun way to fabricate. Have you ever tried appliqueing apparel?