Monday, December 21, 2020

Hello everyone,

Well, wouldn't you know!  The other day, Louise and I were talking about which fabrics we should feature next, when she came up with another interesting idea.

Recently, we've been working with boiled wool, and we published our pdf called "Give a Little, Take a Little" about how to use special techniques to create garments with that wonderful fabric.  Louise said, "Let's use those techniques with denim and let the raw edges fray." 

 So I did a couple of little samples to see how it looked, and I liked it.   Below, I'll show you how I made these samples of overlapped seams with frayed edges.  If you'd like to make a complete garment finished with this great look, you might want to download "Give a Little, Take a Little" from the website.

I cut small pieces of denim and stitched 5/8" from the cut edge to give myself a guideline.  I applied a strip of Steam-a-Seam to the edge, leaving a bit of room next to the stitching.  I didn't want to glue the very edge of the piece I would apply on top, because that would prevent the overlapped edge from fraying.  And the fraying was exactly what I wanted. 

By the way, if working with boiled wool, don't use Steam-a-Seam.  We have double-sided sticky tape, which works better on the boiled wool.

I made 2 samples.  In the photo, the paper backing was still on the Steam-a-Seam so you could see it clearly.

Next, I removed the paper backing and lapped another piece of denim on top so that its cut edge just barely hid the stitched guideline (it's in gold thread above).  Of course, if I had been making a garment rather than a sample, I would have cut off 5/8" from this second edge to maintain the proper amount of fabric taken up in the seam.  Details are in "Give a Little, Take a Little". 

You can just see the gold thread of the stitched guideline peeking out of the bottom of this sample above.

Press with your iron to fuse the layers.  These seams are easy to handle now because the Steam-a-Seam is holding them. 

It's time to stitch.  I moved my needle to the left of center and used an edge-stitching foot to sew the first line of stitching.

I changed to my general purpose foot, lined up the edge of the fabric with the edge of the foot, and stitched a second line.  This photo shows the relationship of the Steam-a-Seam, the stitched guideline underneath, and the 2 lines of topstitching.

Fortunately, I needed to do a load of laundry, so the samples went in with everything else, taking a spin through the washing machine and the dryer.  When they emerged, I pressed them lightly and took photos.

This was my initial experiment and it showed me that the technique could be a success.  I could see this around the edges of pockets, as a seam finish, around the edges of a collar, and down the front of a garment on the joined facings/garment fronts.  

I think I'd like it even better if my first line of topstitching had been just a few threads further from the cut edge, letting just a bit more fraying take place.

Give this a try.  It's fun to play around.  Be sure to make samples first--mine only took a few minutes.  That way, you'll be sure to get just the look you want.

This is one of the gifts of sewing.  You get to create your own distinctive look while you relax and play with fabric.  Have fun!