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Tip of the Day- Perils of online bought fabric-hiding selvedge/roller marks inside French seam

So everyone loves eBay/Amazon for ordering fabric cheap, but sometimes it has it’s perils beyond the obvious colour/material not being exactly what we wanted. One problem that has come up with a friends alteration order is that the lovely burnt velvet organza she ordered has a nasty flaw; there are slubs & puncture marks from the burning/stretching process all along both sides of the material. This is a common problem on voile/organza/burnt & lace fabrics. on harder fabrics (cottons etc.) these roller tack marks are usually very close to border (w/in 1cm) but on more delicate fabrics, they often have to use a wider barrel 2 row pronged roller to stabilise the fabric in production.


So a a good tip is to remember if you are ordering fabric w/out touching/seeing it in person, it is always best to take the width of the fabric and SUBTRACT 2″ (8cm) to be sure your pattern pieces fits.This should allow for the largest size stretcher roller marks. If you need 45″width and the fabric is exactly that, especially on a delicate fabric, odds are you will be at least 1-2″ short due to the selvedge edging/tack marks.  In this case, there was enough fabric to account for this. Since is is an organza which unravels easily, I decided rather than a more traditional seam (stitch plus overlock which would have shown too much and added bulk) to do a french seam. French seams are wonderful, and recommend using it on all delicate fabrics which unravel or shred easily. It’s really not any more bother than than stitching +overlocking.  For those who don’t know how to do so it’s easy!

First check what your seam allowance is, for example 5/8. Chalk/pencil or wax mark the 5/8 stitching line on WRONG side of fabric first, will save you fussing. Instead of sewing a seam with the right sides of fabric together at 5/8, flip the fabric so you have the WRONG sides of fabric together (i.e. you are seeing the “right/nice” side of fabric) and sew seam w/a small stitch (2-2.5) with needle at center and edges of fabric just at edge of sewing foot.  Now carefully cut along you stitch line on the outside of your stitching line between stitchline and edge of fabric…ImageNow press out the seam and fold so the RIGHT side of fabric are now together along your stitching line, what you see is the little short cut edges are now sandwiched between the main fabric. All you do to finish is sew along your 5/8 chalk/marked line and you have a lovely french seam with the raw edges neatly hidden and stitched up safe from unraveling :)


This worked really well as you can see the roller damaged part of fabric is now closed into the French seam.


I know some of the pro’s here will shake their heads at doing such a wide french seam, as normally we use it stitching *very* close to the inner cut edges, but I found this was a good way to deal with both the slubs/marks and also not have to worry about the organza unweaving itself. Wanted to show it’s not *just* for finiky fine seams ;)


Miss Miko

April 2012
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