Monday, November 5, 2007

Sewing six sexy silky sashes

I finally have pictures and blogger won't let me post them! That will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, its occurred to me that I've never posted about sewing before and I did a little sewing prep this past weekend.

My dear friend whose wedding is just weeks away, asked me to sew sashes for the bridesmaid dresses (since I am a bridesmaid, this is a reasonable request). The dresses are irridescent taffeta and she wanted a shiny fabric for the sash for contrast, and those were discontinued. So she and I went fabric shopping and bought some lovely brick red rayon satin at New York Elegant Fabrics (on West 40th, between Broadway or Seventh and 8th Avenue).

I measured the sash that was offered at the store - 4" wide by 94" long. Though theirs was two halves sewn together in the middle, I figured if we bought 3 yards (108") of 54" fabric, I could cut them all in continuous lengths, fold in half, leave a spot to turn, then handsew.

I cut the sashes on Friday afternoon. As previously stated, I live in an apartment and don't have even remotely decent facilities for doing this kind of work - but that doesn't stop any crafter worth her salt. It just kills her back. Working on my dining room table (too short, hence the back-killing comment), I laid out the fabric and used a nice 24"x6" clear grid quilting ruler to measure. Since I wanted the sashes to end up at 4" and I'm using slippery rayon fabric, I allowed for 1/2" seam allowances which I will trim (probably).

Have I mentioned I don't have an ironing board? Well, I don't. So it was a great joy to switch back and forth between an old blanket for ironing and my cutting mat.

I measured the width of each sash and since I'm using the full length of the fabric, I'm off the hook there. Working away from myself, I folded the edge nearest me upward 4.5". Then I sprayed the fold and pressed in the crease so that the fabric would stay more or less together while I cut. I did this along the whole length and then switched to the cutting mat.

With a fresh new blade in the rotary cutter and the handy quilting ruler, I rotary cut the entire length, opposite the fold of course. Then I repeated five more took three hours! And some of the sashes have iron marks in them - just dots from the plate. Weird. But I have a fancy pants steamer that I've not used and I think once they're sewn, the dots will steam out (I mean, I HOPE the dots will steam out).

Tomorrow, I have to go buy matching thread (I have a lot of thread, but the fabric is a very unique color and since I will have to handsew the turning pocket, I want it to match perfectly. Or maybe I'll use stich witchery. :) It is getting close, and all weekends leading up the wedding are pretty much booked...

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