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Topic: silk chiffon patchwork- am I nuts?  (Read 1007 times)
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RachOfTheJungle
« on: April 28, 2010 07:07:45 AM »

I got a bunch of squares of gorgeous, very lightweight silk chiffon. I want to stitch them into a patchwork scarf. The patches would be large, maybe 10"x8" each. Have I lost my mind?

I'm thinking about getting a spool 1/4" ribbon, sandwiching the seams on both sides, and topstitching so that the scarf looks good on both sides. And as far as the hem goes, should I just do a rolled hem? What would you do?

Do you guys have any suggestions? Should I try another technique?

Thanks sooo much!





« Last Edit: May 01, 2010 04:12:15 PM by RachOfTheJungle - Reason: Added pics of fabric » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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sewnutzz
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010 10:40:49 PM »

I like your design concept, and it sounds like you know the silk chiffon will be very difficult to work with. But I think, with patience, it is do-able.

You will need to stablilze the fabric really well.  Multiple layers of spray starch might work, as might soaking the chiffon in dissolved corn-starch based packing peanuts (test your peanuts by putting water on them.  If they dissolve, they are corn starch), letting dry flat, then lightly ironing to get rid of the wrinkles.  Once done with your project, you just soak the item in warm water.  TEST FIRST!!!! 

Stabilizing the fabric will make it much easier to work with.  If you have a serger, you might try serging the seams first, then sandwiching the seam between the ribbon, stitching the ribbon along each edge with a narrow zigzag stitch, or even a pin stitch (this is the stitch that looks like a ladder with one side missing, ususally done with a wing needle).  Chiffon is prone to fraying, so you might even want to use a wider ribbon. 

You can also overlap the edges, using a bit of glue stick to hold them in place while you sew with a zig-zag or other appropriate stitch to reduce the seam fraying apart.  Stitch with strips of tissue paper under your fabric (it will tear away and anything left will come out when you soak the starch or peanut goo out).

You can use the glue stick with the ribbon so the edges line up top and bottom, and I would also stitch this in place with tissue paper under the fabric.  You could stitch the ribbon down one layer at a time, using a straight stitch and water soluable basting thread to hold the ribbon in place.  Stitch closely along both sides of the ribbon so the basting thread will become your guide for the upper layer of ribbon.  Carefully align your ribbon on the other side and stitch both with a zig-zag stitch to encase the seam.

For the hem, a rolled hem would work, but it may be a little wonky over your seams.  Doing the hem by hand might give you a finer end result.  If you do it by machine with a narrow hemmer foot, try using a blind hem stitch ----^----^----^ to give you a scalloped look if you like.  Again, test before you do it...chiffon is a bee with an itch to pick stitches out of.

I could see you leaving long ends of ribbon to act as a fringe.  That could be pretty.

Exciting project!  Have fun with it and be sure to post a photo of the final product!
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2010 07:58:01 AM »

You will need to stablilze the fabric really well.  Multiple layers of spray starch might work, as might soaking the chiffon in dissolved corn-starch based packing peanuts (test your peanuts by putting water on them.  If they dissolve, they are corn starch), letting dry flat, then lightly ironing to get rid of the wrinkles.  Once done with your project, you just soak the item in warm water.  TEST FIRST!!!! 

That is the coolest thing! I would have never thought of using them like that! Thanks for the tip!
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sewnutzz
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010 08:04:16 AM »

You will need to stablilze the fabric really well.  Multiple layers of spray starch might work, as might soaking the chiffon in dissolved corn-starch based packing peanuts (test your peanuts by putting water on them.  If they dissolve, they are corn starch), letting dry flat, then lightly ironing to get rid of the wrinkles.  Once done with your project, you just soak the item in warm water.  TEST FIRST!!!! 

That is the coolest thing! I would have never thought of using them like that! Thanks for the tip!

You are welcome. 

Another thing you can do is dissolve Solvy or other brand of water soluable stabilizer sheets in a small amount of warm to hot water, adding more water to make it the consistancy you want.  Then paint it on your fabric where you want stabilization. 

So for this project, it is conceivable that painting the stabilizer liquid on the seam lines would work.

Be aware that if you have any leftover stabilizer liquid it will spoil so only make up what you will use and store any leftovers in the fridge.

SewNutzz
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RachOfTheJungle
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2010 04:08:09 PM »

Wow, Sewnutzz, you're the BEST! Thank so you so much for your very thorough and helpful tips. The starching is a great idea, and I think I will get wider ribbon now that you mention it.

I will edit my original post to include pics.

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Rockin' knitting shirts I designed:

http://www.cafepress.com/stitchnsnitch
sewnutzz
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010 01:55:28 PM »

Wow, pretty pieces of chiffon!  You might try using patterned ribbons to bring out the ribbon like designs already on the chiffon pieces.   Be sure to post a pic of the final product!

Anne
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