Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Resist the Urge to Backstitch!

I LOVE Fridays… every now and then I get the chance to leave work early, which leaves an afternoon free for projects! I had a few hours before I had places to be and people to see, so I decided to give RUFFLES a try. I’ve seen so many projects I’ve wanted to create, but each required some ruffling (aprons, placemats, curtains, crate covers, etc.), which I had not yet tried. So I thought this was the perfect opportunity to practice and see if it really was as easy as it sounded. From everything I’ve read, creating ruffles was as simple as:
  1. Choosing your fabric to ruffle (size/color obviously dependent on your project),
  2. Sewing a basting stitch in the appropriate place (DO NOT BACKSTITCH at beginning or end!),
  3. Pulling the bobbin thread to ruffle the fabric and… TA-DA!
Well, I must have done one of these simple steps wrong because there was no "TA-DA!" with my first ruffle attempt…
To begin, I had some scrap pieces of fabric I wanted to play around with. I was still not certain if I’d use the completed ruffle for anything -- or if there'd even be a completed ruffle -- so I just experimented with what I could find. My second thought was, -- and this is where I may have gone wrong -- "if I were to use it, I’d certainly want the edges finished." So I began folding and pressing my long piece of fabric.
My plan was to press one side slightly over the other and make my basting stitch right down the middle so I’d have a hemmed piece of fabric AND the proper stitch to pull the ruffle. Genius! -- or so I thought. Despite having “Backstitch! Backstitch! Backstitch!” engrained in my head, I remembered not to at the beginning or end -- this would certainly keep your fabric from being ruffle-able!

I really wanted to blame it on this little guy, but despite his insistence on chewing my ‘ruffle,’ I think it was I who went wrong somewhere.

With still an hour before needing to leave the house for the evening, I was determined to succeed! So, I searched for more scraps of fabric and tried again. This time I did not attempt to finish the edges. I thought some fraying would give my ruffles a little extra character -- or at least that's what I told myself. I found two pieces of fabric, one slightly wider than the other, placed them on top of one another and tried my basting stitch down the middle once more!

I then began to pull my bobbin thread to create the makings of a ruffle -- FINALLY!

I still found this part of the process to be somewhat difficult and rather time consuming, so I think I might have to play around with my stitch. For my ruffle attempts, I simply used the longest stitch length my machine had, but this still seemed to bind the fabric TOO well. I think next time, I’ll have to pull out the instruction manual and see if there is a better option for this -- otherwise I may be doing it by hand! BUT, I powered through and managed to create a pretty cute little ruffle in the end…

Now what to do with it?! I searched my house for a place to display this ruffle success -- I certainly couldn’t just throw it in my sewing bin to disappear! I had a very boring lamp in my entryway that I have been trying to spruce up, so I decided my ruffle would be perfect! I got out my glue gun -- a MUST for any crafter -- and began to attach my latest sewing success. I still think the lamp needs a bit more work, but I am happy with the results thus far.
Feeling good about this short sewing adventure, I proceeded to get ready for a fun evening out with friends! This was the night we were saying good-bye to a very dear friend who was getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime and moving to London!

We had an AMAZING night with great conversations, tasty drinks, and the best of friends. We will miss you dearly Fun Bobby, and can’t wait to hear about your London adventures and come visit you... Counting down ‘til July 2011!

When it came time to pull the thread, I ended up with neither ruffles nor anything I'd want to proudly display...