Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stitched Scalloped Edge Tutorial

Easy scalloped edges using your special stitches and some stabilizer!

I adore a scalloped edge, especially a hem. I love the shape and the symmetry of those curves, the way they make a garment feel truly finished. Usually, I accomplish this with a lining or a facing, and create the scallops from the fabric of the garment. I noticed a photo in a library book recently, though, that demonstrated doing a picot-type edge with the specialty stitches on my machine to create a free-standing scallop at the hem, instead. I suspect this would work and look best on lingerie (maybe like the tap pants and slips Amy made recently??), but I've done them here as an embellishment to a store-bought tee.

All the images are on a thrifted tee shirt, and the finished product at the bottom is a store-bought snapsuit. Let me know if these ideas work for you, too!

I started with iron-on tear-away stabilizer and a thrifted shirt, i.e. one I could screw up as I experimented and not be too torn up over if I failed horribly.

I ironed a strip of stabilizer along the finished hem of the shirt.
I selected the scallop stitch from the specialty stitches offered on my machine.  I have a Viking, but I know that I've had plenty of students with Brother, Bernina, or Janome who have the same or similar stitches as an option on their machines, too.
Line up the needle so it just grabs the fabric at the "valley" of the scallop, but not so little that the stitches aren't well-anchored.  The idea here is that the stitches will be in fabric at the low point of the scallop and on stabilizer only at the arch of the scallop, so that when the stabilizer is removed, the scallop will have an open space between the fabric and the threads.
When I tore away the stabilizer after this first attempt, I saw that the stitches came away with it!  I figured wash-away stabilizer would work better.  I found pretty quickly that wash-away isn't substantial enough to stitch through on its own, so I used tear-away beneath the shirt and wash-away above, in the end.
Using them this way, I was able to get the stitches to hold neatly.  When finished, I tore away the stabilizer beneath the fabric, but only on the inside of the stitches.  The rest I cut away using embroidery scissors, verrry close to the stitches themselves.
The remainder of the stabilizer can be spritzed away with a spray bottle, or washed away when the garment is laundered, leaving the scallops free!
An example of using this technique on a snapsuit, at the neckline.  I like the contrast thread, here, too, to really bring focus to the embellishment.
As always, suggestions for improvement are welcome!


Jamie said...

Darn, that is sweet looking! PJ, you may force me into taking one of your classes so that I can join this world of sewing and crafting....

Antoinette said...

Whoah, that was incredibly -- dare I say -- CRAFTY of you! Seriously, the end product looks amazing. Nice work!