Thursday, April 17, 2008

Contrast Band Revisited


I was all set to use jumbo rick-rack for the contrast band on the dress I'm making for my granddaughter, Simplicity 4721, when Bunny suggested pinstitching as a solution to my problem.

It was perfect timing as I had Carol Ahles excellent book, Fine Machine Sewing on loan from the library. Hoping that pinstitching and hemstitching were the same thing, I pulled out the book, read up on the technique and started practicing. I selected Parisian hemstitch and a wing needle.Bunny suggested a very large needle rather than a wing needle but a wing needle is what I had on hand, so that is what I used.

This is a close-up of my best practice swatch so far. I think it looks pretty good. If this were an heirloom dress made of handkerchief linen, I might feel differently, but I think this is quite adequate for a (not so simple after all) sundress made of quilting cotton. Even the back looks good, as all the excess fabric is trimmed away, eliminating the problem of how to keep the seam allowances from showing through.

I'm still undecided whether to use rick-rack or the hemstitching. Opinions, please.

11 comments:

Dawn said...

So, this time you pieced the trim and dress together right? I love the look of it together like that. Embellishments are a tough call when you can't see the whole dress. I would be tempted to just leave it as is.

Lindsay T said...

Yeah, I need to see the whole dress to make a call. I do think it looks great right now though.

Paula said...

Well it's not on the dress yet, this is just a practice swatch. If I actually did it on the dress, then that would be that...I wouldn't be able to change my mind then. The dress is plain right now, awaiting my decision.

Dawn, yes, it's pieced together.

Dawn said...

Oh, I thought it was a done deal. I saw go for the hemstitching with the wing needle. It looks super cute.

Birgitte said...

Like everyone else says, not seeing the dress makes it hard to opine. What color is your ric rac? Showing us a sample on the fabric would help. Are you using the contrast fabric on the top of the dress? If yes, I'd go with it on the hem as well, if not, then the ric rac might be the right thing. It will be adorable whichever way you choose to go.

Paula said...

I haven't actually purchased the rick-rack yet. I imagine the colossal stuff isn't cheap...but I am and I don't want to buy it if I'm not going to use it.

You can see a picture of the dress on the pattern envelope here. And the fabric I'm using is the same as the sample swatches.

Marita said...

I love that sample, I'd give my vote for it:) that book is a treasure throve, maybe I'll just have to pull it from the bookcase and give it a look again, it's been too long since tha last time,.....hmmm.... now where did I put my wingneedle?

Shannon said...

Your hemstitched sample looks great. I vote for putting the hemstitched band into the skirt. I have this pattern in my stash. I always assumed the band was pieced, but I never looked. It's good to know the low-down on it, though. If I ever make it I'll have to piece the band, too!

Shannon F

Bunny said...

Beautiful job on the hemstitching. If you use the ric rac it will be very cute, a tad more casual look. But the lovely soft look of the fabric looks great with the "fancy band". I think if I did the ric rac on this it would be one of those colors and the regular size. JMHO, but I would use the giant RR on a more assertive fabric. All in all, great job, Paula on that sample.
I am a sample freak. I think it is so critical and am amazed at those who don't "audition" techniques. FWIW, I went thru Ahles book and made it halfway, doing samples of everything she taught. I have a shoebox of sample of her "stuff" on all sorts of fabrics with tensions, stitch lengths, etc, etc. It has become invaluable to just pull out and try on the current fabric. It was a great winter project. Now to get thru the last half of the book. Can you tell winters are long up here?

CharityinAlaska said...

It's beautiful, Paula. But let me add my voice to the others that we want to see the whole thing. :) Also, I was wonderful what size this dress is? Jumbo rickrack could look out of proportion on a small size.

Charity

Paula said...

The dress is a 4T. The super jumbo rick-rack would still be smaller than the contrast band. But it's moot now, I started work on the hemstitching this morning.