Add the Icing
In case you missed the first installment of this 2 part series click here: 7 Ordinary Towels – One Fabulous Gift Part 1
In Part 1 I shared my tips for creating curved lettering and combining the lettering with embroidery designs. Now we’ll take a look at how to “add the icing” to complete the dishtowels.
Here’s the before
And here’s the after
Once your embroidery is finished, it’s time to add the ruffle and ribbon.
Cut seven fabric strips 4 ½” x WOF (44”).
Fold in ½” hem on both short sides. Stitch. Serge the top of the strip (if the pattern is directional, serge the long edge that will be attached to the towel.) Use a rolled hem foot to get a nice sharp hem on the remaining long side. Here’s how to use it.
Fold under approximately ¼”.
Place the fabric strip (wrong side up) under the presser foot.
Grasp the thread tails that are behind the foot (the tails that are extending out from the two stitches) and take two stitches.
Lift the presser foot and insert the folded edge into the fabric guide on the rolled hem foot. Lower the presser foot.
The guide will feed the fabric as the fabric moves under the presser foot.
You’ll get a nice, crisp hem.
Now – let’s ruffle. I use a dependable technique that lets me completely control the amount of fabric. I simply couch over a nylon cord and pull the cord to gather the ruffle. I love lush, full ruffles so I always multiply the width of the finished strip by 2.5. If my strip is a bit longer – all the better.
Select a nylon cord. I purchased mine at a home supply store. Nylon is slippery – a helpful attribute for this technique. Select a wide and long zigzag stitch (5.0 stitch width; 5.0 stitch length). Place the fabric strip under the presser foot with the edge of the strip about ¼” beyond the foot edge. Place one end of the cord under the foot and pull it from behind the foot with your left hand. Hold onto the cord in front of the foot and pull it up through the opening in the foot.
Put the presser foot down. The presser foot will hold the cord in place. Start sewing and keep your fingers on the cord as it slides off the spool and into the foot. Guide the fabric with your left hand.
Since the cord is inserted into the opening in the foot, there’s little chance you’ll actually stitch on the cord. You do not want to stitch on the cord – it defeats the whole purpose of couching. If you do, just snip the one or two stitches that caught the cord. Repeat for all strips.
Mark the centers of the strip and towel by folding each in half. Pin the center of the strip, right side up, to the center of the towel, right side up. Pull the cord on the right side, smoothing the strip as the fabric gathers.
Once the strip is the same size as that half of the towel, secure the cord around a pin at the edge of the towel.
Add more pins along the strip to hold the ruffles in place. Repeat for the left side of the strip. Set aside and repeat on each towel.
Place the ruffle under the presser foot.
Lower the needle and release the pin and cord. Sew along the ruffle.
Repeat for all ruffles.
Pin a ribbon over the raw edge of the ruffle. Fold under the short ends of the ribbon and sew on both long sides of the ribbon catching the ruffle.
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