Monday, October 12, 2009

Tips, Tricks and Details

Another thing I'd like to include in this blog is the occasional sewing or trimming tip for those who also sew or just dabble in historical costuming.
Perhaps I'll make it regular a once-a-week post, highlighting a new historical (or just helpful) sewing tip, trimming technique or trick.
Or things to avoid; a "do's and dont's" if you will...I can think of a million and one things right now, but I digress.

This week's trick: The hidden secret of metallic lace trim.
It can be gathered without the use of a sewing machine.
The best kind to do this with will have a top edge and a decorative edge.
Many people don't know this, but there are threads you can pull to gather that are already woven in. They act as a stabilizer for the lace pattern, and in this case are often metallic themselves.
Find the base threads in the top edge that run straight, there will almost always be more than one, and you'll have to get hold of each one at the cut end of your trim.
Once you have them on *each end* of the length you want to gather, pull gently while holding the lace with the other hand (near where you are pulling), and gather as loosely or as densely as you like. Work the gather up from both ends.

To tie each end off, twist threads into a single, denser thread, and knot.
This might take a bit of practice for some.

Not all trims (metallic or otherwise) will lend itself to this kind of thing, but when you find one that does, the effect is stunning. Wired taffeta ribbon is great for this too when it comes to making rosettes and millinery trims. You can remove the wire from one edge of the ribbon, then use the other as a gathering thread.

Now I'm on the hunt for a metallic trim with pullable threads running down the center for that a classic "ruched" look.

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