Between the lines

I’m easily bored and need to be entertained, like a child. New techniques, therefore, draw me in like moths to a flame.

The most recent one I learnt is this one, for making chenille fabric. I had seen this earlier as well, but Debbie Shore released a video a few weeks ago that brought it back to my notice.

You choose several layers of fabric, sew them together at close intervals, and then snip through all but the bottom layer, between the lines of sewing.

Chenille fabric

With the natural tendency of the fabric to fray, this is how the final piece of fabric looks.

Cut chenille fabric

Then this goes into the wash to help in further deconstruction.

And there you have it! “Chenille” fabric.

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Luckily for me, Debbie had a project to go with the technique, so I didn’t just produce a museum piece (which I have been known to do; these are termed “WIPs” or “UFOs”).

It took me a while, but I sewed this up into a proper pouch.

With a lining and all, too.

Tips for effectively sewing interesting chenille fabric:

  • Choose fabrics that have enough contrast so that the layers that peek through are distinct from each other. Of course, you might choose the same colours if you’re looking for that low volume effect.
  • This is a great way to use up scraps of fabric that you don’t like the print or colours of, because only a hint of those things is finally visible
  • No need for further batting; there is enough bulk in the final chenille fabric to give you padding. This makes it an interesting technique to make baby quilts with. Then you’d only have to bind the edges.
  • If you can get long narrow bladed scissors to snip through the layers, it reduces the tedium, although there is also a special tool available (Clover calls it the Slash Cutter and Olfa has one too).
  • Patience. You need patience to sew the lines and patience to cut between them carefully. It can be tiring for your wrists and hands. I’m sure the tools I mentioned above will help with that.

So that’s a new sewing technique under my belt, thanks to Debbie Shore’s YouTube videos.

Do let me know if you also try out sewing your own chenille fabric.

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