Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hemstitch with your Fringe Foot

The fringe foot, also called a tailor's tack, will let you embellish a favorite pattern quickly and quite easily. Not the beautifully heirloom hemstitch, but let's call it a "faux hemstitch". Hemstitching is the separating of fabric fibers using needle and thread.

The fringe foot is designed with a bar in the center of the foot, and using the zigzag stitch pattern, to create loops, or tacks. I have used the foot to create chenille type trim, add fringe to the bottom of garments and towels. Thought I would try using to create the hemstitch. Not too bad, and will continue to refine the finished look using a winged needle and other stitch patterns.

  • Put the fringe foot on your machine. Using the Singer Curvy, which is a snap-on foot, I removed the shank adapter and replaced with a low shank fringe foot.
  • Press the raw edges of your fabric towards the wrong side, having about 1/4 inch fold.
  • Select the zigzag stitch and adjusted the stitch width to go over the bar without hitting it.
  • Align the fabric with the guides of the fringe foot. Begin sewing. Each swing of the needle should catch just at the end of your fabric.
  • Open the fabric up (pulling slightly to open up the stitches). Press.
  • At this point, you can choose to sew a straight stitch at the edge of each stitch line, on both sides, leaving the center as it is, OR
  • Choose a stitch pattern, such as the entredeux stitch. Align the needle in the center of the "gap". Begin sewing, ensuring each swing of the needle falls along the previous stitch.

Tip: When removing your fabric from the machine, place your fingers on the end stitches and hold while pulling the fabric. If you just pull your fabric out, the last stitches will draw up.

Practice with other stitch patterns, and the wing hemstitch needle. Remember, just have fun! I am heading back to the sewing room to try other stitch patterns, and fiddle with the stitch length and width.

Happy Stitchery!

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