Darlene’s Thread: How to Sashiko and Rolled-Hemming
Did you know that Sashiko can be accomplished on a sewing machine? Although invented to camouflage repairs and reinforce areas of wear, today the traditional Japanese “running stitch” is used mostly for decorative purposes, and can be seen on quilting backgrounds, blocks and borders. Sashiko’s distinctive appearance is white cotton thread on blue cloth, but take liberties as an artist and use the colors that make your heart sing. I used the Quantum 9960 for this sample. The top is a lightweight denim, cotton batting under the denim and quilting cotton on the bottom. It’s #8 on this stitch panel as pictured so you can identify the graphic of the stitch.
1) Thread machine using contrasting thread in the top spool and thread that matches the fabric in the bobbin
2) Adjust stitch length to between 3.5 and 4.0
3) Tighten upper tension all the way (8-9)
4) Select the #8 stitch
5) Carefully and slowly stitch your pre-marked design.
The rolled-hemming foot is a fabulous sewing machine accessory for achieving perfectly rolled 1/8″ hems on light to medium weight ruffles, silk scarves, fine linens, formalwear hemlines and more. Designed for lighter weight materials–different manufacturers have their version of this foot so they can vary slightly in the size of the roll–which determines how heavy a fabric to use. Grab your foot and thread your machine! Let’s add some perfect rolled hems to your bag of tricks!
1) Always start with a clean cut “straight grain” edge. No jaggers, frays or bias cuts
2) Hand sew or machine-lock stitch a 6″ thread tail 1/4″ from the corner
3) With the presser foot up, carefully hand roll the corner into the area on the foot that looks like a conch shell, and gently pull the thread tail to maneuver into place. Make sure the edge of the fabric is rolled under and gently lower the presser foot.
4) In the straight-stitch setting, adjust your needle position to insert on the extreme edge of the roll.
5) Slowly begin to sew while slightly pulling the thread tail until there’s an inch of hem behind the foot. This step will avoid typical problematic bunching.
6) Position the fabric between your right hand’s thumb and forefinger to encourage the roll to continue to feed evenly.
7) Practice makes perfect!
See you on air!
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