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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thread Sash Keepers, Tutorial

I needed sash keepers at the bodice side seams for Carly's dress. Here is  how I made them. I like this method because it is so simple and it allows you to use a perfectly matching color. The sash was the red velvet so first I found a hank of matching embroidery floss. Cut a piece about 18 inches long. Get out the water soluble stabilizer, aka, Solvy.
Place a square of Solvy in the center of the length of floss. You need matching thread in the bobbin and machine which you probably have because you just made the dress. Pick up the Solvy and the floss, all six strands, and place it under the presser foot at the top edge of the Solvy.
Stitch with a zig zag stitch over the floss the length of the Solvy.  My stitch width was 2 and the length was 9. Do a few samples to see what works for you. When you get to the bottom edge of the Solvy, lift the presser foot and turn  the Solvy around. Move the the thread over a hair so you are once again lined up for a zig zag. Zig zag back over the same stitches, just heading back to the beginning of the stitching. When you are done you will have stitched twice over the floss with your zigzag stitch.

Tear off the Solvy and don't waste it. That stuff is gold and can be used for more stabilizing at a later date. Tie off the thread ends, the regular thread that is, and dot them with a bit of Fray Block. Now thread a big eyed ole needle with one end of the floss. Run it through the front of the dress at the junction of side seam and skirt. Once you are inside the garment, knot off your floss securely. Go back outside to the right side of the garment and now thread the other end of the floss with your needle.Do the same thing, stitching through the side seam to the inside. Knot off and clip. You are done.

As far as the length of the zigzagging, the eventual thread sash keeper, I like to make the sash keeper about a half inch longer than the width of the sash. That is the length that you will zigzag in the middle of the floss. When I stitch it to the waistline, I like to make it about a half inch narrower than the sash. This gives you some ease. Some will make a larger loop that will go in and out of the same hole, making the sash keeper a big loop. You've seen this in retail. I prefer to not do it that way. I think my way keeps the sash in the correct position at the waistline, just my way.

For Lunaloo who asked what my trick was to make the sash nice with the velvet. Well, I have no trick. I found it tied nicely enough and just kind of droops in a nice way in the back because of the weight of the fabric. If I had used the taffeta, interfaced, the bow would look quite crispy and perky but I  tried both fabrics and really preferred the softer look of the velvet bow.

Thanks, everyone, for the lovely comments on Carly's dress. It really was an easy one that took little time. Next in the queue are some jammies and some bags. How many days do we have left????.....Bunny


  1. Cool! Definitely will use this method. Love the dress!

  2. This sure beats doing a hundred blanket stitches by hand over a piece of embroidery strand; I will have to try this method. Now if I could just get my bow tying down :) And yes, Christmas countdown is definitely on! I just know you will meet your deadlines..

  3. I always wondered if there was a way to do this using the sewing machine, so thanks very much. I will try it. Such a cute dress.

  4. Can't wait to try this method, Bunny. New for me. Thanks,

  5. What a good tip. I will try this . Wish me luck. It is so good to get tips from other people who have experienced some of the same sewing blunders and need help.. Good ideas. thanks nancy


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