Friday, April 29, 2011

Mostly about rick-rack

There are how-to-apply-rick-rack tutorials all over the blogosphere.  I did a search when I went to make these lavender sachets.  I had the lavender, the rick rack and some charm squares and a need for sachets (read: a burgeoning fiber collection) but the thought of pinning all those rick-rack bumps in between two pieces of fabric to make the pretty rippled edging on the sachets made my head hurt.  So, through a series of tutorials, I devised a better way for myself.
I started with one charm square and some rick-rack.  Did you know that you can heat-seal the end of the rick-rack with your iron so that it doesn't fray?  I didn't.  I did that, then laid the rick-rack down on the edge of the charm square (look, Ma, no pins!) and began to sew, keeping slightly to the right of center.
As I neared each corner I stopped sewing and turned the rick-rack, then pivoted the fabric under the presser foot and moved the needle by hand several stitches until the needle was in position to sew straight forward again.  I sewed all the way around the charm square until the rick-rack overlapped itself.  After I finished sewing, I cut the thread and then cut the rick-rack carefully just beyond where the thread stopped.
I used the iron to heat-seal the cut end of the rick-rack once again.  Then I cut a six-inch length of grosgrain ribbon and folded it in half.

I centered the ribbon on the right side of a second charm square, with the cut ends of the ribbon at the top, laying the first charm square on top of them.
Then I sewed around four corners and three sides of the charm squares along the stitching line for the rick-rack.  I left the fourth side open for turning, and I trimmed the corners, being careful not to cut the rick-rack.
This one did not come out perfectly -- some of the rick-rack bumps have little holes underneath them, and the rick-rack doesn't meet exactly at the end.  I used my scissors to trim the rick-rack so that it looked a little more even, then heat-sealed it, but I am not particularly happy with that solution.  The next step, top-stitching around the edges of the charm squares to close the hole and add a decorative touch, helped to cover the holes. 
I think they're cute!

Thanks for bearing with me -- this post was mostly for my own benefit, so I can remember my own method for applying rick-rack, but I'd be glad to know if it was helpful to anyone else -- or if any readers have their own methods they'd like to share.

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