Saturday, January 3, 2009

ribbon sewing tips from my sister


My sister Cathy has been an avid supporter of my ribbon endeavors to the point where she began using it a couple of years ago on items of her own creation which she sells at craft shows in Virginia and thereabouts. Cathy has always been a much more careful seamstress than myself (all 4 of us Foster girls were brought up sewing and she & I continue the tradition!). Not to mention a better writer! So when she placed this comment a few posts ago about sewing with my ribbon, I thought it would be a good thing to have on the front page for general tips & ideas. thank you, Cathy!

"I love this ribbon! Thanks for your prompt service, Laura! I am using it as embellishment on hand towels for gifts to all the myriad of people who are not family: some colleagues, family friends, clients, service providers, etc.

"The towels I prefer are thick, burgundy hand towels I found at Marshall's. (Marshall's and T J Maxx are my favorite source of very high quality but inexpensive linens for the home.)

I've been using your ribbons for several years for my business, Camellia Cove Creations. If any of your customers are inclined to sew their own guest towels, I have several tips:
1. Prewash and dry the towels, cold setting for the wash and hot for the dryer. Use Shout color trappers if you are washing more than one color, or deep colors. If you don't prewash and dry, you run the risk of the towels shrinking and puckering your ribbon.
2. I use an old-fashioned sewing machine, with straight stitch and zig-zag stitch functions. You don't need anything fancy to achieve fantastic results.
3. Don't pre-cut a bunch of ribbon if you are embellishing more than one towel. Each towel has a unique width, even if it's from the same manufacturer. Cut one ribbon per towel.
4. Lay the ribbon along the horizontal width of the towel. Ribbons work best if they are just slightly narrower than the nap-less strip of the towel.
5. Your first seam should be straight stitch along the horizontal width with the majority of the towel crowding between the needle and the arm of the sewing machine. The beauty of lfntextiles ribbon is that there is a barely perceptible border on the edge of the ribbon. I use this border as my stitch guide.
6. At the end of the first straight stitch seam, leave the needle in the ribbon and towel; lift the presser foot and pivot; change the stitch width to zigzag and the length to very narrow; put the presser foot down; and zigzag along the edge until you reach the next corner. Leaving the needle in the ribbon/towel, lift the presser foot, pivot the fabric, put the presser foot down, and change the width back to straight stitch and the length to 10-12 stitches per inch. Sew in straight stitch to the edge of the towel, and repeat changes to zigzag width and length. Zigzag stitch to final corner; tack back, and you're done.

I get rave reviews from customers and friends about these towels.

Sincerely,
Cathy Walsh
Camellia Cove Creations"

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