October 29, 2015

Faux Chenille Tutorial

A few days ago my mom's friend gave me three big bins filled with small bits and pieces of fabric leftover from projects. Almost all of the prints are hideous, which made it a perfect opportunity to try out faux chenille. Faux chenille is a layering technique that showcases the print of the top fabric and uses the rest of the layers to create an interesting texture without being seen.

To make faux chenille, you need 4-5 pieces of natural, woven fabric in order for it to fray nicely when cut. Quilting cotton and flannel work well; I used four square layers of cotton for this piece. I'm going to use my faux chenille panel to make a lined zipper pouch, so I stacked all my layers with the right sides up since the back side of the fabric will be hidden. If you are making a blanket, the fabric that you are keeping intact (the green and white floral in this case) needs to face the opposite way as the other layers since it'll be visible.

After stacking the layers, pin them together and mark a line diagonally from corner to corner. Keeping the layers of fabric you will be cutting through on top, stitch along the line. Using the presser foot as a guide, keep sewing lines across the fabric until the entire surface is covered. Don't bother backstitching, making knots, or trimming thread ends as you go since the whole piece will be trimmed down at the end.

Every once in a while, check that everything's staying straight and that the layers aren't getting too many wrinkles in them. This technique is fairly forgiving if your lines aren't perfectly straight or if the fabric bunches a little.

Use a rotary cutter or scissors to square up the sides and trim away excess thread and fabric.

Cut between each stitch line, snipping all but the bottom layer.

At this point, the fabric doesn't look too exciting. The real magic happens after washing and drying the material a few times when the fabric starts to curl and fuzz up.

The main thing I realized sewing faux chenille is that it takes a loooong time and a lot of thread. It took me about 20 minutes to sew all the lines on a 13" square and about as long to make all the cuts. It's a neat technique that I'll probably try out a few more times, but I don't think I'd ever have the patience to make a whole blanket.

October 17, 2015

Rose City Rollers, Round 2

I liked knitting the Rose City Rollers pattern so much that I knit another pair while on a rockhounding road trip with my mom to Utah last month. They make a perfect travel project since they're so small and packable.

I used Patons Kroy Socks FX yarn in Clover Colors, a nice fall blend of greens and oranges. It has a standard mix of 75% washable wool and 25% nylon but is thicker than other sock yarns I've used. As a result, the socks lean towards slipper-like and will be nice to wear around the house in the winter.

I thought I might be able to get away with one skein, but that was not the case. I got about one and a third socks done before I ran out of yarn.

The color of each skein varies quite a bit but I picked the closest match at Jo-Ann's and the second sock is only a little brighter than the first. I made these ones for myself, but future variations might be making an appearance at Christmas.