Thursday, August 19, 2010

Step by Step Soluble Scarf Lesson 1

I have been promising...well, it's time to make good on the promise! Get settled in for part one of your very own soluble scarf lesson!

Begin by procuring some soluble film. There are a number of soluble films on the market, and if you're into research and discovery, you could test all of them to see which ones you like best, or, you can take my word for it that for this particular style of scarf, Romeo is best! I tell you this because it's reasonably heavy (in soluble film terms), tolerates a reasonable amount of humidity in the air and moisture on your hands without turning all gooey, sticky and generally disgusting while you're working on it. It can also handle quite a lot of heavy stitching without tearing - that's not such an issue with this particular scarf, but makes it a very versatile film.

The Romeo is the clear plastic looking stuff in the photo above, it is joined by some hand dyed silk ribbon/yarn, which will be the 'guts' of the piece, and some silk yardage, which will serve as the snazzy details.

Begin by cutting the romeo into a long, narrow rectangle (pretty much a scarf shape...who would have imagined?!) an inch or two bigger around than you want the finished scarf. If you need to create a bigger piece - just whiz it together with your sewing machine, one piece on top of the other.

This little foot is an optional extra. You can achieve the same result by carefully running the yarn under your normal machine foot, but if you have one of these - this one is on a Bernina - your life will be complete!

Now - get sewing! Feed your ribbon/yarn (sorry, I can't decide just what to call it...) through the little opening in your foot and start stitching rows of ribbon down the length of your Romeo.

Keep sewing...These are stitched lining up the edge of the foot with the next row of yarn - no more than a half inch gap between the rows.

OK, now it's time to change direction. The trick with soluble films is to create a net or grid effect, so that when the film is washed out, all your yarns and stitches will be well connected to one another. You'll see up in the top left hand of the photo that instead of cutting the yarn and starting again, I've just swung it around and left a loop - saves yarn and saves time - and I'm all about saving time! We'll just snip through those little suckers later on.

Here is the piece, all stitched up, it's 'guts' in place...ready for part two, which will involve that delicious looking silk from the first photo.

You'll notice that as it hangs around Audrey's neck, I've left some more spaces between those short runs across the scarf. You can go this way, or you can stick with the even, close together spacings right along...whatever blows your frock up really!

If you're hunting for Romeo (or, like me, live a long way from anywhere you can walk in and buy some), I can share with you that I get mine from Dale Rollerson at the Thread Studio. Dale looks after her customers wonderfully well, and has all kinds of treasures that I can't live without!

Lesson 2 coming up soon!


merci33 said...

Well I'm a bit jealous since I only have... what amounts to a toy sewing machine... that I use mostly for stitching on paper...and seeing the beauty and fun that you're making here is so cool...I'll be back for lesson two just for...the fun of it ;-)

Tracey said...

Iona..."Just for the fun of it" is one of the best reasons I can think of to do anything! And I love that you stop by ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracey, I love your scarf!!! How about doing a workshop sometime?? Or - I could just give it ago I suppose in my non- existent spare time!. Anyway - love it, love it, love it. Happy Creating, Olley.