Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chenilling Tutorial - with a tip to help sore wrists

Hi there guys

This is my first tutorial for 2012, I hope you really like it and find it useful. This is excellent for those scrappy bits of fabric you don't want to chuck out but don't want to waste either. This technique is called Chenilling and is excellent for bags, table/place mats and could even be used in quilt squares.

Items required:

  • Sewing machine (if you're really keen you could hand stitch it)
  • Thread and needle suitable for sewing through several layers of material
  • Fabric - this can be any fabric you like in any shape you like, as long as there are at least 4 pieces the same size. Aim to have at least one plain colour piece for the lining. I personally did a piece with 4 layers of fabric sandwiched together so my tutorial will only reference 4 pieces, however I do know someone who successfully did it with 7 layers. 
  • Something to mark lines with
  • Ruler
  • Sharp long scissors

Step One: Cut your material to the same size, and sandwich the pieces together with a plain piece on the bottom. In my example, I chose black for the bottom, an orange/white for the second layer, a plain blue for the next layer, and a cute country pattern layer for the top. Line up the pieces so they are even and pin them in a sandwich.

Step Two:
Starting at one corner, measure across the lining piece diagonally and mark. Then mark a diagonal line 1 inch on either side of the middle line. Continue this across the lining piece until it looks like the picture shown below.

Step Three:
Once you've completed that, using your machine (or hands) sew the first middle diagonal line, through all four layers. Continue stitching the first line on the right, then the line on the left, and stitch diagonally across so it looks like the picture below. Continue through until all the lines have been stitched.

 Step Four:
For this step, you will require your scissors again. To complete the step, you need to cut the top three layers of fabric (not the lining) between the lines, Carefully slide of the scissor blades in between  the bottom layer and the top three layers, as shown below.

I found the easiest way to hold it while cutting was to slide the blade under the top three layers, then pinch the material around the blade - as shown below. I have RSI and very sore wrists a lot, and found this method put less strain on my wrists. Try it out and please comment below if it helps you.

Once you've finished cutting all of the spaces between the lines, it will look like the below picture.
 Step Five: Finally, you can either choose to leave it as the picture shows above, or you can choose to make it more raggedy by washing it and putting it in the dryer. Both have very effective results. You can either choose to roll in a hem, or you can insert it into a bag to secure the loose edges.
Above picture courtesy of Cooma Craft Group showing the raggedy edges achieved from washing/drying

Hope you enjoy this neat little tutorial and please show me if you choose to make something following it. Thanks for reading, and tune in next time

1 comment:

  1. Hi Steph, thanks for the tute, I love can achieve such great looks with it....I ended up buying one of the Chenille cutters, but you still have to start the cut by scissors...well I did anyway!