Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Banner Month

I've always been intrigued with Pentecost Sunday,
especially how some churches go all out with wonderful banners
to celebrate.
Being a member of the Creative Expression committee 
at our church, I proposed that as a parish-wide activity
we dye banners and carry them into the Nave on Pentecost Sunday.
After much discussion, it was decided that we needed to ease on into this
rather 'risky' business, and that perhaps
simply hanging red banners from the pillars in the Nave 
would be a less radical start to this endeavor.....
maybe more banners next year.

So, we measured the pillars, decided on the banner dimensions,
and then I, hoping to find said dimensions of prefinished scarves online,
would order them and we would gather for a dyeing session.
We liked the way 5mm Silk Habotai hung and sort of gently fluttered 
in little breezes,
but of course nobody wears 5mm Silk Habotai scarves:
much too fragile.
I ordered 5mm Silk Habotai yardage and have cut and hemmed
(by machine) the silk.
Next I will do the dyeing.
Sewing rolled hems by hand on twelve banners,
was not part of my bargain.

I've learned a lot.
First: sometime many years ago I actually purchased a
rolled hem foot for my Bernina!
Second: this foot does a marvelous job,
with a bit of practice from the operator.

My serger does a passable job at rolled hems,
but not nearly as nice a job as my sewing machine.
Here's my serger in action:

The important thing to learn about the rolled hem foot is to keep
just a bit of your fabric curling around the little tongue on the foot.
Not sure if you can see the little white roll below
(it's just a bit above and to the left of the screw,
in back of the metallic roll).

You also must hold your tongue in just the proper position,
or the slippery silk has its way and flops off of the tongue.
I was thankful to find many You Tubes on rolled hems,
both using a serger and a sewing machine.
What would we do without You Tube these days?

Cutting 5mm Habotai is a real treat.

I found that if I gently taped it in place on my cutting mat,
and then ever so gently placed my Olfa ruler in line,

I could get a good cut if my Olfa blade was sharp.
I tore all of the other edges
except the bottom final edge,
but there again, tearing 5 mm Habotai is tricky.
It likes to make little runs in the fabric,
and it stretches like the dickens.

So, I've learned a ton about rolled hems
and sewing on this finicky silk.
It will be loads of fun to put this new knowledge to use in
other areas of my sewing and dyeing.

** I'll post more pictures after my dyeing session. **

Thanks so much for popping by.
It's always nice to see so many people read,
even when they don't leave comments.
That said, comments are always appreciated!



Anonymous said...

Holy cow (or should I say Pentecost?)! Talk about a labor of love. I definitely hope you'll post photos of the finished banners. Before I gave (sold?) my sewing machine to Gaby, I learned how to use the hemming attachment, and you're right, it IS a bit tricky but oh, so practical. I admire your cutting the silk with a paper cutter. I would have made a total mess of that. xx sil

Helen said...

ahhhh pesky rolled hem. well done you, like the tape, good idea.

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

I'm encouraged! I bought a rolled hem foot awhile back, but wasn't thrilled with the results. Good to know that a little practice helps. Can't wait to see the banners dyed... bet they will be beautiful!

Maggi said...

Sorry that I missed making a comment, this came out when I was still not feeling well! I love that foot, it appears to make the job so much easier. Hope the dyeing went well.