Sunday 18 November 2007

'Faux piped' handles

I suggested in this post that I would do a tutorial for 'my favourite handles'. Well, here it is. Please ask questions if I am less than succinct in my instructions!Choose two fabrics for your handles. The contrast fabric will be the one that appears to 'pipe' the edge of the handle. Cut one 1.5" wide strip of main fabric, one 2" wide strip of contrast fabric and one 2" wide strip on iron-on pellon. The length of these strips should be your required handle length. For a small bag, I cut them about 16" long.
Fuse iron-on pellon to 2" wide strip of contrast fabric.
With right sides together, stitch the main fabric piece to the contrast fabric piece with a 1/4" seam, down one long side.
Stitch the other long side of the handle with 1/4" seam. This seam is a little more difficult as the handle doesn't sit flat. The wider contrast fabric tends to curl up a little to the left of the foot. You may need to pin the handle at intervals to assist in sewing this seam. Persevere at this point - all will be OK!
Turn handle (I have a really nifty way of doing this easily, which I will attempt to post about soon). Press handle carefully. You should have a nice narrow contrast strip on each edge of the upper side of the handle.
Top stitch either side of handle, just outside each seam, using a cotton matching the contrast fabric. I use a #10 edge stitch foot on my Bernina as it runs nicely along the seam & gives a neat 'in the ditch' line.
So hopefully, you now have before you a robust but sweet handle that looks for all money like it has narrow piping down either side. Let me know if it works for you! Best wishes, Bloom.
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