Hello to all sewing aficionados!
Today I have added a super tutorial on how to connect long pieces of fabric without the need to use pins. What is so fabulous about this approach is that I can almost guarantee that it will end up perfect! What you will need for this sewing technique is your fabric, some hemming tape, iron, what I call a magic pen (you can mark your fabric after which the iron “magically” erases the marks), measuring gage, sewing machine, thread and a overlocker (no need to stress if you don’t have one, to use a serger is more of a personal preference-you’ll see later).
1. On a flat surface lay down two lengths of fabric. Make sure that they are both face up and the repeats are aligned. For instance, the fabric depicted below has a repeat of 64cm. I have used the brown potato bulbs to indicate the beginning of each repeat hence laid them beside each other.
Note, if you decide that you would like to match your patterns when creating curtain panels, make sure to purchase extra lengths of fabric which will account for your repeats (now that I am mentioning this, one day I might write a post on how to calculate how much fabric is needed to match fabric patterns for curtains!).
2. Fold the fabric which is closer to you for about an inch or so and test to see if your patterns match. It might take a few goes to make it perfect. With my fabric in particular I had to fold a bit more than an inch due to the notion that the fabric print was matching a fair bit away from the selvage. However, some fabrics are beautifully engineered and need much less of a fold for the fabrics to match!
3. Now that you have decided on the size of your fold, use a measuring gage to get the width of your fold to create an even fold down the whole fabric length and then iron the to keep in place.
4. Now here is my favorite part-introducing the binding (hemming) tape! This is such a great way to keep the fabrics together! No movement what so ever during the sewing fase. Note, this method will work great on cotton and cotton poly blends but not on PVC backings!
5. Place the binding tape under the folded fabric. Make sure that the tape is close to the fold-if the binding tape is tucked deep under fabric, the material close to the fold will be loose and may move during sewing, consequently compromising the pattern alignment.
6. Before ironing, make sure to check if the patterns are aligned and then iron the fabric with steam. This will allow for the glue to melt and stick onto the fabric. Note, no need to go bananas when ironing, just a few steamy taps. because too much ironing might cause the fabric to shrink.
7. Now flip over the bottom (namely the fabric closest to you) so you can see the wrong side of the fold you have previously created whilst lining up the fabric patterns.
8. With the “magic pen” mark the folded line from top to the bottom of your fabric.
9. When marked, you are ready to sew your fabric together. Personally I love to use a no. 3 stitch length. To sew in a straight line, I tend to align the engraved mark on the middle of the presser foot with the marked fold on the fabric.
10. You can make the curtains look professional by using an overlocker. A more elaborate description on how to utilise an overlocker when joining curtain fabrics is available on my video at the bottom of this article.
11. When finished with the serger, turn the fabric around and iron the overlocked edge.
12. And presto your fabrics are joined together!
I hope so that my tutorial has helped in your curtain making endeavour. If this is your first time to connect fabrics together, then make sure to practice first on some cheap pieces of material! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Also, below I have added a video tutorial of the whole sewing process. And lastly, make sure pay a visit to our store for some delicious curtain fabrics!