Have you met George?
He's a Netherland Dwarf and the lucky roommate of Jeni Baker, who blogs at In Color Order. I've been following Jeni's blog for quite awhile now, so I feel like I know George pretty well. In fact, it doesn't surprise me at all that George has a trick to teach us.
Uh-huh, a sewing trick. Of course, he's learned a thing or three living with Jeni all these years! Don't be so skeptical.
Early this month I asked Jeni to be a pattern tester for a little something I'll be releasing tomorrow. It's something I've had in the works for ages. And, it's not a quilt! Well, this mysterious object is made with not 1, but 2 layers of low loft batting for padding. It's the kind of project where the final step is to sew around the edges right sides together, while leaving an opening for turning. After turning, you press the seam allowance inside and topstitch closed. Only try neatly pressing in a 1/4" seam that includes 2 layers of batting. I had to redo it 3 times to get it neat enough for my liking. And it still wasn't perfect.
So, I think that while Jeni was working on my project and fighting with that batting (and wondering "why, oh why, did I agree to pattern test!"), George kinda looked over her shoulder and suggested she just get the batting out of the way. Which Jeni agreed was brilliant. Suspiciously brilliant, in fact. Like, where is George getting this stuff?
(I think Jeni's just too modest. She's clearly his inspiration.)
I'm going to walk you through George's trick. I tried it myself and it worked perfectly! "Why do I want to know this," you ask? Because it would come in handy for other projects like potholders made with thicker batting and who knows what else. I'll be demonstrating on a bib I made last night solely for the purposes of testing George's trick.
So, here we are. I cut an oddly rectangular bib shape (I was working with pre-pieced scraps, folks), cut a matching backing and thick batting all in the same size.
Since I knew I'd be sewing right sides together with a 1/4" seam, I trimmed 1/4" off the bottom of the bib, where I'd leave an opening for turning the work rightside out. I could have just trimmed 1/4" off the center of the bib bottom, leaving the edges intact so that they'd be caught in the seam. But, that really didn't seam worth the effort on this project.
After turning the work rightside out, this is the opening I now need to close. Next, I pressed the bottom fabric over the batting edge. So nice and tidy!
Then I folded the top fabric in along the seam allowance. It was easy to make a nice straight line in that fold. Gosh, just 100 times better than trying to press and fold with the batting too! I pinned the fold and topstitched with ease.
Ta da! It's a pretty nice finish, in my opinion. Yeah, there is a little messy part at left, but that's because of the piecing in that spot. Scraps aren't always the easiest thing to work with, ya know?
If you're looking at my completed bib and thinking that I didn't have to turn this work because I could have left an opening where I put the binding tape up top. Well, you're right. But, hey, I had to see if George was for real.
So, that's it - George's trick! What do you think?
I'll be back tomorrow to share my newest pattern. It's something perfect for Mother's Day... hint, hint! Thanks to my pattern testers, Jeni Baker, Mary Claire and Alecia Sharp for your feedback on this pattern!