Sunday, May 21, 2023

Hem and Haw

So the cloth - most likely dish towels -  has been washed and they're sitting by the sewing machine waiting to be finished. July 12, 2021

Oh my, it's been awhile since I wove the dish towels. Last week I finally decided that I needed to hem the JST Muted Color Gamp dish towels. Mainly because I want them in use and out of the To Do sewing box.

Also, I wanted to get my Singer 301A (aka Black Beauty) out of the bag.


I purchased this beautiful work horse machine from an Etsy seller in September 2022. It was made in 1953 and is truly an engineering marvel. It came with a box of attachments, the original case, and the original manual. My main requirement was an unfaltering straight stitch, that's it, plain and simple.




The 301A was immediately put to the test by sewing port hole covers and repairing a leather and nylon boat cover. It did the job without complaint.



So anyway back to dish towels. The JST Color and Weave towels needed to be repaired. The hemstitched and fringe hems were starting to fray so I wanted to convert them to a double-folded hem instead.

I stabilized the handwoven cloth with stay stitching then used pinking shears to cut off the original hem and then sewed a turned hem with the machine.



Next I did the same with the JST Muted Color Gamp towels with the additional job of cutting off weft ends.

I sewed two rainbow towels on the machine and was unhappy with the results.



As I started the machine-hemmed project I knew this type of finishing wasn't going to be as lovely as a hand-sewn hem but I thought I would be okay with a so-so finished but functional towel. I was wrong. The machine sewn hem wasn't too noticeable with the black and white towels but the misalignment of the striping on the rainbow cloth was ugly and jarring.



Instead of ripping out the hem and thereby putting the unfinished towels back in the sewing box for later, I decided to call it a lesson and be done with the two wonky dish towels. I sewed on a label to use as a hang tab (and hopefully redirect the eyes away from the cloth and the hem) and will give the towels to The Man for the camper.




 I've already started finishing the rest of the towels the right way. You know, the slow way.




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JST: Jane Stafford Textiles, School of Weaving, Online Guild