Evy Hawkins from A Bit Of Stitch is our featured designer for this issue of our Classic Sewing newsletter. Evy’s creativity and knowledge of embroidery are beyond words. Her practical tips and tricks for stitching on this interesting fabric will prove to be invaluable.
Phyllis and Kathy
Blanket & Motif Burps
I’ve discovered the delight of stitching heirloom-worthy burp cloths from organic double gauze. I know, burps are not pretty, but why not have a really pretty bit of cloth to catch them? Ha! After making several 36” swaddling blankets, I ended up with big chunks of scraps too good to waste – the perfect size for burp cloths!
There are a few things I learned about sewing with double gauze. First of all, this is not a fabric that you should pre-shrink. So, no washing to begin with; you should wash AFTER the project is finished. Good double gauze has a nice woven “block” look. This makes it very easy to cut on the grain, straight and true, even though this fabric is stretchy and delicate.
The nicest burp cloths are double layered, so I cut two 22” x 14” blocks from my leftovers and serged two short ends – one on each block.
It’s easy to embroider double gauze if you have the right design. I found that the best choices for fabrics like gauze are designs that are lightly digitized with the least possible amount of fill or satin stitching. The bean stitched designs in my Happy Day Motifs worked perfectly! To help keep the design lifted, I applied one layer of wash-away (Vilene) stabilizer and one layer of cotton quilt batting (Quilter’s Dream Cotton) on the wrong side before hooping the fabric. Either regular sewing thread or embroidery thread may be used for designs such as these.
As these designs have a placement line, I skipped that step and went straight to the final stitch sequence. Once stitched, I trimmed away as much of the batting around the design on the back as I could and rough cut away the wash-away stabilizer. The remaining stabilizer will be removed when you wash the burp cloth.
This is what the finished diaper looked like once washed. You can see that the batting behind the design helped keep the motif from disappearing into the texture of the gauze.
Diaper Motif Rose
To construct, I stacked the two layers together (not worrying about a right or wrong side), aligning the two serged ends with each other. Then I sewed the layers together with a ½” seam allowance, leaving an opening on the serged end.
Even though we want to, it’s not a good idea to clip the corners. Gauze tends to ravel. It’s best to simply serge the other three sides, cutting away the least amount possible of that ½” seam allowance. Turn right-side-out, and press the opening and all other edges to neaten them up. Hand (or machine) sew the opening closed.
Options! You may wish to insert lace or other trim within the seam or just across one end. Narrow trim is best zigzag stitched on. Wider trim can be inserted with the seam.
Read more about sewing with double gauze on the Stitch Bits blog!