Todays post is a project from SAGA member Davene Hutchins. Davene has been smocking for 20 years but is a newer member of SAGA. She belongs to the Lone Star Smockers chapter in Texas. Davene has been married for 48 years and has two grown children. She and her husband are grandparents to seven and great-grandparents to one. Davene is a retired Registered Nurse.
Davene's project uses something that we usually discard- selvedges.
Sewing With Selvages
Collect numerous varied selvages. Cut an extra ½” to 1” of fabric as you desire. I especially
love the fabrics that have words and fancy color dots on the selvages. Save selvages from your
own fabrics, and collect from willing friends, to get a wide variety of colors and patterns.
Most selvages will have a nice bound edge to them. Some will have a “fringey” edge. I use
these too! It gives a nice texture to my projects. If you don’t like the “fringey” edge, simply tuck
it under when you sew on the piece.
- Start with a 6½” square of muslin. This is a somewhat arbitrary measurement. You can make
your square any size you want really. I have found 6½” to be a nice size that works well.
- Mark 1” up on both sides from one corner with your marker of choice. Connect the marks
with a ruler.
- Use any color thread you choose. I usually use white or off-white, as most selvages are light
in color. Even if the selvage is dark, the light thread seems to blend in fine.
- Place a piece of selvage on the line. Stitch across the TOP of the selvage piece. This is the
only time you will stitch across the top of the selvage strips!
- Lift the bottom of the selvage and place another one below it. Stitch across the BOTTOM of
the same selvage, catching the lower piece. Continue down until the corner is covered.
- Place a piece of selvage at the top, overlapping the first piece you stitched down. Stitch
across the BOTTOM catching the underlying selvage. Continue up until the entire square is
covered. Press periodically as needed.
- Turn the square over and from the back, cut off all the extra selvage beyond the muslin.
- Make several of these squares and sew them together with a 1/4” seam. Press the seams
open. Note that the strips will connect at an angle. Don’t try to match anything! You can’t!
Be aware - the squares will be directional because of the lettering and most color dots will be
Now you have a unique wonderful piece of fabric from which you can make almost anything.
Imagine what you can do!
Thank you Davene for this idea -what will you make with your selvedge scraps?