Monday, October 24, 2016

Ahem, a Hem

Have you been trying to get my attention? After all, I did promise hemming photos and you have been patiently waiting. But life has a way of interfering with my plans.

The first delay occurred on October 15th. At 14½ years of age, our sweet Jenny had been ailing for quite a while. She was the best of company all her life, especially for the two years while my husband was away working on the East Coast. She was always here for me and sounded the alarm that saved our house from even worse damage in the midnight washing-machine flood. She came to us as a feral rescue cat and proved herself a lady in the best sense. Our time together came to an end the Saturday before last. My husband and I are still grieving her loss. Oh, JennyCat, how I miss you.

That same weekend my mother took two falls. I did not hear of this until Monday morning when she called to ask for a ride to the Emergency Room. Doctors there discovered a compression fracture in her spine. Poor Mom is in terrible pain. She lives in a nearby retirement home but she has needed my time and assistance.

Whenever possible I have been weaving and doing my best to be ready for the Seattle Weavers’ Guild Sale later this week. My latest Wee Coverlets are finished and I wove two stacks of little Rep Weave coasters for the sale. Watch for more photos in a later post.

In the meantime here are a few pictures to show hemming techniques that work for me. At the very least I aim to give you the confidence to finish your handwovens as you please. Remember, there is no right or wrong way, only what works best.

Here is how I weave a hem at the beginning of a Wee Coverlet:
After a contrasting weft to mark the cut line weave
11 shots tabby weft
1 shot variegated weft
12 shots tabby weft
1 shot variegated weft
14 shots tabby weft
Weave the body of the piece. At the end reverse the above weave order for another hem.

Showing contrasting dividing shot (white)
Triple stitch zig-zag overcast on cutting edge
Variegated shots to mark fold lines for the hem

Fold the hem twice, once on each variegated marking line and machine stitch close to the folded edge. I tuck a label end inside the hem and sew both with a small regular-type zig-zag stitch. My labels don't shrink so I wait to stitch the other end down after the first washing/shrinking of each piece.

Label placement has me puzzled. I used to put it in the lower right corner on the back of a piece as if it were the artist signature on a work of art. Here I decided to place it in the "return address" position as if it were on an envelope. Maybe I will go back to the first way of doing it. Maybe.

Label tucked inside and sewn down with the hem

On a side note, being rather the introvert I strive to maintain a low profile. But here you see my label  in detail and there it is (horror of horrors), my name.

A weaver friend recently asked where I got my labels which sent me searching for a web link. They were woven by Xpresa Labels. Here is what I found on their website: Xpresa Lable Examples
Uh-oh, my cover is blown!

Tamer at Xpresa was incredibly helpful. The whole process was done electronically. I created my own design using Adobe Illustrator software and sent a .pdf file to Tamer. Xpresa even wove and sent sample proofs for my approval. Their customer service is top shelf.

The finished hem

I always hem or edge finish pieces before I wash them because I think it gives a more polished finishing. Then on the first washing those stitches shrink right along with the piece. That makes the hem more secure.

Next time I will share another hemming technique and I will share photos of my latest Wee Coverlets and Rep Weave coasters.

Warp On/Weave Off,

RepWeaver (a.k.a. Claudia)