Matching those pesky stripes

The finished corniceThe back side of the fabric with masking tape applied to keep the foot from getting stuck under the bulky threads of the stripesThe finished seam from the front

   Every once in a while someone will give me a workroom tip that saves a lot of frustration and results in a much nicer finished product.  This suggestion came from Catherine who managed one of the Calico Corners stores and her suggestion involves matching horizontal stripes on a cornice board .  Even with a walking foot sewing machine it is sometimes difficult to match all the horizontal stripes without tearing the seam apart over and over again.  The matching is not so critical on soft treatments like valances and drapes because of the folds in the fabric.  But on a cornice board the fabric is stretched tight and shows every imperfect match.

   We begin by pressing down about an inch and a half of the edge of the fabric to a place where the matching would give the most pleasing appearance.   Today’s fabric is a little difficult because of the bulky threads that make up the stripes.  So after pressing we lay a piece of masking tape to within a quarter inch of where we will sew.  Next we match the two pieces of fabric and begin sewing as close to the edge as possible (perhaps less than 1/16th inch).  As we work our way down the seam we can make very small adjustments at each stripe to make sure they match.   Pull off the masking tape before applying the fabric over the batting on the cornice board.

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