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Add Texture to a Garment with a Variation of Strip Piecing

Threads magazine - 138 – Aug./Sept. 2008

Although beautiful fabric can always stand alone, sometimes it’s fun to play with it and create an entirely new surface. One of Mary Ray’s favorite ways is inspired by the work of quilt artist Carol Bryer Fallert of Paducah, Kentucky. It’s a variation on what quilters call “strip piecing,” a process in which strips of fabric are simultaneously sewn to each other and a foundation fabric. This variation mimics pleats and adds texture to a garment.

In a nutshell, you insert a faced or double-sided band between each strip. Then you press the bands in one direction at the top and in the opposite direction at the bottom to add a twist and create a sense of movement. Imagine all the possibilities when you work with more than just two fabrics.

This technique looks complex, but it’s very easy, and it produces effects you just can’t get by simply pleating fabric. Use it to embellish an entire garment or just in specific areas to add detail.

From Threads #138

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