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Fashion a Magnificent Braid from Bias Tubes

This luxe-looking trim stands out on any garment section
Threads #226, Summer 2024

The wedding gown on the inside back cover embodies the glamour of 1930s fashion. Aside from shirring on the bodice, its only embellishment is a band of intricate braid encircling the upper arm at the dropped-shoulder seam. The self-fabric trim looks modern and Renaissance-romantic. 

Design Analysis

When I saw the trim, I was determined to figure out how to make it. Surprisingly, it isn’t as complicated as it looks. It appears to have three sections: a center band made of parallel bias tubes, running perpendicular to the trim’s length, flanked by two narrower bands that look like three-strand braids. After studying the photo, I realized this was similar to crochet, and the three bands are actually one wide structure.  

Gauge Calculations

In crochet as well as knitting, you need to determine gauge before making a piece. I made an educated guess that the area between the edges was 1 inch wide, and this was secured by rows of machine stitching. This set of dimensions served as my starting point. I also estimated that the filled tubing was 1/4 inch thick. I experimented using the 1/4-inch-thick tubing, as well as 3/8-inch-thick tubing. These are what I based this article on.

Since I knew that this trim would eat up the tubing, I also needed to solve the question of yield. I made samples to determine roughly the length of tubing per inch the trim would require. For ¼-inch-thick tubing, you need 14-1/2 inches of tubing for every 1 inch of finished trim. For the 3/8-inch-thick tubing, you need 11 inches of tubing for every inch of finished trim. No matter what size tubing you use, it’s a good idea to create a piece of test trim that’s 2 inches to 4 inches long to determine how much material you need. 

Contributing Editor Kenneth…

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