Has anyone tried the technique in the last Threads issue, “Topstitching adorns a felted jacket” by Susan Kesler-Simpson? I love the jacket shown, and want to try to do something similar on a boiled wool vest. It seems like something I could do with my old Singer zig-zag sewing machine. The author describes tracing a design on Golden Threads Quilting Paper (which I’m unfamiliar with), laying a contrasting fabric (for a facing) under the fashion fabric (both fabrics are felted wool), and pinning the paper design to the top. Then the design is stitched through the paper and both layers of fabric, and the paper is torn away.
Playing around a little with my fabric, I tried a long straight stitch, as in top-stitching, on two layers of the boiled wool, and noticed a good bit of stretching, especially on the cross-wise grain. The top layer stretches more than the bottom. When I tried a bit of decorative satin-stitching, the stretching was even more pronounced. I had my presser foot set at the lowest pressure, but did not have a walking foot, which the author recommends. I used no stabilizer. I’m willing to buy a walking foot, assuming I can get one for my old machine.
Would the paper used by the author for tracing and stitching the design, together with the walking foot, be enough to keep the wool from stretching? Or does some other kind of stabilizer need to be used? I’m relatively ignorant about the vast, confusing array of stabilizers out there these days. Are there other techniques for sewing on this type of fabric? The author didn’t do any satin-stitching or other embroidery, but did do some of the random stipling stuff seen on many quilts so I assume she had more control of the fabric than I’ve had thus far. Is “boiled wool” a totally different kind of fabric than “felted wool?”