I purchased this lovely boucle fabric from Apple Annie Fabrics and started experimenting with custom braids to compliment the fabric. Possible choices of materials: navy cotton tulle, gray silk georgette, chunky ivory and charcoal yarns to stuff tubing, gray yarns, ivory with flecks of gold yarn and thin silver metallic yarn.
First step was to make narrow bias tubing using the tulle and georgette. Cut bias strips of fabric about 1.5 inches wide. Fold in half lengthwise and stitch 1/4 inch away from folded edge. Trim seam to 1/8 inch.
To turn the fabric tube, insert the largest brass tube (available here) that will comfortable fit inside the tube. Gather the tube of fabric onto the tube.
Thread a length of sturdy thread that is at least twice as long as the brass tube. Stitch through one end of the fabric tube and pull thread ends so they are even and make a loop. Pass the cut ends of thread through the tube. When they emerge from the other end, pull gently on both threads. The fabric tube will easily turn right side out.
Pin the right side out tube to your ironing surface, pulling gently to stretch the fabric. Steam gently while pulling; don’t rest the full weight of the iron on the fabric tube. You don’t want to flatten it.
Reinsert the brass tube into the right side out fabric tube and gather the tube onto the brass tube.
Take the heavy thread, cut ends together, and insert into the tube. Pull through until there is a loop on one end. Loop the chunky yarn through the loop and pull gently. The yarn will be pulled through the brass tube. Holding yarn and fabric tube, pull and the yarn will go through the fabric tube, filling it out.
I repeated this using navy tulle and filled it with ivory yarn. The gray georgette was filled with dark yarn. Gently steam and stretch both fabric tubes.
I made a three strand braid using one length of gray georgette, one length of navy tulle filled with light yarn and one length of ivory sequins on a thread chain.
To give a more finished look to the braid, I wanted a crocheted edge along both sides of the braid. None of the yarns in my stash were exactly right, so I un-wove several inches (on the crosswise grain) of fabric.
I chose one yarn and combined it with the thin metallic silver yarn to work a single crochet in each loop of the braid. Chain 1 between each single crochet. The yarns from the fabric were 54 inches long (width of the fabric) but can easily be tied together and the knot positioned on the wrong side. Work the yarn tails into the wrong side and clip.
Completed trim. The sequins show more yellow in this photo. It is a perfect match IRL. I also love that the trims created by this method are soft and flexible. They can be turned at a right angle without any puckering.
Here’s another trim version I considered. I used the navy tulle cord threaded through a crocheted base and added chain stitching around the edge. The samples are quick to make and allow you to preview before committing to a long length.
14 thoughts on “More Custom Braid”
This is SO beautiful. Always love your work.
Thank you for letting me know.
Beautiful and original.
Another beautiful example of your exceptional work! Your explanation and photos give us insight into your thought process. Thanks for sharing!
This trim is quicker to make than the Kumihimo braid. Another option to try when creating braids to complement your fabric. Thank you.
Once again, beautiful! You are so talented and willing to share your creations.
Thanks for the compliments.
Absolutely splendid, again, Mary! I love the softness, the unity and the elegance. I believe I finally understand how to use the tubes. Thank you again for sharing this post.
Thank you. Any questions, please ask. I’m happy to elaborate on steps that aren’t clear or need more detail.
Thanks. Always nice to hear from you.
I just discovered your amazing blog; what an inspiring resource! At age 80 I no longer sew much but would like to make one of those little pockets some of the couture workroom people wear around their necks. Do you know what they are called? One might be useful for me if I can get into the habit of putting my scissors, chalk etc. in the pocket instead of somewhere in the sewing room and have to go searching all the time.
Thank you for your compliments. I don’t know if the little bags that are worn around the neck in a couture workroom have a specific name. I haven’t been able to find one. Claire Shaeffer refers to it as a “pin bag.” I’ve noticed at Chanel, the bags are black with a white CC logo. Definitely make your own version.