Sew, What's Up

Sew What’s Up Presents

The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: MidnightStorms
Date: 03-16-2006, 08:01 PM (1 of 3)
I've decided for my first sewing project that I'd help a friend make a shawl. So I bought a pattern.. At first glance it LOOKED fairly simple. However I can't make heads or tails of it some of the directions.

1. For shawl for 60" fabric, cut 60" square of self-fabric. What's self-fabric and how is that different from regular fabric? or does self fabric mean that I need two pieces of it with their backs together so no matter what way you look at it, it'll have a pattern on it(if there is one)?

The other part that has me confused is the hem.. it says:

Turn in 5/8" on all edges of shawl, turning in 1/4" on raw edges, folding in fulness at corners; baste.

so I'm making a 5/8" fold (and I assume pressing it so it stays) and then making another fold of 1/4" on that fold (and again pressing it so it stays) and then basting it so that it's sewn? The picture they provided isn't very helpful :(

Who knew making a giant square would be so confusing?! Thanks to anyone who can provide some insight!
User: MidnightStorms
Member since: 02-16-2006
Total posts: 3
From: paroper
Date: 03-16-2006, 09:24 PM (2 of 3)
Well, self fabric is the same fabric. When it pretains to facings, bindings, etc it means that you cut them out of the primary fabric. However, I'm not quite sure what it means in this case. My thought is that they want you to use a fabric that is the same on both sides. Some fabrics have a visible difference between the right and wrong sides. In the case of a shawl it would be prettier if it does not. One way you can tell is that if they want you to purchase more than a couple of yard of 60 inch fabric, they want you to line it. If they want you to purchase less than two yards of 60 inch fabric they do not, unless they give instructions to cut it in half diagonally.

My instinct is that they do not want you to line the shawl because of the way they are hemming it. They want you to go around the shawl and carefully press up 5/8 inch all the way around. Then they are just telling you to unfold the hem and press 1/4 inch all the way around. This pretty well guarantees that even if your 1/4 inch press is not perfect, the line around the bottom of the shawl will be. An easier way to do that is to press under 5/8 in all the way around and then just fold under to the 5/8 inch fold. The net result is the same but it is quicker mand because you are folding to the fold and pressing, the hem is a little smoother. Then you just sew the hem down all the way around the shawl. You can either do this by hand or with the machine. I would use a slightly longer stitch than I would normally use to sew, but I don't think I would use a basting stitch because sometimes it isn't very strong. The easiest way is to sew from the side where you can see the hem (wrong side) so that you can be sure that your hem is nice and flat.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: AndreaSews
Date: 03-16-2006, 09:42 PM (3 of 3)
good for you, Midnight, for reading the instructions all the way through before you start!
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
Sew, What's Up
Search the “Sew What’s New” Archive:
Visit Sew What’s Up for the latest sewing and quilting tips and discussions.
This page was originally located on Sew What’s New ( at