Sunday, July 1, 2012

fun with cornstarch

Our plucky heroine has been working on the binding for t-binding-2the neckline edge of the blue stripey tee shirt. It is amazing what a little starch will do!

The curled up piece is how a strip of jersey knit cotton behaves all on it's own (this was, in fact very useful for the couched down edging along the design, but much less useful for the binding) Mixed up some homemade spray starch (1c H2O + 1 T cornstarch), saturated a piece of fabric and ironed till dry and crispy, then cut out a tidy strip and folded in half

t-binding-3Here you can see how the binding strip holds it's shape. It will be a little stiff to sew through, but once washed, will return to being a soft cotton knit. I have used the same technique to tame slithery rayon and silk. The only caveat is that the fabric needs to be washed first, so it will not mind being washed again to take the starch out...

Also visible is some of the partially finished neckline decoration, the design is outlined in running stitch, with the outer edge worked in couching, using a narrow strip of the same jersey fabric as "filler". Once the neck edge binding is sewn down, the inner portions of the design will be cut away, leaving the dark blue underlayer to show. Very much inspired by the Alabama Chanin style, but rather than copy exactly one of their patterns, as always, I go my own way...
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  1. Nice idea. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 1c H2O + 1 T cornstarch - that's one Cup of water (presuming american measuring cups here) to one teaspoon or is it tablespoon of cornstarch. Is it a flat, rounded or heaped spoon and which size?

    1. I only now just saw your comment here, and yes, it is one "american cup" of water to one flat tablespoon of cornstarch. When I was a child, we were taught that t = teaspoon and T = tablespoon. If it helps, 1 cup = 8 fl oz = 240 ml, and 1T = 1/2 fl oz = 15 ml

  3. What a great idea! I haven't been able to buy starch for years, except for an aerosol can which I don't want. Ruthie, I presumed it was a tablespoon, as it was written as a capital T. I use lower case t for teaspoon, and capital T for tablespoon - I must remember that not everyone thinks the way I do!