Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fun w/Hair Canvas

Hair Canvas is one of my favorite sewing notions, it is also one of the most expensive items I use when the price per width is taken into account. It's cost does make me very circumspect when deciding what projects to use it with. It creates the most beautiful rolls on hems, lapels, arm scythes, necklines...basically wherever there is a break or an edge it can be used to interface that seam and create lovely results. I know this to be true with the sew in but I am not familiar with the fusible so I can't attest to that so much.

Sew In Hair Canvas
My first intro to Hair Canvas sort of sprung up from the Herringbone Jacket, I was doing a lot of research both on line and in books about tailoring and I kept running across reference to Hair Canvas. I read a lot of good things so I went down to my local independent sewing store and bought some to use in this jacket. I fell in love and have never looked back.

Jacket Back
In the Herringbone project I used it for the Front, Back, Hem and Sleeve Hems. Claire Shaeffer, in her book Couture Sewing Techniques Revised & Updated, puts forth techniques for interfacing most areas where there will be a facing or a hem, like the arm scythe, neckline, sleeve hem and hem and often she suggests using hair canvas as an ideal option for doing this. I have been getting in the habit of using this technique in at least one place on every project, though I don't always use hair canvas...I'd go broke.
Makes a nice softly rolled hem line, as shown on the Birds of a Feather Dress
The Hair Canvas is really proving to work just as well with lighter weight fabrics as it does with wools as you can see I used it to hem the Birds of a Feather Dress.   Depending on how you the interfaced are to moveant  or as required by the shape of the area to be interfaced the canvas can be cut on the bias, on grain or even crosswise. These will all result in a different roll or fold and can be used to prevent stretching or to assist in movement, as a mean to manipulate the fit and drape of the garment. For example, a jacket back is usually cut on the bias since this area is subject to the strain of our shoulders and backs moving and shifting while the front is not as much and can be cut on grain to help hold the shape better and to prevent distortion. I actually think there is more to this than my little musing but it is how I understand it.

I almost used it to interface my facings for the Summer Dress but it was going to require a lot for the back and being on a budget I decided against it (even though I had enough in my stash). A decision I am sort of regretting. I think it would have made for a much better over all effect.The Summer Dress pattern calls for small strap. I originally cut them out of the main fabric and used the same interfacing I used for the facing. I got them all sewn up on Tuesday night, upon turning them out to the outside I realized what a mess they were. All distorted and just Fugly in general, I ended up deciding to re cut them but out of the fabric I used for the bias tape and the Sash, it is more substantial and would be a nice contrast, adding visual interest.

Much Better
The results have been a thousand times all I have to do is attach them to the dress, interface the arm scythe (an idea compliments of Miss. Shaeffer), finish the hem, sew on the button hole and loop, finish the sash....actually there's more to do than I realized!

The moral of this ramble is really to just espouse the awesomeness and versatility of Hair Canvas and maybe encourage others to take the plunge and try it, even if only for a change of pace.

Happy Sewing,


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