This week you will line your shawl, by hand! The described method is very straightforward and creates a (near-)invisible hem stitch. There are multiple ways to line a shawl, and if you prefer another method to the one described, surely go ahead!
- 100% cotton fabric
- Optional: tacking thread
- Tailor chalk or washable fabric marker
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing thread (matching your SW colour)
- Sewing needle
Step 1: Washing
If you use 100% cotton fabric, some shrinkage will likely occur when you wash your shawl. For this reason it’s recommended to pre-wash the fabric on a regular washing cycle. Keep in mind that the shrinkage is on average 5% so account for this in the size of your fabric. After washing, iron the fabric.
Step 2: Tacking thread
Pre-lining the shawl with tacking thread is optional, but I highly recommend doing this. Tacking thread is easily breakable thread which acts as a placeholder to keep your fabric in place when you sew in the lining. It also makes it easier to put your project aside without shifting your fabric.
Please remember to keep an eye on the front of your shawl when you work with tacking thread. If your shawl looks bundled up in one place or isn’t laying flat when you turn your work, go back and re-do that part as it will show in your final lining too!
To pre-line your shawl, follow these steps:
- Lay your shawl flat and place your fabric on top of the shawl. Trim fabric to size, there should be approximately 2cm (0.8in) of excess fabric on all sides.
- Start in the top right corner. Fold a 1.5cm (0.5in) seam in between the shawl and your fabric. You will be stitching your lining in the last row’s stitches on all sides.
- Use a running stitch and stitch approx. 0.5-1cm (0.2-0.4in) from the edge of the fabric. Make sure you stitch through the seam as well to keep it in place. Smooth out your fabric and shawl with your hands as you go, making sure not to pull to hard on the fabric or shawl to prevent creasing or overstretching.
- When you reach the top left corner, gently smooth out your fabric and trim any excess fabric to size. Fold the side seam inwards. Continue stitching down the short side, adjusting the seam if necessary to accommodate for your shawl size.
- Continue around the shawl. When you’ve stitched around, simply break off your tacking thread.
Step 3: Lining
Now take a piece of sewing thread and thread your needle, tie a knot at the end. You will be stitching the very edge of the fabric to the last row of stitches on all sides. Pick up a small piece (2-3mm/0.1in) of the bottom loop of your stitch with your needle, pull through. Next, insert your needle in the fabric below, and pick up a small piece (2-3mm/0.1in), pull thread through. Don’t pull too tight. Pick up the next small piece of loop and a bit of the loop from the next stitch. Continue like this all around the shawl, and leave a 10cm (4in) tail to weave in. By using this method, you barely see the sewing thread in the back, or in the front! For clarification, see the diagram below.
Step 4: Vertical lines
Now your fabric is secured on all sides, but you need to secure it in the center of your shawl too. In order to do so, you will be making vertical lines through the fabric and the back of your shawl with a straightforward backstitch.
Measure out the middle of your shawl, and mark the vertical line (from long side to the other long side of your shawl) with tailor chalk or a fabric marker. Next, take a piece of sewing thread, tie a knot at the end and make short backstitches along the line.
Backstitches are made by picking up a small piece of fabric (and shawl!) from point A to B (see below), and pulling your thread through which will run at the backside of your fabric. Next, insert your needle in point C (in the stitch you just made) and pick up again a small piece of fabric. Repeat this until you’ve finished stitching along the line. Divide each half of the shawl in halves again and repeat the process. Next, divide each half in two again and repeat this again. Pull out the tacking thread and sew in all loose ends. You’re done!
Caring for your shawl
It’s important to take good care of your shawl. With the proper maintenance it will last you a long time. This goes for all handmade items, of course!
Colour Catcher - Always use a colour catcher when you wash your shawl for the first time. The yarns used in this CAL are very colourfast but there is always a small chance of colour bleed. A colour catcher will ‘catch’ any excess dye and trap it, preventing it from running.
Washing - Wash the shawl preferably by hand. Although cotton and acrylic don’t felt, the shawl and its embroidery will look best if the yarn is not overly agitated when washed. If you can’t wash it by hand, choose a gentle cycle (wool wash, for example).
Drying - Always let your handmade item dry flat, and in shape. Try to avoid the dryer as much as possible, as your yarn might get agitated and snag.
Pilling - It is possible that a little bit of pilling will occur when you’re wearing your Hygge shawl. Pilling is the result of friction and heat, and virtually every fiber will pill a little bit when used (check the armpits and sleeves of your favourite cardigan, you’ll probably find them there too!). Pills are easily removed by using a bobble buster every once in a while. Regular washing will remove little pills too.