While almost half of the wraps featured in Wrapped in Embroidery work all year long, the remaining wraps are cool weather companions. They mix and match well with long sleeve T-shirts and sweaters for tops. You’ll find that corduroy pants and jeans, or even skirts and dresses can be dressed up or down with an added wrap.
The Buttoned Suede Shawl beginning on page 39 of Wrapped in Embroidery is actually a cross between a scarf and a shawl. It is a favorite fall accessory for me. This item looks like something one of my talented knitting friends could imitate and whip together with criss crossed knitting needles and luxurious yarns. Since knitting is not a part of my creative repertoire I opted to stitch this wrap using soft faux suede cloth for my rendition.
Now for some tips for sewing with this economical, yet fashionable fabric. First, let’s talk specifically about selecting the fabric as there are many bolts of material that pass for faux suede. You may find quite a selection in the Home Décor department of your local fabric store. It is commonly found in the “big box” fabric stores and may be labeled micro-suede. I happen to love this fabric for pillows. It was part of a family room set I stitched for an article a while back in Designs in Machine Embroidery Volume 72. You can visit www.dzgns.com to order a back issue.
The next type of faux suede commonly found has a knitted, smooth backing on it. I doesn’t have any stretch and generally has a less than “real” suede look to it. It does wash and wear well and is popular for costume making. I think it is a decent choice for Home Dec and possibly even some garments but take a long hard look at this fabric and compare it to what I call fashion faux suede before you settle on this for wearable items. It does not shape well and I think it has a distinct look to it that says fake more than faux. There’s a pretty big difference between the two terms.
Last but not least there is the suede I used for my Buttoned Suede Shawl. This fashion faux suede fits the category of a “dress weight” fabric, meaning it is soft enough to sew into a dress or blouse. Dress weight means it will drape on the body and flow over curves. This weight is soft enough to be shaped with darts or gathers. In fact the shawl featured in my book has instructions for ruching, otherwise known as gathering at the neck. I used gathered rows to shape the shawl making it versatile enough to wear multiple ways.
Page 45 of the book details several ways to wear this wrap.
No matter which suede you choose, be sure to use a press cloth and low heat when pressing this fabric. Good quality polyester sewing machine thread is essential, along with a Microtex needle size 10 to 12 for sewing seams. Visit Schmetz.com to learn more about this type needle. Topstitching is especially pretty on faux suede. Topstitching has yet another benefit. It helps keep pressed seams flat and in their place. For topstitching I like to reach for the walking foot once again, then lengthen the stitch to at least 3.0.