How to Sew with “Chenille-it” to make Faux Chenille!

Welcome to SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And do you like the look of chenille? Well, there’s a product out there called Chenille-It that looks like a roll of fabric bias tape and when it is stitched down, washed and dried, it blooms into chenille. It is a very fun product to use and it’s very quick and easy. Let me show you some of the quick tips and techniques on sewing the Chenille-It. Chenille-It is a product that is a very lightweight cotton. It is cut on the bias and you buy it in a roll, and after you sew it on to whatever you’re sewing it onto and you wash it, it blooms or fluff up like chenille. It’s very easy to use. Let me show you a couple of tips and tricks on using the Chenille‑It. With the Chenille‑It you can sew with this on anything. You can sew on it with a premade garment, a garment that you’re in the middle of constructing, or you can also quilt with it. You’re just going to take this, you’re going to be able to sew it right on top of all three layers, so you’re going to quilt and Chenille‑It all at the same time. And how to sew with it is going to be the same regardless if you have it on a quilt or a premade garment. The Chenille‑It is cut on the bias which means your fibers are going in a cross way motion through the entire thing, so you will be stitching down the center of the Chenille‑It. And then when it’s washed, all of this is going to fluff up. The bonus with doing it this way is you don’t have the lint in the wash machine or the dryer and because the Chenille‑It is on the bias it does stretch. So from a thick piece it will stretch and get quite thin. You don’t want to stretch it as you sew it. You want to be able to keep it as fat as you can coming off of the roll. I’m just going to make this very small quilt as an example. I’m going to do binding and I’m going to sew right on top of all three of the layers. So I have the three layers put together, the batting is in-between, and I fused it or have used a fusible glue to hold the layers together. You could just hand- baste this if you’d like. I’m just going to do a couple of rows of stitching and my initials right in the center. So I’ve done some straight lines. I’m going to take the Chenille-It and I’m going to sew right over top of the straight lines. And to show you the difference on how it looks I’m going to do a couple of different ways, some that I would not recommend, and then you’re going to be able to see the difference. For the first stitch what I’m going to do is I’m going to take that Chenille‑It and I’m going to stretch it and stitch it with a very small stitch. The next row of stitching I’m going to stretch it again and I’m going to use very large stitches. By stretching those two layers you can see already that it wants to pull back into its original shape, so it will have a tendency to pucker the fabric. The next row I’m going to do is I’m going to take the Chenille‑It just how it comes off the roll, without stretching it, and I’m going to lay it on top of that line. Now you can just bring this to the machine and stitch it or you can cut it and pin it down. And if there is a seam, that is fine, you can stitch right over top of that. So I’ve put a couple of pins just to anchor it down in the position that I want it. I’m going to stitch right through the center and I’m going to use the small stitch or a regular stitch that you would use on your machine; in my case It’s a 2.5. The fourth row I’m going to pin the Chenille‑It down and this time I’m going to leave it exactly the way it comes off the roll, but I’m going to stitch again with a very large stitch, like a 5 to a 6. For the next row. I’m going to lay it down again just how it comes off the roll without stretching it, then I’m going to take a second piece and lay it right on top and stitch the two layers down and I’m going to use the small stitch at 2.5, stitching right through the center. So we have five rows sewn on all in a different way, and what we’ve done is we’ve placed them and pinned them and put them on. Now you can just take this right to the machine without pinning it on; you just need to be careful so as you’re sewing you’re not going to be able to stretch it. And you probably have a foot that you’re going to be able to use to help guide it. If you have a foot that has a long opening, that tape will fit right into that opening. And by using this type of foot you’re going to be able to stitch this right at the machine and it’s going to stitch right down the center. By doing that you’re going to be able to do some different shapes. Let me show you. So for the machine setup I have that foot on that that Chenille-It tape will be able to fit in through that hole and it’s going to come right out along the back and I have enough here that I’m going to be able to hold onto. I have a small stitch or a regular stitch at 2.5 or a 2. When you make them smaller they’re going to hold that better and it’s going to be easier to turn any corners that you need to do. And on my Bernina I do have an extra foot along the back that helps feed the fabric in. It’s called a “dual foot.” So the first thing I’m going to do is just anchor these stitches. Now if you have a knotting stitch you can use that on your machine or you can just do a little bit of a back stitch. And without pulling it I’m going to let the machine follow my line. And I’m going to be able to actually just hold this a little bit out of the way and it’s going to feed it in through the top. In the meanwhile I’m going to be able to follow my foot through my picture and this Chenille‑It is going to be fed right through that foot. Now I’m not going to stretch it because I want it to stay nice and fluffy after it’s washed. I’m going to hold this loosely out of the way and just start stitching. Because that foot has that hole that that tape fits in perfectly, it’s going to line it up perfectly for you. So I can see what’s going on underneath, and I’m just going to move the fabric around the shapes. You can stop and pivot whenever you need to, just as if that tape was not there. And after a while it will come really easily. When I’ve come to the end of my design I’m going to knot my stitch or back stitch if you can. If you have more designs to do, just pull the fabric forward and cut it off from behind and that way the machine is already set up to go. When you come to an area where you need to stitch over top of the Chenille‑It, it’s no problem. Just stitch right over top of it. And I’m going to finish the design off right at the machine. So I’m going to pull it through, trim it off, and do all of my straight lines. When all of the front design has been done there’s a very easy way of binding it. Take your Chenille‑It out of the foot and then take your quilt and square it up just like you normally would to get it ready for binding. And to square it off you do just cut right through that. So I have my batting and my back and my front. Set your machine up to do a small zigzag and just zigzag all the way around the edge. You don’t need to do anything fancy for the edges, just zigzag all the way around. So set your machine up just like you did before, having that tape going through that hole with a straight stitch. The first thing you’re going to do is stitch from the back. Start at one corner and stitch that tape right along that edge. I like to have a little bit out so that I can hold onto it and start stitching. And you’re going to be able to follow the edge and stitch that right along that edge so that you have that tape hanging over just a little bit. And again you can just lift this up and stitch. When you’re going to come to the end you can stitch right off. Lift up your foot and the needle, pull it through and trim it right along that back side. And stitch right down the other side. I like to start stitching a little bit off and then going down. And just keep going. When all four sides of the back have been done, turn it over to the front. Repeat, doing the same method: Put the Chenille-It down and stitch it all the way along the edge. And to secure these corners because you didn’t do any back stitch or knotting, now is the time you can do it. You’re just going to start here and stitch a little bit, come forward, go back, and that’s going to hold all of those corners together. Now you can go along and trim off all of that extra. And you can also cut off any of the tails inside your design. And when you’ve trimmed it all you can throw it in the wash and the dryer. So the washing and the drying has been done, and you can see with the first two rows—and these are the rows that we stretched—the chenille is very thin it’s not very fluffy. And also, the one that had the big stitches, we’ve actually lost stitches because they’re pulling out of those big spaces. The one that we did not stretch and we stitched a nice small stitch, we have nice chenille forming and none of it is coming out. Here’s another one that we had not stretched, however the stitches were really big and because they’re really big stitches, you’re not catching all of the little fibers. Some of the fibers will actually pull out and you can have spaces, so it’s really important that you do these smaller stitches, not the larger stitches, Here’s the one that we did with the double row. The double row definitely makes it a little bit more fluffy but if you compare the two it’s really not necessary unless you’re going to add a secondary color. The design in the center is nice and fluffy, none of the threads have come off and it stayed on beautifully. And the other rows that we did which we did on the machine using that foot as a guide, a nice small stitch, all of the chenille has stayed on and it’s nice and fluffy. When you wash it a second time it even fluffs up a little bit more. And for that binding, isn’t it beautiful? You have that fluff or that chenille on both sides. The little zigzag is ‘way inside and it gets covered by all of the fluff. So there’s just a couple of different ways of sewing with the chenille. Now you do not need to limit it just to quilts. Don’t forget there’s a lot of garments and pre-made garments that you would be able to put this on, and when it’s washed and dried it’s going to bloom and have that nice chenille look to it. Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time
in the sewing room. Bye for now!