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Tips & Techniques > silk ribbon work in the bobbin

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Posted by: Londa Rohlfing

About Londa Rohlfing star
Member since: 11/30/03
Reviews: 49 (tips: 4)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 26 people
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Posted on: 5/13/04 5:27 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   
Web site/URL: photo
This is "bobbin work" with a sewing machine. It was done with a 7.5 mm long stitch length on an Elna 9000. That machine, along with the Diva, 8000, and 6000 had a 'bypass' hole in the drop-in bobbin casing that accommodated bobbin work "sew" beautifully. I haven't seen (personally) a machine since that had this long of a stitch length and could do this work with 4 mm wide silk ribbon as beautifully. I took no extra care in winding the silk onto the bobbin - done by machine, just letting ribbon slip through my fingers to hold somewhat straight, but not caring if it twisted or not.
Here is a close-up view:

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stitchit said... (5/27/04 2:01 AM) Reply
Looks lovely but I have never done any silk ribon sewing, would like to try someday.
Londa Rohlfing said... (5/15/04 9:08 AM) Reply
To answer Grogeous things: Yes, an extra long straight stitch : 7.5 mm. So - no extra width needed. REad following comments on Mandolin 82's picture at "click here". Mandolin: ON your picture of trials: the top 2 rows - from my experience, the irregularity of the stitch is due to the fact the ribbon is slippery rayon - not much you can do about that, but make it the 'look' you are going for anyway. The vertical strip on the right hand side: note you can see the upper thread a bit with every stitch - which also can be a very neat effect. Often with the silk ribbon, I used matching very lightweight cotton thread (60 wt cotton Mettler), or even YLI monofilament thread. The bottom most row is silk ribbon, I'm assuming - and it is pretty much like mine. I can't for the life of me duplicate the exact stitch I got on the Elna on my Pfaff or any machine with an auxillary bobbin case. For other drop-in bobbin machines, I would suggest just not going in the tension spot. Also - increasing the upper tension might help.
Mandolin82 said... (5/15/04 0:33 AM) Reply
Londa, You got me inspired and I did some experimenting myself. Here are some examples, playing with stitch length and tension, etc. click here The black I used was rayon floss (about 2-3 mm) the other is a quarter inch ribbon. I have a Berninan 200E and for the longer stitches I used my longest stitch length and selected the function that skips every other stitch (making an extra long stitch). For the floss I used my bobbin case with the floss coming through the regular opening. For the ribbon I skipped the regular opening and brought the ribbon just the large opening in the top of the bobbin case and threaded it up through the footplate (which I had to take off to do this). For those looking for more info on bobbin work there is a good article in issue #97 of Threads. Susan
debbie.w said... (5/14/04 8:47 AM) Reply
beautiful workmanship. I love the colors.
GorgeousFabrics said... (5/14/04 7:28 AM) Reply
Londa, can you please clarify a bit? Is this just a straight stitch? What kind of needle do you use? Any recommendations for those of us who have machines that only go up to 6mm?
Londa Rohlfing said... (5/14/04 6:53 AM) Reply
Cut and paste the URL from the last line in the review into your browser to see the close-up.
PVA said... (5/13/04 7:25 PM) Reply
Londa, what a beautiful touch! ! ! Thank you for this tip. A member of the ASG chapter in my area gave us a demo of machine embroidery with silk ribbon, but it looked very tedious and stressful. I'm going to your web site to see the close-up. Thank you for this bit of inspiration!
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