Don’t you just love double welt? Except when it turns out screwy, ARGH!!!!
When it comes to this delicious trim, there’s just no place to hide – luckily, with a few handy tricks up your sleeve, you won’t want to hide anything . . .
10 tips for perfect double welt:
#1. Cut your fabric strips on the bias (diagonal) to achieve maximum flexibility – especially if you’re trimming around curves! I like mine cut at a generous 4″, plenty to hang onto while I’m sewing.
#2. Invest in a proper double-welt foot for your machine, and practice, practice, practice!
Want to see how I sew double welt? Check out my video on YouTube (and don’t forget to subscribe!)
#3. Make sure you use a high-temp hot glue, not the lower temp version used for craft projects. Students are often dubious about the strength of hot glue, but I tell them it takes, “A conscious effort and a pair of pliers” to undo it.
#4. Angle staples at about 45 degrees – your double welt will only lay as smooth and even as the surface you’re gluing to. Angling our staples creates a nice even road , just the right width! And be extra tidy – double welt is only about 1/2″ wide, so hastily placed staples will almost certainly come back to haunt you.
#5. You do not need a folded edge under your double welt – the hot glue will lock up loose threads and prevent raveling. Struggling to fold the edge under usually means a sloppier overall product. There is plenty to worry about, so don’t stress over something that doesn’t matter anyway.
#6. The same goes for trimming your double welt – the glue will secure any cut threads, so it’s ALMOST impossible to trim too tightly. I trim with a scissors as closely as I can manage – If you don’t trim closely, you’ll struggle to get everything hidden under that itty bitty 1/2″ you have to work with.
(On the frame, I trim with a razor blade or very sharp utility knife. You just can’t get close enough with a scissors)
#7. Keep a regulator handy – this is the flattened needle used to “regulate” cotton and hair in traditional upholstery. It makes a killer tool for smoothing down the stitch line while you glue, AND for tucking in the occasional bit of glue or thread that wants to sneak out. You don’t have much open time, so get your tools lined up before you start!
(Confession: I hold the regulator in my mouth. It’s the only place I’m sure not to lose it, and there isn’t much time to tuck things in before the glue cools and sets.)
#8. Don’t stick your fingers in the glue. Seriously. You won’t like it.
#9 Between cutting, sewing and applying, double welt is a pretty serious investment of time and patience. Looking for a faster option? Skip right to gluing with
pre-made gimp. It generally comes in two styles (scroll and French) and a generous variety of colors.
#10. The margin of error is very small on double welt, and it is not agreeable to rework. It’s like watercolor painting, or caulking a seam – you kind of have to give it your best one shot and accept the results. So practice – you’ll (eventually) get a sense for how much glue you need, and how long you have to work with it. If you feel frazzled, put things away for another day – trust me, that’s good advice.