Before you can braid the welt cords you must cover them with fabric using a reverse welt method. Reverse welt is where the sewn selvage edges are reversed so the sewn edges end up inside the finished product. In the “Style Code Quick Reference Book” and “The Ultimate Designers Workbook” produced by Precision Draperies Education®, we have defined this style as AO-TIU16, braided tieback.
CONSTRUCTING THE PIECES
1. In this lesson we are going to use 1-inch cotton welt for the cording and the finished length of the tieback is going to be 36 inches. To begin, we need to determine the cut width of the fabric strips. You will need three of them. There are two ways to figure this. The first way is to take a cloth tape measure and wrap it around the welt cord, allowing approximately 1 inch for total seam width. A second option is this simple formula:
Cording diameter x pi (3.141) + 1= cut
Example: 1 x 3.141 = 3.141 + 1 = 4.141 (round to 4.25 or 4.5 inches)
2. To find cut length: Finished length of tieback x 1.39 = cut length (the length of the fabric strips). This allows for take-up when braiding the tieback.
Example: 36 x 1.39 = 50.04 (round to 50 inches)
• Three strips of fabric 4.5 x 50 inches
• Two square pieces of fabric, 5 x 5 inches for the end caps
3. The biggest trick to making reverse welt is not to cut your welt until you are done reversing the fabric. Take one of your strips of fabric and lay it next to the welt (Photo 1). Using a pin or chalk, mark the welt where the end of the strip is. Taking the same strip, place the beginning of the strip on the chalk or pin. This is where you will begin sewing the first strip of welt.
SEWING THE WELT
4. The trick in sewing along the welt is using the proper foot based on the type of fabric. With a little practice you will know how tight to sew the welt when reversing. The best types of foot to use are a zipper foot (A) or a regular foot (B)—the regular welt foot (C) can be used if there is no other option. (Photo 2)
• Zipper foot can be used on light to medium thick fabric.
• Regular foot can be used for thick upholstery fabric.
• Regular welt foot—if you use this foot be careful not to sew too close to the welt as it will make it hard to turn the fabric inside out when reversing.
5. Sew the full length of the strip of fabric. Start sewing the strip to the welt cord. You will have extra welt/cording at the beginning. This is OK, do not cut the cord! (Photo 3)
6. Trim the excess selvage the full length of the welt so that you have approximate 1/8- to 1/4-inch showing. If you happen to cut into your stitch line go back and re-sew it. If you don’t, you will run into trouble later.
7. Next sew the end of the fabric through the jumbo welt/piping. (Photo 4) This needs to be a strong seam as it will hold the end of the fabric to the welt while you pull the fabric; reversing it from the back (wrong) side to the front. Run the stitches back and forth a few times. You may need to manually operate your machine if the welt is thick.
8. Use your hand to shirr or scrunch down the fabric towards the seam you just sewed across the welt cord. (Photo 5)
TURNING THE FABRIC
9. Now it is time to pull the front, or face, of the fabric back over the welt. Starting at the seam you stitched to hold the fabric to the welt cord, take your fingers and work the fabric over the seamed edge until it shirrs freely. Be patient as this takes a little time. As you pull the fabric you will continue to see more and more of the face of the fabric. (Photo 6)
10. Once you begin turning the fabric, stand on the opposite end of the welt cord and pull the remaining fabric over the cord. It helps to stretch the other end of the cording while you are pulling the fabric, as this will cause the welt cord diameter to become smaller, allowing the fabric to slide over easily.
11. Pull the fabric over itself until you have reversed the whole strip. Cut the welt where you had sewn the strip to the welt cord. Repeat steps 5 through 11 until you have done all three strips like this.
SEWING THE END CAP
12. Cut the ends of the cording so that they are even and look the same. Place all three welt cords next to each other with the seams pointing downward. Taking one of the 5- x 5-inch squares, place it face down, 1 inch down from the top of the welt. (Photo 7)
13. Sew in approximately 1/4 inch on the 5- x 5-inch square, tacking back and forth at the beginning and end of this seam to reinforce it.
14. Fold the square back until the back edge of the square lines up with the tops of the welt cord.
15. Fold the fabric once more until the front edge lines up with the top of the welt cord. (Photo 8)
16. Holding the folded square in place sew close to the edge of the welt cord on both sides.
17. Cut away the remaining fabric so that there is only a 1/4-inch seam allowance on both sides.
18. Using your thumbs, turn the pocket right side out and over the top of the welt cords. (Photo 9) Fit the corners of the cap so they are sharp and square. Once the end cap is clean and straight, use a needle and thread to sew the pocket closed.
COMPLETING THE TIEBACK
19. Clamp or pin the end cap to the table with the hand stitched side down. The seams of the welt should be down so all seams are on the backside. Start braiding the tieback. Do this all the way down until you reach the end of the cords. Once you have finished braiding, measure 36 inches. Add 1 inch and cut all the welt cords evenly. Pin the cords in place and sew on the other end cap.
20. Place a ring on the backside of each end cap so that the tieback can be installed properly. These rings will assist when installing the tieback to the wall around the drapery. Place the tieback ring so that it is in the center of the end cap, towards the top. (Photo 10)
There are several types of rings available. Two common types are: brass tieback rings and plastic shade rings. A brass tieback ring has a hook on the end that goes in instantly and allows you to adjust it when installing the tieback. A plastic shade ring has no hook, you need to sew the ring on by hand.
That’s it! A video version of this lesson can be found at www.draperyeducation.com, under mini-lessons.