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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Help with sewing two pieces of silk together to make zombie cloth (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Frankm6
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Any advice on hemming and sewing two pieces of silk together to make a zombie cloth? (I’m using two pieces for better opacity) One is purple (audience side) and one is black (magician side.) Any help would be appreciated i.e. type of hem, type of stitch etc.
Magicduck
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If you have never done this before, that is a fairly tough way to start. Do you have a friend, likely female but maybe a guy, with a sewing machine. I hand sew things I make sometimes, but for a silk/cover I would use a sewing machine. It does a really tight and nice job.

If you must handsew it, use nice neat and small stitches. I would do three sides with it inside out. Then turn it rightside out, which puts your stitches inside and if you did it straight it will look good.

For the final side, turn the edges in, to match the other three sides and do as nice a job as you can. By using two different colors, you make the job harder. Black thread is likely to show on the purple side and if you use purple thread it may show on the black. Also, two colors, one on each side, on the scarf does telegraph a double thickness to anyone who thinks about it. That can be suspicious although it may not matter for your purpose.

When it is done, get everything really square and iron it. Do not melt the fabric. Good luck.
quack
Bill Hegbli
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Place good sides facing and sew with a machine all four side except for about 2 inches. Modern sewing machines have all types of different stitches. The old way was zig zag stitch. To stright stitch use 2 a quarter inch apart. Usually the standard hem is 5/8".

Use a stick and turn inside out with good side showing. Iron out to the stitches. Sew the last 2" on the outside. Use the invisible thread (clear) in stores.

You're done.
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Aperazor
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Walmart or any fabric store has rolls of fabric double sided tape. I forget what it is called but I have used it in the past to hem or add trim to several large silks and it works great.
One type is temporary and with the other you get everything the way you want, run a hot iron over it and it becomes a permanent seam.
Just a thought to consider if the other options don't work out.
Nick
Bill Hegbli
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I forgot to say before you sew you must straight pin the two cloths together all the way around. Do not remove them until after they have gone thru the sewing machine. Don't worry they will not heart the needle. I done this when I was a youngster so you should be able to do it.

If you are using previously purchased scarves you should remove the hem and flatten it out.

I also put a bias tape on a foulard for my feather flower production and that turned out better then if I would have had it done by a seamstress. Just read up, I purchased a Singer sewing book and it gives all the basic info there.
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Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
hugmagic
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I have made several zombie foulards for guys, using custom dyed silk and dragon silk, including Dale Salwak's foulard.

Basically, sew the two pieces good or right side in. Square them up and pin them then sew stating at the middle of one side. Sew all the way around to it until you about 3" from the starting point. Turn it inside out and poke the corners out. Now top stitch all the way around as close as you can to the edge. When you reach the open spot, tuck the ends in and continue stitch.

As far as machines go, you have to learn how to use it. I am using a 1930 White sewing machine by my great uncle bought and it is better for this than the $800 plus machine I had.

If this is too much of a job or someone doesn't want to tackle it, contact me and I will give them a price on sewing it up.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Harry Murphy
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All good ideas here. Me? I simply take my silk squares to a seamstress who specializes in wedding dresses and have her do a French seam (totally invisible). I had my local lady sew me three foulards for a whopping $10.00! It took her less than a half an hour to press the cloth and sew them for me.
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ChrisG
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Harry
I'm with you. Some things are best left to the professional.
Although I just tell my wife what I need.
She's been doing weddings for almost thirty years.
ChrisG
PS
You would get the $10.00 price but it costs me a lot more.
"Consensus is the negation of Leadership"

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Magic Tad
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I have found most silks must be edged with a serger, a specialized sewing macine that edges and sews a seem that gives a little. This can also be used to attach two or more and make your foluard. Magic Tad
hugmagic
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Silks do not have to hemmed with a serger. A serger usually leaves an overcast stitch with the thread exposed on the outside. This thread sags and hangs up when being used.

The best way is to to hand double turn the edges and do a single stitch to the edge. But if you are doing the zombie type thing, my earlier post explains how to do this.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Bill Palmer
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The best zombie foulard I have was one I made myself. I bought a really nice heavy China silk print -- it was quite subdued -- mainly dark blue, black, and a little gold highlight here and there. I washed the silk to get rid of the sericin which is in most silk. If you don't know what that is, look it up in the Enclyclopedia of Silk Magic. Once it was dry, I pressed it flat. Then I added a piece of blanket hem 1 1/4 inches wide, black to the edge. It hangs well and looks very nice onstage.

It was a real booger to do, though, and I would not hesitate to pay a pro to do it.
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Bob Sanders
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I guess I have just been too lazy to give this problem a lot of effort. For years we could get plenty of good Zombie foulards. When I performed the trick, I intentionally use a "What's New" (with the tabs removed) from Ted Suds because in other parts of the act I had to use the gimmick (matching) to ditch something in a transposition.

I don't do Zombie when Lucy and I work together. She does it as she did in tonight's show. Her Zombie silk is made of two silks. One is a very expensive designer silk with a border that runs about 4" around its edge. Inside that border, she has a solid silk hand sewn to it. The border gives the illusion that the silk should really be see-through. However, it will stand up to the most severe spot lights without flashing. Yet, it flows as if it is a very light single silk. She performs it to Moon River. Since she is also a very experienced ballet dancer (still dancing), there is no way I could compete with the grace she brings to the routine. So the old cowboy just follows with his rope routine.

Bob Sanders
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Margarette
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Memphis area
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If you don't want to try your hand at sewing, you could use something called Stitch Witchery. It's a material that you iron on to hold two pieces of material together. It's available in the fabric section of WalMart or at any fabric store. I have used this many times to hem pants.

Something else you could use, although I wouldn't recommend it, is fabric glue. It is a bit messy to work with, and it leaves the material a bit stiff.

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
David Todd
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This is not exactly on topic of making the Zombie cloth , but once you have it made what you want to do is carefully iron it out (so there are no creases or folds in the silk ) and then store it wrapped flat around a postal tube or a wrapping paper tube . This will keep it wrinkle free . It's good to keep all silks used in the act wrinkle free, but especially the Zombie foulard as one key to making the illusion successful is for the folds to "hang" just right off the ball so that they (the folds) describe where the ball is under the foulard .
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