Are you ready for all the details on how I made that faux chenille for the Chichen Itza Skort yesterday? It took some time and effort, but the final look was so good that I highly recommend trying your hand at making your own chenille. But first, have you voted for your favorite look on Project Run & Play this week? I’d love for you to consider voting for Call Ajaire and I’ll wait right here while you pop over there and then come right back for the rest of this post, hehe.
To create this fun, textural fabric you’ll need very few supplies. Mainly, fabric and thread, but I also used a Chenille Cutter and then a toe scrubber brush thing that you could easily replicate with something you have around the house. Below is a link to the specific cutter I used (this is an affiliate link which means if you purchase something it doesn’t cost you anything extra, but Call Ajaire may be compensated), but there are others out there.
To make the circle skirt for the Chichen Itza look I first sketched out with chalk the basic area I’d need to fill before starting to layer, making sure the fabric bias was running down the center line. To easily find the bias, fold the selvage edge over to the raw edge and mark the diagonal line along the fold.
Then I did the following steps 1-5. 1: Layered a bright orange-red sateen. 2: Layered a bright avocado green sateen. 3: Layered a turquoise blue to be the topmost color. 4: Pinned all four layers together. 5: Here you can see the layers and it’s important to note that the bias line should line up along the center of all of these fabrics.
I then took this big quilt sandwich and stitched straight lines through all of the layers, about a half inch apart. It’s important to stitch along the bias, so I began my stitching with the center line and then stitched each side from there.
Here is the fabric all stitched up. Note that the background green fabric is cut wider than the layers. This will make the cutting steps a little bit easier.
In the above short clip you can see how I used my Olfa Chenille Cutter to slice through the top three layers. The blade doesn’t turn like with a regular rotary blade, so the cutter adjusts easily to turn the blade each time the tiny section exposed of the blade starts to dull. You can see in the video that mine was ready to turn! It is MUCH easier to slice through when the blade is sharp and I turned mine right after this video was captured.
Anyway, here is how the chenille strips are created. 1: Use a chenille cutter to cut just the top three layers of fabric and not the green background fabric. The cutter makes it super easy. 2: This is what the fabric looks like after all the channels have been sliced. 3: When you look up close you can see the different layers. 4: In order to rough up the edges a bit and start the slightly frayed and curled up edges of the strips, I used a brush that has probably nylon bristles that is meant to be used for pedicures, hehe. I also used the pumice stone portion on some parts to really get things going. You can see that there’s a rectangular section in the middle of this pic which hasn’t been rubbed yet and that gives you a good indication of what a difference this step makes. (also neither piece had been previously used for toes haha!)
Finally, I took the entire piece and ran it through two wash/dry loads in the laundry. That really gives it the chenille look. Sateen doesn’t frill up quite as much as a flannel would, but it still looks so amazing and the texture is worth it.
For the Chichen Itza Skort, I cut the circle shape directly out of this manipulated fabric and then sliced a line down the center front from the inner circle to the outer circle to allow it to sit on either side of the center panel of the pencil skirt portion.
I used some of the bright green sateen to bind the exposed edges to complete the look! If you were making a blanket or throw, you would just cut out the shape you wanted and then bind it just like this. I know I’ll definitely use this Faux Chenille technique again. Do you see yourself using it? I’d love to hear from you!