How to Use a Loop Turnercomments (14) September 26th, 2008
A loop turner is such a simple tool that works so well. It’s a very thin metal rod with a ring on one end and a hook and latch on the other. It’s great for any fabric cylinder that needs to be turned right side out. If you want really skinny spaghetti straps or tubes for fabric frogs or loop buttonholes, I think this works the best. And here’s a bonus: You can use the hook to dig out the cording that gets lost in the casing of your hoodies when they come out of the dryer!
I’ll show you how to use this great tool to make tubing and how to use the tubing to make some very cute or tailored flowers.
How to make tubing:
1. Cut some bias strips of lightweight fabric about an inch wide. They don’t have to be real long. I would recommend anywhere from 5 to 15 inches in length. You’ll need as many strips as it takes to complete the flower. If you choose a fabric that’s midweight—like the wool/silk blend in my plaid posy—cut the strips wider so the tubes are easier to turn.
2. Fold each strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew 1/4 inch or less from the fold. For wider tubes, sew 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch from the fold.
Be sure to stretch the fabric slightly as you sew. Turning the tube will put some strain on the stitches, so it's important to build in some stretch or the stitches might pop when you turn the tube right side out.
3. Trim away the seam allowance close to the stitching.
4. Insert the loop turner through the tube so the hook and latch come out the opposite end. Poke the sharp latch through the fabric at the end of the tube and close it.
5. Carefully begin to pull the loop turner out, holding onto the ring with one hand and the hook end with the other. Pull slowly until you feel the fabric turning, then continue to pull until you’ve turned the tube right side out.
Sometimes the latch may come loose midway through the turn. Don’t panic! Finagle the loop turner so the hook catches the fabric on the inside, then pull through.
How to make a flower:
1. Start by making a fabric base: Cut a circle of fabric, 1-1/2 inches to 2-1/2 inches in diameter, depending on the desired size of the flower. Cut a circle of firm batting about 3/8 inch smaller.
2. Sew some long running stitches along the edge of the fabric circle and pull up the bobbin thread so the fabric covers the batting circle. Press.
3. Working from the wrong (open) side of the base, pin the end of one tube in the center and fold back and forth to create petals. When you get to the end of that loop, start another and continue layering until you're pleased with your petals.
4. Hand-sew the tubes in place.