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Flashing? It's a 16th-century look for a stocking, pillowcase or vest.

Flashing? It's a 16th-century look for a stocking, pillowcase, or vest

A 16th-century sewing technique called "flashing' gets updated in a Christmas stocking, pillowcases, and a vest. Basically, you layer five pieces of fabric, stitch them together in a grid, then slash through the top four layers. After washing, the cut edges open like flower petals.

Choose colorfast fabrics of different but harmonious colors; for best results, use 100 percent cotton.

For the stocking, you'll need enough fabric for ten 13- by 15 1/2-inch pieces (five layers for each side).

For each pillowcase, buy fabric fox six 16-inch squares (5 for the slashed front, 1 for the plain back). You'll also need a 15-inch zipper and a 16-inch-square pillow form (at sewing supply stores, about $5).

For the vest, buy a simple vest pattern and enough fabric to cut five layers each for the front and back.

We show how to make a pillowcase, but the same steps apply to all projects. First, cut the fabric; baste layers together around all sides. Starting 1 1/2 inches from any edge, draw grid with a tailor's pencil or chalk. For dimensions, follow measurements in the patterns below.

Next, stitch along grid lines through all five layers. With a seam ripper, start diagonal cuts across each of the grid squares; finish with scissors. For our stocking and vest, we cut both ways to form X shapes; for the pillowcases, we left some squares uncut or only partially cut (T shapes).

To finish the stocking, pin halves together, cut sides facing, and stitch around sides and foot; trim the top edge close to stitching for squares. For the pillowcases, turn under one edge of front and back pieces 1/2 inch, center zipper along folded edges, and stitch in place. Open zipper slightly; then, with right sides of fabric together, sew other three edges. Turn right-side-out. Follow pattern directions for finishing vest.

To make the cut edges fray and fluff up, wash the items and dry in a dryer; for best results, wash with towels or other heavy articles. To open fully, rough the flashing with a stiff hairbrush.

Photo: Fluffy layers of cut fabric decorate this Christmas stocking (above) and two throw pillows (left). The four-layer triangles open out after washing and drying

Photo: Heavyweight cotton for vest adds durability; cut edges fray more, too

Photo: Two grid patterns at near right use 1 1/2-inch squares; far right pillow grid has 2-inch squares in corners, 1 1/2-inch squares elsewhere. All three are assembled with 1/2-inch seam allowances

Photo: Five layers of fabric can each be a different color. In our projects, top and bottom layers are the same color

Photo: As you sew along grid lines, stretch the fabric in both directions to prevent lower layers from gathering

Photo: Start a small diagonal slash across grid squares with a seam ripper; pierce the top four layers only. Finish cut with scissors
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Dec 1, 1987
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