I decided to try out Sharon’s idea, and made part of a third prototype leaf:
This worked out okay, but not spectacular – it produces a nice neat bound edge, but a thick, heavy-looking one.
Before working on the third prototype, I had finished (?) the first leaf, a purple one:
The hand overcast edges look a little ragged, but I like the embroidered veins. The right half is wired with fine gold wire so it can be shaped. I still need to wire the other half and shape it in a suitable manner.
I think my final solution will be hand overcast edges, but I’m going to “cheat” and apply an invisible edging of Fray Check to discourage fraying. A heavy application of Fray Check will discolor the fabric, but a very very thin edging (applied with the point of a pin) came out invisible on my sample, and discourages fraying rather nicely. So I think I will redo the purple leaf, this time applying Fray Check to the edges to neaten them up a bit. I may also machine stitch right next to the edge to further stabilize it. Not sure yet. More experiments!
Talked to Sharon yesterday and got the fine points of finishing for Autumn Splendor. I’m guesstimating I have ten hours of work left on it, not including the leaves. Fortunately those 10 hours are largely things I can defer until after the photo shoot, so I’m going to focus on the leaves! Those definitely have to be done by Sunday.