Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tablecloth - CENTER

With all the issues of trying to insert the graphic I forgot to mention that I usually put a circle or square of fabric in the center to cover up where the seams are joined. I sew it on with the sewing machine.

One of my favorite notions is the yardstick compass. It is a gizmo with a pointy nail and a lead pencil joined and you slide it on a ruler or yardstick to make perfect circles. Have had it for years and have used it countless times! I draw a circle on a piece of poster board, cut it out and then use a fabric marking pen and trace the outline of the circle on the fabric. Works fantastic!!!!!!

After all this - if anyone makes a tablecloth - PLEASE let me know, and maybe we can figure out how to post the picture.


Trying one more time, then I am going to ask for help.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Round Table Cloth

I can never find the right color or size round table cloth for my kitchen. Because my husband doesn't like it to hang down too far I make it 60" round for my table.

Takes a bit of fabric BUT I have been really happy with the end result.

Cut four 30" squares of fabric.
Using a 4 thread overlock stitch - stitch two of the four squares together. Then take the two remaining squares and serge them together. Now you should have TWO sections that each have two squares. Align the seams and serge them together so that there are four squares and one piece. Fold them so all four squares on piled on top of each other. Take a plate or something that will give you a rounded corner and draw a line and then cut off the corner so that it is rounded. Now set up the serger with a decorative thread in the upper looper (Jeansstitch or 25wt cotton quilting thread) Adjust the settings for a Picot or rolled hem. Remember to notch to start and then edge all around the edge.

A perfect table cloth and the color will be just what you want. if you want the table cloth bigger them measure the table, do the math, and make it the size desired.

This tablecloth can be completed in less than ONE HOUR!

Serger Vs Sewing Machine (again but a little different)

I will often use the serger instead of the sewing machine whenever I can. I have several drawers of decorative thread that I use to edge throw pillows, placemats, tablecloths, napkins, appliance covers, bath mats (made from old towels), changing pads (put old square of plastic shower curtain in the middle layer to water proof),

These are just some of the many things I do using the serger instead of the sewing machine - to save time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More about flowers

This pic has nothing to do with this post - but the pillows are edged with Candlelight (metallic thread). EZ, Quick and fun!

You can also rolled hem the one long edge with fishing line or thin wire. There is an accessory foot available that allows you to insert the line/wire so that it is placed to the right of the right needle and just to the left of the cutting blade. The foot works great. But if you want to try this without the foot - just go slow and once you catch the line/wire it should go pretty smooth.

Think about the possibilities - make your own wired ribbon, wedding veil, hem on a square dance skirt......

Also, I mentioned in an earlier post about serging over yarn. BUT you can rolled hem over crochet thread. It has many different weights - try one that is about the weight of heavy string or light weight twine.

If you serge over yarn you can also use this to embellish (free hand) a ready to wear garment. Arrange the yarn to make a design or flower and then zig zag it down with a conventional sewing machine or a manual sewing machine (Hand sewing needle and thread).

Sergers can be so much fun and you can do so many creative things -

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WARNING! About making the flowers.

When gathering the strip for making the flowers.....

Sorry I forgot to include this info in original post.

Making flowers

For embellishment on hats both fleece, knit or whatever and for purses and totebags - here is a hint.

Take a 2" x 22" piece of organza or cotton.
Set up the serger for a rolled hem with matching thread.
Serge down one long side and when you get to the end angle off. If possible start at an angle too.

For the opposite long side set up the serger to gather and gather down the long side with the raw edge. To make it twirl into a flower just pull the threads from the thread tail. OR if desired do a running stitch with a hand sewing needle and thread to form the flower the size desired.

For the middle I attach a button or piece of ribbon or whatever is laying around on my cutting table from previous projects. :-D

Note - you can also use satin, batiste or any light to medium weight fabric desired. Won't work with heavier fabric like canvas.

Oh - you can put the flower(s) on jackets, dresses, vests or any garment that you would like to add personality. Or glue them to a headband. There's an idea that just popped into my head. If you watch American Idol you will see that a lot of the girls are wearing flowers in their hair. Cute and easy to make!!!!

Let me know if you make any and how you like them.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Straight Pins and the Serger

Most of the time it is suggested that you use a washable glue stick in stead of straight pins. WHY? Because if you forget and serge over a pin it may put a knick in the knife or damage the loopers. If you must use pins then there is a recommended direction for the pins to be inserted into the fabric layers. Vertical - not horizontal.

The more experienced you become you may want to use pins - but you must be alert at the wheel. Beware of stray pins - the knife (blade) will act as a guillotine and chop off the head of the pin. Who knows what will happen as a result. A broken needle in the eye is not worth it! Or perhaps you are like me and wear cheaters when you sew. :-D

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Decorative Edge or Rolled Hem

For the upcoming holiday(s) you can easily make some quick placemats. Take two pieces of cotton fabric and place either batting or felt between the two layers to form a sandwich. An average size is 14" x 17" or whatever you decide.

Set up the serger for a 3 thread wide decorative stitch or a rolled hem or a picot edge. For a decorative edge stitch you can use pearl crown rayon thread (Designer6, Jeansstitch thread, Candlelight, RA polyester floss etc.) in both loopers and regular serger thread in the left needle.

BUT THE TRICK IS THIS-----ROTATE THE FABRIC CLOCKWISE TO START A NEW EDGE. THIS WILL RESULT IN A SHARP CORNER. When you start a new side don't try to start stitching on top of previous stitches. This often results in stacking. That means the needle is forming stitches around the stitch finger but the fabric is NOT moving. For the final edge - start with a small scrap of fabric (but leave a space tail about 2" between the scrap and the placemat) and then advance to the placemat.

Of course as always try this technique on scrap fabric FIRST.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Just Bragging

Last week I went an saw my BFF from high school and we went to Hollywood, Calif.
I had a wonderful time AND I had muy picture taken with Andrea Bocelli. I tried to tell him all about sergers but he was just sew busy. :-D

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Floss Threaders

If your local drug store does not carry floss threaders - perhaps you can order them on line. I am not recommending this site - only providing it as an option that I found.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Serger Vs. Sewing Machine (Garment Construction)

Over the years I have made several shirts, blouses, skirts, vests, coats etc. I use my sewing machine for top stitching, inserting zippers and making button holes. For the actual construction I use my SERGER. I don't sew the seam with the sewing machine and then serge the raw edges. Why do the same function twice??? The serger joins the fabric (seams) and overcasts at the same time. I have found that this makes constructing the garment much quicker, more sturdy and withstands multiple washings without incident.

If I need the seam to lay flat then yes I will serge the raw edges first and then sew with the sewing machine. But I don't sew and then serge - too tedious.

Home Dec projects constructed with the serger are a snap!

I know old habits are hard to break - but this one is well worth it 4 U.