Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Recycling - a different approach.

I have some bath towels that have frayed on the ends and I decided to restore them and use them for assorted other tasks.

Bath Towels----

You can set up the serger for a 3 thread picot edge. (Rolled hem settings with a longer stitch length.) Cut the towels to wash cloth or tea towel size and serge the cut edges. They can now be used for dusting, wiping up spills or anything you want. If you like you can leave a long thread tail on one corner and catch the end of the tail in the new serged side and use it as a hanging loop.

When old sheets have gotten tears or frayed I cut them up and make pillow cases.

Of course assuming that the remaining sections of the towel and sheet still have some miles left.

Hope you are inspired to recycle and reuse....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Elastic - issues

When working with Lycra, spandex or even some knit fabric and attaching elastic - needle threads break. In the past when I have had this problem, I found that lengthening the stitch really helped. Another problem believe it or not was that the needle thread tension was too loose - but just slightly. Especially when you are crossing over joined seams you need to have a long enough stitch to allow for the loft or density of the several layers you are joining. At times you can split the difference and make the stitch length a little longer than normal but not a full number.
Of course it makes a difference if you are using a 4 thread serger or a 5 thread serger(coverstitch).

And thread makes a difference. Don't use inexpensive thread for garment construction. It will give you more headaches than you can handle.

I was making my sister a pair of flannel back silk pjs and used that discount thread from the fabric store. What a mistake. There were several cuts in the thread and it was weak. By cuts I mean that I would be serging along and didn't notice that one of the threads was broken etc. What a nightmare.

Now I use Robison Anton Polyester thread for projects that are important to me. It is strong, comes in several colors and holds up well. For items that won't get a lot of wear I use the cone threads.

But I have to say that over the years I have used many different brands of thread in my serger, especially when color matching was crucial.

I am leaving for New Orleans today, hopefully I will bring back some cool ideas to share with ya'll.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pants - a new idea

This is a picture of my Sister (she taught me how to sew) and my niece. As you can see my sewing room needs some TLC. :-)

Usually when I make pants whether using knit fabric or cotton - the seams are always on the inside (according to pattern instructions). This morning as I sit here in my pajamas thinking about all of you and what to write, I noticed that my pj bottoms are on inside out.

Thought or maybe a new idea - How about using a rolled hem for the side seams and make them on the outside???? This would be easy to do and add a decorative line down the outer side seam. You could even use a contrasting or same color thread. For me it would have to be gold metallic. ;-)

Imagine how cute this would be for kids clothes, even little dresses, jumpers or shorts. Depending on the type of thread used it could look like piping. (Thread suggestions - wooly nylon, Heavy wooly nylon or Jeansstitch.)

When you test on scrap fabric (be sure you do) and if you get pokies or thread hairs - try using a water soluble stabilizer on top. Once the seam is serged just rip the excess stabilizer away.

Summer is fast approaching and we are always looking for new ideas. Take a pants pattern that you have made before and give this a try. I am going to as soon as I get dressed, have my coffee and open both my eyes.

Have a sergeriffic week!