Tuesday, June 29, 2010

serging (one seam) pants the EZ way

I have tried to draw a graphic - it is rudimentary but I hope ya'll get the drift.

I serge across the bottoms of the pants to remove the raw edges. Then I put the two pieces together flat and serge the curves. Then line up the inside seams (place a pin at the center crotch seam only to keep them aligned properly) and starting at one end serge all the way across to the other end. Quick easy and ready for the elastic and hemming.

Special note - sometimes I tape the pieces together to eliminate the outside seam and make them into one seam pants. You can cut out a small sample and try out the technique to see how it works.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Welcome New Followers!

I am delighted to see the number of followers growing. I hope that all of you have gotten some inspiration and a few tips that help. Life is Sergereffic!!!

Thank You!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ironing Board Cover - gift

I have made so many ironing board covers for myself and several for family and friends.

First - not all ironing boards are the same size, I learned that the hard way.

But they are so easy to make and quick. Yet they make a wonderful gift for yourself or someone else.

I took two pieces of newspaper (or pattern making paper or something similar and tape them together as needed). Lay them on top of the ironing board and trace around the shape of the ironing board. Next trace a line about 3" outside of the original line. (For the graphic I added blue lines to denote where the corners should be rounded.)
Cut out the pattern on the outer line with the rounded corners.

Place pattern on fabric (I usually make two at a time because with the fabric folded in half it is plenty big enough for both).

Set up the serger for a 4 thread balanced stitch or with a slight gather.

If you have an elastic gathering attachment, place it on the serger. The attachment makes it much easier.

Starting on one of the straight sides attach the elastic all the way around. When you get back to where you started I serge about 2" on top of the previously serged elastic and then just serge off.
I use this same technique to make crib sheets.
It is so quick and almost a no brainer with super results.
I have so many ironing board covers for all the seasons, including my Christmas one. I thought about taking a pic and posting it but they are so stained cause I do crafts and have oops on them it wouldn't look good enough to share. SO hopefully the graphic will be sufficient.

Note - I used to go through about 4 irons a year until I got my T-Fal. Just absolutely love it better than anything else. My BFF Valora told me about T-FAL, what a gal! I have now had the same one for 2 years without any problems. Yehaw!!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hemming tissue Lame or liquid Lame

When I have hemmed tissue Lame or liquid Lame I have used a piece of ribbon on the bottom and done a picot or rolled hem edge. If you don't use some sort of stabilizer then the fabric distorts. Such as pulling, puckering, gathering or shredding.

I can't remember the exact name of the ribbon but it is sold in the bias tape section. And if I still had problems then I used a water soluble stabilizer on the top and just removed the excess when done.
When serging the seams I adjusted the differential feed to a slightly lesser number (on my serger between 1 and 0.5) and lengthened the stitch so it wouldn't gather. As always test on scrap of same fabric FIRST!

Believe it or not I made pajamas and nightgowns out of the liquid Lame for the kids. They just loved it - thinking they were super heroes. It was fun.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lycra and Spandex

I was at a hotel and they were having a comic book convention. I just love this pic and wanted to share it. Just for giggles.
I have gotten several calls about difficulty serging these types of fabrics.
There are a few things to know.
Sometimes you need to lengthen the stitch because the fabric is spongy and stitches too close together will make the fabric stretch out.
If the left needle thread keeps breaking it may be too loose and need to tighten the tension just a smidgen. I know you think that the thread tension is too tight but that is not the case. (Sometimes it looks like the needle is still threaded but looped and not forming a stitch....means tension is too loose.)
When working with these types of fabric I go SLOW, not super fast.
When serging over four layers of fabric (that may include elastic) for sure lengthen the stitch. Remember to allow for bulk - it doesn't necessarily make the stitch longer but allows for the needle threads to go into and out of the fabric without issue.

If your serger can use ball point needles you may want to try them. When I have made bathing suits, sportswear etc. I have used universal needles without problems. But of course use what works best with your serger. And again always test on scrap fabric first!

I may have said this before but I often use wooly nylon in the needles and/or loopers for these types of fabric. It gives the garment ease.

Note - remember to secure the thread tail ends. I tie them in a knot then trim the excess. Nothing worse than the serged seam coming undone when laundered or worn. Yikes!

For some easy patterns for lingerie, sportswear or bathing suits I like the KwikSew books. Of course I bought them years ago so I don't know if they are still available.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Duvet Cover - sorta

This is a graphic using colors that would show the idea. Hope it helps to understand the technique.

My mother-in-law also likes to sew and she gave me a good idea that I thought I would share.

Take two flat king size sheets or whatever size you want. RECYCLE.
Cut off the top bindings. On one cut a good size diamond shape in the center. For the raw edges you can put lace or do some sort of reverse applique. (The whole can really be any shape - but it must be a good size because you will need to insert a blanket later. Be sure to finish the whole before you serge the sides together).
With right sides together - serge all four sides (4 thread balanced stitch).
Turn right side out.
Insert a blanket and you have a delightful duvet or mock quilt. If you want the blanket to always be in there - you can stipple or stitch down the center opening and all four sides with a conventional sewing machine.

But I kept the whole open so I could remove the blanket and use just as sort of like a bedspread.

It looks really pretty done it all white or ecru. There are so many options for this that once you start thinking about it - your imagination will go wild.
Let me know if you try this and how it turned out.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kitchen chair cushion covers

I have oak chairs in my kitchen around my round table. On the chairs I have cushions that tie on the backs of the chairs.

To make some summer covers I was thinking about making flange back covers and use bias tape for the ties. (Using a flange back you can remove them and wash them as needed.)

I haven't made them yet, just an idea floating around in my head.

Cut a piece of fabric long enough to go around the entire cushion plus about 9" and the width of the cushion plus about 4" give or take. I will try it on first and secure with pins to be sure of the fit.

Then fold under the short ends about 1/2" and then 1/2" again. You can serge or sew the ends.

Next with right sides together fold over the long ends to the size of the cushions but make sure you have about 1" or 2" extra room for when the cushion flattens out when someone sits on it.
Note - when folding place the bias tape strips where the ties should be.

Now just serge across the bottom and the top and you are done.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sharing is Caring

My only child - son Sean and me - of course.

I hope that you are reading my blog and getting some ideas and helpful hints. I check it often but I would love to have some questions or comments that I can address.

If you are reading it and not able to sign in - you can always check Facebook, I am there too.

Happy Weekend!

Serger Pintucking

Oh the rolled hem edge has so many applications!
Set up the serger for a rolled hem or a picot edge - whichever you like best. You can embellish a ready to wear garment or start from scratch.
I have done both.
You can create the pintucks by placing the fabric WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and without cutting the fabric (use the knife as a seam guide)serge a straight line. Just remember that when you do create this pintuck allow for the loss of fabric within the seam. So - cut more than you need if you are starting from scratch.
If you are embellishing ready to wear - here is a hint - leave a long thread tail and add beads or buttons or charms to the end of the rolled hem.
I have seen so many tops these days where they have made these pintucks at the neckline to make the blouse flair out.

Of course as always TEST first on a scrap of fabric. When I am testing I usually make a purse, pillow cover or totebag. Cause I hate to waste my efforts especially if it turns out good.

You can test on scraps and then arrange them to make a pillow or purse by alternating the squares vertical and horizontal....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Fun

My BFF Amy loved to make reversible skirts for the summer. She used chiffon or a very light weight flowy fabric. She would take a piece of fabric (hip size plus about 4" extra by the length from your waist to your ankles, example hips 42" and length from waist to ankle - 30". So cut a piece of fabric 46" x 30". Then fold in half to yield 23" x 30" (Make sure it fits and has room for movement)and serge up the long side. Then take another piece of different color or print of the same type of fabric and do the same thing.
Using a rolled hem or picot edge - serge all around the bottom of both skirts (separately - not together!)

With right sides together place one skirt inside the other, serge all around the top to join the two skirt pieces. Now turn right side out so the seam at the top is inside.

Then cut a piece of 1" elastic to fit your waist.

Using the sewing machine - sew about 1 1/2" down from the top to form a casing to insert the elastic. Be sure to leave a 2" opening to insert the elastic.

Insert the elastic, sew the cut ends together and then sew the opening closed.

And YIPPEE - You have an AMY skirt(s).

You will be impressed at how the two different fabrics compliment or contrast each other.

But remember - this was not my creativity - it was my BFF - AMY.