Friday, April 29, 2011

Needle Alert!!!!

Purse made using a Cover Stitch machine. If you would like the instructions, please just ASK!

I have recently been helping someone who is working with a coverstich machine. Some of these machines take a Schmetz EL x 705 needle type. When the manual for your machine indicates the type needle for best results- follow their recommendation!!!

Things that could happen - damage to the looper, which is very expensive to replace or repair. Throw off the timing, again very expensive to repair. So to save a dollar (using the incorrect needle type) you will end up spending $100 or more. That does not make sense to me.

Just because you want to use a size 14 needle - does not mean that you could use a (conventional sewing machine) universal or ballpoint needle as a substitute. The needles are important to the functionality of the chain looper. Coverstitch and 5 thread sergers work differently than 4 thread sergers.

When I am working on a garment, quilt, home dec. etc using my serger I change my needles often and remove any lint or fabric scraps from inside the machine. I vacuum out the debris. And as indicated in the manual I keep it lubricated in the suggested locations.

Nowadays most websites (for your serger) have hints, FAQs and videos. Take the time to go to the site and navigate to the serger pages. It will prove very beneficial in the long run.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thread tails - do not throw them away!!!

Photo of my sister (taught me to sew) and my son.

There are many uses for leftover thread tails from your serger stitching. Whether they are regular serger thread, heavier decorative thread or wooly nylon.

Here are some ideas:

1. Button loops
2. Braid them and use for key chain decorations (attach beads if desired)
3. Little flower decorations for wrapped packages (Use glue to form flowers)
4. Use as a formed button loop and attach to hand made holiday decorations for the tree.
5. Place a handful of them on fabric, cover with tulle or clear vinyl and using a conventional sewing machine, stitch the sandwich together with decorative stitches. (Makes fun place mats, coasters etc.)

Note - Save them by placing them in a sealed plastic bag or a large coffee mug.

Monday, April 4, 2011

T-Shirt dresses

Spring is fast approaching and what a great time to make some T-shirt dresses for little ones. Some of you may remember this technique but there are plenty of you out there that have never heard of it.

You take a little girls t-shirt, embellish or decorate as you desire.

Measure the circumference of the hem line. Multiply it times two. Next decide how long you want the dress to be when completed. Serge the two short ends together to form a tube shape.

Hem one end of the tube. The other end set up the serger for a 4 thread gathering stitch. Gather it and then set up the serger for a regular 4 thread overlock stitch.

With the gathering on the bottom and the t-shirt on the top, attach the gathered portion to the t-shirt. (You will be sewing in a circle.)

This is a quick and easy little sun dress for your favorite little one.

Note - if desired, you could use the old faithful pillowcase for the bottom portion, make it long and it will be like a prairie dress. Of course another option is to cut the t-shirt shorter so the top is like an empire waist dress. There are so many options using a t-shirt as a base for the top - just let your imagination run wild....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Let's make Ribbon!!!

Set up the serger for a 3 or 4 thread decorative edge using heavier decorative thread in the upper and lower looper. (Pearl Crown Rayon, Candlelight, Designer6, RA Polyester serger thread etc.)

Cut a piece of organza about 2" wide by whatever length you want.

Serge one side of it all the way down on one long side.

Then rotate the strip so you are serging on the same side up again.

This time let the previously serged edge ride along side the left side of the foot.

Yippee - a beautiful organza ribbon to wrap your precious gift. Some sewers wrap their presents in fabric and then you can add just the right finish by tying it with the perfect color ribbon.

Try it!!

ps - another option is to use wooly nylon and do a rolled hem. You could add wire if desired. :-)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

4 thread flatlock

Recently Janome featured some hints on the 4 thread flatlock stitch for 4 thread sergers.

I thought you might like to see an example of how it looks. This is what I did and how beautiful it turned out.