Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Note - the orange line represents the back. The arrows represent the pins.
I have had so many questions about inserting elastic in skirts, pants, shorts etc. and I want to offer some suggestions.
First of all if you have a four thread serger there are a couple of ways. If it is elastic larger than 1/2" width then you would need to measure what size elastic would fit (that means when it is stretched comfortably around the waist). Serge or sew the short ends together to form a circle. Now quarter mark the elastic with pins. Next quarter mark the garment. Match up the pins (the elastic should be smaller than the garment). Starting at the back with the elastic side up stretch elastic to lay flat on garment, serge onto the elastic/garment (treat them as one) - stretching the elastic flat to fit the garment as you go. (Do not stretch with the serger needles in the elastic.) Of course as you approach the pins - REMOVE THEM! When you get around to where you started (you will be serging in a circle-sorta)serge on top of previous stitching for about 1" then serge off. Then off to the sewing machine to zigzag. Turn down the serged edge, stretch flat and zigzag to the inside of the garment. Practice on scrap fabric first and always.
Another way is to use an elastic gathering attachment. They usually come with directions. Most do not accommocate 3/4" or 1" elastic widths. Check the instructions for the attachment on the website for your machine. Practice to see what the stretch ratio is for the attachment - then use it to attach elastic on the garment.
If you have a 5 thread serger you can attach the same way as with the four thread, but then you can turn down the edge and use a two or three thread cover stitch to secure it to the garment. Some people do it all in one operation. Practice and this may be what will work for you.
Note- for lingerie, underwear, sportswear etc - I have always used an attachment. That way I am sure the stretch is the same for both legs, arms etc.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Note - the dotted line is only to show that the hem is folded under. Serging should be done at the edge that has the fold and the raw edge.
When making pillowcases or similar items with the serger there is a easy quick way to hem them without going to the sewing machine.
1. Fold under the hem and press (wrong sides together - as usual).
2. Now fold the other way so that right sides are together. There should be a raw edge and a folded edge. Note - do not press.
3. Notch to start and serge all the way around and you will have a banded type hem.
This is quick, easy and looks quite nice!
This quick hem method can be used for lots of other projects as well, give it a try and see how much you like it.