Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The humble overcast stitch

I have long neglected my overcast foot. It gives a "serged" finish to seams without using a serger. The stitch on my new machine actually does a double straight stitch and overcasts the ends while my old Brother overcast stitch was just a single stitch and then overcast the ends. I am probably the last person to figure this out but I'll put it out there in case anyone else has been neglecting their overcast foot too.

While messing around with the tension on my thin cotton camp shirt arm holes, I realized that turning the tension to the highest setting while making the width and length smaller proportionally created an amazing effect. It actually flipped the raw edge toward the seam as it overcast it. This means I have a "hemmed" and serged finish on my armpits. No one likes a frayed armpit hole ticketing them. I wish I had figured this out before i got within 6 inches of finishing the last sleeve. I haven't obviously tried it on different fabrics but I think it will have a similar effect. The only trick I found in getting to flip was to push the raw edge up like in doing a narrow hem rather than flush with the foot. It may end up creating a shell stitch instead of neatly flipping the edge over.

If anyone tries this please let me know how it worked out. I'm curious to know what else this awesome little foot can do!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do you tissue? And Singer 66s

I usually tissue fit a pattern after I measure it just to make sure it will fit and to see if I like where I set the hem line. Some people think its a total waste of time but I like to do it. I also like to look at it for a couple days and see if I get inspired to change anything and to think about what fabric I want to use. Sometimes after a couple days of looking at it I realize that I don't want to make it or that I really can't decide on a fabric.

In the case of Butterick 6409, I'm not sure how this will look. The fabric is a very light mint green with a deep teal and orange and brown stripe. It's an Oxford material, like for men's shirts, but I thinks it will work nicely for a dress. My concern lies in the stripe. The pattern cover shows a lass in a white and red stripe dress. I love it but would never actually make a white dress. I've got too much toddler running around for a stain magnet like a white dress. I thought about color blocking but the back is cut as one, the raglan sleeve front doesn't continue to the back. Thoughts?

I'd also like to welcome another machine to the family! Hello Singer 66-16, made in 1955, and snagged off Craigslist. For a whopping $30 I got a cosmetically lovely machine, all attachments, a buttonholer, and lots of grime (free of charge). I've scooted it in the living room and have been doing my best to de-gunk it while watching tv. It needed lots of oil. The wiring and motor seem to be new (within the last 10 years or so) and the belt is brand new. The cabinet is in need of some love. I'm thinking of using epoxy countertop paint on the flip out portion of the table so it will be super durable and slick and the rest of the cabinet will just get regular paint.

Right now I'm working on my version of the perfect wallet. That will be a post sometime this week. Its nautical peeps! I'm moving into my sewing room (eeeeeeeee!) and have some stuff floating around (i.e. it's lost). More to come....

Sunday, March 3, 2013

It's slowly looking like a room

It looks like a room if you only concentrate on a 3'x3' space. I also stopped off at my favorite fabric shop. It's like Salvation Army for crafting stuff. It's run by volunteers and the proceeds go to a senior living center to help them maintain their independence. I went specifically for fabric to complete some projects for Lorna's 3rd birthday party but of course came away with more tid bits of joy. Lorna wants a kitten theme party too (Oy!). I'm doing a vintage kitten theme to make it a little less obnoxious. I think it's going to end up being really pretty cute. The kitty wreath will end up in her room when the party is over too. I'm going to do each cat in a different fabric. I'm also going to try to do a couple buntings. The party won't be till the end of April, so if I start now I can do a little every night and have it actually finished BEFORE the party (admittedly a first).

The big wad of yellow fabric is 5.25 yards of 80s does 50s wonderfulness. I'm thinking of doing the McCalls 5327 with a big full skirt. I'm thinking of also doing black piping on the collar and black buttons. It probably won't be warm enough to wear without leggings and a cardi but I'm boycotting 'swinter'. For everyone not familiar with western New York winters, they are very unpredictable. The spring/winter season is horrible. It will be 60 degrees one day and literally snowing 5" the next. Anywho, I hope everyone else can enjoy your approaching spring!