Monday, July 21, 2014

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Yes, we have been busy working, and spending 3 weeks making modifications to a single shirt pattern.

My sewing room has been rearranged a bit. With all of the garment sewing that I have been doing, my baby has gotten quite a workout. She has done seams, basting and winding bobbins with nary a complaint. I even got a friend for her - a cute kitty sewing basket to store all of my tools such as markers, scissors, rotary cutter, pins, tape measure and other fun notions to make sewing more pleasurable.

Well, there has been a stranger lurking in the shadows. This stranger has been shoved unceremoniously into a box and left all alone for 4 long, uneventful years. When we packed for this move, I rescued the stranger and brought him to the new house... Where he sat... In a box... For 4 weeks.

After the 4 weeks when everything had settled down to a dull roar, I took the stranger out of the box, moved my sewing machine to the cutting table and put the stranger on my sewing desk... Where he sat... For a week and a half. I hadn't worked with the stranger for years, what do I do?

We go to and order The Complete Serger Handbook  and we read. We fill our head with knowledge. The last time that I used my serger, I only used 1 stitch and really knew nothing about it. I learned a lot from the book. I went to the local fabric store and bought 4 cones of serger thread to match each of the dials.

Yesterday, I took the plunge. I took all of the white thread off of the machine and decided that I was going to thread the serger. Upper Looper in pink, yupp. Lower Looper on yellow, right needle in green and left needle in blue. Turned the handle and no nifty stitches were made... Rats... Unthreaded all of the machine and tried again. Threaded upper looper, lower looper, right needle and left needle. Can you see where this is going? Turned the handle and again, no pretty stitches... GRRRRRR...

At this point, I figure the sewing gods had it out for me. I threw my hands up, got my iPad, opened up YouTube and searched for a video on how to thread a Singer Serger. The sewing gods smiled down upon me and I found an awesome video on how to thread my serger. We threaded the upper looper with no problem. We threaded the lower looper and just after threading the last step, I found my problem. The lower looper thread wrapped around something when I pulled it out and that is why the stitches would not form. Once correctly threaded, inserted a few pieces of scrap fabric! Awesome!

Here is a pic of the stranger

Yes, the serger is threaded in nifty shades of clown vomit! I played with sewing samples where I changed the tension on each thread to see which settings would work the best. I was ready to make my first serger project.

Do you see the mat that the serger is resting on? That was my first project. It is a pad with a pincushion next to the machine. In front is an attached bag for fabric and thread scraps, a pocket for scissors and another pocket for other stuff I need while sewing. Right now, it is holding a pair of reading glasses that did not get lost in the last 7 days, LOL!

The project was fun and I learned some neat stuff. The mat itself is quilted. I have not done machine quilting but thought this idea was brilliant... I had some scrap duck cloth, bought some batting and put an old pillow case on top. I sewed the 3 layers together on my regular sewing machine. I serged all of the edges, serged the scrap pocket and put some heavy interfacing in it to give it some support. Then I used some clear vinyl that I serged then sewed into the front. The project took a couple of days but was a lot of fun. Now, I have a place to put all of the things I need when sewing or serging.

I really did enjoy the bit of quilting I tried. I have a couple of projects that I would like to try using quilted fabric for a base. I will start easy with a pencil case for my sewing basket. After that, I would like to try and make some kind of bag. Maybe a messenger bag or a purse with a TON of pockets to fit my electronic gadgets like cell phone, e-reader, car keys, paper pad holder, pen holder and all that other fun stuff that drives me nots when it is loose in my purse.

I also need to get back to the shirt I have been modifying. I have done a bunch of tissue fitting and have sewn up my muslin. I have not put the sleeves in yet but the bodice fits very nicely. On the next garment, I will document all of the steps. I was only able to steal 45 minutes here or 60 minutes there and did not have time to document. Or maybe I am just leery of the sleeves not fitting and I am putting it off until my mom comes to visit on the 1st so she can help me... Yup, I think I need Mom help for this one.