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Posts Tagged ‘serger’

One Day Deal at Woot – Singer Sewing Machine/Serger Combo for Half Price!

This looks like a great deal, but I haven’t used this model before. Can someone tell me their experience with this combo, is it good quality and worth $350? Home Shopping Network sells this combo for $699.

Tips For Using Store Bought Patterns

  Store bought patterns can sometimes be tricky to use, and if we’re not thinking all the while we’re cutting and sewing, we could be setting ourselves up for errors and mistakes and ending up with a garment that won’t fit. Here are a few tips to help make your sewing projects go smoothly. ** Be sure to check patterns for fabric requirements – some patterns are designed to be used with knits, others are designed to be used with wovens. Also many patterns are designed to be used with a serger. Read the pattern packages carefully so you won’t be disappointed with the results later. ** If at all possible, cut your pattern pieces with the fabric right sides together so that the center seams will be ready to pick up and sew as soon as the garment is cut out. ** If you have a pattern piece that says “cut four”, it might be best to photocopy that piece or make one out of pattern paper, and transfer all the markings so that you’ll have 2 of them, and therefore won’t forget to cut 4 from the one piece. (We’re creatures of habit you know – lay the pattern piece on the fabric and cut 2) ** A favorite pattern will last longer if you iron stabilizer to the entire pattern. It withstands pin pricks and is easier to alter. ** When using a pants pattern the first time, it is wise to make 1″ seam allowances rather than the usual 5/8″ — this will allow a little extra for fine-tuning the final fit of the pants. ** When using one of the “multi-view” patterns, it will be much easier to locate the individual pieces needed for a certain view if you will first re-fold the pattern pieces so that the “view” number or letter is facing out. ** To transfer an exact dot from a pattern to the fabric, make a small cross over the center of the dot. ** When using velvet or corduroy choose a simple pattern and avoid topstitching, pressed pleats and sewn tucks. ** When working with big plaids and the pattern calls for pockets, try cutting the pockets on the bias to avoid having to match them to the background plaid. ** Since the bodice of many dress patterns is the most difficult to fit, it is wise to choose your dress pattern size according to the bust measurement and make the necessary adjustments to the skirt. ** If you…
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Trying To Sew Acetate/Lycra

Hi Andy, I’m trying to sew with an acetate/lycra blend and my seams have puckered and look horrible. I’m using my regular machine on a stretchy setting with a stretchy needle. Do I need to invest hundreds of dollars on a serger? Please help me because I think I’m doomed. Thanks. Ellen Dear Ellen: No need to feel “doomed”. You are in good hands here at Fabrics.Net. Our expert sewer, Judith, will handle your question. Good Luck, Andy Hi Ellen, I asked an expert, Gail at Dancing Designs who makes skating costumes and works with stretch. She replied: Dear Ellen-DO NOT use the stretch setting on the machine. They don’t work great & are impossible to rip out. I would use a zigzag setting, about mid range for both length & width. May have to experiment a bit. The stretch needle is OK, but just for fun try switching to Schmetz Universal see if that helps. Sergers are of course the best for sewing on knits, especially one with a differential feed. You can now get them as low as $300- I wouldn’t bother with anything under that. I only paid $699 for my Juki Pearl line 3-4-5 thread & I sew hundreds of dance costumes a year on it & it is great. Best of luck! Gail

The Journey Has Begun

In the summer of 2000, a friend showed me a quilted pillow she had made, and immediately I knew that this was something I had to do. That was the beginning of a hobby that has colored my life, and opened many doors. Sewing has always been a passion with me, but this was one facet of the skill I had never tried. The first thing was to buy a book featuring scrap quilts….lots of color and pattern. What was appealing was the small to medium sized projects….I somehow knew a bed quilt was not in my plan. The book also contained some beginner’s instructions, showing the necessary tools and the basics of construction. Naturally, the most intricate pattern was the one I just had to make…but that was good because everything after that was easy. This was a little tablecloth with many, many small pieces, using templates……perhaps not the perfect choice for a novice. (pic) But I did learn all about joining and matching seams, and found that I liked the mechanics of putting tiny pieces of fabric together with precision. And I fell in love with color. By this time, I had converted a guest bedroom into a sewing studio, bought a serger, a new sewing machine, upgraded to a better one, took anyone’s cast off storage units and filled the room with quilting supplies. Every ruler known to man is hanging on my cork wall……I can’t resist them. My supportive husband installed additional lighting, wonderful speakers to pipe music into the room, and recessed my machine into a counter top desk. I was good to go. After a year or two of tablecloths, doll quilts, lap quilts, and pillows, I decided to make and present to my three daughters and two daughters in law, a set of wall hangings….one for each month as well as holidays. And of course, a set for me too. I purchased six unfinished, wall shelves, stained them, outfitted them with simple hardware, and a dowel with some drapery hooks and café curtain rings, and then started the quilts. What a delightful undertaking it has been. It’s surprising how little fabric is needed to create a small hanging, so they turned out to be economical as well. Imagination is a large factor, and the more I made, the more elaborate they became. Embellishment with beads, buttons, lace, all sorts of trims, and jewels, made each one more fun than the last. Applique, scalloped edges, tassels, and decorative stitching also came into…
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