Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stretch Issues

It's funny....I've gotten so many "ooohs" and "ahhhs" because I've been sewing knits. Honestly, I never knew this was "no mans land" to so many! I just DID it, probably because I didn't know any better! I  used zig zag stitch, and bam- done! No need to finish the seams- LOVE IT. Fit is also easier with knits I think.  I really never had any problems until the recent ITY Stretch Jersey dress (see last post!)!
In hindsight, I do really love it, BUT...it did kinda kick my butt.

Here's the nitty gritty, if you care. If not, see you next post ;)

I DID use Zig Zag stitch on the inside (see pic below) seams, since they wouldn't show, but didn't want to zig zag the hems, etc, since this pattern would show the seam and look ugly.

Since the ITY jersey is a lot thinner and stretchier than what I've sewn before, I read up on different stretch stitch options for the neckline and hems, and here's what I tried and the result:

1. Straight stitch (stretching fabrics I went)- This worked OKAY....and I was able to make it work for the sleeves, but it did pucker here and there (read, I ripped out the stitches and did them a few times) For some reason when I started on the longer seams, this method started giving me really uneven, wobbly stitches and then...EWWWWW- stitches got all gathered and puckery- yuck! I might just have been stretching too much or not enough, but I just couldn't figure it out. When I loosened the tension it was better, but the stitches didn't feel secure, so I got frustrated and tried something else.

2. Stretch stitches built into my machine- NOT GOOD. Got all bunched up, so I didn't even mess with them. Maybe I should read my sewing machine manual...he he he.

3. Double needle (after researching and taking a trip to the store to buy one!) : NOT BAD!!!!

To use the double needle, I put two spools of thread on my machine (both threads get threaded the same way, then one thread goes in one needle, the other thread in the other). It was daunting, but I got it right the first time! Whoohoo!

Here's how the stitches look....BUT- what do you notice? The raised ridge? Apparently this is called "tunneling" and boy did I get tunnels! They bug me! Who knows, I might have outfits in my closet with TUNNELS, but I didn't like them and don't want them!

I played with the tension and finally got it a little flatter...(oops, ignore the start, I had it on zig-zag!)

I also read to try some stabilizer underneath the stitch to keep the fabric from stretching, etc, and I did try this, but didn't notice much difference, so I stopped messing with it, and really, this dress has LOTS of LONG seams, and that just seemed like TOO MUCH WORK (have I mentioned I am a lazy sewer person) (I just can't call myself a seamstress)  Anyway, I just used the pin in kind of stabilizer and probably should have tried this a little more, but I didn't.

Sooooo- in a nutshell, I did end up using the double needle, and it isn't BAD, but the edges still want to roll a little. It's hard to see in a pic, but it's sort of annoying. When you wear a garment, it's annoying when the edges of the neckline keep rolling (where the wrong side of the hem is showing!) See pics below...

 ANYWAY- since finishing my dress, I've been reading about fusible hem tape and gotten some advice on different fusible tapes to try. I searched in my fabric store, but ended up ordering some off e-bay. So next time I sew ITY or stretch something or other,  I'll be ironing some fusible tape on the raw edges, THEN double stitching! I am hoping for a nice neat, non-stretched out hemline!
Stay tuned for that exciting post! :) :) :)

Thoughts? Tips? Ideas? 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mini Wardrobe Contest

I am currently participating in the "Mini Wardrobe" contest on patternreview.com. The point of this contest is to make 4 pieces that can make 4 different outfits.  Here is my plan/storyboard (you are encouraged to make one, so don't think I did this all just out of my overflowing creativity or anything):

The contests DO get voted on for a "winner" but it is really also just for the experience, comments, challenge, etc.  I am trying to sew things right now that will be good transition pieces because I am TRYING to lose 10ish lbs. :) So I didn't want anything too fitted especially on the bottom. So far  I have made the black jersey skirt and the dress. Here's the skirt (easy!!!) I was wearing a sports bra in this pic, so I look kinda misshapen, but oh well! It's hard to see the details, but this actually has a low waistband, and 2 seams down the front- I think it will be a functional piece, and I needed a black skirt!

Next up, I made the dress. This was made out of ITY Jersey which is a soft 4-way stretch jersey. It was my first time sewing on this type of material and it presented it's challenges (ie I almost cut it all up out of frustration!). I will post more details about my adventures sewing on stretch fabric later!

You know, I had Bill take this picture of me after I had just exercised...what's up with that? I must feel extra skinny after I take a walk, but really, next time I think I'll try it when I am looking a little cuter ;) I will take more pics later with shoes, accessories, etc for the actual contest entry!

Now that the project is DONE, I do like this dress, but I had some major struggles with the hems/edges (getting them to look neat and not roll, especially the neck). I will document this in my next post for those who care! :) So what do you think? Is this print too crazy? I really love it actually. This was my first time TRYING to match up a pattern (as in the pattern on the material, not the actual garment pattern) and I think I did pretty good. I did end up making 3 sets of sleeves because I couldn't figure out which was the front, etc, hahaha. The back isn't matched up as well (ok, not really at all) but I don't know if I could have gotten it ALL to line up, unless I cut out more pieces than the dress pattern (the actual garment pattern) called for? The border at the bottom looks straight- so I am happy! :) If you care about any of the other changes I made in the pattern you can click and read my review here: Pattern Review

I'm working on a muslin (practice run) for the jacket right now! I don't want to mess up my denim...it's a really cool color, etc (and was SUPER cheap!) and I want it to fit right. There's also no more of it at Walmart :)

Thanks for reading :)

First sewing blog post!!!!

:) Well here it is! My first sewing blog post! I know it's thrilling ;) I've been a sewing maniac ever since my class last summer (thanks Emily!), and I decided I want to write and share my experiences. I know SOMEONE cares out there. Right?! Right?! :)

I plan on adding in photos of things I've made, as well as a link to the reviews I post on patternreview.com. I also want to compile the links to sewing tutorials, etc, that I have found helpful.

Feel free to ask me questions, give me pointers, or just tell me something is pretty or ugly. Well, possibly refrain from the ugly comments unless I just want you to laugh with me. The new term I just learned last week is "wadder" (something that doesn't turn out right!) and hopefully I won't have too many of those. Sewing for Kara hasn't led to any wadders really (knock on wood) since I don't have to do much to fit her (she's 3 if you are a random person reading this blog!). If I do more sewing for me, I anticipate some wadders. For some reason the word wadder makes me think of cow udders. Hmmm.

Anyway! Thanks for reading, and I will be posting soon about my latest project and what I am working on now! :)