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Hand sewing anyone?

2009 March 30
by elizabeth_admin

This past weekend I had two small, not so ambitious goals:

  1. Continue working on my spring/summer top sew along by buying the necessary notions and start sewing up the muslin that I had already cut out,
  2. Sew up a birthday gift for Jack’s nanny in a quick, easy/breezy sewing session.

Number 2 just makes me laugh and laugh now.  Copying my friend Victoria’s scarf has just about done in this sewing beginner.  Let me tell you, chiffon and I, we are SOOOO not best friends.  I tried sample after sample of my fabric trying to serge a rolled hem.  It was very unevenly covered and the needle didn’t always catch the fabric, so there were areas that weren’t finished for about an inch at a time.  I posted questions on Pattern Review in the Beginner’s Forum.   One person suggested I use Sulky water soluble stabilizer and another suggested that I needed more foot pressure.  I didn’t have Sulky, so I tried tracing paper, but the edge was a little stiff.  Then I got the idea to try kleenex.  I had two types on hand, one that was more papery in texture and another that was really soft and felt like.  After trying both of them, I liked the softer one better.  The rolled hem was much more pliable and similar to the chiffon in drape.  Who knew there were more uses for kleenex other than blowing your nose!?  Here’s a pic of the fabric running through the serger with kleenex underneath…rolled-hem-w-tissue1
I practiced a few more times and then felt confident enough to try it on my scarf. 

Here’s the finished edge.  finished-rolled-hemThe coverage is fine, the hem is rolled and I have a scarf!  (please ignore the fact that I used the selvedge; I thought it was edgier that way, seriously).  When you see the finished scarf, you’ll understand why I made that design choice.  At least, I hope you do.  hmmm… 

So the rolled hem was completed at 11pm last night after 2.5 hours of attempts, and that’s not even including the time spent on it on Saturday night!!!  Then I switched to the sewing machine to attach the fabric scraps and thought I could be finished with the scarf by midnight the latest, no problem.  MWAHAHAHAHAHAH! 

Of course that didn’t happen.  I gave up at 12:30am with only 1.5 of the 25 scraps sewn on.  My sewing machine (Singer 5160) just does not like chiffon.  I guess great minds think alike.  I fiddled with the tension.  I rethreaded a million times.  I tried first kleenex and then tracing paper underneath.  All to no avail.  I don’t have any pictures of this stage as I was not thinking about taking pictures, but rather about just getting the stupid little chiffon scraps on the stupid little chiffon scarf.  The experts at Pattern Review suggested stabilizer again, a single hole throat plate, or a walking foot.  I don’t have a walking foot or a single hole throat plate.  So, what to do?   Thinking…  Thinking… 

How about I don’t use the sewing machine at all?  How about I just hand sew the scraps to the scarf?  :chorus of angels singing:  So guess what I am going to be doing tonight while watching Heros and 24? 

Happy hand sewing everyone!

2 Responses leave one →
  1. March 30, 2009

    Handsewing is great while watching TV.

    People new to sewing can be so brave. I’ve been sewing for a long time, and only sewed with chiffon once. It’s a difficult fabric.

    Hope the scarf turns out well.

    • eword10 permalink
      March 31, 2009

      I think you’re mistaking bravery for stupidity. 😉 Just kidding. Thanks for stopping by! I hope it turns out well too!

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