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Another quickie: Infinity Scarf #2

2014 March 31
by elizabeth_admin

A close friend is going through a really rough patch lately.  I thought I would cheer her up with an infinity scarf.  She likes earthy colors and neutrals.  The scarf, while not only being fashionable, will fill a medical need as well as she is having problems with her neck and shoulders.  Keeping that area warm and out of drafts will help her to feel better.  Killing two birds with one stone as it were.

I had the perfect fabric in the stash, about 2 yds of linen jersey from Michael Levine Fabrics in LA.  I have been hoarding this fabric since I bought it a couple of years ago.  It’s very hard to find linen jersey.  It has a gorgeous hand, almost silky.  It’s drapey and nubby.  Perfect for an infinity scarf.  The temps here are still a little cool, especially in the evenings and early mornings, so this fabric is perfect for our climate, even in the summer.

I used half of the fabric (vertically), so I still have enough to make another scarf.  I’ll probably save it for another quick  gift down the line as I don’t really wear scarves myself since I don’t like things resting on my neck and collarbone.

But enough of the wordy words…  I used the same order of construction as I laid out in my last post here.

Here’s the scarf!

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In other sewing news, I am still not happy with how my serger is working.  So I will have to find a new shop to service it.  It would have been great if the guy I took it to last week had really fixed it because he’s so close to where I live, but he didn’t.  Now I have to find a new place.  Sigh…

Quick project – Infinity Scarf

2014 March 23
by elizabeth_admin

I went to a friend’s birthday party last night and was in need of a quick gift.  My mom suggested a scarf and I remembered this knit I bought from Elliott Berman Textiles last year that I have been saving for just such a project.  I love this fabric.  I should have bought more of it and I’m kicking myself now.  I’m really feeling turquoise right now.  Is it a thing?  Or just something I’m into?

I did a cursory search on the interwebs for an infinity scarf tutorial.  There are thousands of them.  Crazy.  I read a few of them and just went my own way.  I only had a yard of this scrumptious fabric, so I didn’t have much to work with.  Damn, I wish I had bought more.  And in the other corally color too.  Darn it!

Ok, so basically, here’s how I made my scarf:

  1. Fold the length of knit right sides together, pin and serge or sew it together.
  2. Pull one end into the tube so that the raw edges meet, right sides together, then twist so one seam meets the center of the other end and vice versa to create the mobius twist.
  3. Pin and sew it together, leaving a 4 inch opening to turn it right sides out.
  4. After turning it out, hand sew the hole closed.

Et voilá, infinity scarf extraordinaire!

I so wish I could keep this scarf.  I sent a quick text to my chic sister and she approved the scarf so I knew I had a winner on my hands.

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In other sewing news, my serger is back home… after three visits to the repair shop.  Yes, three!  Needless to say, I won’t be going back to that one again.  At least he didn’t charge me for the last two visits.  It’s working now, but doesn’t feel totally 100% and the plastic casing doesn’t look like it’s on quite right.  I might take it to another repair shop next week.  I can’t believe how hard it is to live without my serger.

Anyway, I hope you are having a good sewing weekend.

Mojo Thwarted

2014 March 20
by elizabeth_admin

I am dying to sew up another t-shirt but I didn’t want to risk it with my serger eating up fabric left and right.  I took it in on Tuesday for new blades to a nearby sew/vac store in Encinitas.  It had good reviews on Yelp.  When I picked it up on Wednesday, I brought my offending fabric in to test the serger out on.  The chewing problem was still there.  :/

To be fair to the repair shop, when I brought my machine in, all I said to him was that I needed new blades and he said he would replace those and clean the machine.  I didn’t mention the specific problem I was having as I was fairly confident that new blades and new needles would fix it.

But they didn’t fix the problem.

I took a short video of what happens when serging, in case anyone can point me in the right direction.

The problem seems to happen after the fabric passes and is cut by the blades and before it reaches the needles.  The fabric juts out to the right and causes skipped stitches.  It doesn’t break the thread, only skips stitches.  And just for reference or proof, I checked the seams on Jack’s baseball shirt I made a couple of weeks ago using this same fabric, and there was no problem at all  with the stitching.  It’s even, no chewed fabric and no skipped stitches.  I’m really at a loss as to why this is suddenly happening and mostly only on this fabric.  I tried serging some black stable knit fabric and it wasn’t perfect, but almost.  No problems at all on woven fabric.  Granted the green knit fabric is fairly unstable, very stretchy with little to no recovery, so I assume it is a trickier fabric to sew/serge.  But my machine could serge it fine two weeks ago and now it can’t.

I took it my machine back to the repair shop and he is going to look into it further.  I hope he can fix it.

*fingers crossed*

 

The serger ate my homework

2014 March 16
by elizabeth_admin

So I finally jinxed myself.  I spoke (wrote) out loud about my white hot mojo and now I have a (possibly) broken serger.  Yep, jinxed myself.

Sigh.

Today I whipped out another set of leggings.  And, in my fevered sewing and planning, I thought could quickly knock out a t-shirt to match them.  Oh hubris.  Oh how the mighty fall.  But first the leggings.  Yes, they are KS 3661 again.  I love this pattern, did I mention that yet?  Oh yes, I did already.

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Here’s an action shot that Jack took which shows the nice pattern matching at the inner leg seams.  Am I stretching before a run or holding up the tree?  Who knows!

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This fabric was purchased at Yardage Town a few months back with my friend Susan of Knitter’s Delight.  She’s a pleasure with whom to talk shop and to shop.  Susan bought some of this fabric and made some leggings as well.

Now onto the serger trauma part of today’s story, the matching t-shirt.  I thought I would “perfect” my lace color blocked tee fascination.  After the high of the dot lace and turquoise t-shirt of a couple days ago, I thought I could make a black floral lace and green t-shirt, but this time with cut on cap sleeves like the inspiration shirt.  I just freehand drafted the cap sleeves.

I used the green t-shirt knit I previously used (and had no trouble with before, I might add) to make Jack’s and Thor’s baseball t-shirts for the base of the shirt and some black stretch lace I bought at Yardage Town a few months back to make a skirt I never ended up making.  Yet.   But back to the t-shirt. Everything went together great.  I got the front and back sewn, then sewed them together.  I added the neckband and was ready to serge the side seams.  I was in the home stretch.  I started to sew the first side seam and that’s when I heard some popping and saw this:

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Disaster!  A first world problem for sure, but I was pretty bummed nonetheless.  I tried everything to get my serger to stop chewing up my fabric.  I disengaged the upper knife.    I rethreaded.  Twice.  I lowered the differential feed and changed the presser foot pressure.  I was able to reduce the chewing and broken stitches a bit, but not completely.  The weird thing is I didn’t have this problem with any other knits AND I didn’t previously with this very same knit in other projects.  How weird is that?

Here’s a sample after the changes to the tensions.

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Her’s a sample of another knit having no problem before or after.

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In a fit of disgust, I cut off the green knit and cut out a new front and back bottom to attach to the lace in a black knit.  Unfortunately, my black knit is a little to stable for the look.  I need a little more drape in the bottom knit to go with the lace.  This one is too substantial and stiff.  It doesn’t look… right.  For want of a better word.

See for yourself…

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My photographer obviously thought that heads are strictly superfluous in photographs.  ;)

What do you think?  A wadder?  I think I’ll sleep on it.  But as for my machine, I’m not sure what to do.  Was it just that the machine didn’t like this particular knit?  Or should I get it serviced?  And where to service?  I didn’t like the place I took it the last time.  Hmmm… More thinking must be done.

In non-sewing news, Little League has started and the little boy who lives with me and his team are already 2 & 0.  Very exciting.

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I wish you trouble free sewing my friends.

 

Pattern Review: Kwik Sew 3661 Leggings

2014 March 14
by elizabeth_admin

I’m so excited folks!  I have a new TNT pattern, KS 3661.  I have been dying to get a better fit for leggings since making the test run of  McCalls 6173.  I could only find the pattern envelope with the larger sizes locally and I didn’t want to buy off the website and then get even more patterns I would never get to in the pattern stash.  So the resulting ponte knit leggings weren’t quite the right fit for me.  That’s not to say M6173 is a bad pattern at all, just that I couldn’t get the right size for me locally.  At any rate, back to the task at hand, a pattern review…

Kwik Sew 3661

Kwik Sew 3661

 

Pattern Description:  Misses’ Leotard, Leggings and Skirt.  I made the leggings today, but that skirt looks pretty cute and I might make that soon too!

Pattern Sizing:  XS – XL.  I made the medium and the fit is pretty good right out of the envelope.  I only had to add a little height to the waist at the back, about a 1/4 inch, tapering to 0 at the side to accommodate my backside.  :/

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes!  Well, except I made it in a graffiti print and my thighs are a little more generous than the model’s on the envelope.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, super easy.  Kwik Sew has great instructions, especially for knits.  This is a really easy pattern to sew, so not much to confuse a beginner.  The only quibble I had was the suggested measurement for each size of the elastic, but I think one should always use one’s waist measurement to determine the length of elastic.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  

LIKES: 

  • Easy, one pattern piece.
  • Quick, like super quick.
  • Does not fabric hog since it’s a cropped legging.

DISLIKES:

  • NONE!

Fabric used:  The same knit I used for this top.  It’s a perfect weight for leggings too.  I bought it from Yardage Town.  Love this graffiti print to pieces!

Pattern changes or design changes made:  Other than the height added to the back waist I mentioned above, nothing!

Any problems encountered while sewing this pattern?  Nope, nada, zilch!  Woo hoo!!

How long did it take you to make it really?  From tracing the sz medium to putting the hems on the legs, about 1.5 hours.  It will be even quicker next time since I won’t have to trace or dither about the elastic length.  :)

Which sewing machine(s) did you use for construction?  I used my serger for the construction, the Featherweight for the elastic, and the coverstitch for the waist casing and the leg hems.

Will you sew it again or recommend it to others?  Definitely. This pattern is a keeper.  Kwik Sew really knows their knit patterns.  The leggings are a great intro to knits for beginners.  It’s a quick and gratifying project.  I already have some knits in the stash that I’ll use real soon.  I want to try that skirt pattern too!

Conclusion:  Really great basic leggings pattern.  Quick to sew.  Easy to alter.  Great for beginners.  Buy this pattern!

Here are the pictures…

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Happy sewing everyone!

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