Monday, June 20, 2011

Twirl Skirts & The Crafterhours Skirt Competition (and my serger)

Longest blog post title, ever? I guess I'm trying to cover a lot here! :)

So, I did it ... I bought a serger. I ordered 'her' online ... I counted the days until she arrived. She thrilled me by arriving a day early ... and we are in love. Love I tell you! As soon as my kids went down for a nap, I plugged her in and watched the DVD that came with. Oh, I got a Brother 1034d serger - it appears that most of my favorite bloggers also use this particular model. I did serious research! :)

As soon as I thought I could turn it on and serge without breaking it, I whipped up a skirt. Then another, and then another. I told you, I love her.

These adorable Twirl Skirts were made with the Lil Blue Boo pattern. I made a 24m/2t for my youngest, a 3t/4t for my oldest, and a large for myself. I've never worn a large anything in my life, but this is clearly the size I need :) Our skirts fit perfectly. This pattern is easy to follow and this skirt is ridiculously easy to sew. Like so ridiculous I made all three in less than 2 hours.

I entered my skirt into the Crafterhours 2011 Skirt Week Competition. Clearly, I like a little competition as Sara vs. Sarah is all about the bi-weekly competition! Have you voted for the Embroidery Challenge? Do so here! Back to Crafterhours ... This is another blog I am so happy to have found; I feel like I must've been living under a rock to have missed it before, but it's full of funny writing, pretty pictures & clearly written tutorials. 

bracelets close up

Do you notice the cute bracelets we are all wearing (I went a little overboard on the matchy-matching'ness)? So fun! I made them using this tutorial for a jersey knit bracelet from V and Co (I love this blog - pretty stuff all the time). The bracelets are made from the same fabric as the skirt - the red peeks out in some parts and hides in others. For the girls, I made the 2-strand bracelet and only had to use one strip of fabric; for mine, I made a 3-strand from two long strips attached together (as explained in the tutorial I used).

The girls LOVE their skirts and love to spin in them! (ok, so we all like to spin!)

Fabric I Used:
Red / White stripe 100% cotton from eBay
Black Ribbed Knit for the waistbands

Now, I am definitely in love with my serger, but we have some tension issues to work out. You see, she does perfect work (I learned this is called a 'balanced stitch') when sewing through multiple layers - 3 layers? Gathered ruffles? No problem. BUT, I am having issues with serging a single layer. I need to tweak all the fancy tension knobs and get this working.

I've labeled my serger (she needs a name) in a couple of places to help me. Yes, the labels are color coded. Yes, I am a nerd.

I HAD to write this one down ... increase tension  = lower number; decrease tension = higher number. Sounds backwards, right? I think so too ...

sara sig Pin It


Marfa said...

You did a great job....such sweet skirts!!! I would love a serger...$200? Maybe I'll ask my dear husband for one for a Christmas gift.

Denise Cerro said...

I hate has messed up more than one sewing episode ! I like your labeling idea...and...I think it's only right to name your machine ! I have serger envy.

SuzyQSparkles said...

I love your enthusiasm for your serger! I've been using one for {gulp} over 20 years. I recommend a few things:

1) get super comfortable with threading her;

2) EVERYTIME you sit down to use her, snip ALL the threads and rethread, trust me, it will help;

3) test your tension with each material each time you sit down (between variables in fabric and thread weight, and little fingers "helping" to adjust your knobs, you'll need to check things out every time);

4) Go through your manual and try each stitch/fabric combo. (Cutting threads between every change of fabric/stitch and rethreading as in 1 & 2.) Then, keep the sample staple to a page/card with notes on settings; and

5) keep a record of ongoing projects with notes of settings and sample of fabric and stitch. Basically, you are creating your own, customized, stitch library/history/catalog. As you move forward, you will be able to look up things and get going more quickly.


PS: I love Lil Blue Boo too... she's great for inspiration!

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