I have been experimenting with various ways to create custom fabrics. You might have seen photos on my Facebook page with a few of my favorites by embellishing with:
- needle felting
- thread art with the Dream Frame
One that you might be surprised about is using the serger with a simple 3-thread overlock stitch and the blind hem foot. This purple bad is a perfect example. We made that bag in my Craftsy Class Sew with your Serger – Quick & Easy Gifts and most recently at the American Sewing Expo. I could see using this fabric as a collar or cuffs, color blocking – what about the flap on my back jean pockets!
Supplies from WAWAK sewing:
PREPARE THE FABRIC
1.Cut your fabric larger than you need for the pattern piece, the serged line takes out a minimum ¼” of fabric. Chalk mark lines parallel to the grainline. Choose any width you want, these are 2” apart.
2. Chalk mark lines perpendicular to the previous chalk lines.
SET UP SERGER
3. Set up the serger for a 3-thread wide overlock stitch. Dis-engage the knife and attach the blind-hem foot (your blind hem foot might look different, check your manual)
4.Test your stitch: fold a piece of fabric and (more…)
Hopefully you had time over the weekend to spiff up your sewing room. My Craftsy class “Sew Confident: Essential Techniques for Beginners” has officially launched and we are already just shy of 500 students. Very Exciting!
First things first, congratulations to Tracey McKoy from Baltimore, Maryland. Tracey was last weeks lucky winner and has already joined us in the Craftsy classroom. Guess what else I found out? She enjoys fishing! Good thing Craftsy drew her name or you might think I was swayed 🙂
Let’s Giveaway Another Class!
There was such a HUGE response to the class giveaway, I am going to giveaway another Sew Confident Craftsy class! To enter this time, simply leave a comment below telling me why you would love to win this class, joining students from all over the world – 1 random winner will be drawn Friday at midnight, EST … Good Luck! 🙂
Wondering what’s covered in the class? Here is a link to the trailer video and as promised a SPECIAL 50% DISCOUNT if you would like to join us today.
Beginners Guide to Fashion Sewing
Let’s get started! In case you missed last week’s message, the series for beginner sewing starts now.
Part 1. Choosing a Pattern
What’s the big deal about finding a pattern anyway? Scan the pattern books, find a cute cover photos, and you are ready for sewing success, right?
If only we can all be so fortunate, but in most cases the scenario pans out a little differently. I recall sewing my first pair of pants. The pattern cover showed a tall, elegant model (more…)
I just got back from a 6 day Sit & Sew tour visiting all the Allbrands stores which started in Louisiana and ended in Texas. Fabulous trip, but definitely dragging a little today. I will be sharing details of the week as soon as I organize all the photos. In short, I met so many wonderful people, ate some amazing food, got over my fear of bridges, I now have official Mardi Gras beads …
In the meantime, I posted this message to facebook and realized not all of you are on facebook, so I thought I would THANK YOU again.
Saturday was the last day of teaching and I was flying out the next morning. Super tired, but before crashing I decided to scan my emails and came across one from Craftsy with the title “Are you a blogger award finalist?”. I clicked on the link and couldn’t believe it! You nominated my blog to the top 4 Best Sewing Instructor Blog again. You all are AWESOME! This means so much to me, thank you, thank you. I also know it is a little work to nominate a blog at the first stage, you have to fill out a lot of things. Thanks so much for going through the effort, you inspire me to keep at it 🙂
One More Round of Voting
Now, there is a last round of voting that ends Wednesday at midnight. This vote is quick and easy:
- Click here to vote: Scroll down the page to Vote Now! Best Craftsy Sewing Instructor’s Blog and you will see my name. Vote and then watch the tally live.
Just being in the top 4 is such an honor and knowing it’s because of your effort to nominate me really makes my day and a huge THANK YOU is all I can say! By the way, while you are scanning the page you might want to check out a few of my friends blogs that also made the top 4 in their category: Leah Day has a great one for quilting and Lisa Shaw in Embroidery.
The 2014 Wardrobe Challenge was so much fun! Seeing your outfits on flickr and following your Pinterest boards has been a treat and a quick way to get in the sewing mood, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. There have been a few hiccups on my end, so thanks for your patience. (Note to self: Never plan anything while I am traveling to teach, tape It’s Sew Easy, or shoot online classes – just not enough time and brain space ) In fact, I still need to post the list of winners, but I wanted to give you the last challenge.
I told you the last challenge would be an easy one. Take a picture of the clothes in your closet that you have sewn this past year and post it on Flickr before February 15th (the same way you posted the other photos – click here if you need help uploading to flickr). Even if you only have 1 garment, your photo qualifies you for this last challenge. Winners will be all random drawings from the entrants, so even if you haven’t participated yet or you feel intimidated by the rock stars who have really used the challenge to fill their closet, let us see what you have made. Again this is just 1 photo, just like mine. Good luck and thanks again to all that have participated.
I don’t know if you read my last post about the cooking adventure, but many of you gave the best tips for cleaning the pan! the baking soda worked like a charm and I wrote all the cleaning tips down so I am ready for the next burn. Well, I am off to edit pictures and explain to Winn how I got my mardi gras beads 🙂
Cheers and one last thank you,
A little creative serging! I wanted to share a quick serging stitch that you might find useful for restyling or adding embellishment to one of your outfits.
This is a 3-thread flatlock stitch with a decorative crochet thread in the upper looper. The left needle and lower looper have a similar color polyester thread. The photo above shows the front of the flatlock stitch and the backside. The backside looks like a ladder stitch. (the peach thread is just the serged edge of the seam).
I started with a basic gored skirt. The front has 2 seams and after I finished flatlocking those two seams I decided to add embellishment to the center front. So the center front really does not have a seam. Instead I drew a line with tailors chalk down the center front, folded the fabric in half along the chalk line, and ran through the serger. What a great way to create unique fabric!
Here is the back view. Again there are 2 seams on each side back and this time there is a seam down the center back with a hidden zip. In order for this stitching to look even (with the zipper), I stitched the flat-felled embellishment down the edge of each center back seam, then added the zipper and closed the seam. That part got a little tricky and you can see the stitches are not perfectly even. I haven’t decided if I am going to rip it out and start again or hope nobody is looking at my tush that closely to notice 🙂
Setting up the Serger:
- Set your serger up for a 3-thread overlock: I am using a serger from Brother and the standard setting for the needle and looper tensions are 4. When I give you new tension numbers you can compare this with your serger, if your serger has manual tension dials. If you are serging with an air-threading serger, like this Babylock, set up your serger for the 2-thread flatlock – wide.
- Thread the upper looper (or the only looper for the 2-thread flatlock) with a decorative thread. Use standard poly serging thread in the needle and lower looper.
Decorative Thread Ideas:
Get the idea – be creative!
Next, there are a few changes to the serger settings:
Stitch Width: 5mm
Stitch Length: 2-4mm
Needle Tension: Decrease to 0 -3 (remember my standard setting is 4 so adjust for your serger)
Upper Looper Tension: Decrease to 2 – 3
Lower Looper Tension: Increase to 6 – 9
Disengage the knife
These setting serve as a guide. It will depend on the fabric and thread you end up serging with.
See if you have a Blind Hem Foot, if not you can use a standard foot.
There is a setting on the foot that moves to the right and left, allowing the needle to pierce more or less of the fabric. Test the stitch on your fabric to determine the setting.
Fold the fabric in half or if you are embellishing a seam, fold along the seam line. Align the fabric along the shield on the blind hem foot (if using a standard foot, mark a spot to align with).
The idea is for the needle to pierce the fabric – half the stitch is on the fabric and half is off the fabric. In fact the stitches look really messy coming out of the serger!
Stretch out the folded fabric to lie flat and press.
Pretty simple, but so fun! Have you ever tried this before? I would love some more ideas for decorative threads or yarns to use with this stitch.
There is only one reason I have not moved South in order to enjoy beautiful sunny weather all year round … jackets and boots! This is the time of year I rearrange my wardrobe, bringing out all the cute jackets I finished last March and never had a chance to wear (remember in the fashion industry we are always designing a season ahead). Of course while I am pulling out the fall wardrobe, out come the fabulous boots. I LOVE shoes! I sew all my own clothes, I have to find something to shop for besides fabric 🙂
Speaking of sewing all my own clothes, about 15 years ago I set a goal of only wearing clothes I had sewn myself. It was a great idea, but hardly possible. I spent all my time sewing custom garments for clients and I could never find time to sew for myself. You know, like the shoemaker that wears worn-out shoes. Those of you that are in the sewing business know exactly what I am talking about.
Once I started designing a ready-to-wear line and a pattern collection for the home sewer, I found a perfect reason to sew for myself. Someone has to test the fit, right 🙂 Over the last few years I have been adding my label to the closet with jeans, tops, jackets, dresses, skirts, slacks, … In fact last night after admiring my organized closet (now is the time to admire, it never seems to stay that way very long), I realized I finally accomplished my goal! Every garment carried the Angela Wolf label. I could hardly believe it! In fact, once you get going on sewing for yourself, the outfits flow in much faster than you think. Have you ever had the desire to sew all your own clothes? I challenge you to try. I am going to celebrate this accomplishment and try to focus on doing the same for the spring wardrobe swap. I feel a 2014 wardrobe sew along coming on … what do you think?
In the last post, I mentioned how thankful I am to all of you readers and a special thanks to those that voted my blog into the finals for the category sewing – best instructor blog for the 2013 Craftsy Blogging Awards. Voting in the final round is still going on, so make sure to vote for your favorites again (hint, hint). I couldn’t think of a better way to thank you than give away a few online classes, which I will do over the next few weeks.
Not everyone can win, so I asked my friend Deepika – founder of PatternReview.com – to place all my online classes on sale for the rest of the month. In case you haven’t visited the site, PatternReview.com is a great website for learning and connecting with other garment sewer’s. I offer quite a few classes there, including sewing jackets. No, my jacket patterns are not ready to launch yet, so this is the next best thing. The next few giveaways will be for my online classes. The first one is Create a Jacket Muslin on PatternReview. Creating a perfect fitting muslin is the most important part of sewing a jacket. If you would like a chance to join my class on sewing a muslin where I offer fitting tips, solutions, and you can even upload photos of your muslin for personal fitting advice, simply share a comment about your experience in fitting jackets. Never sewn a jacket, even better reason to start with the muslin class (a random winner will be chosen and announced next Friday). Speaking of jackets, have you been watching season 5 on It’s Sew Easy and following along as I sew a jacket? If your PBS doesn’t carry It’s Sew Easy, you can catch a new episode every week on their website.
Good Luck 😉
I am having so much fun finding ways to use my serger, more than simply finishing the edges in my garments! With over 5,000 students in the Craftsy class Creative Serging – Beyond the Basics , many of you are already expanding your serger use. I was thrilled to see Craftsy posted a few of my videos on YouTube … below you will see how to add pintucking. A great embellishment on home dec and apparel. The video shows you how to change the settings on the Brother Project Runway Serger 5234PRW (although it doesn’t show you how to remove the stitch finger, so check your manual and don’t forget that part!) In fact, no matter what serger you use, pull out the manual and set the serger to a rolled or narrow hem. I am showing you how to do the pintucking using a blindhem foot. If you don’t have that foot, a standard foot works fine. Just serge straight 🙂
Speaking of manuals, lets take a vote … how many of you have read through your entire serger manual? I must confess, until last year I only scanned the pages referring to threading 🙂 Enjoy xoxo Angela