Sportswear: Embellishing a T-Shirt with Coverstitch

Sportswear: Embellishing a T-Shirt with Coverstitch

One of my favorite items to make is a simple t-shirt.  It’s fast and easy when sewn with a serger. Then I use the Brother Coverstitch machine for hemming.  But what about embellishing the tee with coverstitching!  If you have used the Coverstitch before you will notice the back side of the coverstitch has a sporty look, similar to what we see in sportswear.  For this tutorial, I am going to show you how to utilize the 3-thread Coverstitch to create this fashionable look!  Let’s get started:

Materials:

  • Angela Wolf Ruched-T Pattern  (Click 👉🏻 here to order and use coupon code BROTHER20 for a 20% discount)
  • Stretch Fleece Fabric
  • 4 spools of serger thread
  • Tailors chalk

 

DESIGNING THE LOCATION FOR THE STITCHES:

Cut out the pattern. My T-shirt pattern pieces consist of 1 Front, 1 Back, 2 Sleeves, and 1 Collar. There are not princess seams, but I want to add the illusion there are princess seams.  Starting with the front pattern, on the wrong side of the fabric, draw a line from the armscye to the hem.  Use a curved ruler if you need help drawing the curve .

Fold the fabric in half and use your hand to brush the fabric.  This will trace the chalk mark to the other side of the fabric.

Open the fabric back up and you should see a faint line from the first chalk marking.  Use the chalk to trace over this line, making it darker and easier to see. Do the same thing for the BACK pattern piece.  For the collar and sleeve, draw randomly placed chalked lines.

SET UP THE COVERSTITCH MACHINE

Choose the color of thread for the decorative stitch.  Ideally the color should be in the same color family as the right side of the fabric, but enough of a contrast that you can see the stitches.

Decide which stitch looks the best on your fabric:

  • Stitch a swatch of fabric with a wide coverstitch (using the left and right needle)
  • Stitch a sample with the triple coverstitch.

Keep in mind you will be stitching with the wrong side of the fabric facing up.  Check the look of the stitch on both sides.

I prefer the triple coverstitch on my fabric, so I will set up the coverstitch machine with all three needles using 4 spools of thread.  It’s a little faster to stitch from piece to piece, so start stitching on a scrap of fabric and then add another piece of fabric.  This allows me to check my stitch quality and I won’t have to worry about threads falling off at the beginning or end of my garment pieces.  (All of these stitches rows will be sealed in a seam, so no worries on threads unraveling).

For the full tutorial, check out my post on the Brother Stitching Sewcial blog.  I always love to see what your are working on, be sure to share photos of your sporty tops using #angelawolf #brothersews

Cheers,

Brother Expert Sewing Consultant. This blog post may contain affiliate links.

DIY Upcycle & Recycle 2 Denim Shirts into 1 Dress

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Embellishing – Fabricate with Applique!

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50% OFF CREATIVE SERGING ONLINE CLASS!

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Coupon Details: Get 50% off the full retail price of select Craftsy classes taught by Angela Wolf. Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Expires August 15, 2017.

50% OFF SEW WITH YOUR SERGER!

CLICK HERE

Coupon Details: Coupon Details: Get 50% off the full retail price of select Craftsy classes taught by Angela Wolf. Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Expires August 15, 2017.

Creative Serging with Crochet Thread – Flatlock Stitching!

Creative Serging with Crochet Thread – Flatlock Stitching!

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.

How to sew with creative serging - Angela Wolf

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).

How to sew with creative serging - Angela Wolf

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!

How to sew a creative serged seam with Angela Wolf

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.

 

crochet thread wawalDecorative 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.

Blind Hem Stitch Foot

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).

Flat lock stitching with Angela Wolf

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!

flat lock stitching with angela wolf

Stretch out the folded fabric to lie flat and press.

flat lock stitching with Angela Wolf

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.

Looking for more creative serging ideas? Join my on Craftsy with 50% OFF today!

Looking for more creative serging ideas and easy projects? Join my online class Creative Serging – Beyond the Basics or Sew With Your Serger: Quick & Easy Projects. Click the links for 50% OFF today!

xoxo

Angela Wolf

 

 

craftsy serging

creative serging angela wolf

 

Pintucking with a Serger / Overlock Machine

Pintucking with a Serger / Overlock Machine

angela wolf serging samples5craftsy blog angela wolfI 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

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yut1ynOfrLs]

Elastic Thread Ruching on a Coverstitch plus FREE SERGING CLASS!

Elastic Thread Ruching on a Coverstitch plus FREE SERGING CLASS!

Ruching with Elastic Thread on a Serger / Coverstitch Machineelastic ruching chainstitch angela wolf serging overlock6

Loose flowing tops are right on trend right now, here is a quick way to add a little flair and fit with one of my favorite serging techniques; ruching with elastic thread.  Add the ruching to the sleeve edge, hem or neckline. This is so cute and really easy!  This ruching can be done on a sewing machine by winding the elastic thread in the bobbin, threading the machine with any silk, cotton, or polyester thread, and stitch with a narrow zigzag. What about serging with the chainstitch?  The chainstitch is found on coverstitch machines or sergers with the added coverstitch function.

elastic ruching chainstitch angela wolf serging overlock4

SET UP THE SERGER / COVERSTITCH MACHINE    For this sample I am using my  Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger with Easy Lay In Threading with Differential Feed
.  Thread the machine like you would for a chainstitch:  use thread in the needle and elastic thread in the looper.  Be patient with the elastic thread, but it will go through the machine just fine 🙂         

Adjust the tension:

  • Loosen the needle tension  (loosen by 2 notches)
  • Tighten the looper tension (start by tightening 1 notch)

When adjusting the tensions, my coverstitch has a standard setting at 4 –  so adjust the tension on your machine accordingly.  Then simply run the edge of the fabric through the serger.  The photo’s below show you the front and back side of the first row of stitching.

Elastic Ruching with a Coverstitch Mahcine

Back side of elastic ruching

elastic ruching chainstitch angela wolf serging overlock3

Put the fabric back in the machine, line up the previous row of stitching with the edge of the presser foot and stitch.

elastic ruching chainstitch angela wolf serging overlock5

elastic ruching chainstitch angela wolf serging overlock6

That it! I usually ruch 2 – 6 rows depending on the design.  Another idea is to ruch the waist on a skirt – the elastic ruching makes a great waistband and then you wear the waist high or low.  I will dig up a photo of my silk bathing suit cover up that is sewn like this.

FREE SERGING CLASS GIVEAWAY!

Speaking of using a coverstitch and overlock machine – I have a class on Craftsy called Creative Serging – Beyond the basics.  I am giving away a FREE CLASS to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me why you would like to take the free class.  Click over and “‘like” my facebook page and you will get 2 entries.  If you leave a comment on the facebook page you get an extra entry as well (that’s 3 entries total :)).  One name will be drawn randomly on August 1st.  I know many of you are already in my class as we are just under 5,000 students, awesome!  For those of you that are already enjoying the class, leave a comment as to what you like most about the class and I will include you in the next giveaway (trust me, it will be good :))

If you don’t want to wait for the drawing, here is a coupon for big savings on the class.  Good luck!!!!!!   Cheers 🙂  Angela

creative serging angela wolf

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