Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sew Chaotically! - Knits/Serger Learning curve!

A forced snow day (Yes, in TN we have times...and yes...many of us actually know how to drive in it!! However, it is almost always accompanied by an underlying layer of ice!!) and the plan to make this....

...gave me the time and determination to try to better understand the way to work with knits which spiraled into learning about my serger and the walking foot and....   After a two day marathon of reading articles, blogs, watching tutorials, and brain is full!!!  But here are some of the best sites, info and techniques I found!! First pearl:  Use serger with thread tree completely elevated!  Keeps threads from getting messed up and breaking!  Who knew????  (Not me, til now!)

From: sergerpepper - The Ultimate SergerDictionary

From: sergerpepper - 10 best beginner's serger tips

I thought this video was particularly good.  Pearl:  The lower looper thread must go OVER the upper looper!!!!  From: Make It Handmade - Threading your serger

I feel so much better now!  Actually, started blank and threaded the whole she bang!!!  But, here's another:  From: So sew easy - How to thread the Brother 1034D serger

Regarding tension!  The whole topic of sewing machine tension makes me TENSE!!!! This tutorial really helps.  Pearls for serger tension: The higher the number = the tighter the thread.  The needle tension is too tight if the fabric puckers.  The needle tension is too loose if there are loops of thread on the back of the fabric. Setting at #4 is usually a good place for all fabrics and sewing on the serger. From: Make It Handmade - Perfecting Serger Tension

From: Make It Homemade - Understanding Serger Features

From: Make It Homeade - How to thread your serger out of order

From: Make It Handmade - How to Serge Curves

From: sergerpepper - The 30 Best Tips for Sewing Knits

I've done some sewing with knits, but didn't feel like I knew what I was doing!!!  I'm feeling better after this!  Pearls:  Cut your pattern pieces so that the stretch runs ACROSS the body...not up and down long ways!  On the other hand, for neck and sleeve bands...the stretch should run the length of the band.  Both make sense...but it really helps to spell it out!!!  Luckily, having already cut out the knit dress above for Roo.....I did it right!!!  From: Lladybird - Conquering Knits

I knew this had to be a good plan once I saw this tutorial!!!  B is the bomb and got me some STRETCH stay tape. (Not so easy to attain and very different from your basic "stay tape" as the 'stretch' is definitely needed when working with knits!!!)  So, as practice I re-hemmed a t-shirt dress that was still a bit long after I had hemmed it by hand once... 

You can't see the stitches....but you can see it IS lumpy!
...and the way the hem was so even and flat with the stay tape and double needle stitching...

I could have used black thread in the serger, when I went round the hem after I cut it off, before hemming.  But, despite my new found serger threading prowess....wasn't worth it!!!! nothing short of a miracle!!!  From: so-sew-easy - How and where to use knit stay tape

A little learning curve on how to thread my machine...after that....easy peasy!  From: So-sew-easy - How to use a twin needle

From: Sewing Parts Online - How to use a walking foot

From: The Seasoned Homemaker - The walking foot

And generally - Colette Patterns Blog has lots of amazing tutorials that are free!  I did actually purchase The Colette guide to Sewing Knits and it was totally worth it!

Hope this helps some of you learn great tips for using your serger or sewing knits!  Now on to sewing Roo's dress and a whole bunch of other knits just BEAUTIFULLY!!!  Hee, hee! - c


  1. You are sounding like a professional! :)

  2. I have so enjoyed all your sewing projects. Do you ever sleep? I think your red coat is my favorite...