Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dress Progress - Best Foot Forward!

Working on my dress again - and today it's all about sewing tips. First step sew the side seams of the skirt portion of the dress. Lucky me - I have a serger - bought it used years ago and this little machine just keeps on chugging.
I like finished seams - especially the long side seams of the skirt. If you don't have a serger you can use a zig-zag stitch to finish the seam.

The next step in the instructions is gathering the waist of the skirt - - - hold on here - - - I'd rather hem the skirt before gathering the waist - - - it's just easier. I'm using my Bernina to create a blind hem - this is so easy - - - the trick is in the fold of the fabric - - - pay attention:

Select stitch #9.

Prepare the hem line - turn the edge under 1/4''; then fold for the hem - - - I'm using a nice deep hem, 1 3/4'' deep - - - this will add a lovely weight to the skirt - - - it's gonna spin great!
Now the trick fold - darn - this is hard to explain - fold the pressed hem to the back, exposing the 1/4'' turned edge.
Use the #5 foot - - - see how the turned edge of the hem rides to the right of the center partition - - - the blind hem stitch will take 5 straight stitches along the fold edge. Then the stitch will cross the partition and take a bite into the fold on the left of the partition.
Here's my blind hem - can't see it that well, can you??? That's the whole idea - it's a blind hem!
Now that I've hemmed the skirt - - - onto the gathers at the waist. Typically, I would use my ruffler foot for making gathers - - - isn't this thing mid-evil looking!!!
Here it is attached to the machine. Today, however, I'm using a corded gather - - -
The dress instructions call for a single cord gather, but I prefer a double cord gather - - - it lays flatter. This is my # 3 foot - - - can you see that little toe in the center? That toe will hold my cord which will feed from the back of the machine - do you see it behind the foot?
Select stitch # 12.
Here's the foot in action - you can see the cording in the stitch area.
Perfect gathers every time - - - as long as you don't catch the cording in a stitch!!!
A word about sewing machines - - - it's all about the feet!!! Lots of us have hundreds of fancy stitches on our very expensive sewing machines that we'll never use. Instead of buying a machine loaded with stitches, buy a simpler machine and spend the savings on specialty feet - - - they will pay for them self time and again. I love playing with my feet!

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