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National Sewing Month

Okay, I admit that I get pretty excited every year during National Sewing Month. It is a fantastic time to get back to sewing, quilting, embroidery and all things related. Naturally, the sewing machine manufacturers are fully aware of this and just to tempt us, they put out their new products in time for NSM events and strong forth quarter sales. Brother has released a machine that has me REALLY hyped – the all new 5 thread CV3550.

features-cv3550

Fans of Sewing Pattern review can find comments here:

Brother Cover Hem CV3550

My personal take on this machine is that is the perfect addition to any sewing or quilting studio. The Brother CV3550 Video does a great job showing off the hemming features but just touches on how amazing it is for piecing and quilting. Since it does a chain stitch and has a generous 6.1″ to the right of the needle I can definitely see myself using it to piece and sew because it will NEVER need bobbin thread. No more running out at just the wrong moment. No more fiddling for matching colors. YAY!

There are two great attachments for the machine:

The Dual Function Fold Binder is used to fold 1.25 inch (32mm) wide bias fabric tape into 0.31 inch (8mm) wide double fold bias tape, and then apply the bias tape binding to the edge of fabric. Attach the binder to the cover stitch machine simply with the two included screws. This accessory may also be used as a binder for single fold bias tape.

sa231cv-d  sa230cv-d

The second attachment is perfect for finishing collars and armholes on sleeveless apparel.

The product specifications can be found at the official website : Brother CV3550 Details

We will have this model on display at the shop soon. Look for event details!

 

 

 

Dresses, Easy Serger Projects, Easy Sewing Projects, Free Sewing Tutorial, Overlock Machine, Serger, Simple Sewing, Stash Blast

Ready, Set….WAIT!

Lol! So my Summer Stash Blaster was kicked off and I got busy sewing. I contacted a few students and they were excited about it but needed time to prepare. So, I am going to keep sewing and posting but I won’t actually start the Blast until everyone else is ready – we’ll kick it off officially on Saturday July 18th at Hancock Fabrics Carmel. Considering how much fabric I have, this will truly be a Summer Stash Blast since I will be going until August 18th now.

If you are interested in participating, please sign up on the FaceBook Page so we can support each other on. I’ve created an event for this and would love to see pictures!! There is no time commitment – come when you can, sew as you are able and let’s help each other along!

Summer Stash Blast Sign Up

This week was Wonderful Whites. Everything that I could whip up quickly with white or off white thread is shared below. As promised, here is the good, the bad and the ugly – maybe I should just call the ‘ugly’ the “uh-oh’s” (smile). I am a little behind with pictures but will load more after the 4th.

The good:

A pretty blend of sheer and light sweater knits from Hancock Fabrics
A pretty blend of sheer and light sweater knits from Hancock Fabrics
About 20 minutes work on the serger. Look for the project sheet at  the Sutura Style website
About 20 minutes work on the serger. Look for the project sheet at the Sutura Style website

Comfy, cozy DIY jammers. Easy to cut and serge

DIY Jammer Pants

sheersummertunicandcapris This sheer tunic in an ultra light knit looks nice over the leggings that I made – I wear a pretty tank top with lace underneath it.

 

diyknittopchevronstripes I struggled with matching the chevron stripes on this little T-shirt, but eventually got it. I should have just basted the whole thing by had to start with but tried to glue baste it instead. Ripped it out twice. Finally managed to get it as close as I could. Pretty happy with it 🙂

 

The bad: These stripes were just awful. I bought this fabric on sale but failed to notice that the stripes actually decrease in width and CURVE close to the selvedge. Ugh.

badstripes

 

The Uh-Oh

I tried to cut out a chevron stripe top from center of the fabric but had only a little bit left. Agitated, I made a real whopper of a mistake and had to toss the project out. Instead of cutting the fabric on the opposing bias to create a chevron, as above, I wound up cutting on the matching bias and thus ended up with two front pieces that are the same. This project was destined for the trash from the moment I noticed the bad stripes.

badstripes2

 

To save time, I cut all the knit tops above from a single Kwik Sew pattern and lengthened, shortened and moved the fabric as necessary. When I am working like this, I only use the back pattern and adjust the necklines for different styles. That is why the the photo above appears to have a back and front I started to cut a “V” when I realized that I had made a cutting error.

t-shirtstyles

So, that is most of my sewing this week. A couple more tops, a shawl, and a tunic left to photograph, they are done but I forgot to take pics (sorry!). I am working on a Maxi Dress today with a turtleneck or cowl neckline. More photos to come!

Happy Serging!

 

DIY Sewing Room Projects, Easy Serger Projects, Hobby Spaces, Overlock Machine, Serger, Sewing, Sewing and Embroidery

Juki MO-50E Review vs MO-51E

JUKI MO-50e 41U5RfC9FYL._SY300_

This year I decided to add 4 new sergers to the exisiting pair of Singer sergers that have been doing yeoman’s service in the classroom. Prior to purchasing the MO-50E, I did some research online and found out that it is basically the same machine as the MO-51E but without the cute flower decal (I don’t need it). I decided to compare the two carefully myself so that I could be sure that I was getting the best value for my dollars.

My conclusion is that the two machines are indeed identical.

The good stuff about these machines:

They both feature lay-in threading with the easiest looper threading I have ever encountered. There is a lever for the lower looper, just lay the thread on it and flip the lever. The machine automatically threads the end portion (the hard part on most sergers) for you. But, just in case there is a problem or you have decided to use fancy thread, the sewing bed opens up to give you access. Top to bottom this is the fastest serger to manually thread that I know of (jet-air is faster and costs about $1000 more:) ). It is also heavy and very strong. I have tested all four of my units and they do not bop around like my Singer Pro 5 and Finishing Touch 14SH654.  The presser feet for my Singer Pro 5 fit on the Juki, just like sewing snap-on feet fit most brands of sewing machines. Anyhoo, the fact that such an inexpensive machine is capable of expansion allowing it to perform tasks using the additional attachments is very cool.

The metal feet shown below are the ones that came with my Singer serger and also fit on the Juki MO-50E. (Clear plastic are cover stitch feet)

sergerfeet

These include: 1. Blind Hem / Lace foot   2. Cording / Piping foot   3. Shirring foot    4.  Taping foot 5. Pearl (Bead) and Sequins Foot  6.  Elastic / Elasticator foot .

The two feet that I find the most useful are #6 for attaching elastic to swimsuits and athletic apparel and # 3, the Shirring Foot which is a fantastic way to rapidly attach ruffles to clothing. It is also the fastest way to make a Dirndl skirt that I know of. These sets go for between $65 and $75 online. The nice thing is that the purchase can be made later, when needed. I tried the blind hem foot but it leaves a really obvious ladder on the front side of the garment. It might be nice if done as a contrast but I haven’t figured out how to make the ladder small and discreet yet. All in all, I am happy that I can use the same feet on both Singer and Juki.

The differential feed is sweet. And this is where the Juki leaves Singer behind. It has settings from -5 to +8. The Stretching effect (1-5 under the N on the dial ) prevents certain fabrics such as fine jerseys or tightly woven light fabrics from puckering or make gathers. Cool. To prevent waving on knits I can use the numbers over the dial. For the fun of it, I cranked the dial all the way up to 8 on a single layer of interlock and it created gathers beautifully, but I still prefer the Shirring foot since it allows me to gather, serge and trim all in one shot.

61tfbpnDYcL._SL1200_

It does a nice rolled hem with a flip of the switch – which is the same as my other sergers so no big deal here.

The really cool this is that this is the only serger I have ever owned that has a built-in drawer (look under the differential feed dial) to store the accessories, shown below.

 

81T64a9GWSL._SL1200_

The bad news:

These machines are limited in their scope of work by the dismally small amount of space under the presser foot. Barely 1/4″. Ugh. While this is fine for the classroom where we are working on garments, I wouldn’t want to try to wedge thick fleece or heavy fabric in there.

All in all, this is a great machine for the dollars. I have used my MO-50 for a number of projects but mostly sewing light interlock and stretch wovens. Each project has come out perfectly with nicely balanced tension. On that note, since the MO-50 and 51 are the same machine, why not pay less and get the 50? It’s a savings of up to $100 and that’s a big difference for something that is identical.

If you are in the market for a serger and are thinking about Juki, I hope this review helps! Happy Serging!

Natalie

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Sewing a Summer Shrug Tutorial

summershrugThis is a perfect easy sewing project for those who are new to using a serger. This simple serger tutorial for a summer shrug was inspired by all those public spaces with the AC cranked to the max! :)) The draped piece adds an elegant touch for date night or an evening on the town.

To download the full tutorial, please click here to get the PDF file. 

The best fabric for this project is a light sweater knit, but interlock works just as well. I have found these online and at my local fabric store for as little as $1.98 per yard for the cotton blend I am wearing, which makes this a very economical project. The pattern works for either 45″ or 60″ fabric, but if you are using 45″ just be aware that your shrug will have 3/4 sleeves instead of full length, unless you go with insertions. (Method is at the end)

The most important aspect of the cuttting instructions is to note that the fabric has to be folded twice. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise (on grain) and then make a second fold along the cross grain. The second fold should be at least 12″ deep.

S2030011

This picture shows what the fabric looks like partially cut out. I cleaned up the ragged cut I made after draping it but forgot to take a picture. The drawing in your pattern shows what it looks like as a final cut. The nice thing about this shrug is that it whips up on a serger in no time. Using a 4 thread safety overlock stitch, sew the sleeve area first. Then complete the project by finishing all the raw edges with a 3 thread rolled hem. Done.

Pretty simple right? If you are just learning how to use a serger, this makes a great first project as it will give you the chance to use both the 4 thread and 3 thread abilities of your machine.

Style Option: Insertions

If you are using 42″-45″ fabric and want to extend the sleeves, you can opt to do an insertion. I had some plain white sweater knit that was really light – just perfect for taking the chill off the AC without making me hot, but it was only 42″ wide. I used some of the scraps of fabric and some yarn that I really love (Starbella Lace) as inserts and as the cuff. It adds such a delicate lacey touch.

To do this, cut a length of yarn to go around the cuff plus about 1/2″ for seam allowance. Next, prepare the yarn for stitching by lightly misting it with spray starch and pressing the yarn flat. Use a rolled hem, which is already set up, to create a tiny seam and connect the yarn to the cuff. Next, use the rolled hem to attach the fabric scrap to the other side of the yarn. Add a final piece of yarn and voila! A full length sleeve with pretty lace insertions.

I hope you enjoy this one! Happy Sewing!

Natalie