Thursday, August 14, 2008

Serger frustration

Although the "French skirt" is finished, I haven't posted any pictures yet because I haven't taken any. I wanted to wait until I finished a top to go with it so that I can show the outfit and also so the dress form doesn't look half-naked with just the skirt on it.

I'm making two knit tops to go with the skirt, both out of Diana Couture. One is a simple t-shirt type that's just two pattern pieces so the sleeves are just a little extension off the shoulders and not set in. It is gathered a bit in the front with drawstring. I should take a picture of the line drawing or photo but I'm lazy. The other is a little bolero that has to go over something else. I selected a peachy type fabric for the bolero because I thought it went with the skirt by picking up the more orange-y colors of the fabric but now I'm not so sure.

The fabric for the bolero is cut out (well, except for the binding pieces, but I'll get to those). I was hoping to sew up the shoulder, side seams and sleeves last night but the serger wasn't cooperating. I don't think it was the serger though. The problem is that the looper stitches hang off the edge of the fabric, which isn't terrible, but it's not pretty. My machine, a Babylock Evolvé, is auto-tension but there is one adjustment that can be made, which I tried it but it didn't make a difference. I think the problem is that the fabric is a bit slippery. It's a "tissue-weight" polyester knit I bought at I actually like the hand of it and it's not poly-icky but my serger doesn't seem to like it. I confirmed that the serger works fine on a piece of cotton; it just doesn't like the poly knit. I consulted my vast sewing library and according to "Easy Guide to Serging Fine Fabrics" I should widen the stitch. I had started with a narrow 3-thread overlock and even with the knife edge all the way to the right, there were still little "loopies" off the edge. So I reset the machine for a wide 3-thread overlock and while there are still little "loopies" off the edge, more of the stitching is on the fabric so I guess it's better. But I'm not satisfied.

Next I'm going to try stabilizing the seam with some paper. It's worked in the past but I don't look forward to picking out the bits of paper. I suppose I could stabilize it with wash-away stabilizer or spray starch and then wash it afterward. At least I know this fabric is poly and not rayon and it can be washed!

However, the bolero and the other top will have to wait until next week. My husband comes home from his work trip today (yay!) so I'll be spending time with him and not sequestered in the sewing room. Perhaps I'll work on some knitting while we catch up on TV.

1 comment:

  1. I am looking forward to seeing your finished skirt and tops. It sounds like the top fabric is being stretched out when it goes under the serger pressure foot and is cut by the knife. Then retracts after the stitch is formed. The fabric guide for Illusion and Stretch Netting over at the EmmaOneSocks web site suggests using a rolled hem stitch to do seams on very light knits. I think Diana Couture is the French version of the German Diana pattern magazine. I have a couple of those, but haven't sewn anything from them yet.