aka the “i got a shiny new machine” post
Back in May I did some overtime which gave me the ideal impetus to buy the sewing gadget I’d been
lusting after trying to justify. Given that the price is the same regardless of where you buy it in Australia, I traipsed into my local sewing machine shop and bought it there. But I also bought some binders from the US on the same weekend – which managed to arrive before the machine did from the Janome warehouse in mainland Australia. Go figure.
The machine went away to Orford with me for Creative Camp and that was my first real experimenting. I had four garments waiting to be finished that I’d packed, some hemming and some topstitching on knit garments. I’d previously used Mum’s overlocker which converts to coverstitch and that was what really sold me on the idea.
What I’ve learnt so far:
- Use reasonable quality thread. Regular overlocker thread is OK, the large Birch rolls are just fine, as are Gutermann making for very predictable in results. The three reels of cheap crappy unnamed thread you’ve been using in the overlocker without trouble for the last 19 years (but are the only ones in the right colour) make a mess, and leads to frustration.
- Play with the direction you cut the strips for binding. Some works better on grain and others cross grain.
- It’s surprisingly easy to use, if you pay attention to points 1 and 2.
- Read the Patternreview threads, and Melissa of Fehrtrade’s binding tips.
Since then I have made a wee baby wrap top for NNTB and last night used the binder to edge a vest my son and I have been working on. I suspect binding the edge of slippery nylon, sleeping bag innards and merino knit lining is pushing it. The stitch length shortened as the machine didn’t feed the layered fabric through quickly enough but I was leery of changing the stitch length too much as it was working.I just concentrated on lining everything up straight and keeping an even speed.
Ruby cat loves this vest. What cat wouldn’t? A garment made out of a sleeping bag? I’d put the vest on the table, turned my back and she’d claimed it. As I write now she is sitting on it over on the couch. Maybe I should make a cat blanket next?