I’ve got a bit behind in writing posts, so you’ve got two for one here, a bargain 🙂
Over the summer I bought a new sewing machine, not a standard one, but an overlocker / coverstitch machine. My overlocker was well past it, but what sold it for me was the coverstitch bit. For those of you not familiar with cover-stitch, it’s the machine that does hems on bought clothes, especially things like t shirts. Ive wanted one for a while but they are well out of my price range. This one was second hand and a third of the price of a new one.
Looking at it, I don’t actually think it’s ever been used. The lady selling it admitted it was just too complicated for her, I can understand that – it uses up to five threads at once and has about 14 different stitches! It didn’t have a spot of ‘thread dust’ on it, which is why I don’t think it was actually used to make anything.
Having brought it home it sat in it’s box for more weeks than I care to admit! I now understand when people admit they daren’t get a new machine out of the box! I think that knowing it had beaten one owner, I was a little concerned it might beat me too!
I finally plucked up the courage to make something. I decided to make a long length cardigan for the summer – I know, it’s October, but I’m trying to use up fabrics from my stash in order of bulk!! This took up a lot of room! It’s probably not the best one to choose for a first attempt, it’s a loose weave, bobbly knit with mini sequins on it!
It took a while to get it all threaded and set up, but I got there and sewed the basic cardigan. I’ve used this pattern lots of times so I knew it was pretty simple. It went together nicely, but I then wanted to coverstitch the hems…
Well about two hours later I finally managed to convert it to the coverstitch – you have to change plates, re-thread it, take the needle out of action….I was ready for throwing it out of the window at one point – in fact I had to leave it, walk away and have a large glass of wine! I finally got there and cover-stitched the hem.
It was finished! Now you have to use your imagination a bit with this one, as it’s designed to go over long summer dresses and skirts, only it’s October, cold and wet, and I wasn’t going to change for a photo shoot!
My second attempt on my new machine was a smock style Merchant and Mills pattern, it’s actually one I found in my mums house when we were sorting her stuff out. It’s not one I would have bought from the picture on the front, but actually I really like it.
The fabric was from Fabworks, it’s one of those where I couldn’t quite decide if it was gorgeous or awful!! I’m not sure what kind of fabric it is but it’s very soft to touch, cuddly! The smock went together very easily, I stitched the seams with my stretch stitch on the sewing machine and then overlocked them to neaten. I still haven’t got the tension quite right to be happy with the strength of the overlocked seam – or maybe I’m expecting too much! It’s got pockets at the front and raglan sleeves – I haven’t made those for years and I’d forgotton how easy they are.
I’ve worn it several times and I love it, it’s a very comfortable, cuddly wear! It’s a bit like wearing your dressing gown all day! The pockets are very useful too – especially as I made them a bit bigger than the pattern says.
I’ve still a long way to go to really know my new machine, but the second time I changed over to coverstitch it only took me 5 minutes, so it’s getting better! I’m aiming to set aside a day or two and just work my way through the instruction book, making lots of samples.