Archives for June 2018

Overlockerphobia and how to deal with it!

Ah! The Overlocker! A tool of mystery, wonder and for many…fear!

A large amount of makers and crafters are afraid of the Serger. And with tales of terror circulating in craft, web, and live groups, who could blame them?

Lets be honest, the industry often does not make these machine approachable to the home makers market, instructions are a little cryptic, threading the thing not exactly a piece of cake.

BUT… the tales of wonder do not cease to fascinate us and bring many to buy a Overlocker, just to leave her to gather dust in a corner after the first couple of attempts.

I have overcome my fear and need you all to know that if you leave your serger in a corner you are doing a BIG mistake. I have bought a very simple basic serger the Janome 8002D Basic Overlocker Serger and decided to give it a go!

The first thing you need to learn how to do to “Tame the machine” is to thread it. Janome instructions are not terrible but not an easy challenge either, so I have decided to seek the support of youtube on this, and discovered that there is a video on about any kind of overlocker out there! Best video around is offered by Cathy of Sew&Vac. I watched the video, armed myself with a pair of tweezers and managed all in a decent amount of time, then, I did it again without the video, just to be certain I had memorized it and I must say it was absolutly NOT THAT HARD!

Once I had learned the basics, I had anyway not a clue on the rest, youtube is great, but just did not cover all I could do with an overlocker, I was confused on what I could exactly do, so I decided to go and check craftsy out and took the class “Beginner Serging” with Amy Alan  this was a great decision! Miss Alan is a very good on-line teacher, she covered a lot of stitches, and I triumphantly made some of the projects of the class.

But, one thing is following a class with projects, another is applying it to your real day to day sewing. I was still a little bit fearful, so I decided to take a final step, I wanted to apply what I had learned to a pattern I have used many times and was confident with, and suggest you do the same; I took out my favourite pattern that is Dottie Angel’s Frock  and use the serger to substitute the seams she proposes, using a 3 thread narrow seam and to Hem the arm area and the skirt. The results really pleased me, but what did please me most of all was the time I saved! It took me a little to thread the machine and play around with the numbers, but as I had done my craftsy class and had taken notes of the settings for the different stitches it was super easy! Once that was done the Overlocker saved me hours!

Overcome you Overlockerphobia and start serging with success, it is easy if you know what steps to take to learn from home, I hope this little guide on how to actually start using this machine is helpful!



Making something marvellous out of the discarded.

Confession: I LOVE an up cycle. I also love charity shopping so I’ve always got my eye on giving old treasures a new lease on life. While out on a lady date with my friend Jo, I was inspired to make her a bag from a men’s tweed jacket. After a brief visit to a charity shop where we scored a lovely tweed suit jacket for £10. I made my own pattern which I cut in order to maximise the pockets and finishing of the jacket. In a stroke of genius Jo bought old seatbelts from eBay to use for the strap. The jacket had more than enough fabric needed to make the bag so armed with the seat belt straps, interfacing and closers, I was good to go.

I started by unpicking the bones of the jacket, keeping the pieces as large as possible. The seams and tailoring added a lovely bit of detail that I enjoy. I used the suit lining to line the bag, maximising the internal pockets. Because of the soft nature of the lining fabric and the tweed, I used a medium weight interfacing to provide a bit more integrity to the shape.

Unfortunately, I made this bag before the blog launched so I don’t have any photos of the bag being build. For the front flap I used the flattened fabric from the sleeve, which show cased the adorable sleeve buttons. Aside from being a delectable one-off piece, the tailoring of the jacket made this a fun creation; without having to faff around making pockets.

I hope you’ll agree that this is truly something marvellous out of something discarded and it inspires you to give something old and no longer loved a new lease on life.