Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Using Metal Washers in Place of Sewing Weights

A couple years ago I had read about the benefits of using "weights" instead of pins when laying out your pattern on fabrics.  Each time you lift your fabrics to pin the pattern you stand a chance of shifting things a bit.  I didn't have any weights but had read about things you could use.  Some folks make their weights sewing fabric into small pillows and filling with rice or beans, etc. and some folks use small canned items such as tuna.  My husband picked up these large washers at the hardware store.  Twenty to the box, they are heavy and do a wonderful job holding the pattern down.  After cutting out, I pin the fabric with one pin to the pattern just to hold together until I get to that piece to sew it up.  Faster than pinning too!  Have you found an "everyday" item you use for sewing?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Elastic Thread Smocking (Shirring)

I can't for the life of me find the source of help I had found for doing the elastic thread shirring on my Brother 2002D ULT but I do have some pictures that will hopefully help you to learn how the threading has to be done.  (1) wind the elastic bobbin by hand with minimal stretching (2) put the bobbin in, hook it into the bobbin tension but DO NOT follow the normal bobbin thread path, lay the "tail" up as you see in the first picture (3) "pick up" the bobbin thread by dropping the threaded needle down and up again to pull up the bobbin thread as in picture two.  (you will likely need to use tweezers or something to grab the elastic thread to pull all the way up)   I sure hope this helps and I will post the link if I ever get my hands on it again!  Remember when using the elastic thread to not use the "scissors" on the machine but cut the thread yourself leaving a nice tail to tie off or either sew into your seam so it won't unravel.  I didn't try backstitching but many do and I will likely try it at some point.  ALSO, I did read not to count on a serged seam to hold the elastic alone.  I sure hope this helps and I will post the link if I ever get my hands on it again!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Elastic Thread Smocking

I love the clothing made with elastic thread in the bobbin but had never tried it until a few weeks ago.  I was in a fabric store and heard a lady say it could not be done on a "drop-in" bobbin machine.  I didn't say anything because I was overhearing this being said to someone else but I am thinking, I paid good money for my Brother machines (both drop-in bobbins) and surely this can be done.  Finally found a post on the internet showing the trick.  I will have to look up the site again, but the trick is to get the bobbin thread to hook into the tension and then bring the tail out and lay on the machine.  Use your needle thread to bring the bobbin thread up like you do in regular sewing machines.  Then you use regular sewing thread on top, the elastic thread in the bobbin (hand wind the elastic onto the bobbin) and just start making your rolls of stitching.  I put mine approx. 1/2 inch or less apart.  When you hit it with the seam from the iron it instantly pulls the thread together to make it look like the "smocked" clothing in stores.  Makes for a really easily made top for my 2 year old Ava.  Hopefully I will have the outfit finished before long and be ready to show you and I will look up that site so you will see the pictures of what I am trying to explain!  Blessings to all!