Sunday, December 14, 2014

New venture...

Hello! So next to sewing, one of my favorite things is teaching others how to sew. Several weeks ago I came up with an idea to start making video tutorials. I enlisted my husband-who is a natural with all things technology. And I have my first video!!! This video tutorial is very specific, I'm not expecting it to reach a large audience with this one, but we wanted to do something small just to see what exactly our starting point was. I hope to do many tutorials on garment sewing techniques and quilt making in the future. This particular video is on removing the fabric from the Brother 2340CV Cover Stitch Machine.
Anyways, I hope you continue to watch this blog and my YouTube channel (Sew Illuminated) for more video tutorials!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Knit Tunic for the Holidays

It has been awhile since I've completed a garment sewing project (try last fall!). I had some pretty blue knit fabric and Colette's Guide to Sewing Knits calling my name so I decided to venture in to some new techniques this past week :)

This garment had a lot of firsts for me. I used my serger to sew up all of my seams. In the past, I used my serger primarily for just finishing my seams. Let me say, this is the only way I'm going to sew up knits from now on. It is doing two steps in one- sewing the seam and finishing them at the same time. You do not need a fancy serger either. Mine was the standard Singer model that my parents got me from WalMart for Christmas a few years back.

My favorite new thing that I got to try on this garment was my mom's coverstitch machine!!! Seriously, playing with that thing was like Christmas morning...I used the machine to sew up the hems of the tunic (on the bottom of the skirt part and on the sleeves) and to topstitch the neck band in place. It was different than anything that I have ever used before and my topstitching is a little wavy-but I love the overall effect of the white stitching on the blue fabric.

The coverstitch machine that I used is the Brother 2340CV model. You can get it on Amazon:

It has a different way that you have to pull out and cut the threads after you finish stitching, but it's not too bad once you figure it out. Speaking of which...I plan on doing a video tutorial on that subject on my YouTube channel, Sew Illuminated, very soon. My husband has been working really hard to set up my sewing studio and combined with his techie skills, I hope to be bringing a bunch of sewing tutorials your way-so be watching for that! :)

When I started this project, I knew I wanted to do it right, so I read Colette's Guide to Sewing Knits from front to back, and it is a must for any seamstress's library:

I normally follow a sewing pattern very strictly, but this book gave me the confidence to try new things that weren't suggested in the pattern (McCalls 6398). I had sewn a top from this pattern before and I feel like this recent one looks a lot less "homemade" on the inside. There are several different ways and schools of thought when it comes to sewing garments, and one of my favorite things is just trying something new. In addition to serging the seams and using the coverstitch machine, I used a clean finish binding for the neckline (pg.136 of Colette's Guide to Sewing Knits). I liked this way better than just turning down the neckline and stitching it.

These two pics are of the dress reversed so that you can see the serging on the inside.

Coverstitching on the hem

Clean finish binding for the neckline

Needless to say, I enjoyed this project and I hope it gives you the inspiration to try your hand at sewing some knitwear too :) In the meantime, be watching for my first video tutorial that I will be posting soon!