|May Book Blog: Serge With Confidence by Nancy Zieman|
Before dashing off to Quilt Market this week I was able to take a stab at cover stitching our project. First, however, I have to give a shout out to Cathy Krejci at the wonderful new Pins & Needles location in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Cathy has helped me with serger issues in the past, and when I couldn’t get my machine to stitch properly — a pretty serious issue, given the focus of this blog is to encourage you all to use your sergers — we took a look at the machine together and realized the needle casing was cracked (the needle was jutting forward instead of straight down when fully tightened). Word to the wise, be careful when you tighten your needles. So off my serger went for servicing while Cathy was kind enough to let me borrow hers for this project. We threaded the looper with the pink wooly and she advised me to use regular pink serger thread in the needles. For the cover stitch we’re doing, you only need three threads. I stitched out a test on my organza without the Solvy (wash-away stabilizer) and it tunneled slightly. Cathy advised me to reduce the differential feed to 0.7 from 1.0, and I added the Solvy under my organza.
The results: perfection. Aligning the inner needle with the traced line on my organza jacket, sleeve hem and bonnet curve, I simply stitched from one edge to the other.
Once I finished stitching, I gently tore away the Solvy;
the rest will rinse away when the garment is washed.
Tip: To get enough thread to pull out for clipping at the edge of your project, turn your hand wheel away from you until the needles go down and up; then lightly pull and clip the threads so that you have tails not only on your project but enough thread extending from the needles and looper for your next round of stitching.
Tip: If you find you haven’t stitched straight and want to re-stitch (not advised too many times on organza) cover stitching is easy to pull out. Simply clip down the back of your stitching (the wooly looper threads) being careful not to catch your fabric, then tug the needle threads from the edge of your project and the stitching comes right out. Remove the Solvy and press with the tip of the iron to close the needle holes and re-stitch.
Tip: Nancy and other serger experts might cringe at this, but I’m a true believer that necessity is the mother of invention. After stitching my bonnet curve perfectly along the traced line the very first time, I noticed that I had one stitch where the looper thread did not get caught by the left needle — the dreaded skipped stitch.
Instead of pulling the threads out and starting over, I threaded a hand needle with my pink top thread, secured it with a tiny tight knot on the wrong side at the edge of a secured wooly loop, caught the loose loop on the back side and tacked it to the straight stitch so that was aligned where it should have been caught. Then I stitched up through the next needle hole, over one stitch on the right side and back down into the next needle hole before tying off.
It’s virtually undetectable from the right side and saved me from having to restitch anything.
Next week, we’ll construct our little set.