Quick and Easy Stash Busters

The velvet jacket is on hold.

j1The tale of sewing woe went like this:-

Sewed it up, decided the collar needed interfacing after all.  Ripped out the lining. Fused a lightweight non woven to the top collar one side – all good. Got interrupted . Stupidly resumed in poor light when tired . Failed to register ironing setting changed . Melted interfacing, bubbling the collar underneath. Peeled off interfacing round bubble, steamed out bubble -all good.  Started cutting out crapped bit of interfacing around meltdown, snipped collar by mistake.  Teased snip closed, fused across it carefully, decided not too bad, stitched lining in……….. But  I can’t decide if I want to live with it knowing its there, or rip off the collar and restyle, or remake, or pension it off. Drat!

Oops

Oops

Thats the pretty little snip, which is, of course, on the top collar. Steaming out wrinkles, bubbles, creases etc in velvet, is one of the three handed jobs in sewing. You need to blast steam through the velvet, holding the fabric in front of the steam wrong side towards the iron without touching it. Should you have an old fashioned kettle which sits steaming on a hob, its perfect for the task. With a typical domestic iron its a circus act.

Meanwhile stash has expanded to a ridiculous volume. Its time to churn through some of it, so I’m starting on the basis of first fabric out of a box gets made into something. This week it was this

silver and black rib

silver and black rib

It has a  fine pleated texture, giving a rib effect and on the right side a wave pattern woven in, or more accurately knitted in – its a fine jersey.

wave pattern

wave pattern

This was originally bought as one of two possibles for a Christmassy top for one of my nieces. I cut a pattern for a sleeveless tunic and a bolero, both very quick to assemble.

tunic

tunic

bolero

bolero

The overlocker  hasn’t been used since it broke its ten year record of good behaviour and threw a hissy fit on some red jersey. After some TLC and upping the differential feed it did the job with only one bad splodge of bunched up stitches.

chossed stitches

chossed stitches

Luck was on my side this time, the mess is on the seam of the cuff which gets folded to the inside – hooray!

As overlockers go my Elna 614DE is not too difficult to thread,  I should use it more often. There’s a threading diagram inside and the only quirky bit is needing to press down on a  lever to reveal a guide for one of the loopers,  remembering to push it back up again before stitching.  But I suspect the poor old dear does need a service.

overlocker guts

overlocker guts

I’ve included a photo of this because googling for hints on restoring it to its former glory, I hit on many pleas for manuals and help threading. You can purchase a manual download or a set of films of how to use it, but if you have picked up one of these lovelies second hand instead of a swish new air threaded job, its probably due to a cash shortfall, right? In the manual you get a threading diagram, but it does leave you with that moment of hesitation – is this the lever depicted, really? Well that is indeed it, right under the looper. When you press it down you can see the thread guide you need to pass the thread through before it goes through the looper you see poking out of the housing pointing right in the picture. Once you’ve got the thread through  you push the lever back up, where it is in the photo sitting on my finger nail.

 

 

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About jay

I design and draft patterns
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13 Responses to Quick and Easy Stash Busters

  1. mrsmole says:

    My repairman, a good friend, says you never know how much crud is inside your serger even if you keep it clean on the outside. Another repairman told me not to bring the serger in for cleaning until it actually stopped running. At that point more parts were involved and had to be replaced. So be kind and take it in for a clean out and lubrication. Is the tiny clip some place where you can sew something over it like beads in a random design to salvage the whole thing?

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  2. jay says:

    I probably could salvage the jacket by some decorative addition mrs mole, but I need to cogitate for a while. You can get to quite a bit of this overlocker by undoing a screw on the left hand side of the machine, which lifts off the front corner. I did that – full of gunge of course. As its never been serviced and used to do a lot of leotard work, it probably deserves a treat.

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  3. Anne W says:

    I like the idea of grabbing the first fabric out of the stash and making it up, although I’d probably decide I didn’t like it at that moment and go digging for something more inspirational… I feel your pain re the velvet, it’s such a bugger to interface! Hopefully after you ignore it for a bit you’ll figure out a way to selvage it.

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  4. sew2pro says:

    Oh it’s a lovely jacket; I can just imagine how it would feel worn. I hope it can be saved ( what’s the pattern? 🙂 )

    Maybe you can wear it knowing only the two of you (and us) share the little secret of its ‘scar’.

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  5. Oops indeed! But I’m sure no one but you will know it’s there. My serger is similar, but doesn’t have a lever, I have to hand crank the wheel to get the looper to appear.

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  6. auntmayme says:

    I’m with the “Embellish the Snip” crowd. Maybe a fabric flower or applique? The color of the jacket is beautiful and the style reminds me of a chocolate brown velveteen bolero I made in the early 1980’s. Do I still wish I had that jacket!
    As to the overlocker, take her in. You love her, don’t you? Maybe she needs a “spa day”. (Sorry, “Elna” is a feminine name to me)

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  7. I too have erroneously snipped. Silk thread embroidery would cover that easily. You could use the same colour to make it a subtle texture. Silk ribbon would cover faster and provide more texture. The embellished fix can be the best feature.

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  8. jay says:

    The texture idea is pretty clever, thanks for that inspiration.

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