Hey dear readers!
If you follow me on Twitter, you’d know I inhereted my mum-in-laws overlocker (serger for my North Americain friends)!! She generously brought it over to Perth from Queensland on the plane last time they visited and I’ve been dying to try it out ever since.
I found the perfect opportunity when this little number popped up on BurdaStyle
I love the neckline and the elegant drape in the front…and I had the perfect soft navy bamboo jersey for it too!
But, I digress….
First, we needed to tame the overlocker. The first thing I did was unthread the whole thing and then learn (with many curse words) how to thread it myself. An annoying but necessary exercise, because now I know if something is out of whack with the threading and how to fix it. Score.
I sewed a few seams using muslin and the stitches looked beautiful. However, when I switched to my jersey it was skipping stitches with the left needle. I tried and tried to adjust the tension to no end and when I finally got it to stop skipping, the seam wasn’t elastic enough because the tension on the L and R needles was too high…but when I loosened it, it skipped stitches again! ARGH!
After a nice cuppa, I read some forum posts that suggested using a 3 needle stitch for stretchy fabric as it’s more elastic. This made a lot of sense to me, since it was only the L needle that was skipping. So, I unthreaded the L needle and now it works great and the seam is elastic enough. I set the differential to 2 to ensure that the seam didn’t stretch and now we’re golden!
I traipsed over to Textile Traders to track down some ball point needles for sewing jersey…I needed a pack of normal ball point needles and one twin needle (more on this later)…along with that I scored a whole roll of cotton jersey for $5!!!!! So now I had it all…overlocker, user manual, needles, wine and a sh*t tonne of fabric
AND I WENT TO TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWN!
Pattern cut, and size 44 assembled.
Not bad, not bad…but I can see the shape of my bra and I no likie that. I like my clothes to drape elegantly over my figure and not stick like Gladwrap.
Sooooo, I made the following alteration. Moved the dart over 2cm and added 2cm to the centre front to not loose volume in the pleat (the mark in red is the alteration)
I was sick of making muslins and wanted to get to the real stuff NOW!!! So, I did…and it worked out great. But here are some construction tips from your ol’ friend Kat.
First, here’s how you do the pleat if you’re making this and confused (as one often is when making a BurdaStyle garment)
First of all, I didn’t put a facing in. I hate using interfacing on knits and this jersey curls up like nothing else. Alternatively, I used 1/4″ clear elastic to make a nice elastic and figure hugging neckline and I just love it. I did this first.
Now here is where a walking foot comes in really handy! It has feed dogs on the foot so it moves both layers of fabric equally. I find that when I try to sew two pieces of knit fabric together without one, things get skewed and bunchy. So, worth investing in one…I got mine here.
Sew clear elastic to neckline using a 3-step zig zag so left edge of elastic is next to the stitching line. Put a *slight* (and I mean slight here) tension on the elastic as you sew. You don’t want to see gathers, but you do want it to slightly hug the body…this takes practice and I did a few samples before the real thing. Sew the elastic onto the two front necklines and the back neckline.
You’re done with the neckline….for now (MWHAHHAHAHAHAHAH…just kidding)
Sew two rows of gathering stitches (one on seamline one .5cm away on seam allowance) and gather till the distance between the two stars is 7cm. Secure by tying the two threads together.
Sew the dart from the fold line to the point of the dart, tying off ends.
Do this to the other dart and press seams OPEN. Now fold the front down the centre front, wrong sides together and sew the darts together – this forms the pleat. It’s really NB to press the seams open, because if you don’t the bulk of the seam allowance from the dart ends up in the pleat…bad look. Sew the darts together from the neck edge to where the gathering ends
Spread the front out again, and pin down the flappy bits of the pleat to keep them out of your way.
Now sew the side seams.
The shoulder seams need a bit of stabilization, so I used a scrap piece of silk organza (love the stuff!!!) and sewed it into the seam like so
Grrrrrrrrrreat. Now we finish off that lovely neckline.
This where the twin jersey needle comes in mighty handy…it turns your machine into one of those multi thousand dollar cover stitch machines…well, not really, but close.
You basically use two spools of thread and thread both needles. The top looks like a row of double stitching, but the back is a zig zag type stitch which is SUPER elastic.
Fold your neckline seam allowance over on the edge of your clear elastic and sew a top stitch using your twin needle. Watch so your fabric doesn’t shift and get all biasy…if so, lift your presser foot and smooth out. Again, put a *slight* tension as you sew, but not a lot.
Trim the seam allowance almost to the stitching…done.
Sew in the sleeves. Use the same top stitch to finish off the hem and the sleeve hems
Overlock the top of the pleat, gather and then secure to the back using hand backstitches.
Man, I just love the fit on this one (with said alterations) and the cut and well, everything! And it’s sooooooooooooooo comfortable! I just love sewing with knits now! It’s not so bad once you know how to handle/finish them. I have another knit top coming down the pipeline…so stay tuned for more cozy goodness!
Do you sew with knits? Are you wary of them or do you embrace them? We all want to know your experiences!!! Do you have any tips as well? Definitely need more of those, so please share!
Relax and Enjoy,