Saturday, April 25, 2009

I got a SERGER!

And I'm so excited about it! Can you tell?

It's a Singer. I've been warned away from Singers in the past because they're not made by "Singer" anymore. I don't know who makes them now but I'm pretty happy to have this moderately priced machine.

Threading the serger was an experience I don't hope to repeat anytime soon. I've done some googling around and found a way to make it easier to start another spool of thread by tying the new onto the old before it runs out. Hopefully, I can notice that sort of thing before it becomes an issue.

I wish that the makers of this particular machine had considered that most people who sew have normal, human-sized hands and not little elfin or gnome hands. The spaces inside the machine that one must get to in order to thread the machine are tiny and tightly spaced. Fortunately they saw fit to include a pair of tweezers in the tool packet. I wish they had included a little bit of patience and some improved eyesight in there as well.

But I managed to get it threaded and actually running without too much more frustration. The dogs have even come back into the house and everything!

And now I've been serging everything in sight. I serged up a seam on an old coat. I serged together several oddly shaped bits of fabric to test it out on different kinds of fabric. I'm a serging fool.

Now to put it to use in my next project which involves stretch velvet panne. I've made several tops in the last few years with this stretchy wonder-fabric and they've come out ok. I'm really hoping that the serger will make it faster and easier than using one of the stretch stitches on my Husky. Some experimentation is in order, I think.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My first blog

Spring is in the air at the home place in Stromsburg. Today I was torn between getting out in the great weather and finishing up my latest project.

So I did both. I spent the early afternoon in the yard planting a new bed of asparagus (a personal favorite at our house) and mowing the front yard. Once I got done with that, and cleaned up a bit, I came back in to get to work on the latest sewing project!

I like to make custom drum cases for hand drums. My latest creation is a sage green case with polar fleece lining. It's fun for me to make and the fleece is really nice next to your skins ;)

This sage green case is for someone who lives far away from me and I didn't have access to the actual drum for a 'fitting.' So I made a psuedo-drum out of a couple of circles of cardboard and a piece of dowling. It works well enough for me to get close to what I need.

First, I cut the dowel to length matching it to the height of the drum in question. Then, using my fancy circle-cutting jig (a pen, a straight pin, and a piece of ribbon), I made two cardboard circles matching the diameter of the top and the bottom of the drum. A couple of wood screws later, I have a reasonable facsimile of a doumbek. From there, it's a simple matter to create a pattern on an old sheet for a case.

I have to admit, the 'drum jig' seemed like a stroke of genious for this old bird. I felt pretty good about that. I feel even better about the drum case. And the asparagus too.