Saturday, April 2, 2016

creatively detoured

I have no idea what is growing here.  It just struck me strong enough I had to pull over and snap it.

I have finished all of the machine-sewing parts of the periwinkle quilt and have it beside me now to handstitch the binding.  I'll post photos when it is actually done.  Hopefully, this week. 

Sadly, progress is s.l.o.w. in the garment division.  I pin basted and tried on the athleisure pant project and hate the fabric. It shines and thus highlights every bulge.  Definitely pajama pants.  The fit looks right.  I haven't decided whether to skip the pockets and just serge them up, breaking in the new machine.  I'll check for old zippers tomorrow or Sunday or Monday......  Locate some old ribbing or decide to skip that part... Definitely saving the new zippers and ribbing for a "real wearable" pair, I'm sure I've got some better suited fabric in those two big cardboard boxes.

Anyway, this nurse weekend (known to y'all as Monday and Tuesday) I got sidetracked by machine embroidery, specifically cutwork.  I've a certain amount of experience mucking about with embroidery but every time I tried the cutwork part I failed miserably.  This time after watching several inspiring videos on YouTube, it just worked!

I did the flower and cut work on the right first, then I came back the next day to continue practice and did the one on the left.  My satin stitch is very clumsy, this is done on a straight stitch machine by rapidly shaking the work in a hoop, to free motion the zigzag.  Yeah, it can be done very beautifully with loads and loads and loads of practice. If I were doing a design for real, I would probably have to use a zigzag machine and cheat a little.  The fabric is a poly-blend mistake that tends to pucker up, if this were cotton or linen most of that puckering surrounding the stitching could be pressed out, I never bothered putting iron to this sample, or spraying out the marker.  I did come back the third day to play some more and then THIS happened:

Over and over and over and over.  I checked and re threaded a couple times.  Checked and reseated he needle, flat side correctly oriented.  Changed the needle. Played with upper tension.  Took off the entire needle plate and thoroughly cleaned everywhere in the bobbin area, oiled the bobbin race.  Finally, this machine's (my singer 201-2) bobbin case has never seemed quite right, the thread likes to jump out of the track from time to time.  Enough so that I had purchased a replacement bobbin assembly off eBay, but not yet switched it out.  So I did that and could see this one will probably work better.

Hopefully, tension will now remain like the top most sample and not require frequent fiddling.  So, I gave the satin stitch one more whirl.....

No dice. I put it up and went to sleep like I was supposed to.  Next try will be on the good ole Kenmore 90 model, using the machine's zig zag for the satin stitches.  I'd like to master the cutwork first on wovens, then take it to knits and see if I could use some more modern shapes on garments.  Possibly to leave open as cutwork or back as in reverse applique.  I love Alabama Chanin but hand working it.....yeah, but.  I'd like to try to master a machine technique first.

If you'd like to see an in depth tutorial of this technique by someone way better than me, here's a link.  A faster and very inspiring demo without any teaching aspect to it can be found here.

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