Some days are slow

My job as an editor often has slow times, and then the inevitable crush of projects when everybody wants work done at the same time. Now is one of those times for me. Also made worse by a sudden decision to visit family in Cape Town, which moved my deadline closer by a week. The decision-maker shall remain nameless... (read DH).

So today my sewing was limited to getting to the shop to buy thread matching two of the fabrics I bought recently. At least I managed to cut out my next strappy top yesterday, as well as sew a sample of the binding method I want to use on this one.

Learning to sew a little bit every day has made a big difference to me. I used to work hard and think that I would get around to sewing "when I have time". I would plan to spend a whole week on sewing "when I've finished this project", and when that time came around, I was usually too exhausted to be creative. I realised this early last year, and decided to try doing a little bit every day, and to feel OK about it. Doing something creative helps me to relax at the end of the day. And I manage to make things, even if it takes longer. So allow yourself to do a little bit every day - it works!

Back to my samples. I don't have a coverstitch machine, so for the previous camisole/top, I followed the burda instructions. This involves cutting a 1.25"-wide binding strip, pressing it in half lengthwise, then opening it and pressing the edges toward the centre, like a wide bias binding. Then this strip is wrapped around the raw edge and the whole thing is stitched down in one go. This was a lot of work and didn't look very neat on the inside. I also had to redo a few bits where I didn't catch the inside fold.

So I thought I'd try a method I read about in a Threads article on wrap t-shirts. I cut the same width of binding. The rayon-lycra knit fabric is extremely fluid and the edges roll up, so I used spray starch and a medium iron to give it more body and keep it flat. I cut two long strips across the entire width of the fabric with my rotary cutter (quilting does give you skills you can use in other areas!). The photo below shows the binding strip at the top.

The application is in two easy steps. First you sew the binding strip RST to the garment edge (I used a 10 mm seam allowance). Then you fold the binding over to the back without trimming the seam allowances and sew along the binding edge again. I found that reducing the presser foot pressure helped a lot with sewing the fabric without it bunching and waving. I simply trimmed the excess fabric at the back. I may try overlocking the strip before doing the second step to see whether this gives a neater edge, but I am very happy with it as is. I used woolly nylon in the bobbin and that seems to give the stitching enough stretch. An alternative is to use a double needle to stitch along the first seam, giving a mock coverstitch effect. The following pic shows the back of the sample.

I also started a new little knitting project last night - I'm knitting a cellphone sock for my husband. I'm using two different perle cotton threads together, which gives a nice lustrous effect. The sock is ORANGE so it will be visible and easy to find! I'm knitting it toe-up and it won't need an ankle - just a tube with ribbing at the top.


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