A diary of all my mad projects.

I am glad that you stopped by - welcome to my world. Its a little mad and hectic as I sew, knit, embroider and generally craft my way through life. My newest resolution is to spend more time sewing - less time dreaming about it. I love to read comments so I am looking forward to hearing from you all.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Old dogs and new tricks

Image from http://babylock.com/sergers/cover-stitch/

In my sewing room I have a number of machines, these have been bought over a few years as time, money and skills have warranted.  I added a Babylock Cover seamer to the list a few years ago and love it for the professional finish it provides on knits.  I removed the third needle after making a jeans jacket and until last week never changed a thing except threads and new needles as required.

Greta and her lace T-shirt.
Image from https://www.facebook.com/BerninaTauranga?ref=tn_tnmn
 Last week I had the opportunity to learn new ways of using the coverstitch machine to construct knit garments with a class at the Tauranga Bernina Centre with Robyn and the wonderful Greta. Greta is  at present  living in Cambodia (but visiting her parents in NZ).  She is a font of knowledge about all the wonderful fabrics that you can purchase in Cambodia and it is very tempting to visit just to get some fabric!!!  Under her guidence we learnt to use the chain stitch function and we embellished stretch lace (and so easy it was) then joined it to a knit underlayer and made a T-shirt.

Close up showing the fabric strips chainstitched to lace.

The finished t-shirt which was fully constructed on the Coverstitch Machine.

This was so much fun as well as quick and easy.  The differential feed on the machine means that the knit is easily sewn without pulling, stretching or puckering.  I was hooked - a new trick indeed.  The only thing was to make sure that the chain is not pulled before knotting or locking by sewing over seam otherwise all that hard work is undone literally!

At home I was off searching for some quick and easy project!  The Creative Cate from Style Arc seemed an obvious choice and combined with some odds and ends of knits worked a treat.

Close up of the chainstitch

Here it is in a very delicate silk knit from The Fabric Store which stitched up like a dream with the coverstitch.  I had attempted to sew this last year and tossed it into a corner as it kept disappearing down the needleplate of the sewing machine. 

I am impressed with the way I managed to get the pattern to join at the side seams!!

A final picture of me wearing the top - it is not such a good fabric to wear as it sticks to the body - but I loved the print and think the placement worked well.

 On a roll I moved onto a few remnants from past projects - a silver and black polyester knit that has already proved itself as a wardrobe basic.  But still thinking of passing it on as I am not sure that it is very flattering to my colouring - black is not such a good colour for me.

And finally out of a small left over which is a meaty slinky fabric with metallic geometric patterns.  The photo does not do it justice, the pattern is made out of metallic paints that rest ontop of the knit and almost glow.  I did not have much fabric so had to fold out of the middle to accomodate and recut the back neck line.  The fabric is very stretchy but not enough for me.  I badgered Alison to try it on and it was extremely flattering - although she was so taken with the pattern and had lots of ideas of where she could use it in her bags that I hope it remains as a top for a few outings!!!

 Now that I have learnt to use the chainstitch function I am moving onto the two thread stitch on the overlocker.  There are also a few more T-shirts planned using this method.


  1. This makes me want a cover stitch machine :-) I love how knowing new tricks with you machine has re-invigorated your knit sewing projects.

    1. Sandra I love my coverstitch machine and have used it extensively and not just for knits - I think you need one!! LOL.

  2. All these tops are lovely! My favorite is the lace t-shirt, you really did a nice job in it:)

    1. Thanks Hana - I am going to make another version in a colour, using the chainstitch makes it all so quick and easy.

  3. Isn't it great to learn new skills on your machines. I love your tops. Creative Cate is one of my favourite patterns. Great job.

  4. What beautiful creations! t's hard to pick a favorite out of all your tops Don't be so hard on yourself re the fit - I think you look great. I've got to inspect closely your use of the chainstitch - wow! Just the inspiration and practical applications to jumpstart my fall sewing and use more of the capabilities of my babylock machine. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Terri - the chainstitch is so easy with the babylock and I have noticed that lots of commercial garments are sewen this way even wovens. The seam is finished with a 3 thread overlock which must make for a very quick garment.