Monday, June 10, 2013

Plan C

Do you remember the Hong Kong finish I was going to use in my Simplicity 2150 jacket? Yes, I remember it, too. I also remember that I had abandoned that plan, Plan A, if you will, because the flannel bias strips that looked so pretty were phenomenonally hard to work with. So I advanced to Plan B, overlocking the seam allowances of the jacket, which I thought would be fast and still be interesting if I used contrasting thread.

Plan B was scary for me, because I don't have a lot of experience using my serger, despite having owned it for roughly 15 years. Maybe longer. The knife terrifies me. It's sharp and it moves fast and no one has ever made the mistake of calling me coordinated. So I worry about ruining garments and I worry about ruining fingers. That's the potential for a double whammy as I'm reasonably certain that, were I to cut off a finger while serging a garment, I would also ruin the garment.

Anyway, I pulled out my serger and stitched up a sample. Call me crazy, but that looked pretty darned good to me. Thus reassured that Plan B was The Answer, I started on my jacket seam allowances and...disaster. Okay, not on the magnitude of , say, an asteroid striking the earth, but, you know, almost. There were no tears, but it was close.

So it was back to the sample scrap, where I barely tweaked some of the settings and serged all the edges again. I serged slowly; I serged fast. I barely skimmed the edges with the knives and I trimmed off full seam allowances, all with beautiful results.

So I - stupidly...go ahead and say you; you know you're thinking it - tried it again on the jacket, again with disastrous results.

Take a look at the photos I've included below and tell me what you think, because I'm at a loss; I've serged the edges of my rather large sample scrap until it's roughly 4" by 4" and have been unable to recreate the abnormal stitching.

Any ideas on what might make my serger act as though it's demon possessed? 
And all of this brings me to Plan C, which is really Plan A...but without the flannel.


AllisonC said...

It looks like the fabric is not feeding through properly when you are serging the edges of the completed seam - I wonder if the foot is dragging a bit on the seam itself. I often serge first or serge the seams together to avoid this. I'm sure you don't want to unpick all your seams, is the fabric too thick to serge the seam allowances together (test it first!). Otherwise I think it may be quickest in the long run to go back to Plan A!

Paula Gardner said...

I am working on Plan A, er, Plan C, er, whatever...I am working on my Hong Kong finishes right now. Thanks for commenting!

Juliet said...

Yes, Alison's recommendation was my first thought too.

My overlocker foot is quite large and not easy to get into the seam allowance and curves are even worse.

Of course to overlock before stitching the seam requires marking of the seamline in case the amount removed is uneven.

Wish I could be more help, best wishes.

Paula Gardner said...

Yes, uneven feeding due to the presser foot running over the seam itself as well as the other seam allowance is the consensus. I'm chalking this up as a good learning experience.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Ugh, I wish I had anything for you. I've been having major tension problems with my serger. I am afraid to acknowledge that it's the serger itself, not my settings.

Susan Partlan said...

"The knife terrifies me." Me too. I've had more serger accidents than I care to talk about. For the last three silk blouses I made I hand stitched the edges using a slip stitch.

Paula Gardner said...

It's so good to know that I'm not the only one who's afraid of her serger!