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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Updated! May 7

It’s been almost 2 years since I have posted here. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say. Life just sweeps me by and some things just get lost… in the shuffle…

anyway. if you know me…. you know that I don’t like to follow rules. my whole life I’ve bucked the system. the teachers in school found me annoying when I didn’t want to do the math problem their way (even IF my answer was the same) I’m sure my mom found it annoying (tho she thought it was cute in math! lol) and my sisters and i could never play a game following the rules! rules are…. well a guideline and if there is a better/faster/easier way that has the same or better result… i will likely find it! :D it’s just who I am.

So I decided to sew, again. :) I found a few patterns I liked. The Nini and the Lulu were my first from this designer!

In the lulu pattern the designer talks about elastic thread. she suggests using stretchrite. I looked high and low online… and found it at walmart for $1.49 for 30 yards!  I made the lulu… actually 5 of them. and thought. hmmm…. why couldn’t i use this elastic thread for gathering. I asked a few ladies…. no one around me had done it… hmmmm… i thought… why not? i think i’ll try it! it worked perfectly wouldn’t you say?

I’m sure you are dying to know my secret! and I think I’m kinda dying to tell! but first here is another photo of my nini jumpers. :)

I’ve learned a lot about elastic thread. :) There are a few tricks to using it!

Wind your bobbin with elastic thread. I used my Elna sewing machine for this. I also put my presser foot down and left my tension just the same… 3.5 or so…. turn my tension to 0 to fill my bobbin. We were finding that it was too tight to spin the bobbin tighter than that. The elastic will stretch and be tight. Place the bobbin in your bobbin slot and set up your machine to sew like normal.

Then adjust your settings. I put my sewing machine on the highest tension 9 on the same tension as tho I’m sewing straight and my longest stitch length which is 4  and leave my stitch length the same as normal straight stitching as well. (I may have to do a tutorial??)

First I zigzag or serger my raw edges. Trust me it takes MUCH less time then cutting strings… head smack! Also hem it now, if there is a hem on the bottom of your ruffle.

You always backstitch at the beginning and the end otherwise it can come undone. You place your fabric that you wish to gather under the foot and sew about 1/4 inch seam allowance and sew with your right side up so the elastic goes on the back. You do one line of this. Backstitch at the end. :)

Then I wash and dry it. At first I just steamed it with my iron but it doesn’t shrink the fabric enough plus it shrinks MORE when you wash it. so just throw it in on fast wash/dry. sew something else, make dinner, wipe a nose….. lol whatever... I’m back to just steaming it. I have to cut the elastic off every time no matter what for gathering! ( another tip, I did all the elastic thread on all my layers at once, even tho the pattern doesn’t suggest that, so that way I could just finish the jumper)

Once it’s dry, I pin to the other part of the outfit and sew! (stretch a bit to fit) zigzag/serger the seam. Make and pin the edges, then the middle, then split the fabric evenly, just like with gathering but ummm way easier! :D

ALSO, trim your elastic after you have sewn your ruffle on. If your elastic is too snug when washed it can gather the garment it’s sew too. :) This shouldn’t be an issue as long as your only use one row.  (example look at Attie’s dress, the girl on the left, i didn’t know these tricks and put three rows of elastic on her gathers and even still after washing and snipping it lots, it’s pulling in too much, i’m gonna have to cut it off)

any questions? :)

here is a great tutorial on shirring! :D