Sunday, February 13, 2011

Time to Regroup

Well, this blouse has almost defeated me.

I was determined to sew it up this weekend, but got sidetracked by serger difficulties. I really wanted serged seam finishes in this blouse - but that just isn't happening. After battling with the serger tension for about half an hour yesterday, I determined that A) this thing is probably overdue for a servicing and B) my needles are decidedly dull. Serger needles were something that hadn't crossed my mind at all. Blonde moment #2!

So, in the meantime I started with the sewing, putting together the pieces that don't require finishing first. This morning I happened to be driving past a sewing store, so I swung in. They only sold three types of serger needles (short, long, and ball-point) so I decided to take the leap (as I didn't have my needles with me) and guess. I picked the right length but of course the shape of the shank is wrong - meaning that store doesn't carry the right needles at all. The place where I bought the last set is closed Sundays. I don't have a car to go further.

A more rational person might haven chosen to stop here. But I thought - am I being too prissy about these seam finishes? Should I try another method? So I decided to try my old "fake serging" method - a row of straight stitching next to a row of zig-zag. Well, this is where it all fell apart. The zig-zag stitch sucked up the slippery charmeuse and created a pleat beneath the stitching - aside from not being pretty, there's a fair amount of added bulk.

If I'd stopped at the shoulders it would have been no big deal, but unfortunately I tried the back seam. It looks fine from the outside but... I'm picky about these things. So, once again, the blouse is going back in the project bag while I decide what to do.

This blog may be a bit knitting-focused for the next few weeks while I regroup from the frustration, lol.


  1. Sorry to hear about all the struggles!

    If it makes you feel any better I always seem to make at least a few silly mistakes on every project. when things get too crazy I'm a big fan of taking some time and then coming back to a project that has been frustrating.

    Good luck!

  2. Haha! It's good to hear I'm not alone... I feel like this blog has become a bit of a comedy of errors!

  3. Do you have a three-part-zig-zag stitch? I've found that no matter what I'm sewing, and no matter what the tension, a zigsag always pulls in and bunches up and generally does nasty stuff, but the three-part-zig-zag is always beautifully flat. Don't give in!! Sew that blouse into submission!

  4. Oh no! Hmm.. you could try binding the seams, to cover up the unruly edges? That won't be any easier though.
    Spool of Thread has a serger, I haven't used it myself but that might be a quick fix while you get yours sorted out! Bring your own thread, and quickly finish off the seam allowances, cutting off the not-so-pretty part. Just a thought!
    I hope you are able to save your blouse!

  5. @Sarah - I think so? I used to use a really simple Janome mechanical machine, but a few years ago I inherited my mother's fancy computerized quilting machine. It has so many stitches and buttons that I haven't tried them all out yet. I did try all the obvious zig-zag stitches and they all resulted in the same pulling. Oh well!

    @Tasia - it definitely isn't ruined, I just feel like I can't move forward until I get it figured out! Great idea about going to Spool of Thread, I just might do that. I do think I should probably get my serger serviced again. I think one of the tension knobs is broken, actually, in addition to the dull needle problem.