New Year, New Skill a Little Late

My new skills with my new sewing machine! Sorry for the late post, I’ve been so busy. Recently, I purchased a new Husqvarna Designer SE sewing & embroidery machine. It came with a bevy of new feet and computer enabled options that were mind-boggling coming from a basic and inexpensive Elgin (Brazil’s version of White). It wasn’t the cheapest model, but it definitely didn’t have many bells and whistles. So after I finished up a few easy project to get things warmed up, I decided to jump in and experiment.

I bought a fixed invisible zipper foot. It didn’t come with the machine, but I felt if I was spending so much on the machine, a few more dollars for that foot would not be a big deal. I can not emphasize enough how amazing this foot is. It makes installing the invisible zipper almost effortless (as long as you arrange the fabric and zipper correctly). It seriously reduces slippage and shifting while sewing. I highly recommend the fixed zipper foot over the adjustable-plastic-fit-any-machine foot. The final step just requires you to switch out to the regular zipper foot in order to finish the seam.  The trick is to align the needle off-center to avoid a lumpy zipper bottom.

Next, I played with the faux serge seam finish stitches. There are a variety for different fabric densitys and stretch. It really does hold the threads through a washing cycle in the machine. It also finished up the edge smoothly. The only wrinkle I noticed on the skirt I’m wearing today: If you press the seam open with these stitches, the stitches may be seen on the out layer of the fashion fabric. I think it has to do with the fabric weight, but I have to play with it more now that I’ve noticed the problem.

I finished the hems with the special blind hem foot and pre-programmed stitches. Once I got the hang of folding the fabric, this was an easy and beautiful hem finish that takes a tiny fraction of the time I used to spend hand-picking the hem. The only downside is that the raw edge stays exposed rather than being tucked in. It does reduce the bulk and works with lining, but in unlined garments, this is irritating because the stitching rubs my skin. I am playing with this idea now, but I think that it will look and feel nicer if I use narrower hems, and more casual unlined looks and keep my deeper hems for the traditional couture projects and tailored or formal pieces.

Thank you for inspiring me to take the time to experiment with my new machine! Visit my blog post about this for more details,photos, etc.: http://sewingforme.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/new-year-new-skills-a-little-late/