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Friday, December 28, 2007

First Serger Project

Christmas day, I was too tired to even think about messing with my serger, knowing that it was going to require intensive concentration and use of the manual. So I put it off, and didn't actually mess with the thinkg until Wednesday night. And I wasn't very sucessful then, either, but Brandon figured out the problem, and so yesterday, I was rarin' to go and MAKE SOMETHING with it. (You will have to excuse my photo. My lovely assistant is driving the truck today and so wasn't handy to take pictures)

A month or so ago I bought a size medium men's long sleeved polo shirt at a thrift store with the intention of cutting it up to use the fabric for a long-sleeved tee from the New Look 6160 pattern, with some adjustments, since I didn't like the fit of the first one. I hadn't gotten around to it, though, and figured it was a nice, low-risk first project for the serger, since it was a simple pattern and I wouldn't cry if I messed up the fabric. It's a strange houndstoothy sort of plaid, which I like, yet think is ugly. Kind of like troll dolls. Anyway, there are some challenges inherent in cutting out a pattern from fabric that you have an extremely limited amount of, which is why the sleeves are 3/4 length. I guess I should have bought a size large or extra-large. It is also why the neckband is black fleece leftover from Brandon's shirt jacket. But I actually like the effect.

The changes I made besides sleeve length were to add about an inch to the circumference of the garment, since the original was too narrow for me in the shoulders. Then I changed the neckline and made it lower and wider since the first one I made barely fits over my head. Because I wasn't sure what length to make the neckband for the new neckline, first I made one too short, and then one too long, which I didn't realize until after it was applied, and that's why the neckline has a slight cowl effect.

I serged all the major seams, and only used the sewing machine to top stitch the neckline and hem and baste in the sleeves (Another pitfall of creating from existing garments with no extra fabric, I cut two left sleeves out, and there was no fabric left to fix the mistake. Luckily, you can barely tell. The right and left sleeve of the pattern aren't that different.)

Overall I think it went pretty well, although I think this shirt will mostly be worn around the house. I like the looser fit, since I added about an inch to the circumference, and the serger makes narrower seam allowances, so that added a little room, as well.


Donna Hodgson said...

GREAT first serger job AND out of recycled fabric! A real winner.

bee said...

I haven't visited your blog in a while. Wow! You have been one busy woman. A serger!!! Hot dog! You will use it well and many will get to reap the benefits.