Monday, November 28, 2011

The Giving Season

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth since September.  Sorry I have been so late blogging, but I've been busy--which is the whole reason for this site anyway!  I've made a 1 1/2 skirts, working on a pattern of my own for a handbag (more to come later) and more recently giving holiday napkins for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season.  I gave out several napkins on Thanksgiving so the recipients could enjoy using them the whole season.  And I made some for my own family--so I've sewn about 40 napkins or more.

Below is a picture I took from scraps of the fabrics I used for the napkins, as well as some of the threads I used.

These are very easy gifts to create if you have a serger.  I made all of my napkins on my serger using a rolled edge and wave stitch which is available on the Baby Lock sergers (see exhibit B).  The wave stitch is like an accident, but made to work for the sewer.  And it looks pretty cool.  Your creative juices can soar by using a variety of threads for the loopers.  I used metallic threads mostly to give that holiday flair, as well as some polyester threads that have that sheen to them which adds a more dramatic effect to everything.  I'll give you a list of some of the threads I used in case you want to look for them where you live.

Most of the napkins I made are cut from raw (unwashed) holiday fabric in a 14 x 14 size for smaller napkins.  With a serger, you don't have to worry about the raw edges since those get cut off and bound with thread as its fed through the machine.  You can position your fabric so that only a sliver of fabric is cut.  So your finished size, of course will be a little smaller all around.  And, I didn't turn the fabric at the end of the fabric edge--each edge is run straight through.

Below is a pic of a set of gift napkins I gave to my husband's out-of-town friend whom we haven't seen since 1996.  He was having a house-warming party--so I decided to make these along with a bottle of wine.  He and my husband were in culinary school together so I felt it very apropos.

You can see the metallic purple thread I used above in the upper looper.  The wave stitch is a combination of 3 threads--1 needle (position right), upper and lower loopers are used.  The threads are threaded differently than normal into your serger so it provides the differing tension it needs.  Below are examples of wave stitches I used.  The gold fabric was sewn using one regular serger thread (Robison-Anton) in green; 1 gold metallic thread (upper looper) and one green metallic thread (lower looper).

And the green fabric has gold metallic threads that run through it.  This wave stitch example shows me using a Christmas Sulky Blendable thread from their newest collection.  It's a spool of 3 colors-variegated.  This was used in the upper looper with a gold metallic in the lower looper.  Regular green serger thread was used in the right needle.  You can see the combination of these threads more clearly when the threads come off the fabric at the end.

The threads I used are the following:

Floriani polyester (also known as FuFu polyester), YLI brand Supertwist metallic threads in purple, green and red, Razzle Dazzle in silver (this is a thicker thread and a little harder to get it going when actually sewing.  All of the regular serger threads are the Robison-Anton brand.  It's a longer staple cotton so it sheds less lint than many other serger threads.  Sergers, in general leave a lot of lint behind so clean yours on a regular basis by vacuuming it out after your projects.  I'll be taking mine in for its annual maintenance so I'll let them clean it for me.

Happy Holidays to everyone and remember "Jesus is the reason for the season." ><>