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Sunday, 22 January 2017

How to Add Lace to a plain top and making a narrow rolled hem on an overlocker

A post.

 We will be working with lace fabric for another post or two yet, which gives me the opportunity to talk about various applications which you may find useful
This time I am using a rolled hem around the neckline using my overlocker

Casual tops don't have to be boring. I took a simple T-shirt pattern and some jersey fabric, an off-cut of lace fabric and made a really easy but different top in less time than it takes to go to the shop and buy one! And for a lot less money too. 

The pattern is by  mccalls and I am just making the Top, version B, the pattern is from and you can purchase it here McCalls pattern by Nancy Zieman
The jersey fabric is from Minerva Fabrics, there is more to choose from on this link, so choose your favourite. Jersey fabrics
And lace fabrics can be bought from both Minerva Lace Fabrics and Abakhan Fabrics Lace fabrics
My jersey was from MinervaCrafts and my lace from Abakhan.

What I like about patterns designed by Nancy Zieman is that she talks you through each step thoroughly and gives advice on choosing the correct size and what types of fabric to use. You really cannot go wrong with her patterns. On this page for example she is talking about stabilising the shoulder seams. She recommends that you use clear elastic to stabilise the shoulders, but you could use iron on seam tape Iron on seam tape available from Jaycotts. It is a useful product to keep in, it has many uses, I use it in some form on almost all the garments I make

The first thing I needed to do was to check my measurements and choose the right size. I then needed to shorten the sleeve because I want to position the scalloped border on my lace so that it forms the sleeve edge.

I also wanted to add a lace overlay to the front of the top so I positioned the pattern on the lace and measured straight across from the armhole to armhole, having the scalloped edge as a decorative feature.

 The lace needs to be trimmed to remove the waste fabric and leave the pretty scalloped edge . Do this for both the front overlay and the sleeves. The sleeves are sheer lace by the way., With no jersey underneath.

Use a narrow zig zag stitch throughout and sew the lace overlay onto the top of the jersey fabric. Make sure that the fabric is perfectly flat- I use a temporary fabric glue to ensure no slippage when sewing two layers together.
Stitch the shoulder seams and neaten the edges.

Stay stitch close to the edge all the way around the neckline. Be careful with your iron by the way, and always use a pressing cloth. Jersey easily marks and lace is mostly polyester and so will melt if you are not careful

My overlocker is the Brother 1034d from Jaycotts Brother 1034D. Have a look at the other overlockers they stock too!

A lot of people are scared of their overlockers and do not use them to their full potential. The only way to get to grips with it is to use it. Don't be afraid of it, there are lots of tutorials on the internet if your manual does not give you the answer and it is all part of Jaycotts after care service too, so if you have a niggling little problem, for example you cannot get the tension right give Jacotts a call and they will help you. Contact Jaycotts
No matter what make of overlocker you own, get your manual out and read the instructions alongside these.
We are going to do a rolled hem around the neckline to neaten it. It's very easy and has so many uses.
Look at the photograph above,
This is the inside of the machine. In order to stitch a rolled hem we need to remove one needle and the stitch finger

Look in your manual to locate the stitch finger and pull it out by raising the presser foot lever, pull all threads to the back of the machine and then open the front cover. Turn the machine off by the way.
Turn the hand wheel until the upper looper is at its highest position

Then pull the stitch finger to the right and remove it.

Then you need to remove the LEFT needle , removing the thread too.

Adjust the stitch width dial until it is at R position

Then adjust the stitch length to R. Do a test on some spare fabric (both layers together to mimic the actual hem) if you need to adjust your stitch length of width then do it until you are happy with the result.

When you are happy start at one shoulder seam and stitch your rolled hem close to the edge of the neckline. When you have finished sewing tie your ends off neatly and put your machine back to normal unless you also want to do a narrow rolled hem along the garment hem

Attach the sleeves before you stitch the side seams. You can overlock all the seams without stitching the seam on your regular sewing machine but you cannot stitch over pins. They will break your needle and at worst damage your machine.  I find it easier to sew a normal seam and then overlock afterwards.

Matching the lace edge and the underarm seam  stitch the side and sleeve  seams in one operation .Overlock the seams .
You may either sew a  narrow rolled hem on the lower edge or you could overlock and then turn the hem up and top stitch using a double needle to mimic a cover machine. This will give a really professional result. This is the method I used.

I thought the neckline a little plain so I edged it with some narrow stretch lace .
You do not have to use this pattern indeed you do not have to make a top! Think how nice a dress would be with sheer lace sleeves and a lace covered bodice. I would in this case choose fabrics which complimented each other and which showed a glimpse of colour through the bodice under fabric. The possibilities are endless!

Meanwhile I have a simple everyday top using a small piece of luxury fabric to add texture and interest.

In my next post we will be using more lace and making some lingerie in Raspberry and lighter pinks - perfect for valentine's day.

I would really appreciate your comments 

Angela x

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