Monday, July 4, 2011

Re-learning skills

Hello friends.  Do you ever have those moments when you would like to use a skill you learned years ago but can't remember how?  You have samples of what you want but no instructions on how to achieve the desired result.  Well, this has happened to me many times especially since I learned those skills a long time ago.

Now, I use my overlocker a lot as most of my sewing in the past has been knits.  However, there is so much more that can be done with the overlocker than just sewing or neatening seams.  I have samples to prove it but no notes on creating them.  (I have learned over the years that it is necessary to make notes as you won't remember how you did things when it comes time to do them especially if it's been a while since gaining these skills)  So, when my group of the Sewing Guild decided to invite Kate Marra to conduct a workshop on 'Overlocking with Confidence' I jumped at the chance to re-learn the skills I had undoubtedly forgotten.

We started the day by setting up our machines and going over the basics of looking after our machine such as keeping it clean and dust free (something we all apparently do ha ha!), having regular services,  using the correct size needles for the weight of fabric we are using, using good quality thread, and speaking to our overlocker nicely. After all it has feelings too! giggle ;)  Also Kate explained the differential feed.  This was something I knew about but had become confused with over the years in the way it worked.  We were also given a folder to keep our samples in for easy future reference.  What a great idea!  We then started sewing our samples.

Four thread seams using different fabrics
Overlocking outside corners and inside corners
Attaching stabiliser to a seam eg. shoulder
Three thread Rolled Hem on Chiffon
Lettuce Edge - Three thread Rolled Hem on knit fabric
These are just a few of the great samples we made.  You may be able to see in the photos, there was space in our books to write down the settings used to achieve the best results for our individual machines.  For those who had extra feet for their machine (something I do not have, I didn't even know you could purchase extra feet for an overlocker - shows how much I do with mine!) we were shown how to make and add piping, make and join  gathering in one step.  We also attached elastic and made spaghetti straps.  The day was finished by practicing our newly found or re-learned skills.

In all I had a great day, learned a lot and can't wait to try some of the skills I have re-learned especially stabilising seams, the gathering and rolled hems.


  1. I would love to do one of these courses. I played around with mine and am a convert to the rolled hems . I love your purple butterick dress and red kwik sew top. Welcome back to the world of sewing.

  2. I'm a very basic overlocker myself...
    Thank you so much for your comment, and I can't wait to see your socks! Do you have a pattern? I use one that my mother, or grandmother first bought in the sixties...! but I guess feet haven't changed much so it is still fine...! If you don't have one you can just borrow a book from the library to get a basic pattern, which is pretty much all you will ever need.


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