Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Brother 1034D Serger Review

It seems like just yesterday that I purchased my Brother 1034D Serger.  In reality it's been a good 6 months.  So I wanted to take the time to review this little guy.

So lets start from the beginning.  Just so everyone understands, up to this point I have never used a serger, read loads about them, but never used one.  So every part of this was brand new to me.  The original hand crank sewing machine guy going to a machine with four threads BIG Step!  Anyhoooowwww.... It comes pre-threaded straight out of the box.  So I read through the manual, gave it a test run on a piece of fabric to make sure everything was operating and then (the leap) cut all the threads straight across the top and ran the tails through the machine to empty it out.  It was important to me from the get go that I made the threading of this machine second nature.  So I pulled out my white serger thread and started on my way.

It wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be and they really have a good diagram on the machine itself for you to follow.

I tested it out and straight up right out of the gate it gave me flawless serged stitches.  Since that first day every time I'm done using this machine I always remove all of the thread just so I stay in practice, also it makes it a little easier to keep the inside of the machine brushed out.

Another item about this machine I really like is that for the most part all of your dials are on the left hand of the machine in one general area.  Which makes it a lot easier when you are trying to adjust thread tension and the feed dogs etc.  All though it's important to note that for your everyday average serging I found very little adjustment that I have ever had to make.  With that being said though there are loads of different types of stitches this machine does that I have never tried yet that you would have to make adjustments for.

So my final summary is:  This machine makes it very easy for you to use.  Threading was a lot easier then I thought it would be and only takes a few minutes once you get the hang of it.  You will really love the final serged edge it puts out on any project you are working on.  I have used this machine on at least 7 or 8 different garments.  Each and every time it has run perfectly, never disappointing me on it's performance.  I have read where some have complained about it being a little loud but to be honest my dogs barking and the street traffic outside the picture window drowns out any noise this serger would make easy.  Also for the price you can't beat it. So if you need a serger for casual use that will really transform your knit fabric sewing and give you a excellent serged edge, this may be the machine for you!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Monday, December 7, 2015

KWIK SEW 2258 Men's Band Collar Shirt

I have always had a great fondness for band collar shirts.  So when I ran into this KWIK SEW pattern I just had to buy it.  A little while after that I ran into the perfect fabrics for it.

They are 100% cotton, with a type of seersucker ripple to them.  With a little bit of weight.  "Perfect".

So after ironing and retracing my pattern with Swedish Tracing Paper (Still my favorite).  I went directly into cutting and sewing mode.  Full disclosure, I took my time.  Worked on it slowly over a 3 week period.  Which really was enjoyable.  I just didn't feel like rushing through it.

I loved the way this turned out so lets try it on!

So I REALLY have to say, I love this shirt.  Love the way it fits and the way it feels on.  I'm really glad that I made it with a heavier fabric.  Reminds me of the weight of the old Oxford Shirts you use to be able to buy.

With that said...If you've been holding onto a pattern you love, go out and find the perfect fabric and sew it up!  Take your time and enjoy the process.  There's nothing better!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!  Seam Ripper Joe

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

End of Summer Sewing Catch-Up!

Summer has finally come to a close and it's time to start transitioning from summer to fall and winter sewing.  Most of this last summer has been spent sewing items for Stephanie so a lot of the patterns I had originally planned on sewing had to be put on the back burner.  Here are a couple of items that I just finished up for her.

Another Tank Top

Another Jumper and this time I made the arm and neck opening a lot smaller and also used bindings on them to keep the fit better.  The serged seams on the other two looked good but they did have a tendency to stretch out a bit.  Live and learn!  She loves all three of them so it's a win win.  I have one more yard of this particular fabric left so I'll use it to make her another tank top.

Sooooo.....Yesterday I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and did some fabric shopping for myself.  Gearing up for some "Joe" sewing.  It was my day off and I went by myself so I was able to take my time.  Spent 3 hours just browsing.  It felt great and I was able to find some really nice fabric.

I bought 3 1/4 yards of this cotton shirting fabric.  I love the blue and the light green stripes.  It has a little bit of seersuker ripple to it.

I also bought 3 1/4 yards of the same fabric in a peach and tan stripe.  These two will make a couple of really nice shirts.

Next I did something I have never done before.  I purchases a whole uncut bolt.  I ran into the perfect 100% cotton bottom weight khaki fabric.  Since I had a couple pairs of khaki pants I needed to make this was perfect and if I had some left over for shorts for next spring that's all the better.  I also had a 50% off coupon which made the deal even sweeter.

Both shirting fabrics are going to blend really nice with the khaki.  I can't wait to start on them!

So let the fall sewing begin...

Until next time....Happy Sewing!  Seam Ripper Joe

Thursday, August 27, 2015

An Extra Yard Of Fabric....Why Not A Tank Top!

Did you ever finish a project and have that extra yard of fabric left.  Well that's what happened to me when I finished Stephanie's Jumpers.  I thought about it for a minute and "bam" it hit me, that fabric would be perfect for a tank top.  So I drew up a pattern and decided to make a new tank for my daughter Sarah in pink and one for Stephanie in black.

Here is Sarah's that I just finished.

This was really a fun quick project to sew up when you have that extra yard of fabric sitting around.  Plus it gave me another excuse to use my serger which I absolutely love.

Now on to the black one!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!  Seam Ripper Joe

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Another Jumper for Stephanie "Pink"

Just put the finishing touches on this jumper before work.  It looks really good on Stephanie and she loves the pink!  It's really a cheerful summer top.

I wanted to bring up a couple of items I've come to really appreciate when sewing with a serger and knits.

"Fray Check", this really comes in handy.  I use it on every seam I finish.  You just use a little "dab" on your threads and it alleviates them from coming apart at the end of a seam.  It also has loads of other uses when it comes to sewing.  It's a all purpose general sewing glue.

The other is my "Fabric Glue Stick".  It holds any fabric in place that you need to fold over.  i.e. hems or pockets.

It makes working with knits so much easier.  Specially when a hot iron puts a shine on so many fabrics.  It holds the fabric in a perfect fold and your able to sew right through it without gumming up your needle.  It's a win win.

The whole pocket is formed perfectly and ready to be placed on the garment.

I then use the glue stick to adhere my pocket onto the top and position it perfectly before pressing it down to the fabric with my hand.  No needles required and the pocket holds firmly to the fabric until I sew it down.

At that point the pocket is really easy to sew up without having to worry about pulling out any pins as you sew.

All sewn and perfectly placed.  Now the glue stick will never replace pins for 95% of my sewing but in some cases it really makes certain project soooo much easier.  Like Pockets on knits ; )

You can see on the bottom I left the serged stitch showing instead of folding it under.  Stephanie really likes the way it looked it sorta gives it a lacy look.

Same with around the collar and arms.

So that's Stephanie's new pink jumper.  If you hadn't yet tried the "Fray Check" or the "Fabric Glue Stick" I highly recommend them both.

I hope everyone's having a excellent weekend.

Until next time....Happy Sewing!    Seam Ripper Joe

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Having fun with my Brother 1034D Serger!

I just cannot express enough how much fun I have been having with my Serger this summer.  I've made Stephanie several pairs of Culottes along with some knit tops.  This is my latest creation I just finished today.

A hanger really doesn't do the top justice but I haven't had the chance to take a picture yet with Stephanie wearing it.  Just a fun summer top sewn with a light weight knit.  She loves it.

I just took several measurements off of some different clothes that she liked and came up with a totally new pattern.  The entire top only consists of 4 different pieces (oops 6 pieces including the 2 pockets).

The front and back top section!

The front and back bottom section.  Well, it will be two different pieces once I cut it out.

My trusty Brother Serger hard at work ; )  The whole top only took a couple of hours to sew together once I figured out the pattern.

The only time I had to use my straight stitch "Singer 66-8" was to sew the pockets on.

Stephanie liked it so much, I'm going to make another out of some pink knit that I had on hand.  I know, I have a laundry list full of patterns I was supposed to be sewing for myself.  But since It took close to a year to finish both quilts, Stephanie felt, "Joey Sewing Deprived" or J.S.D. in clinical terms.  Just ask her it's a real condition.

So to wrap it up I just wanted to say from all the different blogs I read, it looks like M.P.B. day in New York with Peter was another great success.  I so would have liked to have attended but my work doesn't allow us to take days off in the summer. Grrrrr....But, at least I got to read about it.

I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Until next time....Happy Sewing!  Seam Ripper Joe