Monday, October 28, 2013

My New Serger! Bernina 1300

Here she is, my new baby! She makes alterations and finished edges so much faster and easier than my regular sewing machine, which I keep set up for piecing and quilting.

I chose this particular machine, Bernina 1300, because it also converts to cover stitch for an all-in-one machine. Sometimes a separate cover stitch machine is preferred to compliment a separate serger but I decided to go with this singular model.

My three guide classes were expertly taught by Jackie at A Common Thread in Lake Oswego, Oregon. read your manual and attempt to thread the machine beforehand. Using different colored threads will help you see what each thread is doing as it stitches out. I took none of these steps before the first class so it took me awhile to get going. Now I'm flying and love sewing on this serger!

I also purchased the Serger Technique Reference Book by Bernina. Lots of helpful photos and clear step-by-step instructions. It always takes a bit of patience, trial and error, and determination to learn something but the effort is worth it!

My first alteration on this machine was making Hannah's trail run t-shirt (from last post) a little bit smaller. Even a women's small is too big for her so I took in the sides with a 4-thread overlock stitch and hemmed the sleeves and bottom edge with a coverstitch.

I used small spools of Dual Duty XP thread, which worked well and color matched. My favorite thread to use is Superior's Omni Thread.

Hannah is going to costume design for The Young Professional show at Oregon Children's Theatre, A WWII Radio Christmas, 1943 edition. This machine will be great for her to use!

Copyright ©2013, Sharon Baggs

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wonder Woman & Bat Girl Costumes

Hannah and I ran the Multnomah Falls Trail Run this past Sunday, despite the wacky weather. We started at Wahkeena Falls, ran past the visitors center and climbed uphill for 1.5 miles to the top of Multnomah Falls. The original plan was to make a 5.2 mile loop, but because of fallen trees blocking the path, we turned around at the top and went back to the start to finish the race. Total distance was a good 4+ miles.

An added incentive was a costume contest, superhero style. I went as Bat Girl and Hannah was Wonder Woman--the cutest version yet! For the Bat Girl look, I scored a costume from Goodwill. Took the bat logo off the dress and attached it to a moisture-wicking running shirt. Used the belt, cape, and arm covers from the kit. Wore my black running tights and added a pair of yellow socks from Target--cut off the toes/heels so I could pull them up as leg warmers and they worked great!

Though there were a few bat outfits, there was only one Wonder Woman. Found a Curves red athletic shirt at Goodwill, made a WW logo out of yellow felt and permanent black marker and sewed that to the shirt. Made the skirt from blue spandex by making a 1.5 inch casing at the top to insert the elastic and a seam at the back--no need to hem. Added a strip of gold stiff ribbon with a 4" elastic band at the back for the waistband, not sewn to the skirt, just positioned over it. Gold lame was wonder-undered to stiff interfacing + elastic at the back for the crown, along with a red star fused to the front (use a pressing cloth with such delicate fabrics.) Made a red cape out of waterproof nylon. Used sticky Velcro to attach the cape to the shirt. I recommend the sewn-on Velcro but sticky was all I had on hand. Used an old graduation honor gold cord to attach a lasso to the skirt. Sewed through the three loops at the top to hold it in place. Silver spandex was used to make armbands. For each rectangle, I sewed a tapered seam, wide at the top of the forearm and a bit more narrow at the wrist. Finished off with black running tights and Nike red running socks.

Believe me,  you really do believe you have super powers while in costume. I had to walk a majority of the uphill but on the downhill, I descended with strength and was able to overcome at least one person who had passed me earlier. Sweet victory.

Copyright ©2013, Sharon Baggs