Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Learning something new.

It's easy to get in a rut of doing things the same way. A creature of habit. My middle son was in desperate need of new undies (TMI I know). What started out as a fun way to use up scraps might have created a monster. My boys have been spoiled with mama made undies and they like them so much better than RTW - so much in fact that there are no RTW undies in the house for any of them. I do hope I haven't ruined them forever and they will expect their mom to make their undies when they are 50! ;-)

Back in August (gasp!), I cut out seven pairs and finally got around to sewing them up over the weekend. I used my trusty Ottobre Boxer Brief pattern and started sewing them how I had before (wrong sides together serged so the seams are on the outside, then zigzag the seams down from the outside so they lay flat). After doing two pair, it occurred to me that there has got to be a better way. Then a split second later I had my serger manual opened up to a flatlock stitch and knew that was just the ticket!

My serger rarely does anything but a four thread overlock. Occasionally it will do a rolled hem, but that is it. I even bought myself the book Serger Secrets years ago so I knew how to do all kinds of things with my serger. Unfortunately I feel like I don't have time to learn something new so I haven't made time to practice anything the book shows. I will say that I highly recommend it tho, it's jammed full of wonderful information (information I must store in my brain so I can use when the need arises).

Back to my discovery. So I set my machine up for a 2 thread wide flatlock (hmm, that is what they meant by 2 thread, another discovery for me!) and proceeded to make some samples. I am happy to say, that flatlocking the pieces for the undies together worked like a charm and was so much faster than my original method. I was so excited that I called my BFF Kim to share the news and she said, well you are going to blog about it aren't you? - so here I am blogging about it and hoping to inspire someone to try out this great stitch. Here are some samples I stitched-

1) This shows the front and back side after you initially stitch it together.2) After you stitch the two pieces together, open the fabric up so you have one piece in each and and gently pull - voila, you have now pulled the seam allowances inside your flatlock. This is the view from the "looper" side (what I chose for my top side).3) And this is the view from the "ladder" side (what I chose as the backside for my project).
4) And here are the finished undies! :-)
I hope if you haven't played around with your serger, that you will now. I had fun trying this new stitch and am going to start trying some other techniques in the Serger Secrets book.

Up next? Just trying to make my Christmas sewing plans. I feel like I'm already leaving things to the last minute and I still have 5.5 weeks left. I have lots of pj's cut out so that is one thing I'll be sewing. Also I would like to make the two older boys sweatshirts. Then there is sewing I'd like to do for me - another pair of Jalie jeans (yes I know I didn't share that I made a pair back in Sept - love them!!!!), a coat/jacket or three...so many patterns, so little time.


Jeannine said...

Yeah Melisssa!
I know I tried that stitch several months ago, and I told myself that I must use it on tshirts and so forth. I am always too lazy to change the stitch on my serger, but I will have to give this one a try.
Thanks for the pictures.

Sewfast said...

Good for you trying something new!!! I love to flatlock activewear...makes such a nice finish and the December Burda has a nice basic hoodie pattern that will be perfect to flatlock!

inadvertent farmer said...

Yep...you rock! I hope someday your kids realize how lucky they are to have you sewing for them...great job. Now I want underwear for Christmas!

Ruth said...

I wonder...does the flatlocking hold up? I remember doing a flatlock stitch years ago when took my serger class, but I've not tried it since. The undies look great, btw.

Tina said...

Thanks for this reminder Melissa! I have tried flatlocking on samples before, but not on garments, and I am making boxer shorts too at the moment, so your post came at just the right moment for me!

Dawn said...

I still haven't tried flatlocking things with my nachine. Looks very cool though.

Cindy May said...

way to go girl!! LOVE them. i feel like a horrible mom now!! these are really wonderful though. so cute!!

Elaray said...

I hope it appropriate to say this about boys' underwear, but "They are ADORABLE!!!

You're worried about making underwear for your boys when they are 50. I'm worried they will expect their wives to sew their underwear.

Michelle said...

Love the flatlock. I used it a little bit a few years ago on fleece socks then I have forgotten about it until your informative post! Thanks!!

Rena said...

Will you make me some panties?!!! They look great and I too need to do some experiments with my serger one of these days.

Les Petits Anglais said...

So that's a flatlock! I've often wondered... I have the Serger Answers book which I am going to read. Soon.

Kim said...

Hi Melissa!
You have some great reviews on your site!

I wanted to thank you for posting about our gift-giving series! I really appreciate that!


Nishant said...

I will have to give this one a try.
Thanks for the pictures.

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