Ok…I’m channeling my inner Fly Lady enough that I am staying on top of housework and not becoming overwhelmed. If I have to swish and swipe another bathroom or shine my sink one more time, I think my head my explode! (Those with no Fly Lady experience are wondering what on earth I am talking about right now…) Keeping a house show-ready with this crew is like working two full-time jobs simultaneously. Serious, serious dislike here.
But…because I’m staying on top of things as much as possible, I have actually found some time to sit down and post today! Yay!
Life is hectic. Funds are short. So any time I can find ways to streamline the creative process, I am beyond thrilled. Today I’m going to share with you a couple of tricks I’ve been utilizing of late in my sewing projects. One is a shortcut, and the other is a way to create a faux, no-serger-required “rolled” hem.
Tip #1: Fuss-Free Ruffles
Gathering stitches. Zig-zag stitches and dental floss. When it comes to creating ruffles for projects, there are a number of different techniques out there, but all of them have one thing in common: they require time I sometimes frankly don’t have at my disposal. Imagine my delight, then, when I came across this post a while back on Girl. Inspired. (I totally *love* her blog, by the way.) Aren’t those party hats adorable? And don’t those little ruffles make them truly special? When I saw how she did those ruffles in a way that used only the stitching power of her machine, I was truly inspired. Clever, clever!
The whole process couldn’t be simpler…
Admittedly, this technique probably wouldn’t be ideal for garment construction, because adjusting the ruffles as needed might be a challenge. However, for little projects where precision isn’t of the utmost importance, I will be doing ruffles in this manner from here on out. Thanks, Stef!
Tip #2: Faux Rolled Hems
If you pay any attention at all to the children’s pattern industry, you will see that rolled hems are all the rage right now. Pattern companies like Portabellopixie, Pink Fig and Izzy & Ivy have made this super simple look (no ironing/hemming required!) as chic as can be. The problem with rolled hems, though, is that they necessitate a serger, something not every sewer has at her disposal.
Two weeks ago when my parents came to visit, I became the lucky recipient of my mom’s old serger. (Yay!) It unfortunately has been packed away until after the move, since I have neither the time nor the energy at this point to figure out how on earth to work it. (Boo!) Until then, though, I have discovered a superb way to mimic the look of a rolled hem in my projects.
Have you heard of Creative Feet? Last summer, my mom and I attended the Martha Pullen Sewing Market in Dallas. What a terrific learning experience it was for both of us! At the convention, we had the pleasure to take a few classes taught by Lorene, the proprietor of an online store called Sew it Up, which specializes in darling kits for garment construction. (She also has a brick-and-mortar store in Hurst, Texas called the Grapevine Collection.) As Lorene was sharing garments she had made using many of her kits, I saw that many of them had one thing in common: rolled hems. When I asked her what she would recommend for those wanting to replicate that look without having to invest in a serger, she told me she would recommend purchasing the Satinedge Foot made by Creative Feet. With the help of this foot, it is possible to create a rolled hem look with any zig-zag capable sewing machine. Cool, right?
Once you have purchased your foot, read up on how to attach it to your machine in the instruction booklet that comes with your foot. The booklet will also detail how to adjust the little bar on the inside of your foot to enable you to stitch exactly along the outer edge of your fabric. (The Satinedge foot is very similar to an overcast foot that comes with many sewing machines, but after experimenting with my overcast foot, I found the Satinedge Foot to provide a much better result.)