Category Archives: sewing

Serger madness! Or… Be smarter than the machine

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So I bought a serger last year.  I set it up and used it to finish seams.  It took me over a week to get the settings right and get it working the way it was supposed to.  I never did figure out how to sew and serge at the same time!  I can only sew a seam on the machine, then take it to the serger and finish the edges.  If I actually tried to sew a seam and serge the edges in the same swipe,  I got the “ladder” effect.

Now that I am trying to have a “handmade Christmas” (mostly due to the fact that ex husband who is now “renting a room from me” is laid off and unable to pay rent and dear daughter and granddaughter also live with me and only help minimally with the bills, I have no extra money for gifts this year, but that’s a story for another day),  I thought I would get the serger figured out and use to to help zip through the mountain of gifts I plan to make.

Silly me,  decided to take a “Craftsy Serger Class”.  Well,  I’m only on the third lesson and am ready to throw the damned thing out the window!  (if there was a window in my dark little sewing space, I probably would have!)  I spent almost 6 hours yesterday fussing with it.  Trying to go through the lessons and learning the settings, threading, and needle placements.IMAG0227

My goal was to get it mastered so I could use the serger for quick seaming (like on the 6 pairs of pajama pants and 12 infinity scarves I intend to make).

At about hour six.. dear granddaughter came to me for help with her math homework.  I felt her “looming” behind me while I cursed and cut threads… and turned to see what she needed.  Her response was “I kind of needed help, but maybe you’re not the right person to ask right now”… poor baby!  I told her it’s exactly what I need to do right now,  help someone else because obviously I’m not doing very well with what I’m trying to learn!IMAG0222 (1)

Sixth grade math with fractions, solving for x, and converting decimals was exactly what I needed!  Math always works.  It’s logical, dependable, and predictible!   I spent an hour helping her with the most challenging parts of her math, then took a deep breath and went back in for a second try.  No luck.  Disaster!  Frustration, threads everywhere, and more cursing!  Finally at 8:30pm I walked away.  Left the fabric sitting in the machine, turned it off, brushed all the strings from my slacks and turned on the T.V.IMAG0221 (1)

As I walked past the machine this morning on my way to the kitchen I’m sure I heard it laugh at me!  Sitting there with it’s four spools of thread and all it’s dials and adjusters on it!  I just kept on walking, ignoring the feeling of defeat.

I’ve been on the Craftsy site all morning, reading the questions and issues others have had.  I think I’ve got it figured out… (she says with a very small voice full of fear)…  and I’m going to try again this afternoon!  If you don’t hear from me for a few weeks,  I’ll be curled up in the fetal position under my sewing table rocking back and forth while the Serger sits on top of the table gloating!IMAG0226

Emergency Pencil Case…. or My lotion exploded!

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Poor Granddaughter came home from school yesterday with hand lotion all over the contents of her backpack.  These contents included her library books, binder, and a multitude of pens and pencils!

First things first,  empty the back pack.  I noticed all the contents have black all over them.  Was the lotion black?  Oh… now I find the problem.  Her pencil sharpener had also broken and spilled all it’s contents into the bottom of her bag.  Mix the pencil lead, wood shavings, and hand lotion together… you get black lotion on everything.  And did I mention the backpack was Neon Orange?  It looked like a Halloween project gone terribly wrong.  Yuk!!!!!  IMAG0078

How can we save those poor library books?  (I didn’t take any pictures of the books, but she did a good job cleaning them up) and how can we prevent this from happening again? From this point forward,  Lotion goes into a ziploc bag!   Pens and pencils go into a pencil bag. (She has a pencil “box” but it’s metal and the hinges broke the first week of school.)  Not very effective if it doesn’t stay closed. So, how do you get black lotion from the pages of books and journals and everything else in the bag?  Well… Mr. Clean Erasers, that’s how!   Those things clean anything and everything!

I decided she needed a new pencil case.  We pored through the scrap box, nothing jumped out at her.  Finally, she asked me if we could make a Batman case.  Of course,  if you can draw the logo I can cut it out and applique it to the front of the case.  (She has been obsessed with Batman for over a year now)…  IMAG0106

She drew the logo for me and while I worked on her case, she worked on cleaning up all the contents of her bag.  (the bag was now in the washing machine for it’s bath).  Of course, she decided that she had to be in her batman costume while she cleaned… so:   IMAG0110She got busy cleaning and I got busy sewing.  I wasn’t thrilled with how the logo bunched up, but she was happy with it, and that’s all that counts.  IMAG0112

I know… “why did she choose a white pencil case after such a messy disaster?”  I asked the same thing!  We lined it with black.IMAG0114 As she usually does when I’m working on a project for her, she came bouncing in to check on the progress at least 3 times.  Finally her bag was finished.  She was very pleased!  IMAG0113IMAG0108

On to the next disaster…  In Middle school, there is always a new disaster around the next corner!  Hurt feelings, bad hair day, boys, friends being mean, teachers being too harsh… never a dull moment!  Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have my daughter and granddaughter living with me?