Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tension tales from the Serger front line

This last week I have been trying to get to grips with the new beast in the sewing room.

I thought that it came pre-threaded but discovered when I took it out of the box again, that although there were threads through the machine, they were only long enough to reach the cone holders. So, my first task was to attempt to thread all four threads up!

The manual wasn't much help I have to admit, as the accompanying photos were too blurry to be of any use. Fortunately the Internet was on hand :)

I found a suggestion to tie the new threads on to the existing threads and pull them through, so did that and it worked a treat.

The machine has colour-coded dots to follow for threading, but for the first time it made a big difference to be able to see exactly where the looper threads went. There was also a suggestion to use different coloured thread for each spool to help identify any problems, so I did that too.

So, now I was all set to sew!

As you can see from the top left of this photo, my first attempt wasn't exactly successful!

A quick check discovered that one of the threads had slipped out of the tension disc, hence all those large loops of blue thread. The second attempt was better, but still not perfect.

As you can probably see from both of the photos above, the stitches were fine but they seem too long for the seam. There are plenty of sites around discussing tension problems with overlockers/sergers and how to solve them, but I struggled to find anywhere that mentioned this problem.

I tried adjusting both of the tension dials gradually for each of the loopers as suggested by this site but it still didn't address the problem of the stitches extending past the edge of the fabric. The stitches looked fine on the front (above)

but were being pulled over on to the back.

Eventually I came across a mention of adjusting the seam width and thought, maybe I should give that a go. A quick look at the manual told me that this should be set to 'S' for the 4 thread overlock stitch.

The adjustment is on the front of the machine and even with glasses on, I couldn't see whether it was at 'S' or not but as there are only two settings (on this machine anyway) I moved it forward and had another go at sewing.

Looks alright to me from the front but then again so did the last attempt!

But look at that from the back, no loops beyond the cut edge of the fabric at last :)

We might be getting somewhere!

After all that effort, what better way to reward myself than with some of the chocolate scissors and thread reels that my son gave me for Christmas :)

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A three ferry trip

We have had some glorious winter days here on the West Coast of Scotland recently, so hubby and I were determined to make the most of them as you never know how long these things will last in this part of the world :)

Last week we headed off on a three ferry round trip from Wemyss Bay via Rothesay and Dunoon back to Gourock.

As you can see from the map above one of those ferry trips was very short!

This photo was taken whilst the ferry was still loading cars at Rhubadoch and the destination was the slipway at Colintraive you can see above! It didn't take long :)

In fact the spot is where cattle were swum across from the Isle of Bute to the mainland to be taken to market, which makes lots of sense when you see the photo doesn't it?

We skirted around the Toward Lighthouse on our way to Rothesay

and stopped to admire this rainbow as we headed up along side the Kyles of Bute to catch the ferry at Rhubadoch.

We enjoyed this delicious Seafood Chowder at the Colintraive Hotel before heading off to catch our third ferry of the day.

Home in time for a welcome cup of tea!

It is all go here in the Celtic Thistle household let me tell you :)

Hubby has spied a five ferry trip in the ferry timetable, so that is definitely on our list for the summer.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Up for the challenge?

If like me, your New Year resolutions are looking a bit shaky already, how about taking up a short, sharp challenge to get that motivation going? Last year, Jen, issued her 100 Day Challenge where we were invited to set three goals to be completed in 100 days. I managed to meet one of the three goals that I set for myself and actually finished the other two projects not long after the challenge ended, so when I read that Jen was going to run the challenge again this year, I was definitely ready to be counted in :)

I have so many WIP's and hoped for new projects in my sewing room that it has been difficult to decide which to focus on for the challenge. However, I have decided to narrow it down to these three in the hope that finishing them will  also motivate me to finish some of the other projects waiting to be dusted down and worked on.

  •  I really want to use this challenge to try and get to grips with this fearsome beast! I have lots of lovely knit fabric, some great Brindille and Twig patterns and a handsome little fellow who is growing out of his clothes at a rate of knots, so there is plenty of motivation to get started. By the end of the 100 days I would like to have made at least one full set of clothes for the little fellow. 

  • A few months ago I volunteered to make a small Boutis piece for my EG group. I bought the book, then found the recommended Batiste fabric on our last trip to France but I struggled to find the cotton stuffing either locally or online. On a recent, unsuccessful, shopping trip to source bedroom furniture I came across a nearby wool shop selling cotton yarn that looks like it might fit the bill. So, armed with the supplies I no longer have an excuse for putting off trying this any longer :)

  • These blocks, and some added since this photo was taken, are from the Craftsy BOM of 2012! I need to add sashing, which I have the fabric for, and then work out how to quilt it. I doubt very much if I will get the quilting completed for the challenge, I am an arch procrastinator when it comes to basting quilts, but I would like it, at least, to become a completed quilt top!
So, these are my challenges to myself for the 100 Day Challenge. wish me luck :)

If you think that 100 days to challenge yourself sounds like a great idea, check out Jen's post here and find out how easy it is to join in the fun. 
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