Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Deer and Doe Plantain


Each day is full of challenges for the serger newbie! For my second project I chose the Deer and Doe Plantain t-shirt. Fitted at the shoulders, flaring at the hips with contrast neckband and elbow patches. The pattern is a free download and can be found here at the website of the small French pattern company that offers 'jolis patrons de couture'. And nice they are indeed!




The recommended fabric was a light jersey with a stretch percentage of 40-50%. Do I smell trouble? Like wobbly overstretched seams and baggy shoulders? Careful sewing ahead!


To avoid stretching out of shape I stabilized the shoulder by incorporating clear elastic in the seam (pinned in the above picture).

I was quite pleased with my first ever neckline band:


Although it's a little wider than I intended. It turns out I'm not as accurate on the serger as I am on the sewing machine. Something to do with not really knowing the exact spot of the stitching line, but as you can see I'm working on that issue. Testing 1,2,3.


Stitching the elbow patches and sewing the sleeves was an easy job and there were no fitting issues whatsoever.



Time for the scary bits! How would I manage to get nice hems without s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g? 
I bought a twin needle for stretchy fabrics, put the walking foot on my sewing machine and did some test runs. Argh. Skipping stitches. Changed to a universal twin needle. Better. Changed the walking foot for a standard foot. Bingo. Winning combination.



This is how the sleeve hem turned out:



While watching the Craftsy course 'Sewing with knits' I picked up another trick for hemming knits: use Steam-a-Seam to glue the hem in place before stitching. Steam-a-Seam was nowhere to be found in the Netherlands so I used the Dutch equivalent Plakgoed. Not quite the same, but it worked well on the bodice hem as you can see below.



One more picture of the back:



Le Plantain, c'est fini!

I'll be back modeling the shirt, but for now I'd better move on with all those winter fabrics.
Spring is just around the corner!





9 comments:

  1. Looks great! No room here for a serger, so I've been fooling around with the stretch stitches on my machine. So far so good. I always think Steam-a-seam is cheating, but it really helps sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny to see that all patterns I downloaded so far mention you don't need a serger to sew with knits. I agree. What I am looking forward to though is playing around with the differential feed dogs. But first some more practice runs!

      Delete
  2. You are doing a great job on your serger. The top looks great. I was fascinated by your use of the quilting bar to measure your hem allowance. I have never, never thought of doing that. It just shows you can learn something new every day. I also have trouble knowing just exactly where the stitching line falls when serging, often ending up with a seam a little wider than intended. So you are not the only one. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When stitching a hem with a twin needle you have to stitch with the right side up. I really needed some guidance to know where to stitch ;)

      Delete
  3. I agree with KathyS--your use of the quilting bar as a hem guide is brilliant! Your finished tee looks great.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You have done a very nice work on the neckline. Your tee is very nice and your fabric choice is so lovely :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I trim the seam allowances first, and then just smidge a bit away with the serger blade. Sergers are not accurate at all, but they do nicely work with knits. I think you have done a great job - the twin needle looks great. I think the finished top is a great garment - you seem to already have quite a knack :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. You can buy steam a seam in quiltshops all over the country in The Netherlands. Also in webshops. You can also use Prym saum-vlies for the hems.I followed the Craftsy lessons by the Tilton sisters. I liked it and have already sewn a few T-shirts. I do not have a serger but sew two parallel seams with 5 mm between the seams, also for the hems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip, I will include quiltshops when I'm searching for notions. For now Plakgoed is doing a good job!

      Delete