May 212014
 

Hello lovelies! While Amity is in New York, I’m here sneaking around Lolita virtual headquarters getting some tutorials ready for you Olive lovers. If you haven’t bought your copy of Olive, head on over to our shop where, day or night, you can place your order! Also, you can visit the Olive page where you can see all the tutorials as they go live as well as download the cutting labels to keep your pieces organized, get inspired via our Pinterest and Flickr pages, whichever is your poison.

 

I’m starting with tips on working with lightweight fabrics and mastering your serger skills first so you will see that you can do it.

First of all, cutting these gorgeous fabrics! Some people prefer to use a rotary cutter and healing mat while others use spray on stabilizer or a gelatin rinse (I’ve used this method and it’s excellent) to beef up their fabric, keeping them from being so shifty. You can also cut shifty fabrics by sandwiching your fabric between two sheets of paper. Once your pieces are cut, you just need to keep them from pulling and distorting.

Use needles that match the weight of your fabric and, if need be, switch to a lightweight thread on your sewing machine.

The biggest tip I can give you for getting your serger to produce a lovely rolled hem is to test, test, test. Use scraps every time. I know my serger will make a sweet rolled hem and I still always test it.

If you’re having trouble getting a nice rolled hem on your serger (though these tips also apply to working on a sewing machine), I recommend you:

1. Change your needle. A fresh needle with a sharp tip can make all the difference.

2. Re-thread your machine…and while there isn’t any thread, take a second and clean out the lint. Add a dab of oil and then re-thread.

3. Set your stitch length to 2 or shorter. When you test it on a scrap, you can set it shorter if you prefer.

4. Differential feed is at 1-1.5.

5. Move the stitch finger slider back (on some machines you might have an R for the rolled hem position). You basically don’t want the stitch finger sticking out- you want it back so that the rolled hem is possible.

6. The settings for the needle and the loopers will vary with each machine and how moody your serger is that day. I have mine set to 4 across the board and I don’t move them all that much.

Here are some tests I did on scraps of both my fabrics for my first Olive. I wanted to test both the regular serged hem as well as the rolled hem. My poly chiffon overlay did just fine under the serger but if your overlay is lighter weight or has a looser weave you might need to stabilize it before you do the rolled hem on it.

You can stabilize it with a very narrow piece of like-colored ribbon, by using spray on stabilizer or even by folding the cut edge in and doing your rolled hem over the two layers. If you have bits on the wrong side peeking out, you can trim those off.

IMG_20140415_113401 IMG_20140415_114025197

As you go around the ruffles, hold your overlay fabric firmly in place so you don’t skip any part of your fabric. If it ripples, it’s okay. Remember, it’s a ruffle. :)

IMG_20140415_114158643

 

To get that rolled hem all the way to the end of your curved pieces, just use a pin to hold your fabric in place as you slowly feed it through the serger.

IMG_20140415_114332701   IMG_20140415_114541099_HDR

When doing the rolled hem on the straight pieces, you can feed them in sequence and then trim them in between.  IMG_20140415_114701421_HDR IMG_20140415_115057473_HDR  

Before you apply the interfacing to the facing pieces, make sure that your fabric didn’t shift. I double checked my facing pieces by placing the pattern piece over the cut fabric just to be sure. Then, I felt okay ironing on the interfacing.

IMG_20140415_095454465_HDR IMG_20140415_095758574

Serging the bottom of the facings shouldn’t give you any trouble because the pieces are interfaced and therefore more stable. Just remember to change your serger settings before you get started on the facings.  IMG_20140415_113827248_HDR

As you put your overlay ruffle pieces together, you can use your serger threads to keep the very ends together. When in doubt, just go slow and you’ll be fine.

IMG_20140415_115638925_HDR

 

Pin, pin, pin!

IMG_20140415_120856438_HDR IMG_20140415_121008553_HDR

Marking your back darts can be easy with pins.

IMG_20140415_150344380

 

You can either stitch and then serge your Olive together or, making sure you stick to the 3/8″ seam allowance, just serge it all. Here’s the inside of the top of my blue Olive.

IMG_20140415_145530299_HDR

 

Any questions about working with lightweight and shifty fabrics? Friday, I’ll be back with FBA and SBA alterations. See you then! Let’s hope Amity is having a blast in the big apple!!

leila signature

 

 

Mar 042014
 

How many of you have ordered from Fabric Mart Fabrics in the past? I’ve been on their email list for years and cannot resist all the amazing prices and sales they have! They even have a great discount code for your first order! When I realized they also carry a select amount of indie patterns, I knew I had to contact them about Lolita Patterns. Luckily, they tried out the patterns and wanted to carry them!  I think I have used a piece of fabric I bought from Fabric Mart in at least one of the samples for every pattern.

Fabric Mart now carries all Lolita Patterns!  The best part? When you order your fabric, you pay a flat rate for shipping…and that shipping stays the same even when you add patterns to your order! No extra shipping charges ordering a pattern from a separate website..you can get everything at once on Fabric Mart’s website!

lolitabanner

My favorite part is that Fabric Mart separates all their fabrics by category–and even makes their categories very detailed! For example, anything in the coating category would be perfect for Spearmint!  Their mesh category is ideal for Gunmetal…I love that they have a separate section for that. Their ponte section is exactly what you need for the skirt section of Sugar Plum. And any of the silkschiffon, or challis’ (not wool) work for the top portion.

I just wanted to give you all a heads up now that Fabric Mart carries Lolita Patterns so you can order both your fabric and pattern at the same time!  New vendors coming soon…stay tuned!

amity bow | Lolita Patterns