Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last project of 2017

Back in, oh,  September I managed to find some kind of Christmassy-themed upholstery cotton and ordered 3 yards for a tablecloth for the round table in the sunroom.  Because, you know, I wanted a bit of Christmas cheer to go with the ancient kitschy aluminum tree with the color wheel.

But nobody makes cotton upholstery fabric in greater than about 54" widths, and trial-and-error has proven that a 62" diameter circle works best for the tablecloth.  So piecing is in order.

Sometimes I can get an invisible line...sometimes not so much.  This time is not so much, but the little trees (those are green trees with red trunks.  Actually they are lime green trees with fuschia trunks, but at a glance it's red and green) are kinda eye-swirling anyway so I don't think it's going to be too noticeable.  Green wooly nylon serger rolled edge.  The trickiest part is the piecing and the cutting.

I've got half a yard...ish...left over.  Eventually I'll make a little totebag out of it.

While I had the serger set up for a rolled edge, I decided I'd tackle another quick project.  Last year, I found a 70" red jacquard tablecloth and tried to make it work.  But it was so long it drug on the chairs and got in the way and...anyway, I decided to cut it down to a 62" circle and serge it up.

I was really surprised when I cut it out; I folded it on the lengthwise grain (easy to see due to the jacquard pattern), then folded again on the crosswise and the hem was way uneven going around...as much as 3" off in one spot.  Cheap construction, I thought.  I marked the arc and cut the circle down, changed the thread in the serger and took off.

I checked the progress after about 6" and found that the weave on the fabric was so loose that the rolled edge just pulled off.  Oy.

So I put my wide rolled edge foot on the sewing machine and began to sssslllooowwwllly work my way around it.  I didn't do too badly until I hit the first part of the circle in which I was sewing against the grain. Oy oy and double oy.  The fabric just opened up.  The edge frayed like crazy and the hem suddenly got really ugly really fast.  I stopped and ripped and started again and stopped and ripped and got frustrated and just kind of gritted my teeth around to the cross grain bit, which worked better.   Went pretty good again until I got to the opposite side where I was going against the grain again and...after starting and stopping a couple of more times, I pulled the whole side off and zig-zagged the edge, on the off side so that I was sewing with the grain, to stabilize it.  Then I went back and ran that quarter through the rolled edge foot again.  Still not great but  much better.  When I looked at the first rough quarter...it was bad.  So I ripped that out, trimmed the crazy thread tails and zig-zagged it on the right side and then ran that side back through the rolled edge.

Oh yeah.  On that first side I forgot to switch back to a straight stitch so I actually zig-zagged the rolled edge.  Which laid so much nicer than it did the first time that I also zig-zagged the second side when I re-did it.  So two alternate quarters are straight-stitched on the hem and the other two are zig-zagged but I'm OK WITH THAT.  At least all the edges are secure.  If anyone looks close enough at the hem to see the inconsistency...I'll think they're really weird...lol.

And when I folded it up to put it away, I saw that the edges were not at all even.  I have real empathy for the poor stitchers that had to sew it in the beginning.  It was ghastly.  But I have a dressy-festive table cloth to put on the round table if I want to.

And if I'm not at church or a party tomorrow, I'm going to be cooking, so...no more sewing this year.

Gonna do some thinking...hard ...about sewing priorities for 2018.  There may be a paradigm shift coming...

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