I am feeling more and more confident in my sewing and, as such, am trying new ideas. I love to look at other people's sewing to see what they are doing. This week, two new techniques/ideas I tried are A) using my serger for gathering; and B) sewing a ribbon with gathered fabric and a button down the front of a bodice for decoration.
Here is what I made:
First off, this post from Make it and Love it came through on my blog feed this week. I had never thought about using my serger to gather! I have a Janome 1110DX and I am only now, after a year of ownership, feeling comfortable with it. That is just me, not a condemnation of the machine. It is an awesome machine. I am just slow to learn. At any rate, the blog post got me looking in my owner's manual and sure enough there is a section on gathering! So, I tried it.
The top to this dress is from the Portabellopixie Claire Petal Knot pattern. I love that pattern! LOL! The bottom, well, that is me winging it. I combined some fabric from the Benartex Magic Vines collection (no longer available unless you find it on ebay like I did) and RJ Fabrics Everything but the kitchen sink collection. I just cut them into 22X8 inch stripes and went from there. I set up my serger to gather and then worked from the bottom up attaching tiers.
Well, the gathering feature is ok but it does not gather very much. Certainly, if you want a very twirly dress because you three and that makes you happy, then this machine does not gather enough. But, it worked well enough for the bottom two tiers. I ended up hand gathering the top tier to the bodice so it would have a lot of gathers. The stinkerpoo three year old refused to try it on for pictures but it does twirl very nicely now!
Secondly, I decided to copy an oft-used detail on the bodice: the ruffle-ribbon-button detail. I used the rolled-edge feature on the serger to serge the edges, gathered it on the bodice, and then sewed a pretty ribbon down the middle. I found some teapot buttons at my local Joann's Fabrics and added one. I think it looks pretty! My only advice is not to use satin ribbon, as I did, because it shows every needle hole. Next time, I will use a ribbon with more texture to it so the holes don't show.
Voila, a twirly knot dress for my little girl. She is all ready for summer!