Wherein I demonstrate my incredibly bad sewing skills. :-)
I love sewing machines - particularly very old ones (which I collect - this particular model is from the 70's, and is the second-newest I have), but actually using them is another story. At least I only broke two needles on this project. ;-) I did get to try out the walking foot a friend sent me, and I think it helped some, but not completely. I was having trouble with the hems shifting while I was sewing (which is a problem I almost always have, no matter what I'm sewing). Better yet - I think I'll use my favorite treadle sewing machine for the straight stitching on the towels - now that is a sewing workhorse! (Hmm... maybe a Sewing for Dummies book would be appropriate....)
This is a good machine though;
and one of three new enough to have built-in zigzagging; I just wish I could do it justice. Isn't that strange that it already had the right color thread on it? The best thing is - I didn't have to thread it - YAY!
Onwards and upwards...
First we have to set up the machine for zigzagging, so we can keep the cut edges from unraveling. I tested stitch length & width on a fabric scrap and then dove into sewing. My first zigzag just covered a yarn's-width;
so I increased the stitch width a bit more (I also took settings notes, for when I do the towels).
This was bound to happen (me + yarn/thread = tangles), and of course happened on the first stitching, but with careful gentle tugging I got it all out. I misread the instructions I was following in the "Ashford Book of Rigid Heddle Weaving" - they instruct you to zigzag all of the edges, and I only did the edges that would be cut. I think that would improve the overall appearance as my non-cut edges look rather unattractive. I'll try it on the towels - that will give me time to see if washing the dishcloths makes much difference.
After zigzagging each side of a spacer, I pulled the slat-spacer out,
and then cut the warp between:
and then pulled the spacer-yarn out.
Surprisingly, out of all the cloths there was only one spot where I caught the spacer-yarn enough that I had to leave a bit in the cloth - and even that came out eventually with gentle tugging on individual plys.
Next we need to fold over the edges we just zigzagged for hemming. The first time I didn't do the first fold quite far enough as it came untucked in spots while sewing - which could be bad since that is the 'raw' edge - so the next time I made a deeper hem. Here it is pinned and pressed for sewing (pressing helps to flatten your hem and makes it a bit easier to sew, plus you can get a better result).
(Yes, I know I use way more pins that most people deem necessary.)
And here you can see my incredibly bad sewing:
Luckily the right side looks better:
(Well, except the edges I didn't zigzag.)
And the finished result:
A very fun project, and one I will do again.
These are kind of small for dishcloths (and rectangular, instead of square). But this was an experiment using what was going to be thrown-away warp, and I just winged the size. Since I prefer smaller cloths anyway, as I have small hands, I will probably like these (if my sewing holds up). Next time I will be taking into account how much web the hemming may take up (about an inch - approximately a 1/4" each 'fold', so a 1/2" each hem).
Wendy of WendyKnits posted a picture of her odometer this past week, showing her new car's milestone of 8,000 miles. Hmm... I wonder what milestone my car is on...
Yes, that really is 261,501 miles. All but about 18 of them put on by me (that was the odometer reading when I bought it from the dealer). I absolutely love my car, which of course is no longer made in the wagon style. Sigh.
Labels: Flip, RH weaving, sewing