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Trick of the Day- Altering big crochet/lace woven garments

So today’s trick is from an alteration job. Taking in a crocheted tunic with a big open weave pattern. As usual, this is just how I approached it, and I am sure there are other/better ways, but here’s how I did it. This works for chunky knits and big weave lace as well!

1. safety pin how/where it needs to be taken in. Straight pins will just fall out of fabric, so safety pins are the way to go. Then I marked with chalk on inside (wrong side). after you mark, take out safety pins. They’ll only catch on sewing machine and pull piece out of shape if you leave them in!

2. Next take a nice thin ribbon or cotton tape and cut off length of garment/piece with a couple inches to spare on either end.

3. wrap the excess ribbon over the start, and find a solid area if possible to stitch onto near your marking line (mine has a jog-in as was under the arm & client wanted excess taken out)

4. Stitch! On this one the weave is so open I had no problem matching up the pattern on both sides as I went.

5. *tip* to be sure that you are not pulling the garment out of shape, if you have the old seam and it is stable, put one finger of guiding hand on the old seam and maintain a light tension on it, this helps ensure am not stretching the pattern out.

6.When you reach the end/bottom of your garment/piece, again wrap the excess ribbon around and under. This provides nice strong stable base and top of piece. I then ran a second row of stitching 1/8 in (towards outer edge of garment) just to be sure, that way where you may have been stitching into open space, you may actually catch some lace, or if it *is* a truly empty space, you are reinforcing the ribbon anyways.

7. Now to our trusty overlocker machine. When you are lining it up, you want to be sure that a) you are *NOT* letting the blade cut into the ribbon you have sewn, which will weaken the ribbon. and b) the overlocker needle will be just catching/stitching *into* the ribbon.

8. and voila, your finished seam. Now turn your garment right side out and the ribbon should be hard to see nad no worries on the crochet unravelling. ( Sorry I forgot to take photo of it from the right side, client came to pick up top) It will probably look a bit wonky on the outer edge especially if it is a bulky crochet like this one was, but it’s all nice and tight in the overlocking and seam is reinforced by the ribbon.

That’s all the news from the wonderful world of alterations for this week. The weather has turned cold here in London, so now’s the season a lasses head begins to turn towards knitting. Which I am *pants* at, but I do it anyways. (but don’t expect any tips from me on knitting, beyond Use circular needles. Always. especially if you are like me and knit on the train/tube/metro and don’t want to whap people next to you as you knit ;-)

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Projects-Guerilla Stitching,Last Minute Oberon

Quickie personal/for a friend project last week. “Guerilla Stitching’ refers to when you either decide rather foolishly/silly to whip up something for the same night on the day, or have Scary Deadline and stay up all night stitching and “prioritising” by cutting out finishing steps ;-) My co-workers & I used to Guerilla Stich/challenge each other to make things to wear out to clubs on a friday night as we cleared our work project baskets. My friend wanted fairy tale dress up for a burlesque show, and fell on idea of Oberon/King of the Fairies (given the events LGBT base, this was rather apropos ;-) Digging through the Stock cupboard of doom Stuff’n’Shiny Fabric, managed to whip out a horned headdress and tunic which he then wore with the gold/red corset I made for the modern geisha pic which shows on my home page. So a few hours of paint, ripping of metallic organzas and much dismay as realised my house now looked liked a troop of drunken fairies wandered through and sicked Glitter/gold powder *everywhere* and had a decent last minute project result…

 

 

Materials used were left over voiles/organzas, Ben Nye gold power & glitter, cheap plastic leaves & flowers from Oriental market liberally glopped with paint (flowers were white) & make-up, a couple foam rolls from Pak’s beauty supply (normally for making hairdo’s) , wire from hardware store for frame and ribbon.

and so he *did* go to the ball and lived happily ever after… laughing as  *I* hid my from the events organiser as she had a costume contest. My friend won first place, but the reward was perhaps not what one would expect, and rather entertaining for the rest of the audience. I *may* have been warned/instructed by the event organiser to make the posterior accessible for birthday spankings ;-)  (Things/events like this make me wonder how on earth I survived years of wearing a suit and working in an office!)