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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 ;-)