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  1. #1
    Senior Member Yakfoot's Avatar
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    Call to duty: Mission Failure

    After getting my mother in law's 60 yr old classic Singer up and running, lubed and polished. I had begun practicing stitching lines and making hems on some old pillowcases. My wife decided that she had several work uniform smocks that needed work. A couple of pockets needed repair where she stuffed pens in them all the time. I got that done OK. But then she had this special stretchy knit uniform shirt that was too long. All I was supposed to do was roll the bottom up about an inch and a half and sew...ahh...I mean make a hem to shorten the shirt. Simple, just one line of stitches and she would be happy. I was being super careful so I pinned everything in place and started making the hem. I got half way around and realized that the fabric had rolled somehow and now the bottom was all torqued around and looked weird. For some reason I decided that I would give it a good pull...Whoa...I had stitches popping everywhere. Well, then I thought it would be a good time to try out my new seam ripper and just start over. I could still have it done by the time she got home and show her my good work. So I pulled it out of its sheath and went to work. I thought how wonderfully it was working...then I started seeing daylight through the shirt. Half of my ripping was shirt. I had to keep at it, I was committed now, but even being really careful by the time I got through it looked like mouse had chewed a line of holes across the shirt. That was the end of the shirt. No good work here. I am not sure what all went wrong in the whole process but I have learned that you don't use seam ripper like you are gutting a deer.
    "To turn from this increasingly artificial and strangely alien world is to escape from unreality. To return to the timeless world of the mountains, the sea, the forest and the stars is to return to sanity and truth." --Robert Burnham Jr.

  2. #2
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    I'm gonna guess that 'midriff' tops are -right out- at work...
    perhaps a trip to the local alteration shop could do the needed hem?
    most dry-cleaning shops either have or know someone who could do this for you.
    KM(who gives sympathy- seam rippers have cost me time and trouble as well)

  3. #3
    Senior Member exdiver's Avatar
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    Look at the bright side, she'll probably not ask for any more help from you. Gear making will no longer be interrupted. Works about as well as washing her white blouse and red sweater together, on hot.
    The trees are drawing me near, I've got to find out why?
    Those gentle voices I hear, explain it all with a sigh.
    "Tuesday Afternoon" Moody Blues

    Even duct-tape can't fix stupid.

  4. #4
    MrClean417's Avatar
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    Next time, measure twice, pin carefully and when you are SURE that it's pinned right, iron it. Make sure not to set the iron so high that you melt the fabric (hopefully I've finally taught a certain someone special in my life that) that will help keep the fabric in line. You need to iron it anyways after sewing to set the fabric so it looks sharp so you might as well do it before and let it help you.
    From Somewhere near Parkville, Mo
    William Crane
    aka MrClean
    Everything you need to know about Hammocks in vids and reading:
    Hammock in 3 minutes D. Hansen - It really is this easy to make a hammock
    Shug's Hammock Newbies videos - Takes you buy the hand and shows you in video
    The Ultimate Hang D. Hansen - now read about everything
    JustJeff's Hammock tutorial - more reference
    TableclothFactoryBlanks - shorter lengths available on sidebar
    The TurtleDog Stand thread - Hang anywhere.

  5. #5
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrClean417 View Post
    Next time, measure twice, pin carefully and when you are SURE that it's pinned right, iron it. Make sure not to set the iron so high that you melt the fabric (hopefully I've finally taught a certain someone special in my life that) that will help keep the fabric in line. You need to iron it anyways after sewing to set the fabric so it looks sharp so you might as well do it before and let it help you.
    Even better... next time remember that knits and classic machines do not like each other. I had predicted the outcome even before I got to the end. Knits are a bear to work with on older machines. If it does not have a zigzag stitch it was probably made before knit fabrics were commercially available. The very best thing to use with knits is a serger. But never fear.
    All is not lost. You have some new rags to use in your shop.

    Edit: My wife just pointed out you can't use a serger for a hem. Next time tell her to tuck the shirt in.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  6. #6
    WV's Avatar
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    The DIYers have a great new motto!
    You don't use seam ripper like you are gutting a deer.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
    Jazilla's Avatar
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    I tell my wife I'm a gear head not a seamstress, I make gear not dresses. This has done well for me to keep away from those sort of projects.

    I do have to give you a hugh pat on the back for trying it out though. Best way to learn I find is to get after it.
    Yosemite Sam: Are you trying to make me look a fool?
    Bugs: You don't need me to make you look like a fool.
    Yosemite Sam: Yer deerrrnnn right I don't!

  8. #8
    PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    I've had the need a few times to sew stretchy stuff, and the only advice I can give is to guide the fabric through, while stretching it, and use a decently long stitch. Oh, and run it through with the fabric rolled up instead of down. That way you can see when things start to get funky. I should do a video. Maybe next week.

    PF
    It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    Formerly known as Acercanto, my trail name is MacGuyver to some, and Pucker Factor to others.

    It's not procrastinating, its proactively delaying the implementation of the energy-intensive phase of the project until the enthusiasm factor is at its maximum effectiveness. - Randy Glasbergen

  9. #9
    Senior Member Yakfoot's Avatar
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    I don't mind the extra projects, my Mom loved to sew and was a skilled seamstress and I grew up watching the fascinating machine. The more I do the more respect I have for the ladies who have the skill it takes to make clothes. Hammocks are pitifully simple compared to clothing. But knits I don't like. I have never liked wearing them, I don't like sewing them and they don't make good rags. They don't sop for squat, they just smear stuff around.
    "To turn from this increasingly artificial and strangely alien world is to escape from unreality. To return to the timeless world of the mountains, the sea, the forest and the stars is to return to sanity and truth." --Robert Burnham Jr.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    When Genuine Draft asks me to hem or repair something for her, I remind her that work like that is called "sewing":
    I don't know how to 'sew'. All I can do is make gear.
    It never works, but I keep trying.
    Trust nobody!

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