Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fun With Darts

Last night was my first official night out with my new sewing machine. So far, so good. I started by doing a number of tests on different fabrics, using different stitches. The goal was twofold. First, I wanted to familiarize myself with the controls of the machine. Second was to confirm that the machine is going to be able to handle the materials that I plan on putting through it.

So far, it has passed every test with flying colors. I still need to get a better understanding of the tension settings and how you can adjust the feeder tension, but overall things are looking good. I did some simple stitches on a couple layers of the denim I am using for the stabilization flap on the cape, and also tested sewing some cape material to the denim. Then I went crazy and tried sewing cape material to cape material, and it worked just fine. Which is great, as that was my main problem that the purchase of this machine was intended to overcome. So as of this test, I was feeling really good about the new machine.

With that testing behind me I decided I would take a stab at putting the darts into the stabilization flap. I had an idea in my head of how to do it… which turned out to be wrong.

I started by using my existing pattern which had markers in it for the darts, and transferred those marks to the fabric

I made the beginners mistake of doing my R&D on my final fabric. I first cut the fabric, THEN sewed it.

I switched tactics and did some tests on some scrap fabric. Long story short, the trick to sewing darts is that you sew first, cut second. Not the opposite. Here's the marking on some test fabric.

And the final test.

The good news is that this is just a test cape, and I had some extra fabric already on hand and dyed for the back flap. I re-traced my pattern onto another piece of fabric.

Then I cut it out, then sewed the darts, THEN cut the dart. It actually turned out pretty good! I wouldn’t say it was perfect, but for my first try, it came out nicely.

I think the lesson I have learned from this go-round is that denim is not the right material for this job. It frays too easily. Even though the stuff on the screen used cape LOOKED like denim, I no longer believe it was. Not a big deal though, as I’m sure I can find a nice heavy fabric to replace it with. Did I mention this was a test cape?

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