Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stretchy Pants

Sewing on stretchy material literally terrifies me.
There, I've come clean, because it was just yesterday that I came to a friend's house to inspect a dress that she wanted to see if I could repair. What was it made out of you ask?
Stretchy polyester/spandex, purple, and I had brought black thread to work on it by hand.....
Already I was feeling like a dork, but I had a seam ripper and she did not, so I felt a little cooler, especially as I began to rip a seam out so as to remove a problematic portion of the lining.
Thank the Lord I looked down and noticed that the stitch holding the lining was also the main seam holding the boob cup (a sophisticated sewing term) to the main skirt (like a baby doll style dress thingy). I had just seam ripped out about an inch and a half portion leaving a gaping hole right below the boob cup.
Crud muffins!
So I smiled and said, "whoops, when do you need this back by?"
Thankfully I was given 24 hrs to correct the issue and finish the removal of the lining.
Did I jump right onto the task like I said I would though?
No, I was totally freaked out.
I have never been able to figure out how to make an elastic stitch. Once I tried to hem a pair of Ken's sweat pants or something with a bit of stretch to them and when he tried to wear them, the seam was so tight that the thread snapped as he pushed his foot thru. There was no give in the seam, I didn't know how to make 'give'. Like I've said before, I'm good at sewing in a straight line, that is why I quilt. And what do I quilt with?
Cotton is what I know, so I use cotton, cotton, and cotton. It's natural, it breaths, it washes well. What could be better than cotton!
Yet even a simple cotton blend can throw me into a slight panic, wondering if I will have to change the thread tension on my sewing machine, or if it will pull away from the 100% cotton backing I'm using.
Oh, the stress of it all.
So I picked the dress up at approx. 3pm, and I had until the following evening at 6pm. When do you think I chose to start working on said sewing project?
Not until the last possible moment, and then I was sweating bullets as I studied and re-studied my sewing machine's recommendations for doing an elastic stitch. Then I practiced on some stretchy pants that belong to my daughter, and then I re-practiced, then I took the plunge.
I sewed an inch and a half stretch on a hem with an elastic stitch. It was a huge success, and now it seems that I've been fretting all day for nothing. Maybe I'm on my way to being a pro!
The finished project! Beautiful, and despite
the look of this photo
the dress is actually more of a plum color.
So now you stretchy pants with a ruined hem, you just better watch yourself! I got the elastic stitch under my belt, and I know how to set my thread tensions and stitch length to optimize the experience.


abbie said...

Yeah I only like cotton too! Haha! And I thought I was the only one who said crud muffins...I miss you!

lifeinthevillage said...

WOW! I am totally impressed. Seriously. That is really cool, and something that I have NEVER attempted. :) Congrats on learning something new!