Sunday, October 23, 2016

Double Bind

The craft fair is only two weeks out so I pulled out some of my boxes of crafts for sale to find I really sold a lot of the hot mitts last year and needed some serious restocking. Wasn't that what I was buying all that fabric for? Right. I've been busy sewing up new hot mitts, over 40 have been cut out. But I've discovered a few things over the past five years that I wanted to share with you.

The first is the sewing machine I've been using. With so many layers, ten when I'm sewing the binding on, I will no longer use one of my good but not sturdy enough sewing machines. I've tried my Viking 1100 with a walking foot and a Pfaff 1222 with the IDT built-in walking foot and felt like I was going to run each one of these machines right into the ground. Next up was a Singer 15-91 and a 201-2 and they were not going to burn up but they were struggling even showing some skipped stitches. This time I got out the portable industrial, a Consew CP-206R:

Consew CP-206R
After getting over being afraid of it, I have been sewing through all those layers and more without any hesitation. Now, you know I'm all about the "experience" of sewing: how does it sound, how does the machine feel while sewing, even how it looks all add to this factor of "experience." All that had to go out the window when I needed to get 40 of these babies done pronto! The Consew is loud, feels clunky, and is industrial grey/white so it fails on all counts for the experience but it does sew without having to go back to resew areas and the stitches look good. She delivers so my idea about enjoying sewing goes out the window when I need superb functionality and the Consew certainly has that.

The second new thing I want to share with you is a technique that quilters have been doing for years but I'm new to this double binding effect. In the past I added the bias tape edging just like I was putting it on the edge of any cut edge using a two step process. First I would put on a single layer of the bias to the front of the item and then fold it to the back, pinning it in place, and hand sewing it on. It turned out nice but was pretty laborious, taking about 30 minutes per hot mitt.
Step one: bias strip, single fold (ripped out later)

Step two: bias strip folded over to back and pinned in place
 Now I take the same bias strip and fold the long raw edges together and sew the raw edge to the edge of the mitt:
Step one: sew raw edges together

Step two: trim excess fabrics and fold over, sew in place without pins
Now it is doubled right from the start and I can fold it over to the back side of the mitt and sew in place by hand without pinning. It only takes about 15 minutes per mitt this way, providing a double edge for better wear. I think this is brilliant and thank my quilting friends for sharing this tip. Since I cut all of my own bias binding for that exact match of fabrics I need to make sure I cut it wide enough so it can fold over and cover all those layers but that's been the only real problem. Here's an array of what I'm sewing on, just to give you a flavor of the fabrics I been using:
Hot mitts in various stages of readiness

It was also another big sale week with a church garage sale and more from Goodwill Outlet:
and there is more...

Next up will be my heart pot holder that I've been experimenting with various fabrics to piece little squares. Stay tuned!

5 comments:

Maria said...

This is nice sewing pattern and I will try it for my kids.Sewing Machine for Beginners

Jonathan said...

...I'm all about the "experience" of sewing: how does it sound, how does the machine feel while sewing, even how it looks all add to this factor of "experience." I have to say that I agree 100% with you on this Karen! I love sewing on my all metal vintage sewing machines because they are smooth and quiet. I find this to be true on the inexpensive Singers like my 237 and 328. Thanks for sharing your review of the Consew CP 206R. I didn't know this machine existed. Sounds like a good machine.

Jonathan said...

Your comments about the experience a sewing machine provides made me think of my own experience purchasing an electronic sewing machine a couple years ago. I purchased a a really smart looking Singer that I loved the look of. I justified the purchase of an electronic machine because it makes buttonholes based on the size of the button inserted into a special buttonhole foot. When I got it out of the box however I was really disappointed. The machine is really noisy. It's louder than any of my vintage machines. The machine sounds really inexpensive too. I didn't spend alot, so guess I got what I paid for but the experience made me appreciate my mechanical machines even more.

Jonathan said...

I did a search for the Consew CP 206R on ebay...they are expensive :-(

Karen said...

Yes, they can be but the one I have, for an industrial, retails for $400 so they aren't as pricey. But when you need one, you need one!