...pull one of the strings on this 3-thread overlock edge and, sure enough, this sweater can be destroyed almost instantaneously.
This here is Round One of a design that I'm working on. I made a pattern and just cut the pieces from a bigger, older sweater. The only original detail is the bottom ribbing.
Looks simple, does it not? Oh, ladies and man, it isn't that simple. There's a lot of pitfalls when making a garment that so prominently features a serged edge. Namely, a serged edge. I'm going to talk sewing nuts and bolts now, so anyone here for the sexy stuff is free to go.
The first issue is the most basic problem of skipped serger stitches. Why, bloody mother of Ahab, can I be clipping along just fine, then for no reason run a patch of burly, un-cut sweater edge with a stretch of no overedge stitches?! I'll tell you why: you must let the serger to its job, young Jedi, and CUT. I realized I must always run the edge of the sweater well under the knife as it goes, or the edge won't be super tidy for the little stitchers to do their job.
AND, I also recognized the importance of stitch length. Fatter the sweater, the higher the stitch length number. I now adjust it every piece according to how thick the fabric is. Duh.
So when that happens, what can I do? Not much, as seen here, because in order to run the whole edge of the piece again to make a perfect continuous presentation of stitches, I have to do what the serger knife wants, and let it cut. Thus, shaving off part of the pattern. And then all hell breaks loose and leprechauns come flying out of the machine and begin pelting my face, obscuring my vision and causing disasters so much greater than a few missed stitches.
But you know, at least there isn't any scalloping on the edges that did work out! I mean, doesn't a good run of overlock stitches just soothe the soul?! ( I know, I should just smoke down, but I never learned to get high, so I have to rely on mechanized pleasures):
And now, what did I learn? That one has to let the serger totally munch the fabric. No pushing, pulling, or trying to surf the very edge. Let it cut.
I also learned that a serged edge on a child's sweater cuff lasts approximately 14.3 seconds under field testing at the playground. So this whole design may be a pipe dream. But I'm going to work on another installment anyway, because it's so fun trying. And plus, look at my bebe:
(We can talk about that effed up hat in another post.)