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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Catch up with my sewing: summer work outfit for my daughter

I am going to try and catch up some of my sewing projects with you. One of the things I have been doing this last week is to sew for my daughter. She needs something cool for work to wear under her lab coats.

She loved the shorter version of the Jalie 4017 skirt but I was stumped for a nice tank pattern that would hide her bra straps. I finally dug out my older Jalie 3246 maxi dress pattern and it was perfect shortened to a tank. I think that because this pattern has to open up for a bit more ease at the waist and hip, being a dress, it has just the right amount of skim in those areas but still is fitted around the neck and shoulders.

Katrina really liked this combination and if I ever get off the golf course this weekend I will be making her another top and skirt.

This will make it the fifth tank top I made for her this week. I had decided to conquer by coverhem binding process as part of this project. I had even bought a generic type binding attachment (my Juki 1500 doesn't have one from the manufacturer for this machine). However after struggling with that for most of a day I put that little unit where it belonged, in the bottom of the garbage can. I just couldn't get the right degree of stretch with the binding and my hands couldn't get in close enough for control.

I was disappointed with myself, since all of Facebook seems to get these binders to work. Then I remembered that the right way to do anything in sewing is your own way so I set out to figure out what worked for me.

Here is what I decided to do.

I did all my seams and attaching the first pass of binding on my serger. I used just a 3-thread and a long (4) stitch length to attach the strips of binding and shoulders to reduce bulk and switched to 4 threads for the side seams.

I used flat construction and hand tacked the seams to one side at one shoulder and the underarms to finish.

Here was the construction order:

1. Sew one shoulder seam, 3 thread serged.

2. Right side of 1" (2.5cm) binding to the wrong side of the neckline and along the armhole of the shoulder side that had been stitched. I just stretched the binding slightly by feel as I serged.

3. Fold the bindings to the right side and tuck the raw edge under. Pin and coverhem down, using the two left needles and keeping the edge of the binding nestled into the inner edge of the foot.

Here is what the binding looks like from the wrong side:

4. Sew the remaining shoulder seam, 3 thread serger, right up through the binding.

5. Apply the binding in two steps as above along the remaining armhole.

6. Serge the side seams, 4 threads, up through the binding.

7. Switch the coverhem to a wide hem, left and right needles the middle needle removed, and hem.

8. Tack the binding down to one side at the top of each side seam and along one shoulder seam. I threaded the serger tail back under the loopers of the seams before I did this. I was all surprisingly neat. Next one I should post a picture of that.

Not a bad little work outfit and fun to do.