Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stipple me this

I bought myself a present (for no good reason) this week - a stippling foot for my sewing machine. Normally, when you're using a sewing machine, the combination of the pressure of the foot above the material and the motion of the 'feed dogs' (basically little metal teeth) beneath the fabric pull the fabric along as you sew. This is why you can only really sewing forward, and also to go around curved corners it requires lots of stopping and starting and rearranging of material, before the machine pulls you along (at least that's the case for me, a relatively unskilled and definately untrained sewer). A stippler foot subjects no pressure above the material - it hops up and down along with the motion of the needle. When using a stippler foot, you'll either lower the feed dogs, if your machine does such things, or as is my case, cover the feed dogs with a 'darning' plate, which handily came provided with my machine. With nothing above or below the fabric pulling it along, it's all up to you where the material goes - backwards, forwards, crazy lines, curves, you name it. Such foots are utilised in free motion embroidery, quilting and the like. Obviously, this will take some getting used to. As the Tour de France started yesterday (as some of you may know, for reasons beyond my control I've found myself getting massively interested in cycling) my first attempts were appropriately themed. Sorry for the bad light - I was using my housemates camera and I was too afraid to touch the settings.
I started with the wheel on the left, and was turning the material as I sewed, as you would have to with a normal foot, completely forgetting that the whole point of buying the foot was to ease such difficulties. My second attempt was slightly better.
I'm looking forward to getting to grips with my stippler foot - or at least, I hope I'll get to grips with it. I'm having fun either way thus far.
As I mentioned, the Tour de France started yesterday, huzzah! I foresee getting quite a bit of knitting done as I catch up with the action in the evenings. Jim's scarf is at about 50 inches right now, and I'm going to count anything over 60 inches a bonus - I'm bored, and working with two strands of DK weight held together begins to hurt my fingers after a while. My style of knitting uses my fingers to wrap the yarn, and I hate feeling them being splayed out. The picture is from this morning, when I was at 46 inches.
Now for some old school Skuld crafts - chopping up big t shirts, yeah! Check out how much excess there is on this man's shirt compared to the top I used as a size reference.
After the usual sew up the sides, cut off the sleeves and collar treatment, I made use of this extra material to sew some extra onto one shoulder strap to make it an asymmetrical tie top.
I'm not sure what I was doing 'photographer' was making me laugh.
Have a great week everyone.

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