Friday, August 7, 2009

Sewing Alterations on a Bargain

sewing project 3Walmart has their swimsuits on clearance.  I found this Catalina suit I really liked, in a periwinkle blue color, which I loved! 

The only problem was that they had one one size to small, and several two sizes too big.  But none in my size.  Bummer!  I really liked this one, too.

What to do…what to do…

I could buy the smaller one and hope I lose weight by next summer.  (Noble goal.  But probably not happening.)  Or I could buy the bigger one and eventually grow into it.  (More likely, but certainly nothing to aspire to!  Lol!)  OR, I could buy the bigger one and try to alter it…

I’m not an avid sewer.  But I took a chance and bought one of the larger ones, hoping I’d figure out how and where to take it in.

Let me just say, that I did take it in, and it now fits great—even when wet!  But it wasn’t as easy as taking in the seams.

Stretchy material, especially this slippery material, can be hard to sew.  Harder than I ever imagined!

I did fairly well, until I had to sew a seam that crossed over another seam.  The bulk kept getting hung upon the feed dogs and I ended up with a nest of thread on the underside every time I tried it.

I have a great machine.  It’s a Janome 4623LE Plus.  I purchased it just before we moved from Pennsylvania.  However, with the move, I missed out on the free classes where I would have learned more about all the neat things it can do.  And I must have lost my instruction manual in the move.  Not good.sewing machine But every so often, when I’m stuck on a project, I call Brubaker’s Sewing Center in New Holland, Pennsylvania, where I purchased the machine.  They have ALWAYS been incredibly helpful, and understanding of my novice questions.  They usually talk me though the steps to solve my problem and I’m on my way in no time.

This time, the helpful woman made sure I was using the correct stretch stitch, and then told me to use a smaller needle, a Microtex Stretch (which I didn’t have).  But I did have a finer needle made for sewing stretch fabrics and I swapped it out. 

Then she said if the feed dogs were still snagging, to apply a stabilizer to the fabric.  Only, I don’t have any of that on hand.  So she suggested I try a sheet of wax paper between the feed dogs and the fabric.  And it worked beautifully!  Once the seam was in place, I simply pulled off the wax paper.

Brubaker’s has a toll free number (.800.466.7315) with live help from 9-5 EST, which makes it even easier to get help.  I’m not thinking you need to have purchased your machine there to access their help, but I’ve not asked specifically.  I have a hunch they would be delighted to help with whatever sewing problem or question you have.

If you live near New Holland Pa, and you like to sew (or even would like to learn), you are incredibly lucky!  You might want to check out their schedule of classes and their incredible inventory of machines, materials and notions.  I have read that Brubaker’s has loyal customers all over the United States, and many even ship their machines there to have them serviced. 

I’m not at all surprised.  Their service is top notch!

Anyhow, getting a bargain on a swimsuit (that you actually wouldn’t mind wearing) is definitely a Finer Thing.  As is actually being able to make it fit right!!  Lol!

Thanks, Amy for hosting Finer Things Friday!


Mari said...

You are way braver than I am! That's a cute suit - good job!

Sharon said...

Wow! What a great idea! I need to learn how to sew. I have a machine but I don't know what to do with it... But it would certainly be worth it if I could find discount clothes like that and make them fit.

Thanks for the resource info and great job on the "sewing hack!"

Amy Lynne said...

How nice to have customer service people that are actually willing to help! I'm glad your bargain worked out!

Kathy said...

Great idea, and the suit is adorable. I too love the color. I need to go on the swimsuit hunt for daughter, so perhaps I'll head on over to the big W!

Amy @ Finer Things said...

I don't even like to sew buttons. :) What a cute suit. Great job!