ITEM ONE - During my recent Twin Needle Sewing Class, I learned an easier way to join bias strips. I don't know about you, but when I just need a yard or two of bias tape, I'm not interested in doing the whole sew-an-off-center-tube-thang. And going the other route ... cut out your bias strips and join them ... has not been a roaring success because I rarely get it right on the first try. You know what I mean. I end up with something that looks like this instead of a nice - straight - strip.
I always hated doing bias tape because I'd sew it, rip out the stitches and re-sew it. But with this new technique, I just zing right through. Here's how it goes: instead of trying to join the angled ends, you cut off the angles so the strips have a straight end, lay one at a 90 degree angle to the other and sew diagonally. See (rough) drawing below. LOVE THIS TECHNIQUE!
ITEM 2 - A sewing machine repairman showed me how to release thread when it gets caught in the bobbin area. Some threads come out right away, but some get caught ... and even broken off from pulling on them. I don't know about all machines, but on my Pfaff, there's a way to get a thread unhung without a repairman.
This is how my Pfaff bobbin area looks. There's an arrow pointing to the screw. All you can see from this side is a little hole, but that's where the screw is. There are three on the housing, but you have to manually rotate the wheel to see all three ... one ... at ...a ... time.
This is how the side of the bobbin housing unit looks when it's out of the sewing machine ... but don't take it out!!! Slow down! We just want to remove a little tension from the screw. The arrow points to the screw and if I had a better picture, you could see there's a little spring around it. (Okay .. I know my drawing of a screw with a spring is lame, but it was the best I could do this afternoon).
Sorry this picture is fuzzy. What he's doing here is pressing on the screw which relieves a little of the tension. It only moves about a hairs breadth, but it's enough to get your thread out.
He's using this dental tool -- it's great for reaching around to press on the screw. And there's not a lot of space in there when you're coming at it from the front.
I'm so glad I learned how to do this yesterday because I had to use it this morning. Since I didn't have a dental thing-y, I just used a teensy screwdriver, but IT WORKS. HA!
ITEM 3 - I finished the test apron and, all in all I'm pleased. I'll use the pattern again, but I'll probably use a wider bias tape next time. I think Sophie looks great in this. Wish it looked this good on me!