Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gecko - my baste and topstitch method

It took me a while to get a drawing on freezer paper that I was happy with. I decided to draw this freehand and I ended up with a deformed gecko! This is my gecko after a bit of surgery.

When I'm happy with the design, I go over the lines with a drawing pen, trying to keep the lines flowing smoothly. I don't want any sketchy lines at this point. If the line is ambiguous then the piecing won't be accurate. I've rubbed out any pencil lines so that the lines are clean.

Then I trace the design on to tear-away stabiliser.  I'm doing this one in two sections since this is the width of my stabiliser.  Again, accuracy is key to this fitting together.

I haven't traced the feet on to the stabiliser as I'm going to fuse them so I don't need these lines on my stabiliser.

I number the pieces of freezer paper before I cut them up. I have a system for numbering. I'll bore you with that another time.  Too tired tonight and I still need to do some school work!

So here's my first piece with the seam allowance trimmed to about 5mm.

The piece is positioned under the stabiliser, matching the edge of the freezer paper to the line on the stabiliser. This is the basting stage. I put cream thread in the bobbin and clear monofilament in the needle. With a straight stitch, a darning foot on the machine and the feed dogs up (not down!) I baste around the shape. I'm aiming to sew just outside the freezer paper. If you sew too far into the seam allowance then it's difficult to tear out the stabiliser.

And a view from the right side. The first piece is basted all the way around the shape.

Turn over the edge of the next piece where is overlaps the first piece and baste all way around the unfolded edge. Turn over and topstitch the folded edge with a narrow zigzag.  The monofilament is in the needle so these stitches will hardly show. This edge should land just over the basted line.  Sometimes, to get the seams to match, the basting stitches show but that's fine.  Just remove them.

There are heaps more tips I could share with you just in this little bit I've done tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Must go and do some of the work I get paid to do!

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