Many times when I am talking to folk about our machines, I hear this sort of comment: “Oh I don’t do much embroidery so I would not be interested in that machine”. While it is a good thing to know what you do & don’t want (as opposed to those whose stock answer is “I dunno”), I am a very firm believer in keeping an open mind.
Here’s a project that has absolutely nothing to do with embroidery or quilting and yet my JANOME HORIZON MC12000 was JUST the machine to complete the task. I went shopping for bargains after Christmas/Boxing day(just like SO many other folk) . I found this sweater & I bought a winter white one as well which fits me well. However, this red one, which is exactly the same size as the white one, is a little too big. The sleeves are too baggy for some odd reason.
Now you might be thinking that a serger is the best piece of equipment to alter a stretchy sweater and, in most cases, you will probably be correct. However, in this case, I was not wanting to trim off much knit fabric at all as the alteration is a relatively small one. SO, I decided that the JANOME HORIZON MC12000 and ACUFEED FLEXsystem with the DUAL FEED BALANCING DIAL was just what I was needing for this project.
Here is what I did:
I turned the sweater inside out and carefully pinned where I wished to take in the sleeves.
I then set up the JANOME HORIZON MC12000 with a matching thread in the needle and bobbin. I attached the Acufeed Flex single prong foot with the VD foot for regular sewing. I can use this foot for straight sewing as well as 9mm wide stitches. using this foot together with the Dual Feed balancing dial, I maximize my success at achieving a flat, good seam on even the most tricky fabrics.
Even if I had elected to use a serger for this project, I would most definitely have stitched the seam FIRST with the sewing machine and then come back to neaten the edge with a serged finish. This is to avoid what happened to me a while ago: I got a little enthusiastic with my serger and completely ruined a garment. Once you have cut into something with your serger blades, there is no going back! Caution is the name of the game – especially with stretchy knit fabrics like this. Yes, this sweater was a bargain price but I like it and don’t intend to repeat past mistakes.
I could have used a straight stitch for these altered sleeve seams. However, I know that all I have to do is try to reach up to the top shelf in my kitchen and I will probably split that seam! So I do prefer a stitch with a little more “give”: I have found that the lightning stitch (looks like a lightning bolt) – stitch #6 in the Utility menu on the JANOME HORIZON MC12000 worked for me as it is not called a stretch stitch for nothing! It literally does stretch if you pull the fabric and the stitches do not “pop”. You might like to try this?
As the fabric is a knit, it will not unravel, so I merely cut about an 1/8 of an inch away from the stitching. I chose not to serge this edge or use an overcasting/overlocking stitch such as #13 or 16 (same Utility menu) as I did not want a stiff, bulky seam. The knit fabric is soft and I wanted it to stay that way.
It really was pretty quick & easy. I would have been done a lot quicker, of course, if I had not been taking pics & writing this blog post along the way! But I did want you to see that our wonderful JANOME HORIZON MC12000 does simple little mending tasks like this as well as ALL the other sewing projects you have planned for 2012!