Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One-Thread Sewing On Delicate Fabrics: Threading the Machine

At some point in your sewing career, you'll want to leave your comfort zone of sewing stable cottons and instead, try making a garment from (drum roll) silk chiffon. Why not? All the other sewists are doing it! And one of the first steps in construction you'll have to face is sewing darts in this temperamental fabric. I learned this technique of making darts by pulling up a long length of the bobbin thread and threading your machine in reverse, sometimes called "one-thread sewing," from the late, incomparable Shannon Gifford.

Step One: Unthread your machine (if is threaded) and pull up a good 18" of thread out of the bobbin. Then thread the machine needle from the rear. That's right, instead of poking the thread end into the eye from the front, poke it through from the back.

Step Two: Draw the thread upward toward the uptake lever.

Step Three: Draw the thread over the uptake lever, right to left. Remember, we are threading the machine "backwards." (Confession time: I took these photos as much to remind myself how to prepare for this unusual technique as I did so I could teach you how to do it!)

Step Four: Draw the thread down through the tension disc.

And up again. You will still have a good length of thread left.

Step Five: Draw out the length of thread from left to right.

And lay it across the top of your machine, allowing the thread to dangle off the edge. You're ready to sew your dart now.

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