Easy sweater pattern for non-knitters: Let’s call her Cami

easy sweater pattern

After many reader requests, I wanted to come up with a design for an easy sweater pattern for non-knitters.  Knitting is one of my passions but, since I started designing at So-Sew-Easy.com I have had no time for it at all.  But I do miss knitting.  Often, I think of a dress or a top and I could picture it in my mind on a knitted kaleidoscope of colors.  I love the fresh look of a soft cotton long sleeve knitted top, even in summer you can pull this look.  But winter is a special time to wrap yourself in a comfortable but elegant knitted top that won’t break the bank.  If you are lacking in time like me, here is an easy sweater pattern for non-knitters. This is an easy sweater to make, however, you do have to pay special attention to … Continue reading

Is there an easy way to unpick knit fabrics?

unpick knits

Arghhh.  I’m not the biggest fan of seam ripping anyway, but knit fabrics drive me crazy sometimes. Because of the way I sew, with designing my own patterns and projects, I usually end up with “un-sewing” a lot of my seams as I make changes to designs as I work.  That’s all well and good in cottons and other woven fabrics, but when it comes to knits I find that unpicking them is a whole new adventure. If you recall, for cottons and other wovens, we recently published an article about using an electric seam ripper.  If you missed it, you can read all about it in our post entitled:  Have you tried an electric seam ripper?  More on that later though. Now back to knits.  For a start, we might use different stitches in knits. Not always of course, but perhaps … Continue reading

My serger jelly roll quilt is finished

Quick and simple jelly roll quilt, made with a single jelly roll plus a solid for sashing. Love the modern look.

My jelly roll quilt top was the first thing I sewed with my new serger.  It was fun to just run strips of fabric quickly through the machine at varying widths, to get used to using the new serger – putting in the mileage on it.  A nice and easy way to get comfortable. You can read about how I started out with the serger and made up my large fabric piece I used for the quilt here – 1034d Licenced to Serge. Then I turned my jelly roll strips into a jelly roll quilt top.  I cut large squares on the diagonal and serged them together in opposing directions, with sashing strips in between, to get this result.  Truly the simplest way to make a quilt top and I was able to use almost the whole piece of serged … Continue reading

Sew a cover for the Brother 1034d serger

Pattern and instructions on how to sew your own serger cover for the popular Brother 1034d serger

I know several of you treated yourselves to the Brother 1034D serger (alternative UK link) at Christmas when it was on special on Amazon.  Me too!  (Remember the embarrassing video of me taking it out of the box and not knowing what anything was?) It comes with a plastic cover, but let’s face it, it can be described as ‘flimsy’ at best. Here in Cayman I live right on the sea and the air is always humid and salty.  Anything and everything in the house rusts and disintegrates in no time, and my serger is no exception.  It’s already going rusty, and I think my sewing machine is in bad shape too.  I’m not sure a cover will help, because the air all around it is what’s causing the rust, but I have to try to protect it better if I … Continue reading

Jelly roll quilt pattern – my serged quilt top

How to turn a simple jelly roll into an eyecatching quilt. Ideal for beginners, no complicated blocks or angles.

Time to work on a new quilt top.  I had used the Moda Avant Garden jelly roll as serger practice, learning the ropes and getting the hours in on my new serger.  Some strips I had sewn without cutting off, some with just a small amount cut and others with a larger cut. You can see the original article here about how I sewed all the strips together and what it looked like before cutting. This resulted in a random collection of strips of different widths, just sewn straight as they came off the roll.  I loved the way it looked on the back – very neat and tidy, all the edges beautifully finished.  It was great practice for logging some starter hours on the serger. So now I didn’t want to put all that good fabric to waste and … Continue reading

How to thread the Brother 1034d serger

I get it at last! This step by step shows it all nice and slow and easy. How to thread the popular Brother 1034d serger.

I know several of you also got the Brother 1034D serger for Christmas, or maybe another model.  No doubt you’ve all made more headway with it than I have, and are already threading experts. Just in case there is anyone still not quite sure or confident, here is my step by step video on how to thread the Brother 1034D serger. If you’ve also lost the manual or bought a used serger without the manual, this might also be useful.  Although I’m not very experienced in serging, I have watched the Beginner Serging Class from Amy on Craftsy and the principles of threading seem pretty much the same regardless of model.  Well, unless you have one of these super-duper self-threading sergers like this awesome serger package from Juki.  Now wouldn’t that be nice! It has some close up shots and … Continue reading

The Best Free Messenger Bag Patterns

Messenger bags are everywhere these days.  Grown ups, kids, men, and even dolls have a messenger bag.  Large or small, inconspicuous or bright, plain and simple or full of pockets, catches and accessories – the messenger bag allows you to carry exactly what you need everywhere. For the office, school, work, as a lunch bag, on your bike – this really is a versatile style of bag and I’ve put together a round up of some of the best, easiest, most thorough, biggest, smallest and nicest all round messenger bags for you to sew.  And of course they are all free patterns for you to sew. There are so many great inspiring ideas here, you could even mix and match your favorite features and make up a totally unique messenger bag all of your very own with just the pockets, … Continue reading

Easy way to change the colors on your Brother 1034d serger

How to change out the colors on a Brother 1034D serger without rethreading it from scratch. Would work for any serger too.

So you have a new serger and if you are lucky, like mine, it came pre-threaded and tested and ready to use. You are keen to give it a whirl, get practicing with your sergering, but again, like me, you might be nervous about taking out those threads just in case you can’t rethread it again and then you are stuck. Or maybe you just want a quick and easy way to rethread and know that it’s going to work just fine without starting again from scratch. So let’s cheat and rethread our serger the lazy way! We can simply pull through some new threads without taking out the old ones, and then we’ll KNOW that it’s still threaded correctly and can just sew away.      Step by step easy color change for the Brother 1034d serger Snip your … Continue reading

1034D – Licenced to Serge

Not sure where to start? Feeling the fear? Check out these tips to get started with your new serger.

You must be wondering what happened to my serger I got for Christmas? Well, I’m embarrassed but I just never found the time! I enrolled in the Beginner Serging Class on Craftsy and then never found the time to watch it, and was afraid to make a start without knowing what I was doing. So while hubby was out an an event, I sat down with a big cup of coffee, my manual and my class and tried to put my fear aside. The lovely instructor in the class, Amy, is SUCH a sweetie and she gave me confidence that nothing terrible was going to happen if I just turned it on and pressed the pedal. She was right of course – it just worked. In fact it was absolutely fascinating to watch it work and then I just couldn’t … Continue reading

Opening my new Christmas Present

  Merry Christmas everyone.  Just a quick hello from me today because I’ll be far too busy trying to save my reputation and not become a laughing stock across the internet. Yup, here I am on Christmas morning opening the box on my new serger.  Honestly, it’s painful to watch.  I am such a dunce and have no idea what to expect.  Still, who cares.  It’s real life and unscripted as they say.  If you want a giggle, watch me make a complete idiot of myself on camera when I try to show you around my new serger and bits of it fall off and it becomes completely apparent that I have no idea what I’m talking about. We all have to start somewhere! I look very happy until I undo the box and then I look utterly bewildered by … Continue reading