Wednesday, December 29, 2010

GreenStitch Episode 18 - Fleece and sergers

Haven't heard this episode yet? Link up right here.

Won't some sweet little baby be warm and snug heading home from the hospital in this fuzzy wrap?Above, you can see the little hood looks before finishing. You just stitch straight across (conventional machine!) about four inches down from the top, and cut fringe down to that stitching line. Cinch a little ribbon around it to bunch up the fringe, and you're done.

You can also see in these photos in how the serger makes quick work of the finishing. The pattern (get it here or here) also suggests finishing with a colorful binding, which would be really cute. In this case, I wanted to get them done and donated quickly!

Here's the stuff about the hat I was trying to describe. First, cut a 12-inch-wide strip as long as the circumference of the head you're trying to fit -- make sure the stretch goes WITH the circumference. For a newborn, make the strip between 12 and 14 inches long. Scale up the length and the depth for larger sizes.

Above, you can see, along with my charming and non-manicured thumb, how I've serged the ends together and pinned the tube so the seam is in the middle back.

Now just poke the side seams inward to form little pleats. No special measurements necessary. Stitch across the top to hold the pleated seam in place.

Turn a very deep hem to the inside of the hat and machine-stitch in place, using your conventional machine (i.e., not the serger.)

Here's how those cute little pleats look from the top.

The lighting, obviously, was bad when I took this shot, but here are some of the little hats in a row.

And, I went a tad overboard on shooting photos of the catnip mice, but gee, they turned out cute! My cats just love theirs, which are similar to these. I'm keeping these particular models up on the shelf, as I might put them on the much-neglected Etsy shop later.

I must tell you about the whiskers. When I made the set for my cats, it was Christmas Eve and I was scouting around for black embroidery thread or something similar so the mice could have whiskers. Of course I was out...but right on the kitchen counter was one of those plastic net sleeves they put around wine bottles. Imagine something like that sitting around my kitchen! :-) A few snips - instant whiskers!

As always, thanks very much for listening! Please leave a comment or e-mail me if you have suggestions - I always love hearing from listeners.


  1. Very cute mice! I'm going to try these- they look fun and easy. Thanks for the podcasts! Love the fleece onsies, too.

  2. I just found your podcast, and have been enjoying catching up. There are some good serger books available, some oldies but goodies are Creative Serging and Sewing With Sergers by Pati Palmer, Gail Brown, and Sue Green, both still available. I got them for research before my serger came along.

    Fleece is great - and great without sergers too. My best fleece scrap project was a blanket for my son--was gifted a large box of narrow strips of solid grey. After cutting out three pairs of fleece socks from the largest pieces, made log-cabin type blocks using small scraps of bright fleece to make a pattern, stitched with straight triple stitch. It has held up many years--teen and beyond with a boy who loves to wrap himself in a blanket.

    Thanks for the great podcast. Sally

  3. Sue and Sally, thanks for the comments! Sally, loving the thought of your grown boy still liking to relax with the creative project his thoughtful mom did so many years ago - great memories!

  4. Forgot to mention the changing thread thing--recently when I changed thread color on serger had a horrible time re-threading, because I forgot to set all the tension dials to 0 while stitching the new color through. Now that I am loosing my close-up vision it was really hard to see, and I even looked at the fancy new sergers with vacuum threading...then came to my senses, as the old trusty serger still works great.


  5. Eek! The hats and the mice!!! Actually it's all SOO cute!
    Thanks for your super sweet comment on my gpa's Razorback blanket. Our bowl game is tonight (Sugar Bowl) so I'm going to have to call and see if he's watching!

  6. Really gret podcast as usual Anne! It was interesting to listen to your views on cheap overlockers/sergers. I've quite fancied one but the only ones in my price bracket at all at the mo are cheapy ones and I know I'm not going to get the results I want with that and it'll just put me off. In the meantime I'll just wait for a lottry win lol!

    Love the little mice - how cute! If you have any ideas for safe dog toys I'd be interested!

  7. You can use even tiny scraps of fleece when you APPLIQUE it to another piece of fleece or some other fabric. Fleece appliques really nicely - lizards, flowers, cats, whatever you can find as an available simple image or Dover copyright free. Of course, I don''t sew professionally so if I borrow somebody's lizard to applique to a fleece cushion cover, I don't worry about it. If I sold things, I'd use the Dover or a free ok-to-use-for-sale download only!

    I was very influenced by the recent Threads article (not this month maybe 2 months ago?) that showed the impact of the garment industry's dyes and leftover remnents and fabric junk on 3'rd world countries. More inspired than ever to wear things out, use them as rags, not to throw out scraps. Some horrible figure about the waste of women's clothing versus men. Was it 10 times as many? Yes, I wish I knew what month that was and if I already dropped that magazine off at Kaiser!

    I can't find that article easily on line, but here is a url for an article that talks about some of the problems.

    I save even thin leftover strips of fabric YES FLEECE WORKS GREAT TOO, or that cheap SILKY STUFF, COTTON, WHATEVER YOU have leftover, as hair ties, bookmark and package tie ups in the kitchen drawer, bows and streamers for packages made of some other recycled bits - can look pretty cool - and you can add some little bits and pieces like those cheap kids beads that turn up in odd corners, tiny throw-out toys, pinecones, buttons, other toss-it stuff, to the ends of the strips (glue it on or tie it on - whatever works)