Project Decorative Serger Bag

By Barbara GoldKorn

Skill Level: Beginner  

Barbaras_Serger_Bag_p.jpg
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Learn and master a wide assortment of serger techniques while creating this beautiful and unique bag out of Essex fabric. This bag incorporates thread rosettes, ruffles with a decorative rolled hem, belt loops, flatlocking and criss-cross strips. All of these serger techniques can be used for a variety of future serger projects.

Materials:

  • Main fabric--Essex linen/cotton blend
  • Coordinating fabric
  • Heavy decorative thread such as YLI Designer 6 or Pearl Crown Rayon
  • Regular serger thread to match fabric
  • Regular serger thread to coordinate with heavy decorative thread
  • Hot-fix crystals
  • L'ora Decorative Touch Wand
  • KK2000 spray
  • Unique Stitch glu
  • Topstitch needles (size 90/14)
  • Regular serger needles (size 80/12)
  • Wonder Under
  • Rotary cutter with pinking or wavy blade
  • Double-eyed needle 1/8" ribbon

Tools:

  • Baby Lock Evolution
  • Ruffling Foot (BLE-RF)
  • Belt Loop Binder 3/4" (BLE8-S12)
  • Clear foot (BLE8-CLF)

Steps:

  1. Set serger for a narrow 3-thread stitch with heavy decorative thread in upper and lower loopers and regular serger thread in right hand needle.

  2. With this technique, you will not use any fabric to serge on, but just the thread. Try to serge at an even speed to create an even thread chain.

  3. Hold the threads to the left side of t he serger as it chains off. Put some tension on the thread by pulling lightly.

  4. Serge off at least 2-3 yards of th read chain. You can also serge some extra to keep on hand for another project. Set aside.

  5. Cut fabric strip for ruffle approx. 2-2/14" wide by the width of the fabric.

  6. You will probably need to cut and join two strips to gether, depending on the project size. The ruffle will be at tached once one side seam is serged together.

    1. Cut some extra strips of fabric for testing in order to make serger adjustments. It is easier to do the ro lled hem first befor e gathering the top edge of the fabric.

  7. Thread serger with heavy decorative thread in upper looper and regular thread in right hand n eedle and lower looper.

  8. Set serger for a 3-thread rolled hem. Serge the lo wer edge of the fabric strip, trimming off a small amount.

  9. Attach the Ruffling Foot to serger.

  10. Thread and set serger for a 4-thread overlock.

  11. Adjust both stitch length and differential feed to highest numbers. These settings may have to be adjusted for different fabrics.

    1. Test first. Always use a 4-thread stitch for gathering as it makes it easier to securely gather the edge. Some fabrics gather more than others.

  12. If your fabric is not gathered enough, pull up on the two needle threads only and gather. Set aside.

  13. The Ruffling Foot can also be used to gather a ruffle and attach to a flat fabric all in one step.

  14. f the belt loops are going to be applied to the project along a straight edge, then it is not necessary to cut fabric strips on the bias. However, if they will be used to create curves or

  15. The belt loops will be created first and then applied to the fabric. Be sure to cut the fabric strips the corre ct width (7/8"), according to the instructions; otherwise the strips will

  16. The Belt Loop Binder is an attachment that is screwed onto the front knife cover that is always used for cover stitch techniques. Attach it using two white screws and adjust so that fabric

    1. See instructions that accompany the Belt Loop Binder for serger set up

  17. You will use either a triple cover stitch or a wide cover stitch.

  18. Always cut extra fabric strips so that you have enough to use for testing.

  19. Make sure that the strips are long enough to fit around the top edge of the project.

  20. The strips that are cut on the bias will be used to create a "swirly" shape. Set aside.

  21. Fuse Wonder Under to back of fabric. You do not need a lot of fabric for this technique.

  22. Using rotary cutter, cut strips not more than 1/4" wide. Size of strips can vary as well. It is not necessary to use a ruler when cutting these strips--if they are not completely straigh

  23. Remove paper backing from back of fabric and fuse strips in a pleasing manner to main fabric. Do not cover y our main fabric with too many strips as the strips are to be an accent.

  24. With the wrong side of fabric facing up, serge a few rows of chain stitching diagonally across the fabric.

  25. You may choose to serge all the rows of stitching using just the chain stitch; however, by combining a narrow cover stitch with the chain stitching it will add some interest to the fabric

  26. Apply a small amount of the Uni que Stitch glue to the area where the rosettes will be positioned.

  27. Take the thread chain that you creat ed earlier and coil into a very small loop to start. Place directly on the glue on the fabric and continue looping it around itself to create the roset

  28. Make and apply as many rosettes as desired.

  29. Apply a hot-fix crystal to the center of each rosette.

  30. Thread heavy decorative thread in lower looper and regular thread in left hand needle.

  31. Set the serger for a wide 2-thread flatlock stitch. Pay close attention to threading reference chart.

  32. Serge a wide 2-thread flatlock stitch onto the lower edge of the project with the "loopy" side of the stitch showing on the ri ght side of fabric. You may choose to do additional rows if

  33. Above the previous stitching, mark three rows evenly spaced approx. 1" apart and 1" up from lower edge of the fabric

  34. Sew on the first row with right sides of fabric together to create the ladder of the 2-thread flatlock stitch.

  35. Optional : For a more decorative ladder stitch, thread a heavy decorative thread in the needle (size 90/14) and r egular thread in the lower looper. Set the stitch l

  36. Sew second row wit h wrong sides together.

  37. Sew third row with wrong sides together.

  38. When the serging is completed, lightly pull on each row of stitching to flatten. Press lightly.

  39. On the top row, thread narrow ribbon in a double-eyed needle and weave it through alternating "ladders".

  40. Mark a line approx. 4" from top edge of fabric. To determine if the position of the fourth row of fl atlocking is ok, position the ruffle at top edge of project and check to make sure they

  41. Serge this row with wrong sides t ogether and pull the stitching flat.

  42. Attach the belt loop strips to the center section bet ween the third and fourth row of flatlocking in a curve pattern. You may want to mark the shape with a disappearing pen first.

  43. Note: The curve pattern will not work well with fabric cut on the straight of grain; make sure your belt loop stri ps were created with bias strips.

  44. Place belt loops on these lines a nd pin or lightly glue in place with KK 2000 spray adhesive.

  45. The belt loops can be serged in place using a chain stitch or attach them by sewing them on a sewing machine.

  46. Position and create two more thread rosettes, applying a crystal in the centers.

  47. Serge one side seam of the two fabric pieces together using a 4-thread overlock. Press seam to the side.

  48. Serge along top edge to clean finish.

  49. Place ruffle along top edge of fabric adjusting gathers to fit. Pin in place.

  50. Serge the ruffle to top edge of f abric using the 4-thread overlock.

  51. Note : You can also serge the ruffle to a raw edge instead of finishing the top edge first.

  52. Place a belt loop strip (serged on the straight of gr ain) on top of the ruffle along the top edge. Serge it in place usi ng a chain stitch or use a straight stitch on sewing machine.

  53. Create a loop at one side and sew or glue in place.

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