Cover Stitch Hemming my Stargate T-Shirt

I bought this Stargate T-Shirt online more than a year ago. Even though it took forever to arrive in the mail and cost more than I usually spend for a T-shirt, I was pleased to get it.


Unfortunately it was too long and had been languishing in my closet waiting for me to fix it. I finally got on the job because I wanted to wear it to work.

I mark the new length and lay it out to cut.
I fold the shirt along the length to make sure my cut will be symmetrical.
I mark the cut about an inch and a quarter past the marking pins to leave as a hem
After marking the 1 and 1/4 inch hem all around I’m ready to press it.
With the hem cut and marked I ‘m ready to put in my cover stitch hem using my trusty Morita.
I have marked a few reference lines on masking tape to the right of my presser foot. These come in handy when I am trying to maintain a consistent distance from the seam to the edge of the fabric.
The cover stitch has to be sewn on the right side which must catch the raw edge on the underside. It takes a little practice, but if your hem is cut to the same width all around it’s not too hard to maintain a stitch that catches the edge perfectly. This is where the reference lines on the machine plate come in handy. Also, you can usually feel the raw edge through the material and guide your seam right over it.
Here are some views of the front and back of the resulting seam. The shirt is ready to wear again with a strong elastic hem that should last as long as the T-shirt!

One thing I should mention is that there is no way to finish off the cover stitch hem by backing up the stitch at the end. I usually just overlap the stitching a good two or three inches and carefully cut away the ends without pulling on them. This seems to work well, with not much more unraveling, even after multiple washings. I suppose if one was very meticulous (not me :-) ), you could leave long ends and sort of weave them in as in knitting jobs.
Finally after a long wait I’m set to wear my Stargate Tee!

More Cushion Work

Here I am sizing the pieces of fabric that will become my side panels. With seam allowances they should be about 6 x 19 inches, though I left a few extra inches of length for wiggle room.
Since my pattern is kind of lopsided I fold it down the middle and use the side with the most pleasing curve. This way I get a nice symmetrical rounded shape at the top of my side panel.
Now its on to the zipper panel. I need a 7 x 39 inch strip of fabric. On the width this leaves two half inch seam allowances for the side seams and another two half inch seam allowances for the zipper. For the length I added a couple of inches for seam allowances on each side.
The fabric is folded over along the length to get it all on the cutting mat. The last cut opens the piece down the middle for the zipper opening.
Here I’ve laid out all the cut cushion pieces.
Next I get out my zipper roll. My Dad was an upholsterer and left me various odds and ends of upholstering supplies. I’ve had this for years and years and now I finally have the chance to use it. I would have preferred white, but since the zipper will not be noticeable at all, I can live with this beige color. I try to figure out how to get the zipper head on to the zipper teeth.
I cut a length of zipper to the length of my zipper panel.
Before going any further with the zipper, I put an overlock stitch on all the long edges. I’m not putting any on the ends because I will probably have to cut some of this length away, as I left them longer than necessary.

Actually, this is good time to put an overlock finish on all of the pieces.
Next I measure and press the half inch folds for the zipper.
I butt the folded edges together and run a seam across the top to hold the pieces together.
Then I center the zipper over the folded edges and attach it to the top. I’m careful to made sure that I’m seeing the underside of the zipper. The side with the zipper head should be facing down against the folded fabric.
Turning things around I make sure that the zipper looks centered on the folded edges.
I pin the edges of the fabric to the zipper making sure that each side lies flat over the center of the zipper. I start to sew leaving enough room along the side of the zipper so the zipper head can move freely up and down.
One side down, one more to go.
Et voila!

Covering the Cushions

This is one of my cushions. I’m going to leave the original covers and just make a duplicate to go on top of it.
Here you can see that it is made up of four parts. The main piece which covers the seat is in one length that goes from front to back. Plus there are two side panels and one zipper panel which goes at the back of the cushion.

It’s a fairly simple construction and no cording to deal with. :-)
I need to get all the basic dimensions of the pieces….
….and jot them down.
I’m ready to lay out my fabric and cut the pieces. My fabric is 57 inches wide, more than enough for the length of the biggest piece. For straight pieces like these there is nothing easier than using a rotary cutter and self-healing mat.

The fabric is folded in half along the length so I can get the full width on the table.
Here I am cutting the main panel, which ended up at 48 x 30 inches. I rounded up the length measurement to 47 inches and added a half inch for each seam. Adding two half inch seam allowances for the width brought it to 30 inches.

I’ve folded the fabric over again so I can get it all on the cutting mat. The cut along the raw edge of the fabric is not very straight so I measure out more than 30 inches so I can straighten this edge later. I line up all the fabric edges carefully along the horizontal lines of my mat so when I place my lip edged ruler as a guide I know it will mark a perfect 90 degree cut.
I make the cut on the other side that gives me 30 inches and cuts off the crooked edge.

Now I realize that it probably would have made more sense to start with this cut first and then measure out the 30 inches from here, but I was going with the flow. Logic and efficiency didn’t occur to me until I was writing it up.
Now it is a matter of cutting the piece to the right length, which with seam allowances and a touch more is 48 inches.
I fold over the length to cut off the selvedge on one side and the excess material on the other.
Next I use a small piece of muslim fabric to make a pattern of the side panel rounded edge.
I place pins along the seam to mark to shape of the piece.
And then use a pen to mark the fabric.
I clean up the seam marking…
And make sure the width is correct.
Now I’ll just mark in the seam allowances and cut it out to use as a pattern for my side panels.

Hello world!

This is not my first blog, but it is the first one open to the public. I’ve enjoyed visiting other knitting and sewing blogs and thought some of my sewing projects might be interesting enough to put in a blog. So here I am jumping into the sewing blog community. I usually sew clothes for myself, but my project of the moment is slipcovering our old foldout sofa. I’ve never tried to do anything like this before but it seems to be coming along fine.

I started last year and have been working on it in fits and starts. A month or so ago I decided to finish it once and for all. It’s mostly done, just needs the cushions. I will try to include some of what I did to to get to this point. For now it’s on to the covering the seat cushions.