Thursday, May 28, 2009

Which topstitching should I use?

I am finally getting down to sewing my tan linen Burda jacket. First I am making topstitching samples for which I bought a Schmetz double holed needle to use for topstitching. There are two holes one above the other. Unfortunately, my Viking doesn't seem to be able to pick up the upper thread. I made sure that the needle was seated properly, but no luck. So, I pulled out some 80/12 topstitching needles which I can double thread, but I am not sure that I like the results. I decided to use an off white Gutterman thread for contrast. I am not in love wtih the topstitching my Viking Platinum 750 does. It is not perfectly straight, so I don't know if I want to use the doubled thread, which just seems to accentuate the issue. Take a look and give me your opinions please.

I asked (reminded) my dd, Alex, to visit the fabric market in Seoul before she comes home to buy fabric for me. I figure I have to give her plenty of time; she comes home in September, this is her reply.

Dear Mom,
You make me want to cry. You know how overwhelming I find stuff like that. Tell me what you want and I'll buy it. I know nothing NOTHING about fabrics.
p.s. how much money do you want me to spend on all of this?
p.p.s. start thinking about what you want from china though i refuse to go fabric shopping in china, especially if i'm traveling without everett (ie no one to carry my bag). here at least i can bring Everett and have him help me carry stuff.
p.p.p.s. i think you are slightly evil. OBVIOUSLY THE BEST SOLUTION IS YOU START USING YOUR CHANGE JAR/WEIGHT WATCHERS MONEY WHEN YOU GET TO GOAL/SPARE 5 BUCKS TO SAVE UP AND VISIT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
...i will go shopping for you. but plan on hearing me whinge about it. WHINGE i tell you.
p.p.p.p.s. i really miss you guys. like, not homesick ilke i Want to go home, i just miss you guys a lot. i'd like to see you. i can't wait until september.

I reminded her what a great mom she thinks I am and all the things I've done for her over the years. A little guilt can't hurt.
Here's a picture of Alex walking on the street in AnYang. I do love this one.


  1. Aww, I love this email from your daughter! It's exactly what my daughter would write to me. Love the photo of beautiful Alex.

    And I am no help whatsoever on the topstitching.

  2. Are you sure that email is not from MY daughter? That is just like something she would write! For the topstitching, sometimes you'll get a straighter result with a straight stitch plate with a smaller hole for the needle. At least I do with my Pfaff. Good luck!

  3. Your DD is gorgeous. Using the "guilt trip" method works most of the time. I always tried not to use it often. My mom uses it still today and she's 85!
    I like the 3rd and 4th rows of topstitching.
    The buttons are beautiful.
    Your house is wonderful. I know you will love it once it's finished and the dust is gone!

  4. So how much fabic do you want, yards or bolts? Maybe instead of spluging on the visit to go shopping,send dd the money to buy a really large, lightweight suitcase, and ask her to fill it with your specified desires- Cottons, silks, wools, of various weights and colors - whattever. Be generous, you should offer to pay for the overweight charges that dd will incur trying to bring that suitcase home. I'm sure they have airport carts to help with the shlepping.

    Just trying to be helpful


    PS-My opinion for the top stitching, Question is , how close the top stitiches are to each other, and whether you want them to draw attention. I mena, is this jacket like a man's suit with chalk Stripes or pin stripes. chalk stripes are very pronounced, and you can't miss them (bottom arrow) Pin stripes are finer and jut break the monotony of the palin material color (thinner than top arrow). Really depends on the "look" you want. and what you want to wear this jacket with.

  5. I vote for 3rd from the left. Initially I liked the 4th from the left but I agree with you about it accentuating the not-quite-straightness. I wouldn't have noticed it before you said something, but you'll probably notice it every time you pass by the jacket in your closet if it bugs you now. I agree with your daughter about heading out to visit her, what better two birds to kill with one stone than visiting your daughter AND fabric shopping!

  6. I shall now give my aesthetically based opinion on your topstiching choices...... I would go with either the 4.0 single (1st on left) or 3.0 dbl (3rd)simply because they look better..... the 3.0 dbl seems to look straighter but the single 4.0 may be a bit tighter..... hope that is less than completely useless feedback :)

    I love alex emails..... she is a wee bit nutty. i can't believe you got her to agree to fabric shopping of any kind! Oh, and i agree with her royal shortness... time for the culinary unit to visit Asia!

  7. My vogte is #3. I get the best topstitching from an old machine that has a very narrow feed-dog.

  8. I like the double thread 4.0. Does your machine do the triple stitch? I lilke that for topstitching.

  9. I like the double thread at 3.00. I find that the straight stitch plate helps a lot.

  10. I do have the triple stitch, but I have trouble controlling it with the forward and back motion.

  11. I like #4 the best. Your daughters letter was beyond adorable. I started my own blog come take a look.

  12. I vote for the double 3.0 - the stitches look more distinctive yet substative. I don't like the single stitch ones and the stitching on the 4.0 is less distinctive.

    Personally I agree with your daughter you should go visit her and shop in the fabric district with her.

  13. I agree that it's the winner is the double 3.0

  14. I think your top-stitching looks great - and it doesn't look crooked at all...the twist and therefore torque (for lack of another word), of the thread causes it to lay a little cattywampus (that's a technical word BTW), so that is isn't perfectly straight is sort of the nature of the beast. It may look like it's not straight, but each stitch is consistent which is more important to me than whether they are exactly as straight as a ruler.

    Just my little 2 cents!

  15. Ok, you've already got advice and decided, but I would have chosen no. 3 too.

    Great picture from Alex, it looks a bit like Christmas time behind her with all those lights.
    And that e-mail made me smile, you must have a pretty good relationship that she writes like this to you!

  16. I like the 3.5 best, and I've never had good results with using a double needle for topstitching; they seem to really work best for pintucks. The key to topstithing for me is to use a topstitching needle, and I like to keep the thread length in the 3.5 or 4.0range and the tension a bit on the high side so the needle really pierces the fabric. I also like to use bobbin thread that is the same color as the fashion fabric to really show the stitches off. My Bernina has 8 needle positions, which makes it easy but on my industrial I use whatever foot will let me eyeball the width I need based on the width of the foot and its relation to the stitch plate.

  17. What a beautiful daughter you have! And, my daughter would probably send me a similar message, but she WOULD NOT go buy the fabric. She hates anything to do with it. Isn't that funny? These girls!