learning to serge, day 1

Holy crap, this machine is terrifying.


I’m really glad that it came pre-threaded. First I tested it out on some scraps. Then I decided to try seaming together the neckband I had previously cut out for a t-shirt…

…and promptly made my first bird’s nest. d’oh.

I guess I need to re-cut that neckband, since I accidentally hacked off a good piece of it.

Figuring out how to remove said bird’s nest was an adventure, but at least I noticed it before my machine ground to a halt. I assume this is sorta like a normal sewing machine: when something goes wrong, stop and fix it.

Anyway. Bird’s nest removed, I decided it was time to rethread. Because obviously a good share of problems come from threading issues, right…? Plus I had to learn this eventually.


Thank god for Youtube, because threading the lower looper was driving me crazy! I didn’t realize that the lever up there (with the two sideways arrows) actually slid outwards until I watched a video. Naturally, the manual doesn’t mention it. I guess I need to get better at reading symbols.

Some thoughts so far:

  • holy crap, this machine goes so fast and is so loud and it’s scary
  • I definitely am going to be threading it powered off. I feel so clumsy trying to figure out where to put all the threads, and I could easily envision cutting myself on that knife
  • wow, I actually needed tweezers
  • wow, I’m glad I bought a few cones of serger thread, this thing consumes a lot of thread
  • I love my label maker with all my heart – there are some good diagrams on this machine but I need words, dammit
  • there’s a lot of new stuff to learn, but it feels tractable
  • I’m so excited to get better at using this, because omg can you imagine how fast I’ll be able to make t-shirts?

Things I still have to figure out/practice:

  • how to thread successfully with the presser foot still attached (lol): so far I’ve been able to do this correctly but only if I take the presser foot off first
  • practice practice practice sewing in a straight line / with a consistent seam allowance
  • when do I need to use a regular sewing machine for construction vs this one?

Catalyst Odyssey + Renfrew

Here’s a shirt I finished last week. I’d been intrigued by this print from Art Gallery Fabrics for a while, and then I noticed it slowly vanishing from stores…and I had already exceeded my fabric budget for the month, but I wanted it…and what if I couldn’t get my hands on this print again?

So. I snagged a 1.5 yd remnant. Luckily, I managed to get an entire long-sleeve shirt out of that!


As you can see, the shirt is somewhat translucent under direct, bright light. Whoops. I’ll probably be wearing a tank top under this most of the time.

This is the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern in View A, with some modifications. I graded between a size 12 for the body, size 10 at the neck, and size 14 at the sleeves. I took out about ~2″ from the sleeves and should have taken some length out from the torso as well – probably about 1-1.5″. At some point I should take the waistband out and shorten it; it’s so long that it’s almost a tunic on me.


I’m proud of how nicely my neckband turned out this time. I’m getting more accustomed to sewing with knits.

I’ve made the Renfrew top four times, and it’s in heavy rotation in my wardrobe. I have two short-sleeve versions and two long-sleeved versions.

My march towards a ridiculous animal-print wardrobe continues! ✨

sewing queue: holidays 2018

It’s the holidays, I don’t have to work, and I have plenty of time for sewing! Here’s what I’m excited to work on next:

Learn to use my serger (and sew an Ebony tee).

I bought myself a serger for my birthday! I have it out of the box and sitting on my table, I just need to…sit down and learn how to use the darn thing. This is both intimidating and exciting. The activation energy for this one is high, you know?

I have fabric for an Ebony T-Shirt cut out and waiting for me. I attempted to do an FBA, but of course I’ve never made this pattern before so who knows if it will fit! I figured that since the style is very forgiving (oversized, drapey) it’s a decent place to start practicing with my serger. I’m using some Kaufman Laguna jersey that I got for $3/yd, so I’m not particularly attached to it.


Make a muslin for my princess-seamed dress

I traced a pattern; now it’s time to make a muslin. I have some beautiful deep wine-colored ponte knit from Stylemaker Fabrics that I’ve been waiting to sew up. I’ve never worked with a Big 4 pattern before (only indies!) so this is new to me. I don’t know if the size I picked will work out. TIME TO TEST.


Cut fabric for a Burda batwing top

I’m also preparing to sew a Burda pattern for the first time: 108-01-2014. Phew, that tracing was a nightmare…and in the end it was only a few rectangle-ish shapes. I deliberately picked a simple Burda pattern because I’ve heard horrible things about how difficult they are. The schematic assembly/tracing was definitely more intimidating than the pattern itself.


I have some cheap Black Friday fabric that I’m going to use to muslin this one. It could be pretty, it could look silly, who knows!

So that’s what I’ve got queued up. Hmm. I also have a lot more fabric in my “up next” pile, but this is the “realistic” version of my queue.

What’s on your cutting table?

Hello, world

Hi, I’m Bonnie. Elsewhere on the internet, you can find me as @trikanto on Instagram and Ravelry.

I wanted a place to keep track of my various crafty projects. I can’t promise to post regularly, or at all! But I’m hoping to get into the habit.

I started knitting sometime around 2015, and I learned to sew in 2018. Since then I’ve been having a great time with both hobbies. I’m slowly inching towards a me-made wardrobe. How else will I get a closet full of ridiculous colors and prints?


Cardigan: hand knit by me; Timber pattern in Hudson Valley Moodna yarn. Octopus tee: Renfrew pattern from Sewaholic, in a Birch Organics knit fabric I purchased at Brooklyn General. Skirt: Hollyburn pattern with fabric from Mood. Shirt with patch pocket: RTW.

Let’s get this show on the road.