Thursday, December 17, 2009
This is one of the Amazing Fit patterns from Simplicity. I like the concept offered by these patterns. Back to my version.... Even though you can't really tell in this picture, the skirt is huge on me. When I started to trace this pattern, I realized that I had purchased the wrong size. The largest size that I had was a 14. So, I added width to the pattern at the sides. This was mistake #1. During the fitting process, I removed almost all of the added width. I carefully chalked the new seamlines and proceeded to stitch them up. I did try the skirt on again with the seams stitched and the yoke on. I DID note that it was a little bit loose. This was mistake #2 --- I didn't take it in. I finished the skirt and hemmed before deciding that it was toooooo big. Also, I made the skirt in the longer length. In looking at the photos, I think that is a mistake. It needs to be shorter.
Because I like this skirt, I have decided to take it apart and attempt to salvage it. Did I mention that there is a lot of topstitching, understitching, and an invisible zipper? Yes, all of the above with matching dark brown thread on dark brown corduroy. However, it only took about an hour to remove the topstitching, understitching, invisible zipper, yoke, and the hem. I want to tell you about a little trick I learned. When having to remove thread, if you will every 3rd or 4th thread, you can just pull the thread on the flip side. This makes really quick work of an stitch removal except the backstitches.
I am now ready to re-make this skirt. There are two firsts for me here. I can't remember anything turning out too big before (generally, too small is the result) and I can't remember ever taking a finished item apart to fix it. I like the fabric that I chose for this project. I'll let you know sometime in the next couple of weeks how this turns out.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Above is me playing with the 2-thread flatlock on my Huskylock. If you look close, you can see that I almost have a satin stitch. I was following the information provided in the Specialty Techniques book that I have for this machine. I have the machine set on the widest stitch width and the longest length. The needle tension is set at 0 and the lower loop tension was set at 5. I'm using a 14/90 needle with Signature Decorative Spun Polyester in size 30. You can see that I'm not quiet getting a blanket stitch effect.Here you can see that the flatlock now looks more like a blanket stitch. The only setting I changed was lower looper tension was changed to 7. Also, I was using a water soluble stabilizer to stitch on. This worked very well.
Here you can see the final result on the blanket. I was pleased with my first attempt at this technique. This would have looked much better if I had had a heavier decorative thread. Sorry, the pic is a little bit out of focus.
This is the very first time that I attempted using the 2 thread flatlock on my machine. I hope that it will not be the last time.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
In this picture, you can see all of the items that were made. From top to bottom - the mask, the shirt, the belt, the gloves, the pants, and the moccasins. The inspiration for this costume is the Gorshin version of the Riddler from Batman. He was from Pittsburgh. So, it seemed like an appropriate costume.
For the mask, I used a freebie pattern from http://www.scarletfig.com/ and modified it. Making it narrower to fit a child's face.
For the shirt and pants, I used the basic t-shirt and pant from Kwik Sew's Sewing with Children pattern book. My DS is tall and thin. So, to get a little bit closer fit, I made a size Medium in width and made the length to fit him. I also added a mock turtle neck to the top. This is the first time that I can remember painting on fabric. I needed to come up with a stencil as there are many "?" marks down the legs and on the sleeves. Using a font on the computer, I enlarged it until I had a sizes that I was happy with. Then, made many copies and cut them out. The large "?" on the chest is freehand. Yes, I used paper as stencils. I used a spray glue to attach each set to the pant and painted using a sponge brush. It worked.
For the gloves, I used a Vogue pattern (8608, view D). This was a very strange pattern. I did end up with a pair of gloves that were usable but thumb was weird. The was only one pattern piece for all sizes. The thumb seemed to big for glove.
For the belt, I drew a rectangle using measurements taken from my son. It was approximately 12 1/2" x 5". Then, I took a curve and made the little point at the center front. I used simple ties in the back.
The moccasins pattern was from the http://www.nativetech.org/ . This pattern had you draft for the person foot which I managed to do and they actually fit the little guy's foot. He did start his evening wearing the moccasins but return home for another pair of shoes.
In the end, all adults recognized that he was the Riddler but none of the other children seemed to know who the Riddler was. My son didn't care. He was very happy with his costume. It has now been adopted as PJs.
Hope someone finds some inspiration from this costume.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I didn't realize how rusty my sewing skills were until I attempted to use the coverstitch on the serger to hem the sleeves and pants. It must have taken me an hour to get the serger converted and then I never did get it to stitch correctly. The hems were done on my sewing machine with a twin needle -- looks fine! Happily, I haven't forgotten how to thread the serger. Everything seams to be working just fine with the 4 thread overlock.
Tomorrow's plans are to get the legs painted, complete the top, and hopefully stitch the gloves. That will leave Saturday to finish the pants and make the belt. Now, if I can follow this little plan the costume will be finished in plenty of time and maybe, I can move on to other projects.
What are my other projects? I'm making a curtain for the deck and some pillows for the deck and the front porch. When those are complete, I want to make some curtains for my sewing area and make coordinating covers for some crates. It's so hard to choose fabric. I also have on my list some new placemats. Then, it will be on to some pillows for my room. After all of that is done, maybe I will be up for trying something else for me. I have found someone locally who is will to help me with fitting some patterns. I just can't seem to get it right by myself and it's too frustrating.
I have also decided that I need to spend a little more time playing with my serger. I think I over bought when I purchased it. I thought I had to have everything and really, I would have done just as well with a 2/3/4 thread machine. That is what I used 99% of the time. I'm not sure that I have ever used the 5 thread and the coverstitch (not successfully). I have a room full of wonderful equipment and I hardly ever get to use it. The Behemoth is another machine that hardly gets used. I still like sewing on my old sewing machine.
I'll pop back in with costume pictures as soon as the costume is finished.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Ok, enough complaining. Guess, I will go back and pick out one of the lovely dresses. Then, I will need shoes and maybe some new jewelry. I suppose that I will save my sewing time for the Halloween costume I'm working on.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Below is the mask cutout of the lavender fabric with a heavy-weight fusible interfacing attached. You can also see where I modifying the mask making it narrower.
The mask all stitched together before turning. The elastic was the easy part. I did reduce the length by a couple of inches for both the lavender fabric and the elastic.
Next, I will be concentrating on the moccasins. Below is my little buddy. When I'm sewing or just in the office, he is generally happy to be nearby. Laying on the pillow I made him a couple of weeks ago.
Friday, September 11, 2009
You can find the review here: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=43346 . I found this little project in the Sew & Stow book by Betty Oppenheimer. You don't need to book to create the bags. I used the bags when I went to the store today. The larger one was great for celery but the smaller ones were not as useful but they work well in the frig which is where they are intended to be used. I was hoping to use them as replacements for small plastic bags.
Yesterday, the new Sew News arrived and I forgot about it. However, I found it today and looked through it. My subscription is up for renewal and I just don't know if I'm going to renew or not. I think I have one more issue or maybe this is the last one.
I have been on a buying spree the last few weeks. Today, the last purchase arrive from Pink Chalk Studios. I ordered fabric for holiday napkins. Although after I saw the fabric (Moda Figgy Puddy), I realize that I also need fabric for holiday placemats. I'll need to think about this as I have been buying a lot of fabric lately. I want to make these napkins without the embroidery: http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/elprojects/SimpleProduct_ELP.aspx?CS_ProductID=PR1522&CS_Category=&CS_Catalog=Elprojects .
Along with the fabric, I received Ottobre 05/2009. I have only glanced at it but I'm hoping that I will be able to make something from Ottobre that fits. Unfortunately, I have a ton of projects in front of anything that that my son thinks is more important like the Halloween costume....lol. That must be done! Hopefully, we'll get started this weekend.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
They told me that the patterns would be on sale this week. Just in case you are interested. I hope I can find time to work with these patterns soon.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I picked up my sewing machine and serger about a week ago also. I did miss both of these items tremendously. The serger had nothing serious wrong with it that a good cleaning and oil didn't fix. However, I did knock the timing off on the sewing machine. Not sure how I did it but I do know when it happened and recognized that something was wrong immediately. At least it could be fixed.
On the costume front, I have finally gathered all of the materials (I think) necessary to make the Riddler costume:
The black faux suede (in the middle) will become the moccasins. The purple fabric on the left will become the mask, the belt, and if I'm lucky, gloves. The green fabric on the right is for the pants and top. The paint is for all the questions marks that on the top and pants. I know, I need to get busy. I haven't figured out how I'm going to enlarge the question mark for the shirt yet. Any suggestions for a quick inexpensive way to accomplish this would be greatly appreciated.
Now for a peek at my "new" toy:The cute little carrying case which contains some of the items below:
Yep, I found a Featherweight 221K. I really wanted one when I was quilting a lot and going to classes but was never able to locate one. This one kind of landed in my lap and came with lots of goodies. Along with the machine and the original carrying case, I received a zigzagger with all of the extra disks, a sock darner (that didn't look like it had ever been used), a buttonholer with extra attachments, three books, many extra bobbins, an extra bobbin case, the original attachments, and a couple of additional attachments. Being the fiend that I am about machine attachments, I have already added a couple of additional attachments: a blind hemmer, a picot / hemmer attachments, and a blind stitch braider. As the attachments for these machines can be rather expensive, I will not be adding anything else to the mix. I have been playing with this machine and it runs very well. I have played with all of the attachments and most of them work very well. The only item I was a little bit disappointed in was the buttonholer and that is only because the some of the extra disks are duplicates. The buttonholes look beautiful. The future will see me taking a few more quilting/sewing classes, if I can find them.
Well, that's it for now. I need to finish up my existing sewing projects (wallet, and placemats) and then, get going on the Halloween costume. This may very well be the last costume that I make for my son. At 11, this may be the last year that is interested in dressing up and getting candy. He has always enjoyed going around the block, showing off his costume(s) to the neighbors, and coming home to hand out candy.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The garden has finally started producing a lot. There has been tomatoes (8 to 10 varieties), beans (3 varieties), broccoli, corn, cantaloupe, hot banana peppers (other varieties aren't ready to pick yet), tomatillos, and squash (yellow and zucchini). Seeing this list makes it sound like I have a huge garden but I don't. Today, we cleared out the lettuce bed, and the cantaloupe beds. All three beds have been replants with lettuce, broccoli, kohlrabi, and spinach. I have another bed that currently has broccoli, kohlrabi, and chard which is almost ready to clear and replant.
No sewing done today because I canned tomatoes and hot banana peppers. I also ran a little boy to his math class.
School starts next week so I should have a little more time to sew.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
This is one big bag. It would have been bigger but I cut the width of the fabric from 54" to 45". I also used one fabric verses using two. Now that I have seen how it goes together, I can see how using two separate fabrics to make the bag would make it a little more interesting. Since I followed the directions, this bag does not have any pockets. It is a reversible bag, too.
Today, I received bad news. The local machine dealer lost her contract with the machine company. I no longer have access to anyone to repair my machines. There are only company stores within 100 miles of me and they do not have repair services. Everything is sent away. The worst part is my favorite machine bent a needle while I was making the above bag and is now making a knocking noise. My serger is squeaking (I'm going to attempt to oil again). The "Behemoth" needs to have some stitches adjusted because they're not stitching properly. I could have taken the "Behemoth" and the serger in last week to be worked on but no I decided to wait till Monday. I'm really unhappy with the sewing machine company right now. Tomorrow, I will call and find out what I need to do about all of my machines.
Oh, I did forget to mention that I purchased a lot of fabric last week. All indoor/outdoor home dec type stuff. I purchased 9 yards of an outdoor fabric to make a curtain for one side of my deck, a beautiful panel to make a couple of pillows for outdoors, 12 yards of denim, and 5 yards of batiste. I'm going to have some sewing fun (I think). I'm guessing the outdoor fabric doesn't need to be washed before cutting. However, the denim and batiste will need to be washed. I still need to get just a little more outdoor fabric. I know, I bought way too much fabric but it was fun.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Sewing machine attachments are one of my weaknesses. I want them all. No, I don't have all the attachments available for my machine(s) but I do have several. This book is by Charlene Phillips. I hope it has some good information in it. I'll do a review on Pattern Review after I read through it.
I do sew Home Decor items from time to time and thought this might be an interesting book. I haven't looked at it yet and I'm hoping that it's not actually project based but technique based. Most techniques can move to projects other than home decor. I'll do a review on this book once I finish reading it.
I also received the order from Connecting Threads. So, this week I hope to work on my new place mats. The final package was a little box of buttons for the store.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Yesterday, I picked wax beans, broccoli, zucchini, and yellow squash. Above is the wax beans. Aren't they pretty? The colors of nature can not get any better. They were pale yellow and purple. It's too bad that roaming around in the garden causes me to break out in hives. I always forget my long sleeved shirt. Guess I should put one by the back door with my gardening basket.
Here's the shirt that I embroidered for my son. It turned out pretty good. This is the first time I have embroider RTW with my new machine. Ok, that machine is almost a year old and I've finally gotten the nerve to use the embroidery part of the machine. I have a long way to go but I think it turned out well. The best part is I have another request from my son for another shirt with a flaming dragon. I think the designs that I purchased from the Embroidery Library are going to get used. At least I didn't waste my money on them.
Oh, for anyone who wants to know. The design is about 9" long and about 3" wide. I used an iron on tear away stabilizer with a soft lightweight cut away stabilizer. Hopefully, there is enough stabilizer. Only time will tell. The design can be found at the Embroidery Library by searching for a flaming guitar. There are different sizes.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Isn't this a great design for a boy? It sure beats have a flaming skull. I don't really like the skulls on everything and so far he hasn't wanted the skulls on his clothes. I need to do just a little bit of research on placement. I already have the templates printed out. The design is from Embroidery Library.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Isn't this a cute napkin for Christmas? It doesn't have to have the machine embroidery on it. Hand embroidery could be done also. I know that there are lots of creative people out there who could whip these up very quickly. I'm going to attempt to make these for Christmas. I don't know if I'll take the time to put machine embroider on them or not. I need to start looking for the fabric. Here's the link to the project: http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/elprojects/SimpleProduct_ELP.aspx?CS_ProductID=PR1522&CS_Catalog=Elprojects .
Here's is the project that I'm ordering from Connecting Threads: I need to replace some of my place mats. The kit comes with the pattern and 6 yards of fabric. This maybe a good opportunity to embroider some leaves.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We are officially on vacation now. Just waiting to leave for the airport. I think this is the longest part of a trip - waiting to leave and then the trip home is long too.
As much as I've been complaining about it being cold this year, we are headed to AR where the morning temps have been our afternoon temps. I think when I return I will appreciate the wonderful weather in PA when I return.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I still need a little more width across the front. So, I have altered my pattern one more time adding 1" which will result in an additional 2" of ease. I also made a slight modification to the armhole. We'll see how the next muslin goes. I dug through the stash and found another cotton fabric that will make a good muslin. It's a mini gingham. Hopefully, it will turn out ok. I will admit at this point I'm starting to get discouraged.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
It's not too bad but where are the gathers that are suppose to be in the front. I double-checked the pattern and I did cut the right size. You can't tell in this picture but I desperately needed a FBA as the top is about 1" shorter in the front than the back. I moved the dart to the neckline so that some gathering would be there. I also altered the pattern for my sloping shoulders and moved the neckline in, the front V moved up an 1", the back moved up 1 1/2". Hopefully, I didn't make so many alterations that I can't tell which changes worked best. Tonight, I cut out muslin #2. Unfortunately, I didn't have any additional solid colored fabric available but the floral would be nice even if it's turns gardening top. Hopefully, it will be sewn up tomorrow as I'm very quickly running out time to get my dress made for vacation.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The skirt pattern is View A of the Skirt Trio by Loes Hinse Design. The design is suppose to have pleats and I changed it to gathers. Fabric is a peach linen/rayon. First, this pattern is super easy. Looking for a quick, easy skirt? This is a good choice. The skirt did turn out longer than I thought that it would. Next time, it will be shorter either via shortening the skirt or shortening the yoke. The scarf was fairly easy. I made the lace and it determined the width of the scarf. Finish on the scarf is just a simple hem with the lace attached via a zigzag. I abandoned the embroidery that I had intended for the skirt (more on this below). Anyone know of a good white knit that I can make a top with?
This is the inspiration for the skirt and scarf. I think I did fairly well. I ended up with a color that looks better on me than the original.
Here is the embroidery design that I had wanted to put on my skirt. I was never able to get this design to stitch just right. There were always loopies in the same spot no matter what I did. Finally, my patience disappeared. I must have tested this design about 15 times before giving up. However, it wasn't a total loss. I'm much more comfortable with my machine than previously. Also, I learned how to use the endless embroidery hoop and I played with software.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Today, I plan on cutting out my skirt (Loes Hinse Designs Skirt Trio) and with any luck the embroidery will be started. I need to do a couple of test stitches with the thread that I have as I'm looking for a matching thread. This will take several days to complete. As the embroidery is being stitched, I plan on working on another dress. It will be the Socialite dress by Anna Marie.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
So, back to the lace. All ten motifs have been stitched. Five of the motifs have been trimmed and the wash away stablizer removed. These are ready to be stitched together. Now, I need to make a decision on the width of the scarf - ~12" wide or ~15" wide. The fabric is a linen/rayon blend. Any ideas or does it really matter what the length is? I'm sure that when I'm finished with the scarf that I will be very tired of making narrow hems.
Ok, off to finish with my day. Lots to do - daily Post Office run (all orders have already been packaged), a manicure, then go pick up a friend for my son to hang out with, and hopefully, if all goes well, I will be cutting out my skirt and scarf this afternoon. I do still need to play with the embroidery for the skirt. Seems like it's going to be a busy day.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I think the rocker turned out nice. I love my pillow and cushion. I can't remember making a cushion before and there is a new technique for me - mock box cushion. Here's the information one variation on how to make the pleat for the cushion - http://sewingdaily.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-to-make-pleat-for-mock-box-pillow.html . You can find information on making your own bias binding here: http://sewingdaily.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-make-bias-binding-for.html .
Friday, June 12, 2009
My next project will be a peach colored skirt with embroidery around the bottom and a match scarf with lace on the edges. The sewing patterns will be super easy. The new techniques will involve the embroidery. Hope it all turns out well.
As usually, I'm getting ahead of myself with planning projects. The next project will be the Socialite dress by Anna Marie. I will be making the ties that go with the dress. Here's the linen/rayon fabric that I have purchased to make this dress:
Ok, I'm off to look for patterns.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I finally received my order from Fashion Fabrics (ordered 05/19/2009). You can't say that they are very quick to ship. The fabric is a 55% rayon / 45% linen blend. I had to look it up to see what it was. Although it was suppose to be a peach color, it looks very much like a very pale pink. I'm not so sure that it will look good color for me but I have the fabric and might as well make up the skirt and scarf. If nothing else, it will make an expensive muslin. That's part of the problem of purchasing via the internet. Oh, how I wish that there was a nice fabric store somewhere nearby. The closest fabric store is JoAnns and they have cut the fabric inventory by about 1/2. The store looks like it's closing......
I'm a little out of sorts today. I may have gotten 2 hours of sleep last night. Don't you just hate it when you can't sleep?
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Step 1. Start with corner and the right side up. You will need to calculate the depth of the corner. This 1/2 of the depth of the cushion + 1/2" seam allowance.
Step 2. Bring the two cut edges together and press. Now, measure along the cut the depth of the corner and pin. Clip 1/4" into the seam allowance at the pin.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Here's a picture of the cover back. You can see right along the edge above the piping that the pattern changes. This is the zipper.