Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wadder? maybe.....

Here is my version of Simplicity 2475:

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.
Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2 Thread Capabilities on Serger

Below are the results of playing with my Serger and the 2-thread capabilities:

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.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sewing again..

Today, found me in the sewing room. I washed/dried the fabrics for Christmas napkins. When this was going on, I decided to play with my serger. I realized that I although I use it and I do not use much of the capabilities on it. Generally, I finish edges and sew knits. That's it. So, today, I decided to test the 2 thread capabilities. I decided to attempt a blanket stitch and started testing scrap fleece. The longest stitch my machine will do is 5mm. I couldn't get the serger to make a consistence stitch length. So, I changed increased the tension on the looper and changed to a heavy water soluble stabilizer. Amazingly, it worked. Tomorrow, I hope to add the edge of a piece of fleece.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Here's the long awaited Halloween costume

Well, here it is. The long awaited Halloween costume:

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 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 . 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.

Here's a pose with the questions marks on the leg and a little on the sleeve.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Almost there!!!!!

I'm almost finished with the costume. There are two remaining items - the belt and the gloves. I did find the the moccasins still need a little bit of work but I think I can do that in the evenings are I'm watching/listening to TV. I'm hoping to finish up everything tomorrow. DH is the cook so I will have a little extra time to stitch. All remaining items have been cut out. I'm ready to move on to something else.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Time is flying...

Wow! Time has flown by the last couple of weeks. I'm still working on the Halloween costume and realized today that I have one week left. EEK! I really haven't accomplished much since the last time I posted. The pants and top are cut out with the hems on the sleeves and pants are done. Tonight, I created paper templates and started painting. The top has a big question mark and the sleeves have 3 question marks on each. The shoulder seams have been stitched and I have checked that DS can get his head through the opening. Hopefully, once I get the mock turtleneck attached he will still be able to get his head through.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shopping is so discouraging!

In a couple of weeks, I have a party to go to. You know, one of those work functions for your husband parties. It always means finding a new dress. I decided this year that I should go buy a dress and I tried on lots of lovely 40's style dresses. However, I don't like spending $100+ on a dress that would most likely be a one time wear. I prefer my clothes to be washed at home not dry-clean only. Most of the dresses were made from an acrylic blend knit. Although they felt nice and surprisingly looked nice, I'm not sure about the fabric. Only a couple of the dresses I tried on were washable. So, I decided that I could make something myself that looked similar but Noooooo! Not one of the pattern companies offer anything similar to what I found today. This was very disappointing. Am I expecting too much to find patterns similar to what I can find in RTW? I really liked the dresses with the interesting collars and belts. Does anyone else find this to be so?

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.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Costume Sewing - Part 1

Yes, the costume sewing has begun. I did start with the easiest on the list - the mask. I started with a sleep mask from Scarlet Fig - . Here's my copy:

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.

The finished mask (maybe). I thinking now that I need to shape the top part of the mask a little bit more to match the bottom. If I do this, I will satin stitch all around the outside edges.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sewing and Rambling...

I've actually sewed yesterday. Nothing terribly exciting. It was some Keeper-Fresh Veggie Bags.

You can find the review here: . 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: .

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 That must be done! Hopefully, we'll get started this weekend.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Patterns have arrived!

I received my order from Marie Madeline Studio today. Here's a peek at what I received with my gift certificate:

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.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Time Flies....

Whew! Time has been flying by lately. School has finally started (ok, it was a week ago but who's counting). The garden is slowing down. I did get a little bit of canning done but I ended up with late blight on the tomatoes. After looking at some of the hot banana peppers yesterday, I think those plants may have it or something similar also.

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.

Now, the most exciting thing that has happen was I won a $35.00 give certificate to Marie-Madeline Studio ( Go check them out. They have a cute shop with fabric and their own brand of patterns. I decided to try out their patterns. It was just too hard to pick a fabric.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where have I been....?

Well, I have been busy the last couple of weeks. I've been working, visiting friends in other cities, sewing (not everyday but almost), reading, and gardening. I have been trying to sew 15-30 minutes every day that I'm at home. Amazingly, I have been able to do this. It has made the cutting out of all the little pieces for the placemats take a long time. Also, I always have multiples projects going at the same time. Don't want to get bored. As for the reading, I received the new "Making Trousers for Men & Women" by David Page Coffin. It is a GOOD read. Really, it makes me want to make a nice pair of pants. Maybe I will.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Better News

The news about the local dealer isn't as bad as I originally thought. They will continue to offer service for the machines that they have sold for about a year. So tomorrow, I will be taking my Lisa and the serger in for service. Honestly, I don't know how to sew without the serger but we'll see how it goes. As for the "Behemoth", she will go in when the other two are picked up. At least, I will have a nice fabric store to look at fabric. VBG - another excuse to purchase more fabric. I'm glad my DH doesn't care.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Where did the week go?

I can't believe it's been a whole since I wrote anything. I've been busy sewing or cutting out quilt pieces or place mats pieces. I'm really not much for cutting out a lot of little pieces all at once. So everyday, I worked a little bit. The place mat pieces are almost finished. I just have to cut out the backs, a few more small bits, and the binding. On Saturday, I was bored with all the little bits and looked around for a quick and easy project and I found it. I made the "Stuff-It-Bag" out of a navy/beige linen blend fabric from the stash. I know that I purchased that with a top or something along those lines but it didn't happen. Here's a picture of the pattern: I was very intrigued by the instructions for making this bag. I really just wanted to see how it would turn out. I don't usually like large bags but I do like this one. Here's the results:

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.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing...

I have two projects going now. Project #1 is the the fall place mats. The fabric washed and ironed. Hopefully, tonight I will get to spend a little bit of time cutting out the pieces. I just need to locate the embroidery designs that I want to use as the quilting. Project #2 is a quilt for my son and we are working on it together. This will be a I Spy quilt if I have enough fabric to create it. Last night, we started tracing the templates on the various fabrics. The fabric that is being used is from all the projects that I have made him over the years. There will be one T-shirt in the mix. The templates that we are using are 12 1/2" square, 6 1/2" square, 4 1/2" square, 3 1/2" square, and a 2 1/2" square. Hopefully, we will have enough to make at least a twin size quilt. If not, I will embroidery some additional squares with items that he likes.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I love getting mail....

Today was a good day for receiving mail. When I came home from the post office, I found several packages for me and the store. Of course, the packages for me are a little more interesting. Here's what I found:

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.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Garden and Embroidery...

Do gardening and embroidery go together? Of course, they do! I love to ramble around in the garden. The garden is starting to get productive. Here's proof:

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.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Next project

While I'm waiting for fabric to arrive for the projects that I mentioned yesterday to arrive, I decided to embroider a shirt for my son. It will not be anything fancy but I hope he likes it. He picked out an orange t-shirt and two shaded of blue thread for the design. Here's the design:

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.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Looking towards the Holidays....

I always think that I'm going to find time to sew a lot of cute items for the fall and Christmas holidays but I rarely get anything made. I found this project at Embroidery Library:

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: .

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.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

3rd muslin ...

I have officially given up for now. The third muslin was like a step backward. It looked like it needed a FBA again. I'm also tired of sewing this particular project. I used a very light weight gingham for this version and it was the most difficult fabric of the three to work with. I didn't finish this version as there were way too many problems with it. Maybe I'll come back to this at a later date. I really do like the pattern and think that it's well-drafted but I do think that it's drafted for a different body shape than mine.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

2nd muslin complete

The 2nd muslin is complete and I'm not completely happy with it either. I made a couple of mistakes with the armhole. I actually second guessed the alteration that I made to the pattern and decided that I hadn't removed enough from the armhole and removed another 1/4" all the way around. This made the armhole too big. I also think that I stretched the armhole when I was putting the binding on.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Next project...Socialite dress

The past week has found me working on the Socialite dress by Anna Marie. I made an XL and no changes to the pattern for the 1st muslin and I made it into a top since that is where the fitting must occur. Ok, I was really hoping it would be the only muslin but it's not. Honestly, the top fit as well as any RTW woven top. The pattern went together very well and it's quick. Here's a pic of muslin #1:

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.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Skirt & Scarf - Done!

Here's the skirt and scarf that I have been working on:

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

Lace for scarf is finished...

The lace for the scarf is finished. Here's the picture:

For those who are interested, the design is from the Kent State Museum designs Disk 2 - a series by Martha Pullen. This design was not intended to be used as a FSL. I used a netting as the base with one layer of super solvy then stitched the motifs together.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sewing Again!

The last few days has found me embroidering lace. It has been an experience and the first real project on my machine. I experience a couple of problems. One being the nesting problem. This is a well known problem with the Designer so I tried re-threading the machine, and reinserting the bobbin but neither worked. Then, I got a new bobbin and rewound the thread from the old bobbin onto it. Amazingly, this took care of the problem. So, how do you know if there is a problem with a bobbin? Oh, how I wish the bobbins were still metal instead of plastic.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Finished Rocker

Here's my finished project:

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 - . You can find information on making your own bias binding here: .
Happy Sewing!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pillow/Cushion finished.....

It's been a 1 1/2 weeks since I "lost" the sewing bug. Today, it returned full blast. The cushion was finished today. I figured out yesterday that I just didn't want to do the ties and I made myself cut them out last night. Today, I stitched and turned the ties. Now, my cushion is finished and I can move on to the next project. I will post a picture tomorrow of the finished project on the rocker.

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.
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sewing Mojo - What happened to it?

I found that the last week of May I was very happy to sew. The minute June started, it all vanished. I haven't finished my cushion for the rocker. All that is needed is the the ties, the piping to be sewn on, and then stitching it all together. I mean really that is no more than two hours of work. Maybe I can push myself to finish it today or tomorrow.

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?

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

How to make the pleat for a mock box pillow

This is one of the variations to making a mock box pillow:

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.
Step 3. Fold at the pin or clip along the cut edge and press. Mark the corner on fold with a pin.

Step 4. Open up the fabric with the right side up.

Step 5. Take the outside press marks and fold into the inside press mark. Pin to hold fabric into place.

Step 6. Cut off fabric extension on the corner even with the fabric edge.

Step 7. Baste at the seam line. Repeat this process with the other seven corners.
Happy Sewing!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pillow is done!

The pillow cover for the rocker is finished. Here's a picture of the cover front:

I attempted making a change to the pattern to reduce the dog-eared effect. The cover doesn't look too bad. I love this fabric. It is really springy/summery.

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.

Here's the finished product. I think I need to play with the pillow form a little bit to fill out the corners in on bottom. Overall, I'm happy with the way the pillow turned out. I will not hesitate making the pillow cover the same dimensions are the pillow form in the future.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How to add a zipper to a pillow cover

This is a quick and easy way to put a zipper into a pillow:

Step 1. Finish the straight edges of the 2 pillow backs. It doesn't matter how if it's done with a zigzag or a serger. It could even be done with pinking shears. Whatever is available. I finish these edges so that they do not ravel in to the process of putting the pillow form into the pillow.

Step 2. Press the edges back. The picture above, the narrow piece has 1/2" fold and the larger piece has a 1" fold.

Step 3. Press, if necessary, and open the zipper. I am a big fan of wonder tape. It is 1/4" wide and sticky on both sides. Here I have applied it along the zipper tape using one of the threads for placement. Test that the zipper pull will pass by the tape without hitting it. (You don't have to use the Wonder Tape but it is a wonderful product.)

Step 4. Close the zipper and take the narrow piece of the pillow back. Carefully push the fabric to the zipper where you have applied the Wonder Tape. You want this to be as straight as possible. Check again that the zipper will open without bumping into the fabric. (If you have chosen not to use the Wonder tape, carefully baste your fabric to your zipper making sure it is straight.)

Step 5. Open the zipper and use the zipper foot as your guide by placing it along the edge of the fabric next to the zipper. Stitch. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the positioning)

Step 6. Close your zipper. I always have a 1/4" overlap for the zipper. At this point, I apply more Wonder Tape to the zipper edge that was just sewn. (Again, you can baste if you don't want to use the Wonder Tape. Be carefully with your positioning).

Step 7. Apply the larger piece of the pillow back along where the Wonder Tape has been applied.

Step 8. Turn over the pillow back as your next row of stitching will be from the back. Position the fabric using the zipper foot as your guide along the edge of the zipper tape. Stitch. (If you basted the two pieces together using the zipper tape as a guide, stitch from the front stitching along basting.)

Step 9. Pillow back is complete and ready to add piping or ruffle and stitch to the front.

Feel free to ask any questions...

Happy Sewing!