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Easy Way To Transfer Embroidery Design Pattern Items needed: Design you wish to embroider by hand. I googled images to select one and printed it out in the size I desired) Fabric of choice (I tend to use fine muslin, or linen fabrics) Embroidery...

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Make Easy Grip Sewing Washer Weights Sewing weights are wonderful tools for arranging and holding your patterns on fabric.  They allow making adjustments easy, since pins are not used to secure the pattern to the fabric. There are...

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Mark With Ink And Remove With Heat I was introduced to this pen at a Quilt Show.  Marking fabric is always something I am interested in, so I had to own a few of these pens     Pilot FriXion Ball Erasable Gel Pens,...

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Latch Hoop Fabric Tube/Strap Turner There are a number of fabric turners and methods.  I was just at a quilt show where one was being sold upwards of $50. Yes, people have used little safety pins and cord to turn fabric tubes, but this...

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Seam Rippers, YES there are different kinds and they... Robert Kaufman Fabric   Seam rippers are a new sewers handy dandy tool.  The seam ripper does just what the name says, it rips out the mistaken sewing stitches.  Over the years methods...

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Mad Men Style for Halloween Date!

Category : featured, My Projects

My daughter-in-law loves the styles in Mad Men.  She asked if I would make her a “vintage dress” to wear to their Halloween party.  Of course I was thrilled to do this for her.  She purchased the very vintage pattern from ebay and I went through my stash of fabric and supplies and came up with this creation.  We changed the first button selection to some 4 petal flowers I had in my collection, and I added a placket down the front to set off the buttons.  Also, I found some “vintage” cording in my trim supply and added that to set off the details of the dress.

Notice the very vintage side placket closed top zipper. The design lines on the zipper illustration have lots in common with the actual pattern used!

Pocket detail, cording shows off the top of the pocket edge (sleeves and neckline) much more than leaving the top plain.

Finished dress before delivery

The happy “vintage” couple!  (These gloves were my mom’s.  I remember being amused trying them on in church!)

BOO!

2 more people turned into sewers!

Category : Sewing Tools, Student's Projects

Just finished a class taking non sewers into sewers.  I always love giving “birth” to new skilled sewers.

They were introduced to the value of using a “bodkin” to insert elastic into a casing.  If this is something you struggle with when using a safety pin, you might want to give this little inexpensive tool a try.  I have used one for a LONG time, and find it a great tool in my tool box!

Happy stitching

Expect the cost anything made from cotton to increase

Category : Fabric Information

The sudden surge in prices—cotton has risen up to 56% in three months—has alarmed manufacturers and retailers, who worry they may be forced to pass on higher costs to recession-weary consumers.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704300604575554210569885910.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

Horse Lover’s Skirt and Top

Category : featured, My Projects, Sewing Tips, Sewing Tools

This little outfit was made for my 7 year old grand daughter, who loves anything horses, especially riding them at the other grandma’s house.

The top is store bought, a Faded Glory Girl Tee (about $4)

1/3 yard of Robert Kaufam, “The Real McCoy” fabric, for the skirt body

6″ x45″ 85% cotton/15% lycra knit fabric for the yoga pant type waistband

The embroidery on the shirt was done on my Brother PE-700II with a free online download.

I changed the suggested  colors to coordinate with the fabric’s horse colors.

The yoga waistband did not require elastic, since it has Lycra in the fabric.

To make this little skirt without a pattern, here is what I did.

  1. Cut the cotton/Lycra knit strip 1″ smaller than desired finished  waist measurement.
  2. Sew waistband  6 ‘ ends together , right sides facing each other with a 1/2″ seam using a stretch stitch.
  3. Turn waistband right side out and fold in half, so the long cut raw edges are together. HINT when pulling knit fabric it will always tell you the “right” side, since the cut edge will always curl TO the “right” side.
  4. Along the long cut edge divide the waistband in quarters, marking with pins.
  5. Trim off selvage from skirt fabric.
  6. Sew up edges to create a back seam where selvage was trimmed off. (I used a french seam).
  7. Quarter the top edge of the skirt fabric and mark with pins like on yoga waistband.
  8. Run a very loose gather stitch around top edge of skirt.  Only gather to fit the yoga waistband when it is stretched to its maximum length.
  9. Match up quarter marking on yoga waist band and skirt fabric.  Match center back seam of yoga waistband and skirt match.
  10. Stretch the waist band to fit the gathered skirt fabric as you sew using a stretch stitch.
  11. Turn up bottom and hem as desired.

HINT  If you have an “overedge” presser foot, you may want to give this foot an opportunity to show you how nice it works.  The black ledge under the tiny white brush is the seam edge guide. The bush keeps the “fuzz” from the raw edge at bay.  The zig zag stitch (check your machine stitch options) works with this foot giving you a type of serged edge finish.  I was in a hurry and my serger had hot pink thread on it, so I opted to used this foot to sew the back waistband seam and attach the yoga waistband to the skirt body.

Bobbins That Work

Category : featured, Sewing Tips, Sewing Tools

One of the biggest issues with sewing machine users is bobbin “puke”, as one student called the rat’s nest of thread that developed in and around her bobbin case of her sewing machine. One important thing to understand is that not all bobbins fit your specific sewing machine. The best way to be assured you are using the correct bobbin for your machine is to make sure your model is specified on the package before you buy.  The backside of a bobbin package will tell you if your sewing machine will accommodate the packaged bobbin. If it doesn’t say your machine brand, do NOT buy.  Just to be safe, I buy the bobbin brand that is made by my machine’s company.  I don’t believe there is a generic/universal bobbin that works well, and for a few pennies more a cause for bobbin “puke” can be eliminated.

I have found some wonderful prices on large quantities of bobbins on eBay. Anyone who sews lots can never have enough bobbins. Search by brand name and the word bobbin to locate your machine’s specific bobbin.

It is never a good idea to wind thread colors over other colors.  If you have a small amount of thread on a bobbin and you wind over it with another color you can’t use the first color anywayHINT Drop a bobbin you want to empty into a clean coffee mug, and let the bobbin dance in the mug as you pull off the un-needed thread.

Pre wound bobbins, which are often used by quilters and embroidery machine users should also be brand specific.  Pre wound bobbins can save time when using large amounts of thread.  There also are small bobbin winder machines; Sidewinder is one brand name (it may be machine brand specific, so check this out before buying one).  Some people love them.  The rational I have heard for using one is people hate it when their bobbin runs out of thread while sewing, and they hate to unthread their machine to wind a bobbin.  In my opinion, you still have to unthread your machine to use a bobbin winder device, unless you have 2 spools of thread. Most sewing machines can be left threaded if you use this second spool of thread to wind an additional bobbin.  My machines wind bobbins just fine, so I don’t have one, but I know some people love them. HINT If you are fearful you will run out of thread on a sewing project, and don’t want to unthread your machine to wind a bobbin, wind a spare bobbin with thread.  It can always be used just like a spool of thread at a later time.

Power Surge CAUTION!

Category : featured, My Sewing Room, Sewing Tips, Sewing Tools

We had a huge thunder and lightening storm last night!  If you’re like me, rain makes perfect weather for reading or sewing.  If you have a sewing machine that has a computer “brain”, you need to remember to use a power surge protector that grounds your precious sewing machine.

What a SHOCK it would be to ruin your sewing machine tool!

Single Plug surge protectors are available from the $6 to $8 range.  I like these small ones, since they are portable like my sewing machine.