Friday, January 25, 2008

Fabulous Foot Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Fabulous Foot Friday keeping on the same subject of edgestitching/topstitching.

Here is the first presser foot I ever purchased: The Edge Stitching Foot

My sewing instructor introduced me to this when I first started learning to sew. I was working on a pair of toddler overalls that had TONS of topstitching. I LOVED using this foot. My stitching came out perfectly straight and I was a newbie. This is fantastic for edgestitching because you can get so close to the edge ( On my machine I just move the needle over). It is also teriffic for sewing multiple rows. Just set the guide along another row of stitching, a seam (pictured below), or edge (pictured below) and the result is a perfect parallel line of stitching. How cool is that?!

I know that this foot is similar to last weeks feature foot (the Left Edge Topstitching Foot) but I wanted to show the different options available. Some of you might really like having a guide that you can run along and not have to line up the edge with the red dot. The Edge Stitching Foot can be more precise and easier to use because of the guide on the side. I use both feet at different times so I like having both options.

If any of you have a foot like this and love it for a specific application please let me know. I love to know new ways to use my feet and improve my creativity options and I am sure that other would love to glean from your creativity also.

Again, this is a Viking foot but I know that this also can be found for other machine types. It is a fairly standard option.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit. Have a great day! Until next time...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sewing 911!!!

I have had this book for a few years and have never really had to use it. Well, my boys finally forced me to get it off the shelf.

I was so glad that I had it for this emergency. My boys were in my sewing room with me the other day. They were having a great time. I was sewing and unfortunately not paying the attention I should. I grabbed the next piece I needed from my cutting table. Lo and behold there were two nice slices in the back of my shirt bodice. I was not a happy camper!!! Luckily, I kept my wits about me and grabbed my book. I was able to mend the slices and now they are hardly noticeable (the bottom right one is noticeable but the one on the left side is quite hidden). Thank Goodness!!!

Have a great day! Until next time...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Spartan Pullover Update #2

A while ago (a long while ago) I updated you on the progress of this sweater that is for my husband. Well, I am still plugging along. Last night I seamed the shoulders together and finished the neckline. Boy, does it need to be blocked.

I think it looks nice but I have one problem that I mentioned before. I am almost positive I do not have enough yarn for the sleeves. Here are my sleeves so far and the amount of yarn I have left.

I am going to check back with my LYS to see if by some miracle she might have some of the yarn left. I am not too optimistic. If she doesn't have any more I am still going to see how far I can go with this yarn. If I must, I can always make it a vest. It will not look as nice but it will be better than nothing. So, wish me luck at the yarn store. This should be finished soon one way or another.

Have a great day. Until next time...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fabulous Foot Friday!

Today is Fabulous Foot Friday and I am going to share one of my new favorite feet. No, I am not going to share the feet attached to my legs. While I am very fond of these feet I want to share with you a really cool presser foot. I am loving my LEFT EDGE TOPSTITCHING FOOT.

I can stitch so close to the edge accurately it is fantastic. The red mark on the top corresponds to the edge of the grove on the bottom. The left side is thicker than the right side. While sewing you place the thicker side on the right so that it buts up to the thicker side. The bottom picture shows the foot in action. I love this for decorative topstitching, edgestitching, understitching, and stitching on the edge of a narrow hem. I know that I will find many other uses. I just love how it has made my stitching much more professional.

Note: This is a Viking foot. Ask your dealer to see if this foot (or something similar) is available for other machines. It has been well worth the money.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time...

Collar Tutorial

There are different ways to make a collar. I used to follow the pattern directions and I never got a crisp corner. I recently found this method by Nancy Zieman in "Sewing With Nancy's Favorite Hints" (by the way, I love this book). My corners turn out great now with this method. So, I thought I would share it with you. I hope you enjoy.

How to make a great collar:

1. Cut out collar pieces and interface BOTH pieces. After interfacing it is a good idea to place your pattern piece back on your collar to make sure that it is still the same size.
2. Stitch collar pieces (right sides together) along the unnotched edge from end to end. Press the stitches on both sides to meld in the stitches.
3. Now press seam open on both sides. Grade seam making the undercollar seam allowance smaller than the uppercollar.
4. Press seam allowance toward the undercollar. Understitch the entire seam. I find it easiest to stitch from the right side through the undercollar and seam allowance. Stitch as close to the seam as possible. Hold the sides of the fabric taut so that the seam is as flat as possible. Do not stitch the uppercollar.
5. Place sides of collar right sides together and sew side seams from the fold to the neck edge. Grade seam with the undercollar seam smaller than the uppercollar. Trim corner. Press seam on both sides to meld stitches then press open.

6. Turn collar right side out. Use a point turner to shape the collar points. Press well. Voila! A fabulous collar.

Hope this helps you make a great collar!

Until next time...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fabric Fast

I have been reading a thread over at Pattern Review about fabric fasting. While I do not have a huge stash (half of a large bookshelf and one large Rubbermaid tub) I feel that I need to do some trimming. My goal is to unload one shelf before I can purchase any new fabric. This is going to be difficult for me because I love to purchase and I have my eye on some microfiber jersey at I have decided to go to these extreme measures because the guilt I feel when purchasing fabric is getting greater than the satisfaction and excitement. I want fabric shopping to be fun again so this is what I must do. Wish me luck!

Next project in the works: Well, its a knit shirt that I cannot find the pattern for. Guess what I will be doing this evening. I was planning on sewing. Hopefully I will find the pattern an still have time to sew.

Until next time...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hooray! My first finished garment for 2008

McCalls 5470 View B is my first finished garment of the year. I am so happy to have it done. I plugged along at it faithfully a little bit every day and it only took me a week or so. I am very pleased with it because it does not have as many mistakes as usual. Normally I want projects done so I work pretty quickly. I usually do not redo things that are not perfect. I leave well enough alone. Not this time. I really tried to make this blouse look good inside and out. I think that the construction is pretty good. All except for the band for the collar. This was my first attempt at a banded collar and I struggled with the center front a bit. I got it to look decent but it is far from perfect. My collar on the other hand looks great. I used a method from Nancy Zieman and it turned out great. Next time I sew a collar I will document pictures and share the method. It was so easy. I loved it. Anyway, I just want to share my first finished project. Thanks for looking. Have a great Monday!

Until next time...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Oh Happy Day!!

Look what I brought home!

Yesterday I called my local dealer to ask if they do layaway. I thought this might be a good option for me to pay for the machine. As I was about to hang up I asked if they would be selling their floor models anytime soon. They do this periodically and usually have pretty good deals on slightly used machines. The saleswoman said that they were in the process of figuring out prices for some of their demo machines over the next few days. I asked her if she would take my name and call me if they were going to sell their Babylock Coverstitch demo. She said she would. I was slightly excited but also thought it would be a while. About an hour later she called back and said they could sell me the machine for $699. I could not believe it! I immediately said that I wanted it and would pick it up later that afternoon. Woohoo!!! So now I have one of my very own. I spent quite a bit of time last night playing with it trying to get a good stitch. Thanks to Debbie Cook (she has fantastic coverstitch tutorials) and many other ladies at Pattern Review I had success. This machine is going to be so much fun!!

Oh, here is a picture of my duct tape dress form. It is going to work so well! I also thought I would show you a picture of my dress form in action with my latest project.

The pattern that I am making is McCalls 5470. Hopefully it will turn out well. I am a little leery about the big floral print all over my body but I love the fabric and I think it will be fun to wear something different than anything else I have. Sorry about the bad sideways picture.
Well, I am off. My son is begging to use the computer and I have a collar to put on.

Until next time...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The New Year brings so much EXCITEMENT!

Well, after 2 months I am back. I haven't done much crafting in the last two months. I did make an adorable bag for my 4 year old niece. It turned out just how I pictured in my head (which is rare for me). Unfortunately, I had to get it in the mail and did not get a picture of it.

My family and I went to Florida for 2 weeks before Christmas. It was a long flight from Alaska. We went to Disney World the first week and then met my husbands family the second week. We had a GREAT time! We have not had a vacation as a family in quite a few years.

Since returning we have had some very lazy days after Christmas. It has been very rejuvenating. I am now ready to get sewing again. I am not much for making resolutions. I never seem to follow through. This year I just want to sew more than last year. That shouldn't be too hard. The first thing that I did to help this desire to come to fruition is make a duct tape dress form. Sorry I do not have a picture yet. I have so many plans for items to sew for myself but the fitting always is difficult and keeps me from sewing more. I made a dressform (with my wonderful husbands help) so that I could make this problem a little easier. It will be fabulous to have something my size to hold up patterns and compare and my creations as I am working on them. I am very excited to use this.

I got some money for Christmas and have been trying to figure out what to do with it. I have been throwing around so many ideas. For the last two years my Mom and I went to Seattle for the Sewing Expo there. I was planning on putting my money toward this but my Mom does not think she can go this year. Now what?

So then I was thinking of purchasing an industrial machine for sewing heavy fabrics. I went to my LSS and tested one. I do not sew heavy fabrics a lot but would like a machine that will do them well when I do. I would like a machine that will do both heavy and medium weight fabrics to be a bit more versatile. The machine at my local store will only do heavy fabrics and it is more than I have to spend. I do not think that I would be happy with this machine in the end. I do not think that it is what I am looking for.

As I was looking around the store I saw a BabyLock Coverstitch machine. Now I already have a serger that has a coverstitch function but I never use it because it is too much trouble to change over. I would love to do coverstitch so this machine looks really neat. I did not get a chance to try out the machine because my children were not making this possible. So I headed home and to the Internet. I love the Internet. I researched the Janome, the Brother, and the Babylock. I have read the reviews on Pattern Review. I have called sewing stores in the Anchorage, Dallas, and Omaha areas (my parents are going to Dallas and Omaha in a week and could pick up a machine for me). I learned so much. This has been quite a ride. First I was thinking the Babylock. It had everything that I wanted but it would probably be to expensive. My next thought was the Brother. I tried calling around and had a hard time finding people who carry that machine. All anyone had was the Janome. After talking to some stores I thought that I would like the Janome Cover Pro 1000. I could get it for about $499. The price was good and the store reviews were good. On to pattern review to see what actual owners felt. The review was very mixed. Some loved it and some would have smashed it in the street. Hmmmm. Maybe I do not want such a finicky machine. The Brother had the same reviews which left me with the Baby Lock. Everyone who reviewed it LOVED it. I am pretty sure now that this is the machine I want! PROBLEM: I do not have enough money!! I called around and the cheapest that I can get one is $899 from my local store. This is a great price I am finding out and am super excited. I just need to figure out how to get a bit more money. My brain gears are turning. I will figure this out!!!

Until next time....