Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A new book for me: Patternmaking for Fashion Design 4th edition

I was so overly excited as I got a response to my ad looking for sewing knick-knacks that people were wanting to get rid of or throw away and she mentioned having a pattern making book. I had told my hubby that other than an advanced sewing class, I wanted to take pattern-making if i was to really have the basics and hone in on my sewing skills.

Upon picking up the book, she also had patterns from the fabric stores - which is great as i never want to cut the ones i buy for myself, as well as an older sewing machine. It appears to be running at first glance as the machine is threaded and all with fabric currently in the feed, but have yet to plug it in and try it for myself.

I probably will be passing on some of the stuff I received today or have them ready for use as i start up my sewing group again in 2010 - only days away! I am always willing to share and always thankful for people's generosity.

She said she might not be home when I dropped by and her home looked empty as I walked up to the stuff on her porch, but after I heard some movement inside, I rang the doorbell to personally thank her for her kindness. She was very sweet and seemed very grateful that I was thankful. She said that she too had taken some sewing at Mesa College, as well as the pattern-making but had to stop because of a coming baby. Her hope is that I can make great use of the stuff and even apologetic for not having more. Apologies not required at all and i will be forever thankful!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dallas Cowboy Fleece for my nephew

I am in day 5 Ventura visiting my husband's family for the week. I brought along my sewing machine because of a very high chance of time for sewing.

On the morning of day 2, we visited the home of my newest nephew Jordan. Shortly afterwards, we went to Joann's fabric to shop their great sale. While there, we picked up

From it, I sewed a simple fleece baby poncho and nursing cover for his mom. Dad was very happy as he loves the Cowboys. Mom was simply thankful for the gifts - I assume she has a different team =)

Link - Martha Stewart simple sewing crafts


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hello Kitty Merry Christmas fabric 2009 at Joann's

So I was at Joann's earlier this month and guess what I could not pass up? Yes! The remainder of the Hello Kitty Merry Christmas fabric. There was less than 2 yards left and being that it was on sale for 50% off, I had to grab it all. Isn't it cute?

Free Advent Calendar Sewing Project - Mini Stockings

Hello everyone,

With the season here, the days have been hectic and fun. I have not been sewing much as I'd like and it's such a bummer as there are so many inspirations and reasons to but I just can't.

Martha Stewart had this really cool mini-stocking Advent Calendar idea made out of felt and ribbon. See the free stockig template and directions at Marthastewart.com

It was too cute to pass up and I just had to do it. Instead of the # tags, I embroidered the numbers 1-24 on felt and glued it to the mini-stockings' toe. i then attached the stockings to a single lace ribbon and hung on the wall above the tv. I will post up my version of this advent calendar in a bit. it took awhile to cut and sew but the husband loves it!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pillowcase dress with one tie

I did not make this out of a pillowcase but the directions I followed were gathered from various sources from online, with directions on how to make a 'pillowcase dress.'

I did keep the tie to one long tie instead of the common two ( 1 in front and 1 in back, in casing), tied it to a ribbon on one side, and adjusting the material to fit properly over the body. I also stayed away from the elastic and just kept the casing only wide enough as the ribbon; this, and the fact that the ribbon was ribbed and the material being flannel, there would be little shifting.

I also used a serger to keep the material from fraying and sewing it down about 1/8" on the wrong side. Without a serger, it would be 1/8" folding the edges to the inside (wrong side of fabric), press, fold in again and sew for a clean edge.

Pillowcase dress - Owl and flowers - flannel material

I've been wanting to make a pillowcase dress for my daughter for such a long time but never have gotten to it yet. I wanted something "fall-ish" but not so drab. Toddler and I set out to Joann's and got it for $1.99 (sale). She picked this out - she's very opinionated for her age - and I am glad she did =)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Singer 4166 Extension Table for sale

This was left behind when I returned my broken 4166 to Costco. I will gladly give it to someone who needs it + the cost of shipping (tbd).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Surprise Surprise!!!! Happy Early Birthday!

So hubby and I have been talks about getting a new machine since my litter Zoe Singer died on me months back the night before finals. But with money being tight, I've been on a mission to sell stuff I already have and buy/resale new items for profit. The past 2 weeks, I made $100 or so and still have active listings at to bring more money in.

I had mentioned that with a decent machine, I would be able to make and sell stuff on Etsy. He said last week that he will match me dollar per dollar toward my machine and I was stoked!

Today, he just bought it. YAY! He bought the LB6770THRD from Costco. It should be here within 7-10 days.

His reasoning was that I have been working so hard for 3 weeks straight to take care of him and the baby while they were both so sick and I being preggy-sick as well and this was just a thank you.

No hubby, thank YOU!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The search is on... and ended I think...

well kinda... as I am only looking at the Costco Sewing Machines with its limitless return policy. If it breaks, I can return for a new one or get a totally different machine. Summer semester, I learned from my instructor that Brother is built better than Singer as Singer has made changes to its everything in order to provide all their features, bells and whistles, within a low pricepoint. The result is a lesser quality machine and more plastic. Brother, though it has lots of plastic too, it's insides are still made of metals and stronger materials. I really don't know for sure how true this is but my really old Brother is still going and my Singer is dead =/

With all the above in mind, I am looking at the The Brother® LB-6770THRD Project Runway machine. This was the machine I wanted to get since the very beginning before I started sewing again early this year but being that it was so new with very few ratings found anywhere (which were all positive)and such a high price for someone who hasnn't sewn, i had forgone the machine.

Today, I looked it up again and found on a page at PatternReview.com that this machine is the same inside with just a slightly different look outside as the highly regarded Brother SE-350. One could see that if you were to compare the LB-6770THRD and the SE-350's stats side by side or simply take the word of the customer service rep. He says that it's just named differently by Costco and for whatever other marketing reasons under the sun.
HSN sells this too and here is the SE-350/LB-6770PRW at work

Costco's LB-6770THRD is a lower price tag and includes a pack of colored embroidery thread that goes for $60 on Amazon. Other sites sell the Costco machine with the same machine/same look but with a different name but includes a really nice looking rolling bag while Costco's does not say so on their description nor flash one in its images. I really want that bag... but to pay more and not have the Costco guarantee, it's not worth it to me.

Wow.... so much to think about, right? Just right now, I'm even thinking of going back to Escondido's SewPro for the Innov-is 900D for the USB feature.

The step above is the highly regarded Innov-is 900D with its 120 built in embroidery, direct computer connection via USB AND Disney/Pixar characters included. HSN does sell the SE-350 with a USB cable model, an HSN exclusive called model Brother He-240. Despite being a step above the 350, users and reviewers say that the quality is up to par with the 900D. If you would like to see the He-240 at work, watch

I'm Coming Back...

I know I have been MIA for far tooooo long. The last heard of me was ending the Summer sewing class at Palomar with a bang! On the way home, I looked into buying a serious machine as my Singer I have been using just died the night before and dissapointed, I chose to hold off. A week later, I entered into the Fall Sewing class... but had to drop because morning sickness with child #2 has left me literally sick to my stomach and useless! I have not sewn since then =/

Today, as I strive to get life back on track due to easing morning sickness, I search for a sewing machine. Still determined not to do business with Sewing Machines Plus, I seek elsewhere. I was brought again to the attention of Costco. Costco still sells sewing machines online.

True, it was where I got my last machine online and the machine died a few short months later. But it also is the only place that would give me the full purchase price for a dead machine! Yes, I got all the $ back when I returned the dead Singer; almost $200 on a Costco cash card. The money has bought us gas, groceries, cheap eats, and books. Imagine that! It seems as if I rented a machine for free with merely a fully refundable deposit.

So yes, as I said, I am coming back. I sent a message out to my sewing group about meeting again in my or their homes. Early December is a possible timeframe or maybe one even sooner at another member's house. Nothing in stone yet but I am looking forward to meeting with my fellow sewers once again!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Brother PC 210 & Brother PC 420 Project Runway Computerized Machines

This is what Palomar College's Apparel Construction classes will be using starting the Fall of 2009. It is the Brother PC 210

This is what I would like to have for myself, the Brother PC 420.

I wrote Sewingmachinesplus.com

because of their claim of

Low Price Guarantee

SewingMachinesPlus is committed to satisfying its customers with a low price guarantee. Have you found a product at a competitor's store with a lower price? Let us know and we will not only match the price, but we will provide a discount of 10% of the initial price difference!

Guidelines for Price Matching:

  • The item must be sold by an authorized internet retailer for the item's brand.
  • Auctions and eBay listings are NOT eligible for price matching.
  • The item on our site must be identical in model/part number to the competitor's item.
  • The item must be available and purchaseable on another website.

I had to let them know since they asked..."Was this product being sold in a package deal with any other products? "

No, just by itself and it does come with all the same things/feet/accessories your pc 420 does, but Joann is $200 cheaper. I will be buying a machine within 72 hours and with everything constant, Joann seems like the way to go.

I say this because... I was in your San Marcos store today and was shown the pc 210. i have Torrie Root's business card with "PRW 210 $499 Palomar College tax included" written and signed by her and I later see on your website that it is $399!!! I don't mean to be frank but if having and keeping our business is important as she said, then why the $100 difference. I was made to believe that I was saving money by not having to pay tax as the machine is $499 at the store. I'm not upset, just disheartened. My family is not rich or anything, but we do support business practices with integrity over low cost elsewhere all the time... but with either one, then what? thank you for taking the time to read.

To me, good business practice and integrity should ALWAYS be part of the packages anyone purchases. Purchasing from Joann gives me no service nor future service but it does keep $200 in my pocket when this machine needs to get serviced.

If Sewingmachineplus.com upholds their word with their low price guarantee, then I will have both... service and lowest cost... and that would be real nice =)

Sew-pros.com Experience

I went into the Sew Pro in Escondido and met Rosemary. She was just the sweetest thing. She asked my what my range was and I said $300-400. She showed me the Elna 2100, didn't have the 2300 or 2800 in store, but she had the 2600 and 5100 to show. She was very patient showing me the stitches and the features of each Elna model. It is an impressive machine... not in looks but in features. She did jeans to sheer to ribbed to stretch knit and to elastic effortlessly - all in one setting!

I told her what happened to my Singer from a regular store and she said that Singers aren't that great. They are good in general stores because of their looks, priced low to sell with all the hoots and whistles but as far as the quality of machine and stitches, the machines do not hold up and break easily. Much better bet with Singers or machines from dealers as they tend to carry the good models and built better for dealers compared to the ones for mass stores. Also, the Elna doesn't look so pretty but is known for quality. And with the demos she did... it really was nice =)

She also showed me the Brother Project Runway 40 and said it was rated #1 in the Consumer Reports. It is pretty and pink with a bug circle dial. No, she did not have the one Palomar has... i would have bought it from her instead of Sewingmachinesplus.com

I left with some pamphlets and info. I liked her a lot. There was no pressure and she was so patient to answer all of my questions. I shook her hand, thanked her, and walked to my car. I was thinking I really liked the Elnas she showed (range of $299 and up) but it just didn't have enough "stuff." I will think about it and tomorrow hubby and i go searching for a machine, yay!

My personal Sewingmachinesplus.com experience

so i went to Sew Pro and was dealt by the sales manager. I told her i was from Palomar College blah blah blah...

and she told me that Palomar just bought a whole bunch of Magnolias and showed me the Magnolia machine. I corrected her by saying that a professor from Palomar had the Janome Magnolias but not the classrooms. She was looking right at me but just ignored the statement and didn't flinch. She moves on.

She asked what price range i was looking into and I said $400 and split second, "That's perfect!" I've worked a decade or so in sales so i was thinking.... whatever...

anyway, she tells me the best buy would be the Brother 210 and I told her i think that that was the one Palomar bought 30 of then of. she said then it would be good to have the machine for me at home since it was the same as the school. She also said she would take care of me.

So here's the kicker... she tells me it is $499 ( I said only $400, didn't i?) and later says she will take out the tax for me... so $499 out the door (written on her business card "PRW 210 $499 Palomar College tax included"). I go online to their website (sewingmachinesplus.com) and see that the Brother PC 210 is $449 retail and on sale for $399 so WHAT IS GOING ON?!!!

I would complain but she's the sales manager. i just don't like business people like this and don't business with such... the store is so big and nice and just has all this cool stuff but that service.... questionable..... what do you think?

Zoe is gone =*(

So my Zoe (Singer 4166) died... well kind of... she would not stop on command, she just kept sewing and sewing and faster than the speed i had it set to. She became possessed =/. i just got this machine a little before Mother's Day so it isn't that old at all. I took it back to Costco to exchange it and got the $ back. I was so bummed to see that there were no more left on the shelf and they do no know if and when more would come. There was a bunch just last week! Argh!!!! So in short, no more Zoe =/

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My 1952 dress is finished!

Just finished it minutes ago... i am so tired. started working on it in class this morning and just finished now at 4 am... practically nonstop.

This pattern says 'Very Easy.' Professor today said that this can mean different things depending on the maker of the pattern. Very Easy for Vogue patterns can be equivalent to the most difficult Simplicity patterns. From easy to advance in regards to pattern makers: Simplicity, Butterick, McCalls, Vogue.

I turned in my Patriotic Shirt yesterday after working on it until 2 am in the morning. Professor only looked at it for 15 seconds, if that! I felt like making him just stare at it forever since i spent soooo much time trying to make it perfect. I heard my classmates today were getting B's and C's. I was too scared to ask. I will ask tomorrow.

2 down and 2 to go:
Patterns and 1950s paper. Can I finish it all by Thursday? Seriously don't know =/ I'm not a pressimist but am a realist and it just seems impossible, but I will die trying... man that sounds bad too, ha!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Class on Wednesday

I made it to class on Wednesday morning only to find out that i forgot the cord to my sewing machine. There are sewing machines in class but since i hadn't touched them since 8 weeks ago, I forgot how to thread them already. So I spent my class time catching up on notes from a classmate and trying to figure out what would be on the final.... a shirt collar demo, a drawstring demo, and 2 zippers. Yes, I saw a zipper demo that morning. Now I can do a type of zipper, yay!

Currently, I am a bit overwhelmed and stressed out with all i have to do: a 5 page paper on 50s fashion icons/designers, 30 samples, the Patriotic shirt (project 3) and the dress (final project). I have 80% secured someone to watch my baby this coming week so I can be in class and have time afterward to work on things. My only concern now is keeping my energy level up as i am depleted of it all.

My final project dress in progress

the pic here only shows 2 of 3 views, to see the whole thing, go to: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2857044&l=ca95de4759&id=547961566

i have to get creative with that gap in the middle... my waist measurement has grown... and will continue to grow for the next 9 months. yes, we are expecting =)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My final class project Butterick B4790


It took 5 hours tracing the pattern on to fabric with a tracing wheel and tracing paper, because I did not want to cut the pattern.

It is categorized as "Very Easy" but I spent from 7 am to 7 pm sewing this dress together - AND I AM STILL NOT DONE. I still need to do the edging/bias tape. I guess what is making this dress so hard is that I am interchanging/contrasting fabric and bias tape colors. I should be happy when all is said and done =)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I have just threaded my serger!

this is a HUGE deal. I've had this Brother 1034D for almost 4 years, I think! Figured i should try threading it to comply with my patriotic shirt project. Serging is required to seal the seams of the arms to the body. I'm so happy and excited. Sometimes we really won't know or won't do until it is really necessary =)

Back in class today... Patriotic shirt sewing

Finally back in class after a week of being unable to attend. Today, I was critiqued regarding my vest. Professor said that it was 'Excellent' in all categories... dramatic and great choice in fabric/print/color, Yay!

I started sewing my Patriotic shirt. The steps are:

Sew the lapel with nfusible interfacing right sides together, with 1/8 or 1/16 in stay stitching. Turn other way and press. Repeat for other side.

Join pieces at shoulder. Finish seams with a serge or with a 'simple seam' finish.

Take one side of collar and apply fusible interfacing. Press.
Take both collar pieces right sides together. Stay stitching all around 1/2" except for the sides with notches. Make a diagonal at the corners instead. This will make the corners sharpest.
Turn the collar inside out. Use a pointed stick to push out corners. Press.

Attach the collar notches to the shirt neck right sides together matching notches, pin.
Take the lapel ends pin edge to itself 1/2"
Pull around lapel and meet with shoulder stitching.
Sandwich and pin the collar and stay stitch
Cut a notch on the collars where the inside shoulder seams line up with the collar. Stay stitch the whole thing from one side to the other, but lifting up the top layer of the collar when sewing in the area between the two shoulder seams.
Take the top unsewn layer and fold over other layers. Stitch 1/8. Press.

Attach Sleeves:
I'm currently working on this... have to figure it out... will update later.

Join the

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sewing Journal backlogged

July 22, 2009

3 pm: I see the light with my vest. I only had to unravel one side of the stitching. Sew, press a lot, do some inside out hocus pocus and I practically finished it in class. Only buttons and button holes needed.

July 23

It is now past midnight and I will be attaching the buttons.

2 am: Finished vest. Will be going to class today with the baby. I need to turn in vest and get my patterns for the next project. I will bring lots of stuff and food for her to do. We’ll see how that goes as she gets overly excited when she sees a single sewing machine

5:30 p.m. Chloe did alright in class. She was everywhere searching for “ouchies.” She knows what pins are and how they hurt so she was careful and brought the ones she found to me. I went in and we had a sub. Turned in the vest and got the pattern for a Medium sized Hawaiian shirt. There were no Hawaiian prints @ Poway’s JoAnn so I opted for a patriotic theme. We’ll be sure to wear what comes out of this as we love patriotic holidays!

July 24, 2009

So I’m sitting here waiting for my sewing meet to start and then see on my calendar that it isn’t until 6 pm. This is what I get for switching times every week =/

July 25, 2009

It is Saturday and I finished cutting my pieces for my “Hawaiian” shirt. I will try to stat sewing it on tonight after the baby is asleep.

July 29, 2009

Still no progress on the shirt, I am getting antsy and worried. I hate last minute but I am unable to make it to class and have no clue on how to go about my shirt =/

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How to Hem Jeans on a Flatbed

From one of my favorite sewing blogs on the net as she is all about vintage machines, which i do have a couple of, but these tips can also be used on newer machines.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Class Project # 2 Fitted Vest Size 6

Cotton fabric Heidi Grace - Midnight Kisses
Dark red synthetic stretch fabric for lining

This took a lot of thinking and sewing pieces.
Well worth it. It fits me quite nicely.
Will update pictures later.

Friday, July 10, 2009

First Official Sewing Class by Jennylou 7/10/09

UPDATE: the night went really well... we even got a project done. the skill of the night was threading a machine and sewing straight lines. Here is a picture of Holly's 6-pocket Craft Apron:


  • Sewing-machine basics.
  • The names and uses of common sewing tools and terms.
  • How to sew a straight line.
  • How to sew a seam.
  • How to find the grain of the fabric.
  • How to read a commercial pattern and much more!

Friday, June 26, 2009

First Project: Drawstring Pants

As I said earlier, this week, we started on our first project - drawstring pants - after learning how to properly thread the machine, transfering the classroom pattern to our own pattern paper, then to our chosen cotton woven fabric. The image below is one of 2 pattern pieces of this project and called the Front Side Pattern.

There are 2 pattern pieces for the pants, a front piece pattern and a back piece pattern (fabric cut front x 2, back x 2) for a total for 4 fabric pieces. The steps to this project are:

*Transfer pattern to fabric making sure that the grainline of pattern is perpendicular to the selvage of the fabric.
*Cut fabric.
*Press the fabic pieces with a steam iron.
*Sew the side seams (SS) together with 1/2" seam allowance.
*Press seams open.
*Fold one side of the seam under itself 1/8" (press with iron).
*Sew at 1/16" from its new edge.

You now have what is called a simple seam finish. Repeat for all seams. Pressing in between all steps is necessary for the best results and look of a finished garment.

Do the same for the sewing of the inside seams (IS), pressing and finishing with a simple seam.

By the time I left after the first week of class, I have sewn the pants' Front Side piece seams together and the Back Side side seams and currently performing a clean seam finish to these seams. I am about 1/3 of the way for this project.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Week #1 Basics of fabric, sewing machine, and patterns

Today marked the end of week one for Palomar's Beginning Sewing course. I am happy to announce that the class is a lot of work but a lot of fun and the instructor named Ken is just an awesome person.

Lecture always come first in the day and then to sewing lab. The first set of lectures were on the parts of the woven fabric. In this class, we will be only working on woven fabrics such as cotton and cotton blends; no stretchy or knit fabrics.

Parts of the fabric: The selvage is the finished edge of the fabric. It is slightly thicker than the rest of the material. Sometimes, it may be white or lighter in color and printed on it are all the individual colors that can be found on the printed fabric.
The grainline runs parallel beside selvage from north to south.
The crossgrain is the fabric weave that goes east to west, perpendicular to the crossgrain.
The grainline and crossgrain make 90 degree angles taking turns going over and under on a 1:1 ratio.

Ease: The amount of grace or resistance a fabric has is called ease. Basic cotton woven fabric have little or no ease compared to stretch or knit fabric.
When fabric is pulled at its 45 degree angle to the selvage, there is much more ease than pulling the same fabric on its grainline or crossgrain. This 45 degree angle is called the bias. The fabric may be cut on its bias for pieces of a garment construction that need more ease, such as a waistine. Some dresses or outfits are fully consructed on its bias for a desired fit or look - or a full outfit may be sewn on a bias such as in the constructing of an evening dress or fitted clothing.

This week, we started on our first project - drawstring pants - after learning the parts of our classroom sewing machine (Pfaff ClassicStyle 1520?) and how to properly thread the machine, we worked on the transfer of a pattern to paper, then to our cotton woven fabric. Specifics on this will be on the following post.

So this week in sewing class:
Monday: Introductions, parts of fabric and sewing machine lecture
Tuesday: Sewing straight and curved lines on sheet of paper
Wednesday: Transfer pattern to paper and to fabric
Thursday: Cutting and sewing of fabric for drawstring pants

The classmate in general:
I have met some great students in the class. Some have clothing lines (Take Me back Clothing Company), some conduct a clothing business overseas (India), and some students are new to everything and some literally say they want to kill their sewing machine. Level of skill and learning styles vary just like any other learning environment but for some reason may be more obvious in the sewing room and some fashion girls have burnt other girls with the iron. Talk about mean girls!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sewing Classes @ Palomar College starts June 22!!!

Last week it was full when I checked... so it's worth a shot getting in as first day of class, June 22 gets closer:

Because we are - except for a few - pretty new to sewing and I've been asked more than twice... I am writing to let you know that Palomar now has spots on their waiting list for apparel construction/beginning sewing.

These are sewing classes for the Summer through Palomar College. $20 a unit (total $ 80 as it is a 4 unit combo for both class - must register for both). It is so worth it as it is 4.5 hours per day, 4 days a week for 8 weeks (144 hours of sewing for $80 is 55 cents per hour of instruction!). If it becomes full from now til you get to register, brave it and go crash anyway:

Palomar College Campus in San Marcos

M-F 8:00 lecture starts followed by lab, ends at 12:30 pm
8 weeks long and yes Monday through Friday, August 21 is the last day

Class Nbr - 50695 (Lecture)

Status - Wait List

Session - FT-1st 8wk

Days & Times - MTWTh 8:00AM - 10:50AM
Room - FASH-1
Instructor - Kenneth Imaizumi
Meeting Dates - 06/22/2009 - 08/13/2009

Class Nbr - 50816 (Lab)
Status - Wait List

Session - FT-1st 8wk

Days & Times - 11:00AM - 12:20PM
Room - FASH-1
Instructor - Kenneth Imaizumi
Meeting Dates - 06/22/2009 - 08/13/2009

Class Notes - Students enrolled in Fash 165 Class Number 50816 must also be enrolled in Fash 135 Class Number 50695.

For those who want to get together and sew, join
The Sewing Room Meetup Group and host a sewing meet your home or go to one. Let me know when and where and I will gladly post it on the board. Don't worry about trying to accommodate a big group. Everyone has different schedules, the more sewing places, the more choices to accommodate each other.... and from experience, 5 and less is better than a big group anyway. Email me to let me know.

And due to the nature of the internet, may hosts may want to meet attendees during a meet and greet in a public place prior to entering their homes. Thank you for your understanding in advance everyone!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

So this is me....

Originally uploaded by plasticcoatedcolors


Picture taken by Kay

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oilcloth is Not Safe for Children?

So I have been searching for Oilcloth since I have been coming across it on Martha Stewart and various magazines for some time now. I was really stoked to find a store who carried it and the variety looked cool...

then I read this:

Can I sell stuff that I make out of oilcloth?
There is no lead in the oilcloth, but the levels of Phthalates are too high to comply with the new standards for items which are going to be sold and are intended to be used by children under 12 years old. So you can still make and sell bags and other things created with oilcloth but items like bibs and splat-mats cannot be sold.

So, I'm pretty bummed out. The chemical is almost in everything from plastic cups and shower curtains as it's what makes plastics more flexible. I was thinking of sewing using oilcloth because as a mother, it just seemed to be the perfect thing (waterproof and cleans with a wipe) but after reading about the Phtalates, no thank you. I don't want more of this chemical in my house than there already is unfortunately.

Source: http://www.mendels.com/fabrics10.shtml

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Interfacing Advice from Amy Butler

It is Thursday and I am set up to sew. I grab my patterns and what did I see? ALL of them required something called "interfacing!" What is this? Why? I'm so clueless... So I set off to the only one I can turn to right now.... Google.... and I ran into this tutorial below about interfacing and all the different kinds, from the designer of the bags I was planning to sew today. Needless to say, no interfacing, no bags sewn today. But now I know what I need in order to complete a project next Thursday. Hope this helps you and relieves frustration in the future.

Cotton Cloth

* Description: Pant weight twill 10 oz. 100% cotton. This is a less expensive fabric than Duck Cloth.

* When to use it: We use it to add thickness, durability and structure to the project. Be careful not to get too many layers because it gets thick in the seam allowances and difficult to stitch through.

* Can you wash it? Yes, It’s important to wash it if your project will be washed after being constructed. The canvas shrinks quite a bit.

* Substitutions: Duck cloth, a denim if using a darker fabric. Be careful to match the colored fabric with the fabric color you are using.

* Tips for use: It is important to preshrink, but if you are not washing your project then do not wash the canvas. Once you wash it, it wrinkles a lot and can be difficult to press flat.

Duck Cloth

* Description: Pant weight twill 10 oz. 100% cotton.

* When to use it: Same as cotton canvas.

* Can you wash it? Yes, it will shrink.

* Substitutions: Canvas or denim (if using a dark fabric.)

* Tips for use: Preshrink

Fusible Interfacing

* Description: There are different weights of fusible interfacing. A lot of fusible interfacings are non-woven.

* When to use it: When you are looking for a crisp look or to change the drape of the fabric.

* Can you wash it? Usually. Always check the label on the bolt to be certain.

* Tips for use: Fusible inter-facings will usually create a crisper look once applied. Always test on a scrap of the fabric you are using first.

Sew-In Interfacing

* Description: This is a non-woven interfacing. It is thinner material and crisper but will usually create a softer feel than fusible once applied.

* When to use it: For stability, especially in areas of buttonholes, cuffs, necklines, facings and to prevent sagging or stretching of the fashion fabric.

* Can you wash it? Yes, it is washable. It will shrink. Sometimes ironing will pucker it…use caution (test first).

* Substitutions: “Self-fabric” interfacings could work as long as no bulk is created in the seam. Think muslin.

* Tips for use: Should pre-shrink before using, by hand washing or steaming w/iron.


* Description: This is a thick, stiff stabilizer

* When to use it: When you want to hold the shape of your project.

* Can you wash it? Yes. It does not have to be pre-washed, but it helps to reshape your project.

* Substitutions: Yes, you could use Peltex. It is not quite as thick as the Timtex but it should work just as well. Peltex is available with fusible on one or both sides.

* Tips for use: Cut off the seam allowances before stitching it onto your project. You can stitch right on the edge of the Timtex which helps to cut down bulk in the seams. Steam the finished project and mold the Timtex to shape.

* Tip to apply the Timtex: To help keep the bulk from the Timtex out of the seams, we cut a little more than the seam allowance off completely around the Timtex Panel, then center it on the panel. Cut a piece of fusible interfacing the same size as the panel. We use Stacy’s stabilizer, it’s perfect for this! Place the fusible side toward the WRONG side of the panel on top of the Timtex. This will secure the Timtex on the panel with no need to stitch it in your seams. It’s makes using Timtex more ” friendly”.

Other Tips

* Always choose light color interfacing for light color fabrics and dark for dark. It is best to use an interfacing slightly lighter in weight than the fashion fabric. Interfacings can be “doubled up” if extra thickness is needed. Trim in the seam allowance to take out some of the bulk. It’s okay to use different kinds/weights of interfacings in different areas of your project and even combine them . When in doubt, test, test, test.

* It’s also OK to layer your interfacings. If using the same weight interfacing as your fabric is not enough, or does not give you the look you want, double it, or add a layer of another type of interfacing.

* Please note that sometimes there isn’t enough fusing material on your interfacing, or maybe it puckers as you stitch it in place. Fusible interfacing is easiest to remove while it is still hot. Be careful not to burn yourself, but pull it off once you see it is puckering. It rarely presses out. It is important to test on a scrap piece of fabric. Products We are always on the look out for better / easier ways to interface to give our projects the best effect. We receive most of our ” hot tips ” from our retailers and sewing friends, and we learn a lot through experimentation. We’ve tried several brands of interfacings and here are some of the products we like to use:

* Pellon Fusible Stacy’s stabilizer OR SF-101: This is a fusible woven mid-weight interfacing. This one is nice because we were able to layer it with a fusible fleece (Fusible Thermolam fleece). It adds the stiffness we are looking for and the fleece adds softness.

* Cotton canvas: We use a 10 oz. weight. It adds stiffness and durability. Sometimes we use multiple layers of canvas to get the desired effect we are looking for. The cotton canvas we used is from Thompson Manufacturing.

* Natural Duck Cloth: This is very similar to the cotton canvas. It is 100% cotton, 60” wide. It is manufactured by Schott International, Inc.

* Timtex: This is a stiff, thick stabilizer. It holds the shape of your project, and you can press or steam your project back into shape if it becomes distorted with washing and use.

* One product we have walked away from is Pellon Craft Fuse. We used it earlier on in our patterns but decided we didn’t like the papery / crunchy effect it gave the projects. Over time we’ve discovered that other Pellon interfacings used alone or in combination with Timtex, have a superior effect.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I am officially official...

Yesterday, hubby paid the $99 to take Basic Sewing Classes at Palomar College starting June, 22. It will be going on for 8 weeks, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 12:30pm.

I am so very excited about the classes but I am not too fond of is leaving my daughter for those hours. I know nothing can replace me, my time, love and attention but I must get this sewing school over with. I'm closing in on someone who lives very close to my home. I think she is just great! If for whatever reason she is not, afterall, the plan is that my sister will take over.

The loving and ever-so-supportive hubby bought my Top Picks of sewing project books (see them on the May 2009 Ferris wheel). I can't wait to share and do projects with my sewing circle of girls... Thursdays in May is always open (not including May 7).... call me!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fabrics... ooooh lah lah!!! Amy Butler included =)

Met a lady on Craigslist selling beautiful fabrics at $2/yard. She even came to my place for me to pic out which ones I liked. Total: $40 (fabric, a pair of bamboo purse handles, and 3 sets of patterns for purses).



Vintage Thread Cabinet


I found this sewing cabinet from a thift store in Poway, CA. I almost passed it up but couldn't resist this hand made beauty. For $12.50, I think it's well-worth the price.

Cherry Fabric and Joann Shopping Day


What a timely month and sale it is at Jo-Anne fabric and craft stores. March is National Craft Month and what better reason than Spring season coming up to be inspired and get into full gear just before the summer. I received a mini-magazine from the store with all the goodies for sale chocked full of coupons. I headed over with some ideas and possibilities in mind for some upcoming projects. While there, I walked aisle after aisle and my head kept spinning with even more possibilities and creations. Despite failing at my goal of leaving with only 1 thing, I did manage to limit it to three items and save 40% on everything. They let me use 3 coupons in one transaction because they were 3 different categories and 3 different coupons. Imagine that... My three purchases were:

Cherry-print fabric for a summer tube top dress. One yard of this stuff is enough to make a dress for me and the baby.

Schmetz Machine Embroidery Needles to do some machine embroidery on the summer dresses.

Sulky Sticky+ Stabilizer to put on the fabric before performing any embroidery. This keeps the fabric from shifting or stretching as the machine does its stuff.

Total Bill = $23.31.

So go ahead... get isnspired. Hit up your local J0-Ann store or go to Jo-Anne.com and shop with your fingertips!

Schmetz Machine Embroidery Needle Assorted (3)11/75-(2)14/90Shop Joann.com Anytime & Save

47" TV Cozy (Martha Stewart Craft of the Day)

The first of many 'Project of the Day' projects I want to make.

Sew up some Buttonholes?

This concept comes from a story I read in the classic little book I Dare You. A professor once hit upon a great discovery while buttoning up his vest. Or rather, he hit upon the discovery because his vest wouldn’t button up. His little daughter had sewn up some of the buttonholes by mistake. His fingers were going along as usual in their most intricate operations of buttoning a button, when something happened. A button wouldn’t button.

His fingers fumbled helplessly for a moment, then sent out a call for help. His mind woke up. The eyes looked down………a new idea was born, or rather a new understanding of an old idea. What the professor had discovered was that fingers can remember. You know how automatic things can become, riding a bicycle, using a keyboard, or even driving home from the office.

Then the professor began playing pranks on his classes, and he found that the answer was always the same. As long as they could keep on doing the things they had always done, their minds wouldn’t work. It was only when he figuratively sewed up their buttonholes, stole their notebooks, locked the doors, upset their routine, that any thinking was done.

So he came to the great, and now generally accepted, conclusion that the mind of man is “an emergency organ.” That it relegates everything possible to automatic functions as long as it is able, and that it is only when the old order of things won’t work any longer that it gets on the job and starts working. Keeping things the same may be keeping you stupid.

* Maybe that job loss is an opportunity for your brain to wake up and discover meaningful work rather than just a paycheck.

* Maybe having the bank refuse your loan application will prompt your brain to come up with a better solution.

* Maybe that flat tire will trigger a great invention that will make you a millionaire.

* Maybe the warning about high blood pressure will wake you up to better health and richer relationships.

So my advice is this: Sew up some buttonholes in your life this week. Drive a different route home from work. Read a book you would not normally read. Write your name with the hand opposite your normal dominance to see how it wakes up your brain. Take time to stop to help a stranded motorist. Volunteer to help on a community project. And welcome the unexpected “closed buttonholes” this week. You may be surprised at having your brain turn on. Who knows what creative ideas or solutions you may discover.

- Dan Miller, author of No More Mondays

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another Addition to Singer Collection: 1953 Singer 15-91 EB Series

I picked up a Singer 15-91 from the Salvation Army yesterday Friday morning. I have been eying it for 2 weeks at its price of $85. More than double the cost of my Singer 201-2 but I was given 25% off and this one had everything all still with its original boxes too:

Tube of machine lube, all the different feet (7), and buttonholer and its attachments. I did find the original manual. It was my daughter who took it from the set! It is good to know that no one stole something from the Salvation Army Thrift for the sake of providing a high-demand collectiors item on ebay.


I could buy one off of ebay.... but it just isn't the same. I called SA and they said it wasn't there. Oh well.... still worth it as the same exact machine is currently on ebay for $300 with still more than a day to go.

Singer 15-91 EB Series
Sews through canvas, leather, etc.
Distributed from Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1953
Factory Name: Kilbowie in Clydebank, Scotland

She works fine... just needs a cleaning.
More information on this machine can be found here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sewing Shopping Day

Gearing up for sewing, Little Miss here, thought it be appropriate to get some goodies. By 8:00 p.m. today, I had the following items:

*Cherry wood desk from a woman off of craigslist for $25.
*Hand made vintage sewing cabinet half off of its $25 tag
* Roll of velcro from Michael's at $1.99 per package
*Pattern tracing paper for $.50 and some fusing for $.10 at the thrift store.
*Dritz Cutting Set containing the rotary cutter, a cutting mat, and a clear quilting ruler from Jo-Ann for 40% if its $39.99 tag
*Dressmakers ruler from Michael's at 40% of of its $8.99 tag

As you can see, I love a great bargain and with a little bit of effort, it is possible acquire the things you need and will use without going so overboard. www.CreateForLess.com.
has my Dritz cutter for $12.99 by itself and at Joann's, it was $14.99. No site has my cutting set bargain but with Createforless, you may still save with everything else.

Create More, Spend Less

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My First Project - Practice making a table runner...

There was an email I received today asking if anyone knew of anyone who can sew some table runners. I don't know of anyone who sews, but perhaps, I could try?. What a great reason to start... to fulfill a need. Plus, it shouldn't be that hard, right? Just a rectangle piece formed by straight lines. And why not, especially since it would be part of a good cause.

The table runners would be put over three Young and Married Cafe tables on our Friday night sessions. The three tables would be to designate and honor the military wives whose brave men fight for our freedom and currently serving overseas.

But before I reply back to volunteer myself, I thought I'd give it a try first so as to not make a fool of myself later on. I dug in my fabric box and looked for the guinea fabric - a fabric I would probably never use or wear ever - and got to work. I worked with a scrap fabric, a dull pair of scissors, some pins, and the Brother machine. Below is a pic of my 20 minute creation:

A "very old Sanrio duck character" mini-table runner

How it was done:

2 pieces of fabric 12" x 30", scissors, pins

Place the fabric together with wrong sides facing out

Insert pins through the fabric 6-8" apart. This would help keep the fabric pieces aligned and together while feeding through the machine.

Sew three sides keeping about 1/2" from the edge of the fabric. . When you arrive at the corners, stop with the needle inside the fabric, lift the sewing foot, turn the fabric, put the presser foot back down and sew straight. Repeat until three sides are sewn together.

Turn the whole thing inside out. Follow by an iron press to help ensure that this table runner lay flat and crisp on a table. Lastly, take the last opened edge and sew it closed after folding the fraying edges inside. And tadah....... a table runner! Now go make one!

My First Stitches...

... hence the crookedness that is wreaking of first-timer juice.

my very first drive, done on a Brother LS 30

my very first drive, done on a Brother LS 30

From left to right, the stitch settings are:

Width 0 and F-dial on 4

Width 0 and F 4

Width 1 and F4

Width 3 and F4

Width 0 and F3

Width 5 and F3

There isn't very many options with this machine as far as decorative stitching but it can do its main job or purpose quite well.

Please excuse the pic quality as it was taken from my cellphone. Due to editing, this bright red print appears to be yellow!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Introducing Zoe! Welcome home, baby =)

She came in today and I am just in awe =) I have been thinking long and hard (half a day) for a name and have decided to name her Zoe 4166. Yes, it is close to my daughter's name, Chloe, but it just seems so fitting. It's a new model/machine and Suzy, though cute, just wasn't "it." Zoe also is Greek for "Life." Sewing was once a part of my life and with a little inspiration from Dan Miller and a nudging from the hubby, I have stepped back into a "life" that once before made me so happy then and is sure to make me happy for the days to come. And also, Zoe is so fitting because the hubby says I can't have a daughter named Zoe =(

So here she is, the baby of the family:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Practice Day on a Brother LS-30

My Singer 4166 is still in the mail and my Singer 201 still needs to be tuned up. I just happened to be browsing online and before I knew it, I snatched up a Brother LS-30 for $60 from Craigslist.com. It was too hard to let it pass as it came with 3 books (which I looked up on Amazon, of course) totaling over $54 alone. The three books were Sewing for Dummies, Singer Upholstery Basics Plus: Complete Step-by-Step Photo Guide, and The Complete Book of Sewing. So technically, this sewing machine was $6. The story: Former owner claimed that she never used it and it was a sudden gift when she had told someone that she wanted to learn how to sew. She never thought they would show up one day with a machine for her and say, "Oh here you go, now you can start sewing." (Wish things happened that easy, sometimes.) To be nice, she kept it but despite all these years, she never did sew and now has to lighten her load before she heads to the east coast in her truck.

10:45 pm, I took it out of the box and have been meticulously following the sewing manual. It is now 12:23 am and I have only gotten the bobbin in. I'm not even sure if I have it in correctly. The highlight of my sewing thus far is that I learned to thread the bobbin. I have learned to thread the bobbin. Hallelujah!

The next step is to thread the machine. My hubby just sent me this link to help me: Threading the Machine

I will let you know how it goes... it might take me another hour or two for this step. I will backtrack and also add a link showing you how to thread a bobbin.

(5 minutes later) OMG!!! If I had only watched this bobbin video before attempting to install the bobbin, I would have saved me an hour! Online videos are highly recommended!

Here is a picture of the machine I am working with: