Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Coverstitch Machine

Ever since I saw cover stitching, I've wanted to do it. Even the cover of my serger manual shows cover stitching. **But I can't figure out how to do it with that machine. I suspect you need a completely different plate to sew on. Which means you'd have to convert from serging, to cover stitching, and back again..whenever you needed to! I'd definitely rather have separate machines! What I can't believe is that my manual doesn't tell you how to do it! Grr!** Anyway, this story has to do with an actual cover stitch machine. 

I'd seen them online and researched them a little. I figured I'd get one someday and it would probably cost $300.00 used. I was basing that theory off of what a used serger might cost. Fast forward months, maybe over a year... I was sitting in  my parent's dining room, visiting with my mother, and my Grandparents who are from out of state, when my eye caught sight of something that was sitting in an open box, in the corner of the room. Sticking up out of the box, I saw serger spools and the metal rack that looked like a serger. I had to go investigate, to see what was in this strange new box... I looked at it, puzzled for a minute, and then it hit me! I said "This isn't a serger." A couple of people at the table replied "Yes it is." And I was like.. "No, it not, there's no knife to cut the fabric, so its not a serger. Its a cover stitch machine!" I was excited!! My grandparents told me they found it at an auction and brought it to my mom, thinking it was a serger. They said they paid $50.00 for it. I was thinking that mom sure was lucky!

A few months later mom gave the machine to me, claiming that she hadn't the time to learn something new, especially since she didn't sew much anymore. Boy! Was I thrilled!!! Alas, it sat in a box at my house for a few more months until I took the time to learn how to thread it. When I did take the time, it only took about 30 minutes to figure it out and get sewing on it. The machine works great, and is easy to use!

I used it to make training pants for my daughter when she was potty training.

A few months after I started using it I ran across someone selling the exact model, used, in a fabric swap on Facebook. They were asking $699.00 for it! I was floored! If they were asking that for a used one, then what did they sell for new?!?! I didn't know so I asked the people in the group. They said between $1400.00 and $1600.00! I was like "No way!" If that was true, I never would have bought one..not even a used one! I did some searching online and it seems the price they gave was a little high. Aparently babylock is a great brand, and they run between $1200.00 and $1400.00! So, in the end, my Grandparents paid $50.00 for a really expensive machine, and I got it for free! How's that for awesome!? :-) 

 My mom recently took a trip to Guatemala with my dad and some of my siblings. She had these athletic pants with a certain color stripe down the leg, and wanted shirts to match. She found the shirts, but they were long sleeve, and she wanted short sleeve. No big deal, just cut them off and hem them! You'd never know they weren't factory sewn by looking at them! 

I've used it on pajamas and outfits for my daughters...

 Love this addition to my sewing tools! :-) Thank you Grandma, and Grandpa! If you need anything hemmed, don't hesitate to ask!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas + Sewing

Its been too long since I've posted anything! Not that I didn't have things to post, I've just been super busy! I had more stuff ordered in November than I did in June or July! November didn't top April or May, but was still my busiest November yet. Of course I had my shop closed down in the Fall/Winter these past 2 years. In 2012 I closed so I could sew for my sister's wedding, and in 2013 I was so burnt out by the multitude of orders that hit in the Spring that I needed a physical and mental break, so I closed, went on vacation, and prepared for the new baby coming. That was the rest of 2013. I opened for orders again this Spring and haven't closed yet.

So these November and December orders are just about coming to an end for me. Shipping out the rest of *before Christmas orders* today. Then I can focus on Christmas sewing for me. Yay! 

 I'm working on this for my little Sister in Law

It will look like this when finished: 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Details, its all in the details...

My dad once told me that the devil was in the details... I was like 'huh?' What it means is, its the details that will get you. You've got to pay attention to detail to do a good job! It takes time and practice to get details perfect. I'm always working on getting my finishes to look sharp and professional. I took these photos of my most recent order. The sleeves are a bit longer than normal, due to customer's request :-)

I love my porch for taking photos!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christmas Wedding!

A friend of mine is getting married just after Christmas. I hear the colors are going to be lovely. Ice blue! Sounds dreamy! I had heard that the couple was not going to register for gifts, so I called the Bride's sister to ask some questions. I wanted to know what colors they wanted in the house so I could make her a little something. Blue and Yellow, I was told. This is what I came up with... Pot holders and a cute baking dish :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You can do anything with coffee!

Tuesday got off to a late start for me. I had company at noon, and didn't start my list of sewing things until late afternoon. But once I got going...I just didn't stop! I knew I would need coffee to accomplish my sewing tasks, so I took on 2 before I got into things... and had a 3rd before the night was through!

I think this was the first thing I did. Cut out knit outfits for my girlies. No pattern, just free handed, going by existing garments. Like my Mama taught me! :-)

From there I went to my mending/alterations pile and knocked out quite a few. Mostly my daughter's things. Pants need darts in the waist. A buttonhole on the shirt had come undone. Threads had popped in one place on the polka dotted panties. She took a pair of scissors to the hem of the pink shorts, so I had to cut and re-hem them. Now they're good for wearing under dresses I suppose. And in he bottom corner is a skirt for me (hopefully) I'll have to find a steel blue top to go with it. Then we'll see if its an okay style for me, or not...? About the skirt, I'll fess up.. I actually, kinda went dumpster diving for that one... but no, it wasn't in a dumpster. There's a spot at the dump where people will leave furniture/old toys/home goods/etc.. and one day it was apparent that someone had held a yard sale, and everything that didn't sell, was set at the dump. There were clearly 2 large black bags full of clothing.. so I grabbed them, took them home, and dumped them all in a pile on my back porch. I did end up throwing 1/3 of it back into the trash, because it really did need to be dumped. But some things, I couldn't believe were thrown away!!? I found 3 raincoats, one was a carter's size 3, perfect fit for my girl. Looked brand new! I also found a hot pink rain coat for me, looks perfect! And the last one was a size 2X.. since I didn't know who would fit that one, I gave it to a clothing swap. There were more things, some that seemed brand new, and I gave them to people I knew that they would fit. Dumpster diving is a little undignified, yes...but I would probably do it again ;-)

This one was a shirt that came with jeans and a sweater. When I took the sweater off the shirt, I couldn't believe how short the body was! I'm going to use this coordinating fabric from another t-shirt, to give it a nice gathered blouse below the chest. It will be an adorable tunic! I'll post a pic when its done! Will probably do it sometime next week.  I got the blue t-shirt from the clothing swap, just to use for up-cycle because the fabric was polka dots! :-)

From there I called a friend for some info. Her sister is getting married and I needed to know what colors she likes! I pulled some coordinating fabrics out for pot holders. So far, just the tops are put together. So that's part of the bridal shower gift :-) All of these fabrics were given to me by an elderly couple who loved auctions. I bought some things from them, and they gave me the fabrics for free! :-)

After all those different projects, I started on what I was supposed to be doing... (all you crafters (and procrastinators) know what I'm talking about!) A swimsuit that was on order, and needing to be done. It was past midnight when I started this project that would take several hours.. But I did it, I cut it out, put the major seams together, and did all the finishes in one, morning?? I know its just one photo, of one project..but trust me, it took hours! lol! I went to bed just after 5am, and slept till just after 8am, when baby girl woke up. I did take some nice photos of this suit outdoors. I'll post them laterz!

Now I'm going to have to follow up on all the unfinished projects I've shown lol!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Be my tester, application forum

Upcoming I will be pattern designing. Or rather, the design is already established and I will be making the PDF patterns for it. What I'm doing now is finding people who will be interested in testing patterns. Read on to get all the details.

We're going to start 
 with this style  --->

 In girls first, and then in women's, and after that, very possibly women's plus size and girl's plus size too. That depends on interest, though I think there will be requests for those. I've already had a few people ask for it in women's plus size.

 Now just when is all this to happen? Take a deep breath and be patient :-) Its coming. I wanted to put this forum out ahead of my 'call for testers' which will be coming when I have patterns ready for testing. The reason I am putting this forum out now is that I am afraid that I might be limited on the number of people who want to test swimwear. A lot of people find swimwear too difficult to tackle, or just plain frightening. So I want to make sure to find as many as possible by the time I need testers. If you're interested in testing, please do fill out the forum. The forum is going to give me the information I need to pick my testers. It also will give me your email address so that when I put in a call for testers I can look up the addresses and send out the call! You will find the link to the tester forum below the third photo :-) 

 My lovely friend Jennifer wearing a beautiful blue suit! 

This is me modeling a suit that was shipped to Canada. It was slightly short in the body but so close to my size I just had to model it! :-)

Now, you may be wondering, "What is a tester?" A pattern tester is someone who helps designers make sure their pattern is correct in size and design before it is released for sale. Some designers will have you buy the pattern up front and once you've completed the testing process and provided feedback, you are refunded the cost of the pattern. In other cases the designer simply gifts you the pattern (which may not have all the finishing touches on it yet...) The tester is then to finish the garment in a set amount of time, providing photos of their finished work and feedback on the pattern. If they do not complete the testing, they will not be chosen for future test opportunities. That is probably the route I will go.

If you are unsure about all this PDF stuff, look it up! There are so many people doing this now, its crazy! Look on etsy, search free patterns.. I probably have links to some I could share.. let me see... 

Yes, this one called the Izzy Top is a free pattern. Try it out!  

If you have questions, go on over to the 'contact me' page. I just added that :-)

***edit.. I'm also finding that since I am new to the designing world of PDF sewing patterns that the big promotion/testing groups will not allow me to promote or test anything until I've published 2 patterns and have 10+ positive feedback on my patterns. Makes it kind of difficult to find testers... I've been asking friends and posting in some groups that will allow it. And the mind turns with pattern plans... I must go to bed. Its so late! Er, um, early :-P

Friday, October 3, 2014

Jubilee's Rosie Suit

Now this is something I'm working on getting the style right... Its a girl's scrunch top and bottoms. I'd been using one method for getting the scrunch in the sides of the suit, and then I went to make this suit and changed the way I was going about that. The result was a better look and more/better scrunching.. but then my length was off and this top turned out a bit shorter than I wanted. So, its still a work in progress, but its coming :-) The skirt also needs some re-designing for sure...

This one is a little blurry, but one of the only full body shots I took. The skirt droops too much at the center front and back...

 Side view... this is where you can tell its not quite as long as I'd like it to be...

All in all, its absolutely adorable! 

Cute headband with bow!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Miriam's Rosie Suit

This pretty rose fabric has been waiting for this Summer when I made matching suits for my little girls :-) I knew Miriam was chunkier than Jubilee had been so I was sure to make it a little larger. It may have been slightly too loose but it was still adorable! 

 I also found a method for adding ruffles to the bottom :-)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Saved by my FB groups again!

Earlier this morning I posted about shrinking a favorite dress.. I had also posted in a sewing group on Facebook. Its called 'Sewing It Up - Sewing for Beginners'. I'm not a beginner by any means. I had applied to this group while I was waiting to be approved to some other group...and they were taking a while. I didn't expect to stay in the group, I was simply curious and wanted to take a look around. I haven't spent a lot of time there really.. But I tell you that I didn't expect to learn things from a group that was labeled "for Beginners" Its truly not just for beginners. Everyone helps each other out and its fun learning from each other! I know sometimes FB groups can take up time but lately they've saved me so much work its incredible. A guy in one group told me how to get the dumb pop ups off my computer, and I had a add-free computer in 20 minutes! Totally awesome!
 Back to posting in the 'Sewing It Up' group... This was the turn out:

One comment said:  "oh my i hate when that happens. how much did it shrink, maybe ironing it will help. you did a good job making it by the way."

 So I asked: So is it possible to wet it again and stretch it out???

Several comments later I got an answer to that question: "Savannah Carty, one way to tell. I would dampen the dress...really damp but not dripping...then press it, stretching it in the direction you need it to go, until is it dry. For instance, to make it longer, press and gently stretch while ironing from waist toward hem. To see if the bodice will stretch, press/stretch from center to side seams. Sometimes it will work, depending on fabric used." 

I have to say it worked quite well and I will not have to make another dress for next year, because I'll still be wearing this one! :-)

Oh darn!

Sad news... Last night I washed my barn dance dress and I guess it was the first time I had done that. When I pulled it out of the dryer I could tell it had shrunk! That was stupid. I should have either washed the fabric before I made the dress or air dried it last night. It had been 2 years since I made it and I guess I just didn't remember if I'd washed it or not :-( Now I'll have to make another before next year :-( I loved that fabric! Maybe I could find a similar one? I did get to wear it to 2 barn dances, and one thanksgiving, so at least I hadn't *just* made it. That would really stink. So now I'm in *what to do* mode. 


I wouldn't mind a teal blue/turquoise with brown dress.. but that probably wouldn't go well with whatever Josh is wearing..unless its like a solid brown? Or maybe it'd be fine. Or maybe I shouldn't worry about it and go with whatever I think would make a cute dress?



 I've had this corn cob fabric laying around for years. Its cool looking but I don't know that it would make a good barn dance dress. Maybe it looks a little silly/corny? *no pun intended*

Josh says its slightly silly. And its terribly hard to match the colors in it. Maybe I should just look for a new fabric... Opinions/thoughts for a new color scheme? I'd like to keep my style if I can :-) 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Requested wedding photos...

One of my blog followers asked for a few more pictures from my brother's recent wedding. I only have a few. They were taken by my husband, Josh. He was mostly the video person so he didn't take many photos :-) 

Bride and Flower Girls

 My funny Jubilee was such a ham for the camera that day :-)

 Wedding Party

 My Dad (best man) holding my cousin's daughter, and my daughter (2nd cousins)

 Hubby and I with the Bride and Groom.

 And again, my curly headed, Jubilee :-)

As time has gone on, my family has become more and more amazing at pulling-off a wedding. Everything keeps getting better. The planning, the decor, the loveliness!!! Even photography gets better with all its new trends, ever updating and becoming more awesome.

Unfortunately, that's all the photos I have. Hope you enjoy!