Monday, September 12, 2011

How in the WORLD did it get to be September?!

So... I knew I was busy, but MAY? REALLY?  This was going to be the year I began blogging!  Apparently I'm too busy for that! 

So, this is the first season Mom has ever had an employee and we weren't quite sure what kind of workload to take to keep us both sewing, but this is just plain ridiculous!  I think with the economy being what it is, more people are inclined to get things they have fixed rather than buy new.  On top of that, the bridal industry has just gotten so out of control and we are drowning in bridal gowns right now... something about 9/10/11 and then 11/11/11 for dates this year...

In totally selfish news, I went to SR HARRIS!!  Its a fabric outlet in Mpls, MN and since Mom hates a fair amount of my clothes, the shop bought me fabric for clothing to wear to work.  I'm currently working on a jeans pattern  to make it fit me a little better (they lied when the said bootcut, it's more of a trouser...) and as soon as I can figure out how to make a dressform actually resemble my shape, I have a bunch of knit fabric for making layering tanks (that actually fit cuz I have the longest torso ever and G cup girls).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tricks and something I found today...

So here's a seam ripping tool we use all the time.  It is a scalpel available at any farm store.  They are disposable and so worth it.  Much easier to handle than a razor blade, which is what they had us using at David's bridal.  Here I'm removing the trim from a lace dress so we can hem the dress.

And here's something I found last night (I used the word today in my title very loosely... as in the last 24 hours...)

This is a pattern making site and they have software available, but they also give instructions for drafting the old fashioned way.  I am reading about Peter's Jeans Sew Along and Tailor Taylor talked about drafting his own pattern and it got me thinking.  I hate my jeans and they are the best fitting I've found so far, but I just continually have the pesky problem of either finding things with such a HIGH rise in them that it reminds me of the mom jeans SNL skit, "because you're no longer a woman" ~OR~ such a SHORT rise that I get plummer crack (HIGHLY EMBARRASING!!)

Anyway, here's some examples of things from the website:

Complete with detailed drafting instructions and then pages later for turning this into a jeans pattern (or other types of pants if preferred...  Love it.  I'm feeling a project coming on!! (Like I don't have enough of those going already!!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Most days in the shop...

Most days in the shop, my lot in life is fixing these canvas filters for food processing company.  As far as I understand it, the shaft of the filters are hooked into a machine that agitate food products and the end result are dry mixes like kool aid, cake mixes, etc. The filters brand new cost around 1500 dollars. The company saves money by having us fix the filters instead of replacing them.  Sometimes the washing machine tears a hole in the body that needs to be patched. That's where I come in. The filters are cumbersome and mom has so much other work to do, like wedding dresses and prom dresses. So I spend my days fixing these filters.  Some of them have a bit of a greasy texture, hence the need for an apron. 

Friday, April 29, 2011


An Apron for working on the canvases that are yucky... 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Response to a post about comments

There are several blogs that I follow and I've been reading them for long enough that I feel like I know them personally, and yet I never bring myself to write comments and make the connection to people that share the same passions in life as I do.  I have several favorites, that all seem to know each other even if it's in the blog world only - Gertie, Peter, Peter's Michael, Sarai (and all the other creative people who post on this blog) and too many others to mention right here.  Carolyn at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic is one of these people that I love seeing the projects she accomplishes and how she takes patterns and makes them her own to flatter her figure.  She recently shared this post, and I would love to respond in my own posting on the subject.

Her post:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Value of a Good Comment

So I was with some friends this weekend and we were talking about blog reading, I mean when we weren't talking about patterns or fabrics, or trims, etc.! *LOL*  You know what I mean, right?!  The conversation was all sewing all the time...anyway one of the topics that came up was blogs, blogging and leaving comments.

Now as I explained to them and I've said numerous times here...I am a comment ho.  I may not respond to all of them, but I do read each and every one of them and appreciate the time a person takes to leave a comment.  And the discussion turned to what makes a good comment...this was a pretty interesting discussion to me.

I don't know about you but I like not only to receive comments but to give them too...because to me visiting a person's blog is like visiting their home.  You always acknowledge the person for allowing you into their home and you should thank them for taking the time to host you.  If you are really into the social do's and don'ts, you even try to bring a small gift to show your gratitude or appreciation for them hosting you.  That's what comments are like to way of saying thanks for taking the time to share your "whatever" with me.

So what about you?  Do you or don't you comment?  Is there a reason that you don't?  I mean I totally get the don't say something at all if you ain't got nuthin' nice to say rule...but it was perplexing to me and my friends why so many people read blogs and don't say anything...nuthin, nada, zip! 

It's sort of like ghostly appearances...anyway, I know sometimes people read at work and don't have the ability to comment (totally get that one!) I mean your day job is soooooo much more important than leaving a comment...and some people don't have a Google ID or an Open ID so when anonymous comments have been turned off...then you can't leave a comment. 

But what about the rest of you?  Is there a reason you don't comment?  Now please don't feel like you have to leave a comment...*LOL*  This was just a post wondering what was what based upon a conversation with friends.  Or maybe I'm just delirious from all the cold medicine I'm taking because I've managed to catch the cold from hell...probably shared with me by the germ catcher himself - The Little Prince!

So comment or don't...I was just pondering...

...more later!
So here are my thoughts.  As I've already stated, I've been reading many of the blogs that I follow for more than a year and I feel like I know these people personally.  I know their writing style and what to expect in their blogs.  I enjoy the topics they share and the projects they proudly (or not so proudly when it's a dud) show off.  So, why don't I comment?
Good Question!  I follow so many people that there are not enough hours in the day to keep up with it!  I love so many of the projects and feel like in a different life, if these people were my day to day community, I would be close friends with many of them and I just don't have the time to comment and then check back to see replies and continue conversations, etc!!  Not to mention the nearly 500 personal friends I have on Facebook from living all over that I can't seem to keep up with!  Madness I tell you!!  So I think I must resolve to this sort of posting and comment on things that are truly spectacular (or are anyway to me) and then just shoot people a courtesy email when I mention them in my space. 
Oh and as a sidenote, I use Google Reader to follow all these people and sadly the comments do not follow the blogs over to Google Reader.  I would have to go to each person's blog and check on the comments each separately.  <sad face!>  However, as I have just recently posted on, I JUST got a new smartphone and have a Blogger App, so I can do quick posts on the go from my phone.  Genious!!  I've been keeping up with my Google Reader with an App too, so every so often during the day I take a little mini break and read the posts of the people I've been following for a while.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Favorites for hand sewing...

Fiskar's scissors,  threw heaven, leather thimble, gutterman thread ...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Today I love...

Sal over at Already Pretty suggested checking out Harper's Bazaar and my first glance at the site I love the trend of day dresses making a comeback.   Beautiful!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The amazing invention of the smartphone!

I wasn't going to do it. I wasn't going to get a smartphone. However, Jerod at Verizon talked me into it. I managed to trim my bill so that even with the data package I am paying the same amount. And so phone blogging is born. Today I am finishing a patch that will go in a custom project we are working on.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Little Dresses Project

NBC Nightly News does a segment called Making a Difference and featured sometime last month was

Click Here to See the Segment

So shortly after seeing this clip (on the internet, because my Grandma and Uncle told me about the clip) I made a trip to the Fabric Mecca of Minnesota, S.R. Harris and bought about $100 worth of fabric (which is a lot considering it is a discount outlet) and went to Bemidji and had a sewing party up there with friends.

I still have LOTS of fabric left over (because sewing projects always take longer than you think they will) and I've been thinking about doing a Sew-Along/Sewing Circle for a while, so what better way to get started than to make things for a good cause?!

Nancy's Notions has also interviewed Rachel and I will be using Nancy's directions for the project. I have fabric and thread, I have some bias tape and lots of hem lace that can be used for decorations and embellishments. If you have any Bias Tape you are looking to get rid of, bring it!!

This project gives us practice on sewing simple seams, working with Bias tapes and curves (the armholes), making drawstrings and simple accessories like pockets or bows or lace.

Here are Exerpts from Nancy's Notions:

Little Dresses for Africa
Follow the simple directions below to make a dress that will be a prized possession for a grateful little girl in Africa. Use fabric yardage, or modify a purchased or gently used pillowcase. Mail completed dresses to Little Dresses for Africa, c/o Nancy’s Notions®, 333 Beichl Ave., Beaver Dam WI 53916-0683, and we’ll ship the dresses to their destination. If you would like confirmation that your dresses have been received at Nancy’s Notions®, please enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard.For additional information, go to

Making the Dress with Bias Tape Ties
1. Cut a fabric rectangle. ¼", then ¾" to make each casing. Edgestitch casings. ¼" and then 2". Edgestitch hem.

Materials required:
• 3 yd. double fold bias tape
• Coordinating all-purpose threadyd.–1yd. cotton fabric, depending on size

Size Cut size   Finished length Size Cut size Finished length
3      22" x 42"   19"                        8 33" x 42"     30"
4      25" x 42"   22"                        9 35" x 42"     32"
5      27" x 42"   24"                       10 37" x 42"    34"
6     29" x 42"    26"                       11 39" x 42"    36"
7     31" x 42"    28"                       12 41" x 42"    38"
    2. Fold fabric in half, meeting selvage edges. Stitch or serge the seam. Press seam open or to one side. Center seam on the stitched tube. (This will be the center back of the dress.) 3. Cut out armholes on upper side edges using the Armhole Template Pattern on p. 1. 4. Cut two lengths of bias tape long enough to bind the armholes. Bind cut edges of armhole and edgestitch tape. 5. Fold under casings at the front and back top edges (the edges containing the armholes). Fold edge under 6. Cut remaining bias tape into two equal pieces. Stitch folds and cut ends of tape together with a narrow zigzag to prevent stitches from breaking. Insert one piece through each of the casings, allowing equal extensions at each end. Machine stitch at center front and center back to prevent tape from pulling out of the casing. 7. Hem the lower edge, turning under To wear the dress, pull up tape ties to gather the top of the dress to fit. Tie bias tape at the shoulders.
    You’re finished! Wasn’t that easy? Optional trim ideas: • Add one or two pockets. • Add a band of a contrasting or coordinating fabric to the dress. • Add lace or other trims. • Add an appliqué. • Add machine embroidery.
Use your imagination! This is a great way to use bits and pieces of leftover trims and fabrics.
Hope to see you tomorrow at Olympik Village for some sewing action!  Bring your sewing machine, this is sort of an "in class" project.

Christmas Presents to Usher in the New Year

My two new resources to rely on in the New Year are these:

Which I'm pretty excited about Fabric Savvy... It's not something I would have chosen for myself, but I am pretty pumped about owning...

But the real treasure is this:
This is an archive of every issue of Threads Magazine from 1985 to 2009. 146 issues. Amazing. The best part is that it can be installed on any number of computers because it is basically a pdf file, so I shared it with Mom (who bought it for me). Fantastic!