Thursday, July 31, 2008

Christmas is 148 days away! Gift Ideas & Shop Talk

Here's a gift idea for the child who like to draw and/or color. I found a tutorial for a crayon roll at Chocolate on My Cranium - Crayon Roll Tutorial. This particular roll is designed for 16 crayons but it would be easy to make it larger for more crayons or even change the design a little bit for colored pencils. How about changing the design of the Pretty and Practical Notebook Cover a little bit to include the crayons or colored pencils along with the notebook.

Here's an idea for the knitter or crocheter on the gift list: Alexandra's Needle Roll Tutorial. Think of all the customization that can be done with gorgeous fabrics and trims.

Here's a couple of ideas from the store:

1. Janet's Jewelry Case pattern. It would make a great gift by itself or with jewelry inside.

2. The Sara Satchel pattern. This pattern contains a bag pattern and three different types of organizers for crochet needles, knitting needles, and a small bag for notions.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shop Talk - Timtex - Is there really a substitute?

Yesterday, I recieved a message from the distributor that I purchase from regarding Timtex. At this time, the search for a new manufacturing company for Timtex is still going on. The following items are currently being used as substitutes by the crafting world:

1. Flexi-Firm Sew-In Stabilizer - This product is 30" wide. It is said to be very similar to Timtex. At this time, I do not have this product in my store but it is on the list of items to be added.

2. Peltex Sew-In Stabilizer - This product is 20" wide. It is similar to the Timtex but not as thick. Try using a double-layer when you need the extra support. The white version of this stablizer can be found in the store at Peltex 70.

3. Peltex I Fusible Stabilizer - This product is 20" wide with one side fusible. This can be found in the store at Peltex 71F.

4. Peltex II Fusible Stabilizer - This product is 20" wide and both sides are fusible. This product is not currently found in the store but is on the list of items to be added.

5. Fast 2 Fuse - This product comes in two weights and is available by the yard (28" wide) or by the package (14" x 18"). This product in not available in the store.

It is also suggested to contact to visit a designers website to see what product they are recommending to use with their patterns. Hope this helps everyone who is looking for a Timtex substitute.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Favorite Sewing Supplies

Have you ever thought about what your favorite sewing supplies are? I've given this some thought and there are definitely some items that I don't want to be without in my sewing area. Here's the list of items that I used a lot:

1.Wash Away Wonder Tape – This is my all time favorite notion.
2.Wash Away Thread - This is wonderful for basting.
3.Bamboo skewer - I keep a package of the bamboo skewers close to my sewing area to help hold items close to the needle. This is a tip that I got from Martha Pullen.
4.Tiger tape – This is a new item in my sewing box. I think this is generally used in hand embroidery to get even stitches but think about it for long straight sewing or for holding gathers in place.
5.Seam ripper – This seems to be a very necessary item.
6.Tape measure – This must have both inches and metric measurements.
7.Glass head pins – This type of pin can be ironed without worry of the head melting.
8.Flower head pins – This type of pin is a little bit longer and easy to grab when sewing.
9.Allary chalk cartridge set – This cartridge set comes with white and colored chalk.
10.Paper tracing paper – The paper that I use is about 20” wide and about 75 yards long.
11.Mini dust it – I love this to clean the sewing machine and the serger.
12.Fusbile knit interfacing – I used this for almost everything. Works well to give stability to knit hems.

I think that I could make this list even longer but I will stop at twelve. What are the favorite items to in your sewing area?

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stash Contest - Covington Bag

I have an update on the Covington Bag project. The outside is finished with the exception of the drawstrings. Those are the last item to be completed. There have been many challenges with this project. I ended up using 100/16 & 110/18 denim needles instead of the leather needle and a walking foot instead of the teflon foot. I'm happy with the outside of this bag. This has been a very challenging project.

Now, I'm working on the lining which turned out to be the front and back piece sewn flat. I will be modifying the lining. The modifications that I'm planning are adding some depth (the handbag has about 3" depth), adding a zippered pocket, a cell phone pocket, and just a patch pocket. I'm thinking about trying to create a tutorial for the zippered pocket.

I'm going to take a little break from this bag project and see if I can't do a couple of quicky projects.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Inspiration and Shop Talk

Today I found this jacket at J Jill. This would be a nice jacket for fall or to wear in the office. It's lined with 3/4 sleeves. You could get a similar look using the Indygo Junction Confident Jacket pattern shorting the sleeve and making it a 2 piece sleeve.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Skirts - Freebie and Shop Talk

Today, I thought that I would share with you a skirt tutorial that I found. Here is the 5-minute skirt. I haven't tried it yet but it looks like it would be quick and easy. While you there, check out the other tutorials. If it doesn't interest you to draft you own pattern, there are a couple of bias skirt patterns at the store:

Pamela's Favorite Bias Skirt features two lengths, two silhouettes (full and slim), elastic waist, and fits hips sizes 36" to 53".

Joyce's Almost Bias Skirt which features 2 lengths - one at the knee and the other is based on height. Also, this pattern uses a zipper.

Skirts are such a quick sewing project. Enjoy!

Happy Sewing!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christmas is 160 days away! Gift ideas & Shop Talk

I thought that it would be fun to put up gift ideas every 10 days or so with a count-down to Christmas. Here's a project that I found at Dritz - Pretty and Practical notebook cover. Check it out! If you don't like that idea, here's a few from the shop:

In My Bag accessory pattern. This pattern includes an eyeglass case, make-up bag (two sizes), coin purse, checkbook cover, tissue cover, and notebook cover.

Accessories to Go - This pattern includes four-pocket card wallet, checkbook cover, calendar cover, and a note pad cover. There is also an alphabet so that projects can be monogrammed with crystals.

Now more shop talk - The Sewing Workshop and Shape patterns have arrived. There will be fourteen Sewing Workshop patterns available and five Shape patterns available. These will be put in the store over the next week. Use a the link at the right to visit The Pattern Loft @ ebay.

Thanks! Hope you enjoy the projects.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stash Contest - next item

I started working on the black and grey snake pleather yesterday using the Amy Butler Covington Bag pattern. I think if I had known how tough it was going to be to use the pleather I may not have started it but I'm committed now. Cutting out the pleather pieces were a challenge due to not being able to use pins and chalk didn't leave a mark on the pleather. I ended up using weights to hold down the pattern pieces. For sewing the pleather, I started with a leather needle, a teflon foot on my machine, the pressure on the foot reduced from 4.0 to 2.5, and the stitch length set to 3.5mm. I quickly changed the stitch length to 4.0mm. The original sample that I sewed looked good but when I started stitched the pleather and the canvas together the canvas looked like it was gathered. Next, I changed the teflon foot for a walking foot. Now, the pleather and the canvas look good. I'm hoping once I really get started sewing the bag pieces together that I will not have any more changes. The only thing holding me back now is finding sewing time. I hoping tonight to finish getting the remaining pleather and canvas pieces sewn together. The drawstrings on the bag may be a challenge as well. I think that I can use Wonder Tape to hold it together while I stitch.
Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Inspiration - Nanette Leopore designs

Today, I found these two lovely tops by Nanette Leopore. The knit top to the left is called "Heartbreak Hotel Knit Pullover". It is described as having a scooped ruched neckline with bow detail. It sells for $275. Here's the link so you can zoom in the neckline: Heartbreak Hotel.

The second item is the Tia Maria cardigan. It is short-sleeved with white beading. It sells for $196. This is another item that needs to be zoomed in on to really see the detail: Tia Maria.

So, do you think that either one of these details would be easy to reproduce on your own garments?

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Inspiration - Donna Karan's fall Hobo

I found this Donna Karan Modern Hobo today in the fall trunk show. This bag is leather with white stitching for added detail and sells for $1995. The size is 15 3/4" high x 15 1/4" wide x 4 3/4" deep. It is a large bag. The strap detail is really what caught my eye. I love the knots on the straps. How easy would that be to add to a bag that you were making? I have seen books on knot making but I was never that interested in making any type of knots. Now, I am. I hope that I can find a book on how to make various knots to see if I can duplicate the look. Anyone know any titles?

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shop Talk - Go Green!

It seems the trend this year is to eliminate the use of paper and plastic shopping bags. There are many different sizes and shapes of shopping bags available. I guess the different sizes all depend on what you are purchasing. Come check out the different shopping bags at The Pattern Loft:

The Florence tote pattern by Indygo Junction. This tote comes in two sizes: 11” x 15” and 10” x 14”.

Eco Market Tote pattern by Favorite Things. This tote is 15” x 18” x 4.5”.

Tukaway Tote pattern by Mckenna Linn. This tote is 20” x 22” and can be folded into it’s own little pocket.

Betty Shopper pattern by Amy Butler. This bag pattern comes in two sizes: Large - 15" across top and 28" across bottom (width) x 14 1/2" tall x 3 1/2" deep. Small - 12 1/2" wide across the top and 25" across bottom(width) x 14 1/2" tall x 3 1/2" deep.

Bring Your Own Bag pattern by Quilts Illustrated. The bag is 16” x 16” x 5.5”.

Easy Market Bag pattern by Calico Printworks. This bag is 13” x 19” x 6”.

Also, coming soon to The Pattern Loft is the ReUse-a-Bag pattern from Studio Kat. This bag comes in three sizes: 12” x 10.5” x 4.75”, 15” x 14” x 5.5”, 18.5” x 17” x 6.5”. Each bag also folds up into a clutch.

Any of these bags would be fun to make. They would also make great gifts, easily personalized for each person.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fall Wardrobe

I've decided to create a sewing plan for fall. I don't know how far I will get with it but I own hundreds of patterns. I also own more fabric than I care to admit to having. However, I have done a fair job stopping the fabric buying for now.

Since I'm not working in the corporate world anymore, I want to have a simpler wardrobe but I want to look nice. I was looking at the Eileen Fisher website. This designer is know for a simpler design and beautiful fabrics. What a great place for ideas. Right now, there is a short video showing transitioning to fall. Some of the outfits have given me some ideas using existing patterns in my stash. I guess now I will need to figure out if I have the fabric already stashed away.

I do intend to do a storyboard. It may start out very small - like top, pants, jacket, and maybe a skirt. This maybe a good time to pull out the Loes Hinse patterns. I do own several of these patterns. I also have several pieces of nice rayons that were purchased via coops and webstores.

Ok, off to sew a little bit. I have two items currently cut out. I should finish those items before starting something else.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Christmas is 170 days away! Gift Ideas, & Shop Talk

I just got an email from stating that Christmas is 170 days away. Although Christmas is 5 1/2 months away, I know that time will fly. This year I'm going to attempt to make a few of the gifts. I know that I will be making some shoe bags. I use the Shoe Bags pattern from Diane Bossom. It makes up well and it's quick. Look around while you are there. There are several serger projects available. If you don't have a serger, don't worry, just modify the instructions for the sewing machine.

Shop talk - Here's a gift idea from The Pattern Loft - How about a little bag for the cell phone, ipod, or any other small electronic item that people carry around? Pocket Book Pals is a great little example of a bag pattern that can be customized to fit the electronic item. Look around there are several other Little bags that are perfect for this type of gift.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Inspiration with Dior's fall collection

I love tweed and this example from Neiman Marcus is beautiful. The jacket description is a draped Peter Pan collar, button front, darted waist, and welt pockets - $1940. The skirt description is A-lined with raised seams - $1030. Both pieces are made from wool. I'm including a link so that you can zoom in the collar. It is very interesting detail. Dior Tweed Suit

To me, the collar looks like there are some pleats with the collar edge sewn into a neckline dart with some additional pleating in the center front. I love all the topstitching (is that what the raised seams are?). The skirt says it's a-lined but it must be very slight. It looks more straight to me. I think it's also a little bit short. There are lots of suit patterns that would give a similar look but I'm not sure about reproducing the collar. That would probably be a little bit harder. Any ideas on reproducing?


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sew News articles

I have finished reading through the article on the "Working Girl" wardrobe in the August / September issue. It is a reasonable good article and could be applied to the WAHM or SAHM using the concept of 7 pieces - 1 jacket, 2 tops, 3 bottoms, and a dress. This is a little bit smaller version of the Sewing with a Plan from Australian Stitches which is 11 pieces - 2 pants, 2 skirts, 6 tops, and a cardigan or jacket. The Stitches article is really for the person who wants to create their entire wardrobe. Whereas the Sew News article is more about making the more expensive pieces and supplementing with purchased basics.

The article on Knits with an Edge is also interesting. The pictures of the various Sewing Workshop patterns with the different edges are inspiring. I want to make try the edge technique of adding a coordinating knit to the edge. The article does mention the problem of tunneling when using a twin needle. It is suggested to use paper or tear-away stabilizer when stitching. My preferred method is to lower the tension until you get a good zig-zag going with the bobbin thread without it being pulled to the front. I also don't like the idea of having to remove the paper/stabilizer from the hem.

On to the next set of articles.....

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sewng Magazines - Threads, Sew News

In the past week, I received two different sewing magazines - Threads and Sew News. I have had found time to read through one article in Threads - No-Nonsense Flexible Waist Finishes by Connie Long. This is a really good article for anyone who is interested in a faced waistband that has a little bit of give. I will be attempting this on the next skirt or pants that I make probably in the fall. I have skimmed the Sew News and the Knits with an Edge by Linda Lee looks interesting along with the Working Girl by Julianne Hazelhurst. The Working Girl article more or less an endless options for the working wardrobe. Now, I wish there was an article for the "At Home Girl". The WAHM or the SAHM need style too!

Ok, off to read a couple more articles.

Happy Sewing!