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As a Martha Pullen licensed sewing teacher I love to learn new sewing techniques and I equally enjoy teaching sewing techniques to others.  You can also find me teaching Bernina Customer Courses at my local Bernina dealer.  In addition, I demonstrate Stampin' Up products.  I am a servant of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, wife of one, mom of two, and grandma of five.  Welcome to my sewing and crafting studio!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jeans Progress

Good mid-week greetings.  This is the first time I have attempted to make a pair of jeans, so I just wanted to post a quick update on the progress (or lack thereof) that I am making in Jennifer Stern's Blue Print to Blue Jeans class over at Pattern Review.  My muslin is made and hopefully fitted properly.  That is, the muslin fits properly, but contrary to Jennifer's recommendation to not use a non-stretch muslin when sewing with stretch denim, I did it anyway.  Not to be defiant, mind you, but simply because that's what I had on hand and I didn't want to go to the store for supplies. 

I also have all my denim pattern pieces cut and ready to sew.  Here's a picture of the embroidery that I added to the back pockets:

I used my embroidery machine to embellish them with a simple design.  I backed the denim with No Show Mesh Fusible interfacing so as to make my stretch denim non-stretch denim so the design would not end up distorted.  I also backed it with a light weight tear away stabilizer.  I ended up embroidering the design twice, with the second stitch-out exactly on top of the first stitch-out for more impact since the embroidery thread was a bit wimpy looking against the beefy denim fabric.  I tried to use gold topstitching thread to embroider the design, but my machine didn't play well with that combination.

I will post more progress updates as they occur.  Have a great middle of the week.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Colette Sewing Handbook: Taffy Blouse

Woo Hoo!  Here's a blouse I know I will wear many times.

This is the second Colette pattern I've sewn up, and I'm liking the patterns more with each one that I make.  The fit is great.  I cut a size 8 from the shoulders down to the waist and then graded to a size 12 from the waist to the hem (darn hips!).  I did not make any pattern alterations.  Here is a picture from the side where you can get a glimpse of the back ties:

I will definitely sew up this pattern again, but the one and only design change I will make will be to move those back ties up a couple inches so they are just below my bust line.  In looking at these photos, I can see that would be a more flattering location for the ties.

The only detail I changed on this top is that I used my serger to make a narrow-rolled, lettuce hem.  I used regular poly thread in the needle and lower looper and for some interest I used a DMC silver metallic thread in the upper looper.  It is hard to see in these photos so here is a close up of the hem:

I always use French seams on sheer fabrics and this pattern is no exception.  For the binding, I simply used a 100% quilter's cotton that I had on hand.  I initially thought it might be a little heavy for the neck binding and that it might "flop" down after it was applied, but I was wrong.  It lays beautifully along the neck and is not too heavy or bulky at all.

Bias binding

Inside finished seams
 Now I must begin my fit muslin for the jeans class that I am in over at PatternReview.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sew Cute

I can't help but share a picture of my 6-year old granddaughter's first sewing lesson.

Once a week I pick her up from school and she spends the afternoon with me.  Last week I asked her if she would want to learn how to sew and she enthusiastically shouted "YES".  Today I introduced her to the sewing machine, stressed safety procedures, and after getting a feel for the machine she stitched without thread on lines that I drew on cardstock.  She's a natural if I do say sew.  I then threaded the needle and she stitched out a number of floral and animal designs.

There's no greater satisfaction than shared interests between a grandma and grandchild.  I love it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

There is Beauty Scrapbook Layout

As my disclaimer states, I always have a notion to sew, but sometimes other endeavors take my attention.  This is one of those instances.  I fully intended to start another sewing project today, but this photo kept staring at me and I had to make a scrapbook page.

The papers I used are a combination of papers from Anna Griffin, K & Comapny, and Close to My Heart.  I used this kit from Kerri Bradford to make the photo collage.  It was the first time I've used any of her photo masks and I am hooked.  The black flowers above the photo were made by stamping (Hero Arts stamp) with Versa Mark ink and then embossing with black embossing powder.  The layout was inspired from a layout by Nichol Magouirk.  I die cut the title and the notebook tag using my Silhouette.  The die cuts are also designs by Kerri Bradford.  The two embellishments on the bottom right corner are from K & Company.

Okay, back to sewing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Infant Car Seat Cover and Nursing Apron (Modesty Cover)

In preparation for the arrival of my fifth grand baby next month, I'm busy sewing baby gifts.  Here are the first two - all completed:

My daughter never finds out the gender of the baby until he/she is born, so I tried to keep the color palette neutral.  All the fabric is from the Dandelion Daydream line by Maywood Studio, which I purchased from one of my local quilt stores - Sew 'n Save.  When I need a number of different coordinating fabrics, I usually go with one line because all the guess work is eliminated.  They just all magically coordinate.  Love that!

Let's start with the car seat cover.  I used this tutorial.  But be warned, unless you know the type of handles your intended car seat has, don't sew the handle covers on yet.  Some car seats have a straight across handle bar, others have a zig zag.  I sewed the cover for a straight across handle bar only to find out that my daughter's car seat has the zig zag handles.  Who knew?!  As you can see, the outer fabric is mostly green with some tone on tone flowers. 

The fabric on the underside is the only fabric not from the Dandelion Daydream line.  It is a super soft, polka-dot Minkee.  Perfect against baby's delicate skin.

Okay, next is the apron. I've never made one of these before, but my daughter requested one.  I started with this tutorial but gave up following it as the instructions were a bit vague.  I did, however, use her suggestion to angle the top corners of the apron rather than leaving them square like a big sheet.  But be careful when you do this as it will give you two bias edges, which are easy to stretch out when you are hemming/finishing the edges.  The sewing steps were easy enough to make up as I went, once I had an idea of what a nursing apron/modesty cover was!

Here are some close-ups:

Completely enclosed and finished seams on underside of apron

Front pocket

Adjustable neck strap

Front of the apron with the boning inserted in the casing

Thanks for wading through this lengthy post.  My last baby project will be a simple crib-size quilt.  Stay tuned . . .