Monday, March 29, 2010

On the net, the new/old sewing machine and at the auction

On the Net
Look at this fabulous jacket!  What I failed to get a photo of is the back.  Here the seamstress used the beautiful print in the vent pleat that goes from the shoulders to the bottom seam and swings open. 
Another beauty that I admired while surfing the other day.

And this I adore and know that I will never sew anything like it on the sewing machine I currently have. 

The New/Old Sewing Machine
But it looks like I am going to visit my mother this week and she has been trying to give me her old sewing machine for a while now.  But the vehicle only holds so much and two dobermans with their paraphernalia takes up a lot of room. It is kind of like traveling with two babies.  Big babies with big teeth.

So this trip I plan to allow room for the sewing machine which is a Bernina from the 70's.  My parents paid around $1000-$1200 for this baby way back when. Amazing when you consider the mortgage payment was $198 I believe. She has big fold out sewing machine cabinet too but I wil have to leave it behind for now.

The exciting part---the buttonhole attachment!  I can remember using this and it made great buttonholes. 

My mother and grandmother worked on this machine at our house making tons of clothes for me--I was in high school.  All the other kids wore jeans and I felt like a misfit (I was) but one day a girl came up to me and asked why I was "always dressed up" ?  So that's how the other kids saw me!  Ok, I can live with that.

The Auction
Ok, I have been to auctions before but not like this.  People were stealing the stuff I bought almost as quick as I bought it.  I caught one guy loading a set of vintage lugage I had just won the bid on into his van.  I got that back easily enough-he said he thought it was included with his stuff on the table.

At the end another guy walked up and grabbed some boxes of sewing stuff I had won the bid on.  I said "I bought that"--he said "no I bought that".  I was pretty sure it was mine but could not prove it until I got my receipt.  Of course by then he had taken my stuff and disappeared. 

Tall man with yellow sweater vest and boston terrier--I'll be on the lookout for you!

The honey was a bit upset when he saw all my purchases he thought it was too much stuff and possibly too much money.  So what do you think?

2 sets of Vintage luggage plus 1 white vintage suitcase (with keys)
1 Knife for honey (he did not like it)
4 boxes of fabric, some cut for various projects like quilts, etc.
3 large garbage bags of fabric
1 bag of small crochet pieces

All for just under $60 and the neighbor's truck was full. The neighbor also said that if I had saved my other purchases from the Yellow-Vested Theft we would not have had room for them anyway.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Check out this Craiglist ad

400 plus Vintage Patterns!!

If only!

Sewing News

Last week I mentioned an estate sale with fabric.  So I went and they had lots of fabric, a whole metal cabinet full.  But it was in a dark corner in the garage that was hard to get to since it was so crowded in there with tables and other people looking at stuff.  They wanted $2 per yard and I could not see the fabric well at all.

The last estate sale I went to had fabric at $1.00 per bag (as much as you could put in a plastic grocery bag).  I figured I would just skip it since I can buy fabric much easier and know what I am getting.

Friday is an estate auction with fabric.  Let's see if I can get my butt out to that--it is at night and I am a real party pooper these days.

The Sewing Machine Ate it. . .

Yep that was the bodice to the red slinky knit dress I am referring to.  The sewing machine stuffed it into the bobbin area and made a black spot with a hole.  Just as well, this was started to feel a lot like working on college math.  So now we are on the way to a red slinky knit SKIRT! 

I hate slinky knit.

This fabric was originally going to be McCall's 5241 a 1 Hour Cardigan but after reading pattern reviews I decided against it.  Hmmm. . . .

Some Success in sewing

Simplicity Easy to Sew 3506.  True, it was easy, so easy I went back and did it again.  I think a lot of the success has to do with the fabric.  I knew the blue knit would work because I saw it on another lady's blog.  Thank you, whoever you are!  Also, like this person, I skipped the zipper since it is not needed with the knit fabrics.

The top is made from some stash fabric from ages ago. Not very pretty, but I had it so why not make something with it.  The white you can see are tiny butterflies.

Ready for this week to be OVER!

This has been a bad week:
Monday I learned that job interviews started for a job I was iinterested in and I was not invited for an interview.  Jobs are few and hard to find so this is definitely bad news.

Tuesday night, technically Wednesday at 3 a.m. Dog 1 who recently had TPLO surgery started crying with pain. We left at 6 a.m to be at the vet's clinic when they opened.  After an examination and X-rays no specific cause found and she was put on pain killers.

Wednesday Dog 1 still in pain but no longer crying anyway.  These are really tough dogs so it means a lot when one cries.

Also on Wednesday the clothes dryer broke down.  Luckily for me the honey is smart and figured out what was wrong.  $10 part with $7 shipping on its way, 5-7 days until it arrives though.

Thursday Dog 1 much better still a bit under the weather but I can tell she is on the mend.

Please let Friday be better. . .

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fabric Mart $1.00 Sale!

Check it out and see if any of these bargains are for you.  I recognize some selections since I already purchased them a couple of weeks ago.  I bought 8 yards of the Vera Wang Cotton Canvas thinking maybe a coat?  Now that I have it I am not sure, it is pretty stiff fabric.

I also bought some of the Sour Apple Green and I really like the feel of this fabric.  Orginally I was thinking about a sporty outfit with pants.  But I am still working on the red slinky dress.  Luckily I had enough fabric to re-cut the top pieces and try again.  So far so good since I tweaked the directions that were not working for me before. 

A triple layer of this fabric due to the "narrow hem" plus a seam allowance with elastic inserted will NOT go under my presser foot.  Hence the direction tweaking. 

Also, I have ordered a gathering foot and hope that it arrives soon.  I noticed another blogger purchased one and fell in love with it. OOOOhh, and there is an Estate Sale in my town tomorrow--with fabric and yarn!

I leave you today with 3 photos of Dog 1 and Dog 2 in the sewing room.  Notice the great drafting table that was given to my honey.  It is the perfect height and width for a cutting table.  Yep, oak drafting table-FREE! 

Dog 1

Oak Drafting Table- my new cutting table

Dog 2 with peanut butter filled Kongs I use to bribe dogs to let me sew.
Good girls!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

First Garment Made in many years

The bug bit me again and I decide to have another go at sewing.  The first pattern I chose was Simplicity 2852-6 Made Easy.  I chose to make view E although I knew this wide square neckline was not the most flattering on me.  But if I wore with something underneath as shown on the envelope it would work.

I looked through my years old stash and found some purple heather knit that I would not cry over if I ruined the top.  In RTW I wear a 10-12 and cut this top out in a size 14.  All-in-all it turned out well and was easy to make other than the set in sleeves.  I blasted, then re-basted, and think on the third try managed to get everything in smoothly. 

The top was a tiny bit tight in the bust but I've lost 5 pounds since then but the sleeves are too short.  It never occurred to me to check the sleeve length when I was making this.  Leason learned.  I will make this again in the round neckline version either view A or B.

One more leason learned--skip the set in sleeves and put them prior to sewing up the side seams.  Tried that method on another project-what a dream!

It is overcast today and this photo is much darker than should be.  The top is a light-medium purple heather and that is a white door behind it.  The flash started working for the other photos.

Now here is a real wadder for you: Simplicity 4025. I made view B in fleece.  It turned out to be a real dog-an ugly dog at that.  I like the way fleece sews but it seems too light of a material for this style to hang correctly.  This fleece was also old stash fabric but I should have saved it for a blanket or something.  Right now I can not imagine ever wanting to try this pattern again.  But maybe I learn something down the line that will help me figure out what fabrics would work best--never a funky patterned fleece though.

But since I liked sewing fleece I decided to try another pattern and a solid colored fleece. That should resolve my issues right?  Nope, another wadder just prettier color this time.  I used McCall'S 5714 DIY Style and what a pain in the butt it was.  Follow direction to this point, then take a right turn at Albuquerque, pick up directions here, then turn around and say the hokey pokey.  Too much drama in the directions for me and I have read similiar complaints on 

I chose view E to sew in a pretty yellow fleece.  Never did figure out the collar directions correctly and at the end quit short of putting on some snaps.  It looks terrible on me anyway.  I thought I might try a different view in a different type of fabric--one day.

Ok, I can not  close this with a wadder, what would you think of me?  New Look 6816 Easy 2 Hour tops, skirt, and pants.  I chose top view A and added to the length which was a great idea.  The fabric was a new purchase from JoAnn's and I really like it.

Everything on this sewing experience went rather smoothly except for the neckline binding.  I could not get that bugger to fit!  So I cheated and recut the piece with the grain going the super stretchy way. I could get it to fit and sew it on. . . but, yeah you know what is coming.  The neckline is just a bit too wide now and the bra straps show.

My honey says the top is pretty and to wear a strapless bra and not worry about it.  I will definitely try this pattern again and maybe figure out that neckline binding better the next go round.  Very cute top regardless.

I think this will look great with a pair of black pants.  You may not can see it but the fabric has a glittery streak running though it that makes it rather fancy looking.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guess what you got me for our anniversary honey?

Last year for our wedding anniversary I decided that a dozen roses would be a great gift from the honey. And that a dozen rose plants from Jackson Perkins would be an even better gift. Especially since we had a new construction house with minimum landscaping. So here are a few photos from last summer just to get us all in the mood for the coming seasons.

This is one lizard that survived my prized lizard hunting doberman aka Dog1 for blogging purposes.

We also installed a new bluebird house last spring after attending a local seminar on the subject. Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird produced two clutches (I think that is what you call them). Mr. Bluebird is back this year scoping out the house and waiting for the Mrs. to show up.

And just in case you thought I forgot this is suppost to be a sewing blog. . . I am working hard on a new waddie. At least it is showing great potential in that direction. I am sewing red slinky knit (what the heck was I thinking!) and using McCall pattern 6070. The pattern is labeled easy but the fabric is not. Right now I am wondering if I have enough fabric left to re-cut the bodice and start over.

Yesterday I purchased clear sewing thread to see if that would help with my problems. The directions call for a "narrow hem" on the neckline--ok, I get that. But hand sewing this area shows on the front and does not look good. Top stitching the area with red does not look good.

The pattern photo (chick in red dress) does not show top stitching but the illustrations do. So I will try the clear thread on a scrap and see what happens. Boy do I hate to waste this fabric, it is very nice quality at a great price purchased from

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My new sewing library

Take a look at all the wonderful books I purchased at the University Women's Book and Treasure Sale. Each book shown was only $1.00 each!!! What a bargain. This is an annual sale and my first time to attend. I had helped out a bit as a volunteer prior to the sale but boy was I shocked when I drove up on the opening sale day. The parking lot was full with people cruising for a parking spot.

The proceeds from the sale benefit scholarships at the local college and university.

Photo #1 from right to left
Simplicity Holiday 2007-a store copy of patterns. Perhaps not the most useful of my purchases, but if you something you had to grab it quick!

Simplicity Sewing Books-an oldie but goodie with lots of sewing information from picking a pattern to lining a coat, selecting fabric, and detail work.

Simplicity Sewing Book-Revised-Tailoring, crochet, embroidery,etc.

Sewing Express by Nancy Zieman-1994, blouses, jackets, skirts, pants, reversibles, accessories.

Palmer/Pletsch Couture: The Art of Fine Sewing by Robert Carr, 1993. Excellent book with great diagrams and photos.

Top center of photo #1 is the Good Housekeeping Complete Book of Needlecraft,1959. Yeah, they are not kidding when they say "Complete". This book has everything in it.

Photo 2
Palmer/Pletsch Dream Sewing Spaces: Designing & Organization for Spaces Large and Small by Lynette Ranney Black, 1996. Again a very good purchase.

Better Homes & Gardens Sewing Book: Sewing How to for home and family, 1961. You might think this is too old to be of any use but I have found it a really great book to own. It covers everything from garment construction to design and home decor.

The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction, 1959. Great photos (black/white) and diagrams are very understandable. Again a great bargain.

Top right of photo #2 are:

Dressmaking with Liberty by Ann Ladbury, Includes 3 patterns for 20 outfits, 1984. Patterns are in the back pouch and never used. Styles are dated so this is not my favorite purchase but Liberty is hot these days so who knows what I will come to think of this book later.

Also at top of photo #2 is: The Liberty Home, Distinctive Sewing Projects from Classic Liberty Fabrics, 1997. Beautiful photos in this full color book!

Photo #3

Singer Sewing Book by Mary Brooks Picken, 1953. Original price of this book was $4.95! My how times have changed. Again, this is a very good book which covers just about everything you need to know. Black/white diagrams. I like it :)

The Art of Sewing/The Classic Techniques, A Time-Life book, 1973. Probably my favorite book of all. The first section is a historic perspective of fashion and the rest are color diagrams on clothing construction. And the pretty pink fuzzy texture of the cover is very nice too.

Easy Elegance from the Ann Person Collection, Lingerie, 1982. Very nice book but it will probably be a while before I feel competent enough to try sewing lingerie. Besides that my little cheapie sewing machine is not up to the task anyway.

The Best of Threads Garmentmaking Tips. This is a small pamphlet probably included with another book or magazine at some time. It contains tips from readers of Thread magazine. Nothing really new or great here.

Finally the last photo.

Sew Somerset, the art of creative sewing with mixed media.2007. Pretty pictures but I don't think I ever actually do anything like they show in this magazine.

Christopher Lowell's You Can Do It! Small Spaces.2003. I love Christopher and I used to watch his television show back in the days when we had cable. This book was brand new and shrink wrapped so it was a surprise to find the small spaces were in two Fleetwood Mobile Homes. Pretty pictures though. Not my best purchase.

Making Mechanical Cards, Shelia Sturrock, 2009. New book, but, ahhh, I am not going to do this. Yeah.

The Craft of Temari, Mary Wood, 2003. Love the photos but doubt I ever try this either. Still worth the buck spent though.

So as you see my best purchases were all the sewing books. I feel very smart about all those purchases! Ok, smug it is then :)