Sewing Vloggers

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Yippee! Loom Learning!

I am excited. I am going "loom learning". I will be taking a class in three weeks. It is two full days and will take place the NOA Gallery in Groton, Mass. I am so excited and it is my birthday gift from my hubby.

  Courtesy NOA Gallery, link in purple won't work, click on the Noa Gallery link above and scroll down. 

 I can't wait as when it comes to tapestry my mind is a book of empty pages. I am really looking forward to the class, the wonderful silk fibers and other items being supplied for the projects as well as meeting the President of Mirrix, Claudia Chase. It appears we lived very near each other in New Hampshire, small world! She is a reknowned weaver.

Are any of you taking any classes soon? I do know Kathy Dykstra is teaching at a big heirloom event I believe coming up in Texas.  Claire Meldrum is now teaching picture smocking through SAGA, Smocking Arts Guild of America. Anyone else teaching or taking? I find classes can really inspire, expecially when learning something quite new. I would love to hear if any of you have plans or are taking any sewing type courses soon.........Bunny

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Prettiest Dress I've Ever Made

Terry met my brother Bill after he did a stint in the Armed Forces. Luck brought him to Germany when it could have sent him to Da Nang. He came home, wasn't sure of the direction he was headed, and took a job at a hospital not far from the house. Terry, her mom and her sister all worked at the hospital. She was 14. You could do that back then. If you knew the right person, you could work before the age of sixteen. Nobody told and Terry was a very hard worker.  Bill and Terry quickly became good friends and eventually fiances. They married, moved away and Terry simultaneously worked on her degree and getting pregnant. Seven was her lucky number and that pregnancy didn't fail like the other six. She and Bill were blessed with a 2 1/2 pound baby girl who grew to be cherished by both. They had no other children as it wasn't in their cards and Terry was just too drained to try any more. They were content with their beautiful baby girl. She was so tiny and so loved when she entered this world.

Life went on. They bought their own home. Terry graduated. Bill moved up the corporate ladder and the baby thrived. Our large family watched. They were the best of best friends. You could just see that long happy road ahead and the type of relationship whose complimentary strengths could weather anything. One night, just after putting their six year old to bed, Terry popped open a beer can. Before she could snap it all the way back Bill looked up and saw her collapse on the floor. She was instantly gone from a massive aneurism at the age of 32. Life changed,  for Bill, their little girl and our entire close knit family. The Thanksgiving dinners at their house stopped. The annual summer clambakes went away. Life had its way of happening  and all was changed forever.

A bit about Terry...she was a professional level tennis player. She would murder any and all of my six brothers out on the court. But they loved her and loved sparring with her. She was the most competitive person I have ever known  and on that court, there was no mercy. She was also the kindest person I have ever met. Terry was very pretty, athletic, smart and ever so kind. She also never wore a skirt in her life, other than her wedding gown. One day she started planning her parents anniversary party. It was to be a big fancy affair. She gave me the ultimate compliment. She asked me to make her a black velvet suit. It's jacket would have scallops along the center front and hem. The skirt would be a simple knee length A line. Terry did nothing fussy. I was so honored and took a while to absorb that I would make the only skirt any of us had ever seen her wear. This had to be gorgeous. And while I was at it could I make something black velvet but little girlish for her daughter to wear to the festivities too? I was on this like white on rice.

Terry's suit fit her lovely figure just right and I was so proud to see it on her. But her daughter's dress, now that was special. It was the same black velvet as the suit. There was a simple bodice with a back placket and raised waistline. The sleeves were quite full and long. There was no collar to detract from  the embellishment. I had seen the most special child's dress in Sew News, back in the day when it was a newspaper. The bodice had random widths and lengths of bright colored ribbons, silks and grosgrains,  woven across the front. They released at the waist into a hypnotic swirl of color that any little girls would proudly twirl. Against the black velvet, it was breathtaking and Terry was thrilled her angel would have such a special dress. The big event came and went. It was a night that would be remembered many times in the years to come and the two of them were so beautiful that night. Life settled back in. About three weeks later Terry passed away. She is buried in that black suit and her angel's ribbon bedecked dress is tucked right next to her. It is still and always will be the prettiest thing I have ever made...................Bunny

( As you can imagine, this post has been simmering for years as I often think of our dear Terry. As you probably know, bouts of purging/cleaning can unearth hidden treasures that trigger deeply felt memories. I came across this yellowing Sew News page that was folded and tucked away with all the other accumulations. It was time to write. I dedicate this to all of you who have a star missing in your universe. Thank you for letting me share this with you all.....Bunny)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Great Purge continues!

It's been said before. Purging at first is difficult, but once done feels like a weight has been lifted. I am feeling that and it has only begun. So far I have six bags of fabric and some patterns going to a Mennonite family. They wear regular very modest clothing and they sew A LOT. There is more to go through, lots. Books have and will be donated to the library, so many books like Macrame and Doll books, and such. I would not give up my precious sewing books. The two rooms  look like a tornado has gone through but I do have one area that is giving me peace. The pattern collection has been seriously culled and is down to this with room for new additons.  Bye Bye big shoulders and dropped armscyes! Those details were an immediate toss.

And here, we have beads and buttons and bias.  Those two little piles of fabrics are all that is left of any quilting cottons I owned and there was a good amount. These I kept for specific projects I had in mind. Two new babies coming in our extended family!

This is a walk through closet that has a doorway on each side. One side is my studio, the other side, all my storage: fabrics and books and such. So I at least have these two little spaces done and this weekend will attack more. But first I will deliver all that fabric! In the meantime, blogging and NLS will be on hold until there is order in my life. I only wish  there were good weather so I could have a yard sale right away. There will be one......................Bunny

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Loom Carrier, self drafted

The loom carrier is complete! I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this project. The drafting, the construction, the always there frustrations, all of it was great fun and I am really pleased with the results and it looks like it will work IRL.

This was self designed and drafted. I started by thinking about what I would need to make my new  Mirrix loom easy to travel with. It has all sorts of parts that need to be kept track of.  I also had given both grandaughters bead looms for Christmas and we always work on crafts or sewing when we visit.  I wanted to be able to bring my loom with me so we could all weave some beads or fibers together. Let me tell you, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree here. They both LOVE to do this sort of thing and I am thrilled that they like to do it with their grandma. So a travelling bag was needed. I also plan to attend a two day seminar in March on making tapestry and bead jewelry so this will be great for carrying the loom to that fun event.

I started the design by getting out some graph paper and taping it to be big enough for the project. I then measured the loom and took a good look at the parts to see what was needed  to prevent them from getting lost. . I love that part of design, the problem solving part, so much fun. I knew the outside would be pretty straightforward but the inside was the working part of the project and needed a lot of attention for good function.
Here you can see each side of the inside lining.

I also made a well padded bag to hold the actual loom. As some one far more experienced pointed out to me, my warped loom could get it's warps all caught up in the other parts of the bag. The bag is two layers of thick quilt batting that is quilted to the inside lining of this bag. There is a drawstring at the top with a ribbon. It is well protected. Here you can see how it works in the  actual loom carrier.

This was definitely fabric that called out to be purchased. I am a huge fan of impressionist painting and Van Gogh's Starry Night clearly inspired the outside fabric. The inside is a knockoff of Monet's Iris Garden. Be still my heart!

The faux leather is the stuff I get from WalMart, the only thing I get from WM. I detest their fabric department. The wovens are total thread bare garbage knockoffs of all the licensed more quality fabrics found in quilt shops. Huge Difference! But I experimented with their faux leather a long time ago and I really like it. It's very sewable, and has held up well in other bags I've made. Like I said, the only thing I will buy from WM.

The Starry Night fabric is fused to fusible fleece and Peltex was used to make the bottom gusset and the bag sides "hard" and it worked. I gave directions on how I handled that in yesterday's post.

Making this was pretty straightforward. There were details. I lined the pockets with flannel and added a little flannel band to the pocket intended for needles, the better to stick them on to travel.

There's a special pocket for my small scissors.

There are wide, large loops to hold the shedding device.

There are loops for holding fibers and zipper pockets on both sides for whatever other goodies need to travel.

I put all these details in the bag based on the very tiny amount I know about weaving with this loom. I know, just like in garments, that after a few uses I will have the "coulda, shouldas" and that's OK. I am a newbie with unbridled enthusiasm. What can I say? I will learn how  to do the next one better and with a more efficient layout. Maybe I'll find out I want outside pockets. Who knows? All I know is this project confirmed that I am so totally a process person. That's what I get off on. Sure, I love the end results when they are good and am sad when they are not so good, but the process? The process is almost always very good. A few more details:

Teh straps are stitched in an "X" to make them secure. The straps were topstitched before attaching to the bag and then topstitched again, in the same holes to secure them to the bag. 

A close up of the gusset zipper junction. 
Blogging and Next Level Sewing will be a bit sporadic for a while. as we work on our "move". There is much to be done in the house before it hits the market and around here Spring comes fast and suddenly. 

My sewing room is COMPLETELY torn apart. Two of these bags hold fabric and two other bags, one not shown, hold about 200-300 patterns.  We are taking a drive tomorrow to donate these to an appreciative source. There is a lot more chucking to be done before it is all done.  I soooo don't want to move this stuff. There is always more fabric and patterns to buy and tomorrow's another day! How would you draw the line on what patterns to keep and which to donate?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Floating Interfacing

I started doing this a while back with my bags and have made it my go to technique when I need stiffness in a bag. If you have ever used Peltex, you know it can inspire the most colorful use of language. It is boardlike once fused and putting it into a bag before turning it right sides out for the last time will induce a sort of breaking/wrinkling effect that can make the outer shell of the bag nasty.  It can also drive you insane. Maneuvering it through your machine is even worse. It has great potential to knock it out of time, which actually happened to me and cost dollars to fix. While I didn't particularly need for this bag to stand on it's own, which smaller Peltex filled bags easily do, I did want rigidity to protect my loom while it was in the bag. I thought the Floating Interfacing would work and might be a technique to share.

You need your piece of Peltex cut to the size of the area you want to interface (make boardlike), but a bit smaller.  I made my Peltex a half inch less in width and length for an easier fit.  Cut the corners into a curve the size of a nickel (red lines). Peltex is fusible on both sides. Forgetting that will start the first round of foul language when you realize you've fused this nasty stuff to your ironing board. Since both sides of the Peltex are fusible you will need a piece of muslin or quilting cotton for each side of the Peltex. On my bag sides I cut the thin cotton to give me about 2 extra inches on each side which will make it easier to manipulate later. I left 3/4 of an inch on the top, and nothing on the edge that will slip into the bottom of the bag. The floating piece will only be attached to the bag on three sides. The bottom edge is free.  Once the cotton is fused to both sides of the Peltex, the corners are cut as you see on the green line above.

The fused Peltex is now slipped into the bag with its hard edges slipping under the bag seam allowances. 

With heavy duty thread and a big needle I stitched the folded edge of what I am going to call the Floater to the bag SAs. It's a simple overcast stitch. I have left some play in the thread to keep it from pulling.

Above is what it looks like once the three edges are overcast.

 The hand stitching is completed and the SAs have been cut back. Now to do the other side! Oh, make sure your Floater fabric is not something that will show through the lining.  This takes care of the Peltex in the side panels.

For the base of the bag I did a Floater that connects across the bottom of the gusset on the lining wrong sides.

You can see what a nice sharp edge the bag has even though it is floating between the lining and the outer shell. And at no point did you have to turn the bag and renew your swearing vocabulary! Now the lining will simply be hand stitched to the zipper/SA on the inside of the bag by hand and Done! More to come...................

Thanks for humoring my Cabin Fever attack. It is brutal up here this weekend. While I will get a lot done in my studio, a bit of the crazy rears it's head around mid February and the temps are 10 below at high noon. Around here we don't talk about wind chill. Just the regular temp is enough to know we are in a world of white caca. We've hit 20 belows quite a few nights in the past month. Ugh. Good luck to all on the East Coast as they hunker down for yet another one!........Bunny

Hey, Girl...

 I just couldn't resist. This young seamstress's come hither look  was just begging for a bit of a Ryan Gosling "Hey, Girl..." caption.

"Yeah boy, this is the new Watson Bra I am working on."


I am clearly suffering from Cabin Fever, not unusual in mid February  around here. Are you? What would your caption be?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Vogue 1385, a felted, painted jacket

I'm meh on this one. I've worn it and received a lot of compliments. I just don't feel it looks that good on me. The style is just not right for my frame. I think it looks better on me belted. Wearing it unbelted just isn't very flattering. The fit can probably be tweaked more but I think in the end the actual style was not meant for me. I have a long skinny neck which I thought would look good with the frame of the collar. It does nothing, IMO. But I don't think it is the collar line so much as all those darts sloping down from the neck and over my arms, bust and neck. With a good sized bust that age has lowered a tad (wishful thinking!) all those darts pointing down and clinging to my narrow sloping shoulders just don't work. I added shoulder pads which helped some but still didn't make it work. There is plenty of room in the bustline but it would be improved with a button. Not sure I would like that and at this point it's move on time. I did get what I wanted, a soft sweatery, not fitted, garment that is slouchy enough to make a good throw on for a cold day. I even think I will wear this to work today as we hunker down for another storm. But this pattern? Not for me! Here's my actual review:


This is Vogue 1385, a Sandra Betzina Today's Fit design. It took some effort to get this design to come close to fitting. It is shown as a silk type blouse and some that I have seen on the web, like Sham's, are fabulous. But her shoulders are the exact opposite of mine and it looks great on her. Her shoulder line is straight across and the jacket hangs beautifully. I did shorten the darts a tad and "petited" the pattern as well as I always do and that made the muslin a lot better. The sleeves on the pattern have tucks and a good amount of volume. I knew that would  not be flattering in this heavier fabric and chose a longer length with a slit in  the cuff area. Not sure that is very flattering either but it is comfortable. This is a great design, IMO, just not for me. 

I used a 100% wool that I felted by washing and drying on hot twice. It took the two spins in the machines to get it to felt to the point where it would not ravel. It became soft and sweatery, what I wanted. I painted the fabric with a "twig" stencil on the upper bodice and sleeve edges using Lumiere metallic fabric paint. The project was pretty thrilling through the painting part. I love to paint/dye fabric and really should do more. It makes me happy. Once dry, the "twigs" of paint had deliberatel sort of random topstitching applied with the triple stitch and rayon thread. Notice: the thread on the shoulder topstitching matches perfectly but the camera makes it look nearly white. It's not. I love the color of this, like a deep periwinkle, that blue purple combo. The sleeve picture below is the true color of the jacket. 

First there was the fit! It took a couple of muslins to get that down. I made the mistake of following Betzina's instruction to buy "her" patterns by the bust which put me in a letter size equivalent to a size twelve. Well, that sure didn't work. After a lot of frustration, I did my usual Big Four adjustments starting with the smallest, Size A, pattern, much better. But this design is not an easy one to adjust, raglan sleeves, all those collar darts, etc.

Seams were stitched twice and then topstitched on the outside with regular sewing thread. I ran a band of the wool around all the outer edges and then triple zigzagged it with the rayon turquoise thread. This technique had worked for me before and I think it worked well here. There is no facing to this garment so the collar reaches a bit higher, which I thought would be better for my long neck. The lack of facing adds to the sweatery feel I wanted. Since I didn't do the facing which is stitched into the neck ruffles, it was a fairly uncomplicated process. 

In conclusion:
This is a lovely pattern on the right body. My narrow shoulders, long neck, and and those downward darts were just not compatible. I think in a lighter blouseweight fabric I might have stood a chance. The weight of the wool I think was just too much to get this to hang properly on me. At least that's this afternoon's thought. I won't be making this again. I congratulate those, and there are many, who were able to make this design work for themselves. It's a lovely design.  I am not sorry I went to  the effort, paint and all, and I do have a pretty  toss on for chilly afternoons at home and work but I just can't get excited about the finished project. Maybe it's just all the deep snow and sixteen below temps I am seeing on the thermometer right now.  Cabin fever?


Oh, my bag is nearly done and that is making me happy!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Becoming a Discerning Tutorial Seeker, NLS #12

Over the past year one topic reappears in various forms on the sewing social media network. However, it is more of a characteristic of all social media. How do you know who you are talking to, reading, following, believing, admiring, and learning from?  Just who is at the other end of your keyboard or phone? In the sewing network it can take the form of highly experienced sewists and totally inexperienced sewists all equally eager and passionae about sharing their love of this craft and that will keep it alive and thriving for a long time. Over and over, however, I keep getting  asked the same question. How do I know that someone whose blog I follow and enjoy knows what they are doing if I don't know much myself? Should I consider this person an authority? How do I know if their technique is good technique?

I, like many, have thrown my hands in the air with the answer, "you don't know".  With the internet, anyone can claim to be an expert. Anyone can do a tutorial on sewing technique. Anyone can be "certified" and anyone can "certify" someones patterns and skills, (big eye roll on that one!).  It's just the nature of this incredible internet. Sure, you can dig a bit and just maybe find their credentials, if there are any. You can do some age discrimination and assume the older the sewist the more they know and vice versa, which is so so wrong and so not necessarily true. . It's a real conundrum for the newer sewist looking for quality information and guidance.  This has bothered me for a long time as I really want our newer sewists to have the best information and guidance possible. Many new sewists are at a time in life when budget constraints prevent them from taking classes. Then I had to make the zippered pockets on my bag. ....Huh?

I have been sewing a long time but love that I can go on the web and research how to do something. I needed to put zippered pockets in the bag I am currently working on. Sure, I've done it many times but I am always up for a new technique. So I googled and pinterested and started reading loads of zipper pocket tutes before starting on my own. Never hurts to be well informed and I love to try new techniques.  As I wandered this landscape of thread and zips I found, as one often does on the web, good and bad info. But many years of sewing have made me able to tell the difference. My bench is deep. But newbies are sitting on the edge of that bench and trusting that the coach , unlike Pete Carol, will give them the best play to get the job done.

Eureka moment! From all this researching I started to see a pattern developing  that could actually help anyone but  newbies in particular, to  know if their teacher/ tutorial maker knows what they are doing. Certain attributes kept reappearing, enough to see a pattern on the  tutorials. It was enough of a reappearing trend to pull some  points that will let someone know every time if they are dealing with a teacher who has the skills to teach  and provide  solid quality sewing information. It's really a simple checklist and one to keep handy as you seek out technique on the web. Here we go.

courtesy yesterday's thimble

1. Check the pressing.
       In the tutorial instructions is the teacher/blogger telling you to press your seams, your garment, your edges as you sew, when you finish?  There are tutes on the web for sewing details that lack any instruction to press the garment edges, seams and finished product. The results show pressing or lack thereof  to an experienced sewist but to an inexperienced one you just wouldn't know and would expect that the finished product is supposed to look the way it does. If there are no pressing references in the tute anywhere, this person  does not know how to sew, sorry, but true. Move on to another tutorial for the technique you are researching. All sewing details, collars, pockets, hems, and all seams have specific pressing as part of technique to make them look professional. Sewing is Pressing. Look for pressing instructions as part of the tutorial. Check out hems. Are they smooth, with no points or ridge lines from the hemming stitches? Are the sleeves all puffy and pleaty at the top instead of smoothly rolling of the shoulder if that is what the pattern dictates. Does the collar on a jacket lay flat against the chest or is it wrinkly and sticking out all over? Look at the garment closely that is being shown in the tutorial. Look for directions to press in specific ways for that specific garment detail. Don't see them,,,,,move on to a tute that has those attributes. You are looking for a tutorial to teach you , not assume you know things already.

2. Use interfacing
     In my zipper pocket research, very few tutes showed the use of interfacing.The best  looking pockets did! Interfacing is used in collars, cuffs, buttonholes, zippers, pretty much someplace, somewhere on each garment. If the tutor consistently does not use interfacing in constructing various types of garments, they don't know how to sew well enough to be teaching. Interfacing isn't necessarily fusibles and hair canvas.  Self fabric and silk organzas are just two other fine options, but, it is there and referred to. No interfacing references, find another tute. Knits are excluded here. Knits have different rules but nearly any non knit garment has some type of interfacing somewhere. It's a rare destructured garment that doesn't.  Look for interfacing used in construction of wovens. This applies to children's wear as well as adult garments.

courtesy of craftsy.comt

3. Look for wonky
    Another glaring bit of evidence of skill that warrants your lack of  trust in the ability of the teacher is Wonkiness.  What's Wonkiness? Asymmetry is the big girl word but the ones we all understand are "just sloppy sewing." Back to my zipper research - there were tutes that had zippers messily on the diagonal across the pocket slot instead of lining up evenly and straight across the zipper "hole" with just a little more effort.  There was uneven topstitching with one side being a quarter inch wide, another an eighth of an inch wide. There were pockets that on one side had the pocket bag sticking  nearly a quarter of an inch out in spots  and on the other it was neatly hidden as it should have been all around. Look for pockets that are not set equidistant on the garment, are different sizes, collars that don't match in the front and  are different sizes,  buttons set way off center, etc. This button thing is a biggy. I've seen garments where not bothering to fit is simply overcome by moving the buttons over three inches and the buttonholes stay where they are.  Seriously, did you just feel one side off the bodice shrink? Buttons are not a fitting tool unless it is a small bit, not three inches. Really look closely at the garment in the tutorial and others the teacher has made. Are things "even"? Do they match as the above pockets do so well? Are they mirror images across the garment if they need to be ie, pockets at the same level and size? Is the installation of the detail neat and symmetrical if need be?  Is there an effort to match prints and plaids? If not, this is not the tutorial or teacher for you. The sloppiest, and it was really awful, zipper pocket I saw was from a BIG handbag designer. She is great at design, not so good at construction and a newbie would easily assume that someone of her stature would know how to do a required technique for her product or hire someone who does. It seems not necessarily. We are all blessed with different skills, hers is in design, which brings up another thought. If you are looking to be inspired,  look for great design and use of fabric and don't worry about technique. We all love inspirational blogs.  If you are looking to learn technique dig deep into the blog's bowels and check out how the details are handled.  If it looks wonky or sloppy, find another tutor. There are many ways to do the various tasks of sewing, none of which include sloppiness and unevenness. If the tutorial shows the finished product as uneven and not mirror imaged, they are not skilled enough to be teaching you. Move on. Again, this blogger may have other admirable skills but you are checking them out to see if they know enough about technique to teach you.

4. Completed photos
my own completed bag, no tute

I was amazed in my zipper tute search at the amount of tutes that DID NOT show a photo of the completed result. Funny coincidence, these were the same tutorials that showed sloppy construction with no pressing. Did the blogger know that the completed product was sub par and therefore did not show a picture of it? Pretty dishonest, IMO. Did they do this tute just to fill up blog space and maintain Adsense affiliate obligations at the expense of your knowledge? You have to wonder. Personally, I would at least rather see a finished picture of a bad execution than nothing. Really, these tutes are out there. If you are proud of your construction, you want it out there and will gladly put up pics. You have to wonder about someone's skills when they don't photograph the completed task. Look for a photo of the tutorial's completed project. You would be amazed at how many are missing. That's very telling, IMO.

When you are looking at completed photos of a garment in a tutorial, beware of hair pulled to the front and over the shoulder, including in children's designs. Beware odd positions, arms crossed, arms in the air, kids on a swing, adults twirling, all activities that hide detail and fit. If those are the only type of completed photos of the garment, beware. 

In summary, if you are trying to judge if a teacher or tutorial has the chops and can teach you good technique,  look for:

-Pressing instructed throughout the construction
 process, well pressed completed garment.  

- Symmetry of detail and construction, details are                           equidistant and mirror image when needed, no                             sloppiness. Prints and plaids match or at least 
  come close.

-Interfacing, even if self fabric or other, used in              construction with woven fabrics.  
 -Pictures of the completed task, preferably simple fronts, backs and sides.

It is easy to cast broad strokes here, I must admit, but this is based on what I have found in internet searches for various sewing techniques. But I do have a caveat of kindness here: like our bag designer, every sewist has different strengths. Appreciate those strengths. If someone is great at design, let them inspire you, copy them, use their techniques but learn how to do them from others if they don't have the chops.  Understand that as you visit your sites. We all seem to find an eventual niche with our sewing. Some are great at sewing with knits, others at tailoring and others at heirloom sewing. The examples go on an on. No sewist is going to be great at everything. Appreciate each one for the gifts they bring but be discerning in who will teach you as you deserve the best and keep in mind these suggestions as in  your search for sewing knowledge and skills.

Even if they are not your usual type of blog you enjoy reading, find one or two who  do employ the above rules and follow their blogs. Read along as they make their projects. You will start getting a more educated eye and pick up skill, if only by osmosis and that's fine. While you may not be at their skill level or even find their blogs interesting, you will learn what to strive for in your own efforts.  Most blogs will have a "blog roll" on their home pages and through clicking there you can find lots of other amazing sewists. They can be your go to for good info when needed. Look for a search engine on  blogs, an email address and or a tutorial tab. Comment and ask questions. Most skilled sewists are more than happy to help you on the side through email when you need it. These blog relationships are priceless to all of us but even more critical to the newer sewists among us. I hope these tips help you as you continue on the wonderful journey of sewing. Develop those cyber relationships for a solid resource as you gain your skills.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Loom bag #3

The lining is nearly complete. I love this Manet inspired print. It's light and lets the goodies show up nicely. I so detest dark linings but you've heard  that one before!

On the left are loops that can hold skeins of fibers. On the right the two big loops will hold the copper shedding device. And in the middle is a pocket for other goodies. The other lining side will be a lot busier, with spots for needles, scissors, etc. In the side seams will be loops to secure the loom itself from floating around and getting messed up although I am having another idea as well to restrain it and keep it from being bothered by the other parts in the bag. More on that to come.

The pockets are in and were pretty straightforward. I did a lot of googling to check out their construction and didn't find much different from the way I've always done them. There will be a tute coming on this and other zipper applications in Next Level Sewing. NLS will resume Monday with advice on how to  be a discerning tutorial seeker. I picked up a few ideas as I searched out making zipper pockets and some light bulbs went on. I am looking forward to sharing  with you all.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Our friend

Carrie Carriello is my younger daughter's best friend. She also writes for the Huffington Post. She has a beautiful family which includes four boys and a girl, one of whom happens to be autistic, and a devoted husband, Joe. Carrie was featured on tonight's NBC Evening News. She writes so beautifully, never failing to make me either laugh out loud or wipe streaming tears from my cheeks. Her latest post is pertinent to the current discussion about vaccinations. I offer it to you just so you can enjoy her beautiful gift of crafting words. Enjoy. No pro con vax discussions , please. Just enjoy her words.

"I know what causes autism" by Carrie Cariello


Who owned this pattern?

Recently I've had the opportunity to charge ahead on a long anticipated project, searching down some great thrift shops. This has not be...