Thursday, August 25, 2016

Throw Pillows from the bottom of someone's curtains

I often write here that I sew projects for me and for sale, and do alterations from my home studio.

This year I have been doing lots of alterations. I'm saving up for a new, to me, car. I was asked to hem 7 curtain panels, one of my least favourite tasks, but I'm kind of a grown up now, so I took the job.

It turned out that 2 of the panels had 14" removed from the bottom. They were a cool black ink floral print on a white background. My client didn't want the leftover fabric, so I have made 2 - 12" square throw pillows and will make 2 - 12" square pillow covers. The actual pillows lasted about 5 minutes from finished to SOLD. Now to pick up the invisible zippers for the pillow covers and see if they go as quickly!

This is a true repurpose of scrap material that is my aim for Living Fabric. I am very proud of myself for not leaving it in my stash for months until I can't remember what I planned to do with it.  The true test for this project is how long it will take for me to finish with the pillow covers.

Friday, March 4, 2016

WTF Friday - learning a new skill

Sometime last summer I was finding out about new and interesting denim repair Dr. Denim.

After watching some videos on free motion sewing, I bought the whole blue rainbow of options in 100% cotton thread at my local chain fabric store. I colour match for projects by laying a strand of my thread on top of my project fabric and seeing if it disappears. With a new pair of blown out jeans to practice on, I did my usual test. Well, denim is apparently much harder to colour match than I expected. This option will be stitch ripped and a darker blue with more grey will be attempted. I still need some practice on the whole free motion thing, this is a little more my machine's darning stitch full feed dogs for the win!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It appears to be 2016

Well, a new year began a while ago. I think I'm catching up. I have reduced my mending pile to one piece of clothing that needs a new skill from me to fix. Yup, I'm going to teach myself to invisibly darn denim without buying a fancy vintage sewing machine. I just have to wait for my eBay cotton thread to get here from China.
Until then, a quick note about my 2016 resolutions. Hopefully I stick to them a little better than my previous ones. Although I do tend to re-evaluate and have new resolutions pop up all over the place.
Anyway....
1.) No new fabric unless I'm being paid to make something that requires it.
2.) Sew a little every day. 20 minutes at the machine, cutting matt, ironing board seems a reasonable place to start.
3.) Have fun. If sewing a big contract for monies, remember you have your own projects too.
4.) Give gifts. The more you make, the more fabric used, the closer you are to buying new fabric.
5.) Don't forget to go outside. Yeah a day sewing can feel productive, but fresh air is where it's at on this coast.




Monday, October 19, 2015

Bamboo Juersey - an actual step to my thoughts of Living Fabric

If you've been here before you might know that I sometimes sew for money. Lately, I have been working with a local designer who works in bamboo jersey for her dresses. I have always liked the feel and breathability of this fabric.

When you are sewing high end dresses any flaw in the dye or fabric means a piece can't be used. I lucked out recently in that 2 scarves or pashminas (they were quite large) I was making were bolt ends and had imperfections. I brought the dye imperfections to the designer's attention and I was able to adopt them as "scrap".

I finished the scarves the way I would for the designer and then handed them off to another friend of mine who painted them up with stencils for me and one as a gift for a friend.




My friend has since moved to the UK so if I luck out into any more large pieces I will have to paint them myself.

Soon I will post what I'm doing with the rest of my bamboo jersey scraps.


Friday, June 26, 2015

WTF Friday - apparently, I'm doing it wrong

I've been sewing a lot lately, which has included a few shopping trips for re-supply. There has been paying sewing work in the last little while too.

With that I went to buy some new thread at one of my favourite sewing shops in town. I've always liked buying my thread there because they carry a great selection of colours and shades of high quality, high volume thread. Strangely, I have no idea the brand name.

Anyway, I wandered into the store and one of the sales ladies quite helpfully offered assistance. I mentioned I was just in for a new colour of thread and went straight to the large spools.
"That's Serger thread" She told me.
Of course it is, I picked up 4 spools because it is for an overlock sewing project. However, it's never occurred to me before that there is a difference. I use large spools of thread for almost all of my sewing, in all of my sewing machines. Black and white especially make sense to have in large volume.

I only buy small amounts of thread for single projects. If I have a particular shade or print of fabric I will pick up a coordinating small spool of thread and then if I have seams to overlock I will use that thread at my needle(s) and a neutral for my loopers.



My next question was about heavier cotton threads that I want to experiment with in my standard sewing machine. She steered me away from them telling me they will mess with my tensions. I always thought I was supposed "mess" with my tensions to match my thread and fabric choices. I dunno, I guess I've been doing it wrong.

Do you sew? Can you think of a reason not to use your large spools of "serger" thread in your standard machine?

Friday, June 19, 2015

WTF Friday - my scissors, (GASP)

If you know anyone who sews, you have probably had a surprising response from them when you picked up a pair of scissors in their house.
"NOT THOSE SCISSORS! Those are my sewing scissors!"

If I were more organized I would most likely keep my sewing scissors in a drawer, but I am always working on a project here or there so my fancy scissors are always out. This means my friends are very careful to ask if they can use any scissors they find before they cut for crafting or opening packaging. I have definitely yelled at a few folk just before they've made a cut in something I didn't approve.

At the moment, my sewing scissors are not fancy at all. They are an old bargain pair, because my Fiskars have just fallen apart.

My WTF moment was my complete shock when my scissors fell apart. I was only cutting quilting cotton at the time. If I had been attempting to cut denim it would have been understandable. I should mention, these scissors have been in heavy use since 2013. I sew canvas and fleece and sometimes even fun fur. These scissors have worked hard, but to give up on quilting cotton, I'm not sure I respect them as much as I used to.


Fiskars have a great lifetime guarantee so if I'm patient, I will get a new pair. I may also upgrade and have my replacement Fiskars for back-up. There has been a lot of sewing going on at my house these days. I could use a treat.

Friday, June 5, 2015

WTF Friday - Another sewing machine to lust after

Recently, a friend asked me about darning denim, trying to save from sending his spendy designer jeans off to another part of the country for specialty services. I haven't had a chance to practice with my darning foot yet to see if my quilting machine is up to the challenge. However, thanks to RAWR denim I am currently lusting after a vintage machine, according to the internet I'm not the only one.

design and style, vintage baby

I did find this excellent tutorial about hand darning denim, it all seems so interesting I think I'm gonna try it. Currently when folks bring me blown out jeans, I sew a reinforcement patch in behind the tear. It tends to show a little, but since these are usually crotch seams I kinda hope no one is looking too close.



I already own 6 sewing machines while living in a one bedroom apartment, so I think I will just have to continue to lust after the vintage Singer and let other folks own it. I am gonna try my machine with some fancy threads though. I think a $15 investment in heavy cotton is coming up.