April 23 – Shakespeare’s Birthday – Books – Rework

Today has been a busy day. It is William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, what an insane number. I can’t imagine that anything I would write would be famous 450 years from now. What an amazing author. And to celebrate it I passed out my books for World Book Night. It is so much fun giving people the gift of reading. I can only hope that they enjoy my selection as much as I did or at least pass it on to someone who will. Reading is such a wonderful experience.

Desktop17


I also began the daunting task of converting my vintage sewing machine cabinet to accommodate my  machine. I had to cut the base and attach it to spring mechanism, I also had a piece of wood cut to sit around my machine when it was level and then I had to make sure it would come up to full height so that I could use the embrodiery attachment. I still have a few steps left, I need to sand and stain, but it is coming right along.

Base Board Attached

Base Board Attached

Ready to accommodate the embroidery attachment

Ready to accommodate the embroidery attachment

Level to use as flatbed

Level to use as flatbed

Add on wood for flatbed use

Add on wood for flatbed use

Machine inside cabinet

Machine inside cabinet

Fully enclosed

My new home

My old home

My old home

 

Take care, have a good night, and happy sewing!

I leave this post with a quote from Shakespeare:

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

April 22 – Favorite Blogs and Websites

Do you have a blog or website that you go to every day to see what is written, one that speaks to you in some way. Was it another blog that gave you to push to create your own?

I will soon celebrate my one year anniversary of creating this blog. A year ago I had never read a blog, I knew what they were but I just never was interested in what others were thinking or doing. I had been a member of a website, Pattern Review, for a few years and I had read what others had written, I had even managed to  written a couple of reviews but I always felt awkward, when I posted something there was always fear that people won’t read it or worse yet, they would read it and hate it. But the more I sewed the more I was looking for advice.

Surfing the internet one day I ran across Simple Simon and Company. I haven’t sewn children’s clothes in years and their site is primarily children, their crafts, the garments, recipes. But I was hooked. In a sick kind of way I felt like a stalker, always checking when i got home to see if something new was posted, some new garment had been completed, some great recipe.

It was soon afterwards I discovered their links to others, others that were just like me, oh my gosh, there was a whole internet of people out there, showing their wonderfully created garments, posting tutorials for those like me that needed help, encouraging beginners. It was the push I needed to carve out a small corner of the internet, posts and pictures of my creations, my successes and my failures.

I now have probably 100 blogs that I follow, sometimes I comment, sometimes I don’t but I look at them all. I come home and check out the blog world, some people watch TV, some people go to the movies, but I am here, in front of my monitor, with my fingers at the keyboard, using readers like BlogLovin, WordPress Reader and the Sewcialists Firehose to keep track of what everyone is up to. I have composed a list of some of my favorites.

1. Simple Simon and Co – Check them out for wonderful ideas and sew alongs

2. Coletterie – I saw the Hawthorn pattern, read about the sew along and I was hooked. I had never bought a independent pattern before but my fingers could not click on purchase fast enough. Since then I have been an avid follower.

3. Lucky Lucille – I had never sewn a true vintage pattern before nor was I terribly interested in them until I stumbled across Rochelle’s site.  She was hosting a Fall for Cotton Challenge, and soon I was hooked on anything vintage.

4. Tilly and the Buttons – Check out her information site, full of wonderfully created garments, patterns and tutorials.

5. Mrs Hughes – I love what she does, she makes great dresses and has recently become part of a group called The Curvy Sewing Collective, dedicated to sewing for plus size women.

6. Zibergirl Sews – She is always trying out new patterns. Her sewing skills are great and her garments timeless.

7. Sew Much Ado – This site has a great feature called WE DID IT WEDNESDAY! Check it out.

8. The Monthly Stitch – perfect motivation to get your creative juices flowing. New challenges every month.

9. Pinhouse Playmate – Her garments are always spot on

10. Nice Dress, Thanks I made it - she is always giving great information on her site.

 

This list could go on and on.. there are so many great sites out there, I am so sorry if I have forgotten some that should clearly be on this list. And I am sure there will be additions as soon as tomorrow, the sewing community is huge. I want to personally thank each and every one of you that takes the time to read my endless chatter, have chosen to follow me, have liked a post or just read it. It has been all of you that have made me feel like I am a part of this great community.

 

 

 

April 21 – What is next?

Do you jump right from one project into another or is it time for reflection and a break?

I have decided to jump back right into the fire. Here are the fabrics on my table.

Black Pleather, Pale Pink Batiste, Navy and White Lycra

Black Pleather, Pale Pink Batiste, Navy and White Lycra

The picture is crappy, the colors are way off, I need to learn to take my photos in natural light.


First is a Simple Dress, a challenge hosted by Diane from Vintage Zest. She has a Facebook group that I belong to called Stitch Once, Rip Twice. I joined a few months ago, they are a fun group. The deadline is June 15.

Version C, no overlay

Version C, no overlay

 

Recently a young couple welcomed a baby girl into the world and as soon as I met Little Carly I knew I wanted to make her this dress. I was also able to score 4 yards of vintage pale pink batiste fabric from a local flea market for $2.00. I look forward to not having to create three muslin garments so I can make sure it fits. Just make it and children will wear it, no matter if it doesn’t hug their hips the way they want, they don’t care if the hem of the skirt is a little long, there is no FULL BUST ADJUSTMENTS! This one should be a pleasure.


Next up will be the Bombshell Swimsuit. The Monthly Stitch has announced the May Challenge as Sew Stretchy! Make sure and check out their blog, following their calender will keep you busy all year long.

Blue Version

Blue Version

We have purchased a wonderful Navy Blue with White Polka Dot Lycra from Micheal Levines online fabric store, LowPriceFabric.Com. We will be pairing it with some red lycra on the straps for contrast. I just recently ordered the underwires from SewSassy. They did not have the cup inserts in the size I needed for this challenge but i have managed to find bathing suit cups from Soma, the only site I could find that offered DDD. Not a traditional sewing site but if you are on the curvy side they have amazing bras with sizes to fit most everyone.


Simplicity 1426 is next in line on the cutting table. Can’t make one daughter a swimsuit without the other one chiming in that she wants one too. This one will be a challenge of it’s own. Pleather top, hmmm.

Version A

Version A

I could not find anything locally so I ended up over at JWHouse on Etsy. I had a couple of questions which she answered promptly. The fabric arrived relatively quickly considering that it had to be shipped from China. It was exactly what Stef wanted and we will see how this all sews up. The fabric has very little stretch so it has to be fitting like a glove. This may end up being the hardest project of them all.


What is next on your sewing table?

April 20 – Sew For Victory 2.0 Completed

Last night, or should I say this morning, at 4:00 I finished all the hand sewing for the Sew for Victory 2.0 outfit. I am both excited and relieved to have it finished. It turned out exactly as I wanted it, which in itself, is a small miracle. The linen skirt fits her perfectly but it wrinkles so bad, I only hope that she wears it some of the time. Certainly the 1940′s was not a wrinkle free fabric era, and but this linen was clearly a fabric staple of this decade. The houndstooth fabric selection is going to be a easier to maintain fabric and fits her well.

sv25sv9sv16Stef was a great sport as Ash and I drove her around place to place trying to get the best shots.

I want to thank Rochelle from Lucky Lucille for again taking her time to host this sew along. What a fun era the 1940′s was. Even if you didn’t participate this time make sure you check out her flickr group and check out all of the participants garments. All these ladies have been turning wonderful recreations of the 40′s. You can almost hear Tommy Dorsey or Artie Shaw signing in the background, taking you back in time to era of men going off to war and women going to work outside the home.

April 19 – Early Mother’s Day Gift

I have been on the search lately for an old fashion sewing machine cabinet. I knew that I would have to made modifications to work with my machine. But I was willing. I located a wonderful cabinet on my local Craigslist. I have been watching it as the days past, I just couldn’t decide if I could make it work, if I wanted to spend the $70, yeah.. I am cheap thrifty and it sometimes takes me a while to decide to purchase something. Sometimes I wait too long and miss the deal but I chalk it up to “It wasn’t meant to be”.

I was pleasantly surprised when my daughters brought home my mother’s day gift today, and it was the cabinet. Isn’t is a beauty!

cabinet2Both the kitties checked it out too and they approved! One from underneath and one from above.

Cabinet3Paulie certainly gives it his seal of approval!

cabinet4Markie loves it too!

Upon further inspection I believe this to be a handmade cabinet, perhaps two cabinets turned into one. As you can tell the front is clearly 1960′s. But inside it has drawers that are reminiscent of another decade.

Drawer PullsIt looks so great open!

cabinet openIt does not have the traditional tilt and lean to store sewing machine which makes a conversion for modern machines a lot easier. Pressure on the top pushes machine inside and pressure on the top allows machine to come up. Now to get it to accommodate my machine.

Conversion

I had done some research on the lifts that are available and the cost ranges from $160 to $260 dollars. I think I can beat that. Just have to let my mind think about it for a few days.

Hope everyone has a Happy Easter!

April 18 – Books

Over the last six months I have been collecting books on sewing. I search the local thrift stores, I visit goodwill (both my local store and online auctions) and estate sales. My acquisitions are growing larger but I have a few that are my favorites.


 It all began with a 1940′s book that I got from Goodwill. Paid $2.00 for it. Complete Book of SewingI have to admit that all of the information that they provided then is a pertinent today. There is hardly any color photos in this book but the styles are great.

SB-3Sb-4Sb-1


Another great book shows fashions of the seventies..Pant suits, scarves, florals, so much fun!

SimplicityColor blocking with denim, pinafore dresses for little girls, they are all fun

S-3S-2S-4S-1


 The Sixties gave us the Better Homes and Gardens Addition.

BhGThis a great book, full of advice for fittings, seam finishes, pattern selections.

Bhg-3Bhg-5Bhg-2Bhg-1

Love how it helps you accessorize your suits.


I even managed to pick up a Couture Handbook

It is from the early 2000′s but one day it will be vintage won’t it. I use to be young and I am certainly vintage now.

Couture

It gives great finishing techniques and hand stitches.

C-2C-1

C-7c-8


Another relatively new book but one that I reference a lot when I begin a project with fabrics I have never sewn.

FS -1 No matter what fabric you have this book gives you recommendations for needles, interfacing, thread.

FS-3FS=4FS-5FS-2


All these books give great advice, from zippers to seams, if you have a question the answers are here.

So what books do you have in your library?

 

April 17 – Nothing to report

Do you have one of those days when you have not gotten anything accomplished but you have rushed around all day long. Today is that day. I have been working on a what I  thought was a great post but my pictures turned out like crap, my words will not come out right and I know that it is a lost cause. New pictures will be taken tomorrow and perhaps things will be slower. Oh wait, it is Friday.. Oh well, there is always Saturday.. Oh wait, I work on Saturday too.. Well. I will find the time.

Easter is just a few days away and I did succeed in getting most of the groceries bought and  the girls Easter Boxes done. Yes.. they are 24 and 21 but they still want the Easter Bunny to leave them something and he always managed to make sure they are not disappointed. This year I used decorative photo boxes to make them and filled them with a few things that they like. Yep, contents are the same. They have to be.. If they are different one might think I love the other more. Silly girls. But age has not changed that and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Ash, she is a girly girl.

Ash, she is a girly girl.

 

Stef, she is down to earth and practical

Stef, she is down to earth and practical

Good night all, hope your Friday goes well and your weekend is filled with sunshine and happiness.

 

 

 

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