Thursday, September 15, 2011

In Case you Missed the MOVE notice

BEEP BEEP MOVING KNITTING CONTESSA===== this content will stay but the new blog will be rolling HERE ( Hope you come hang out in the new digs!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Moving x TWO!

And I'm off===== with a late lunch Tuesday sidestep for a Green Chili Cheeseburger. Not as good as my beloved Santa Fe but wonderful when hotel food is what you have to look forward to and the plate (and I don't mean lunch) is overly full!!
See you next week-Unless of course I'll see you at Blogher Handmade or The Creative Connection Event!---- I'll have lots to share! 

And last but certainly not least BEEP BEEP MOVING KNITTING CONTESSA===== this content will stay but the new blog will be rolling HERE ( Hope you come hang out in the new digs!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Let the Packing Begin-

There is something about the start of the packing process that gets to me. Maybe it is like writing the first word on a fresh sheet of paper. I've upgraded the size of my suitcase and decided to check luggage. I absolutely HATE the mad shuffle to find an overhead bin when everybody else on board is hurriedly doing the same thing. So maybe a big carry on with 'essentials'---- and check my bag and call it good. I'm flying out through O'Hare, never a thrill to zoom through trying to make a connection and carrying anything extra!

I figured if I spread the packing over a couple days and had the luxury of leaving my suitcase open in the guest room I'd be more leisurely about it and wouldn't forget anything.

Except my shower cap, I always forget that!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Less Sleep More Making

Faithful readers will know that I don't sleep a heckuva lot anyway but until I get home from Minneapolis St. Paul and The Creative Connection Event I will sleep even less.

I'm a ghost blogger by trade, at least that is what one of my 'professional' hats are--- along with being consummately creative------ etc. Tons to do but the fun part of my List is to make some great jewelry to wear when the wheels touch down.

You know, it IS easier to have a little Creative Cross Training with jewelry rather than work on the languishing knitted shawl --- or even the crocheted cowls. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

You Know What This Means Right?????

The dress form out of the box and un-sullied.
We shall sully when I get back from The Creative Connection Event---
There will be Big Fun.
and a fabulous Tutorial!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ruffle Questions

I got some great questions about the post dealing with making ruffles yesterday. Thanks!  One was a question that asked "what if the ruffle is too tightly gathered for the area I'm pinning it?"   The answer is easy and slightly less so. The weight of your fabric and how tightly it is woven will have a lot to do with how fully your fabric strip is gathered. Please experiment first with a similar strip of fabric and try different things.
The best thing to do is to leave a very long tail on your thread when you cut it from the maching after sewing the ruffle strip. Then, if the ruffle is too tight, as you pin it along your item you can easily "un-ruffle" it as you go along. Nice and easy does it, and it is simple as pie.

Question 2 was how do I attach my ruffle. In the photo above, it is completely okay for the top edge of the ruffle to be raw. I ruffled it raw and pinned it onto the base raw. Then I use normal pressure on the foot, a normal stitch length and stitch over the top of the stitching line made when the ruffle was born. I'll go over the top of the raw edge with a simple machine overcast stitch when I'm done. If you have a double ruffle or turned down edge you stitch it onto your base in exactly the same way, the difference is that the top edge of your ruffle has been finished in some way. If you have a serger you can serge the top edge before ruffling allowing maximum fullness as well as a finished ruffle (assuming the bottom edge was narrow hemmed.) You'll see a line of air eraseable marker on the photo above. I measured the lines I wanted my ruffles to be sewn on and I butted the ruffles up to this line.

Remember, if you have a raw edge you can always sew the ruffle on 'upside down', and when you give the item a shake the ruffle will fall down over the raw edge. It's all up to YOU!

Do you have more than one ruffle? If you start from the bottom it is easier than if you start from the top!

Ruffle on!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sewing Ruffles without a Ruffler Attachment

Sewing a ruffle can be frustrating, especially when working on a long strip of fabric. Traditionally you run a line of stitching on the edge to be gathered using a long stitch length, then you have to pull that thread up and get it all even and not break the thread. The following method works for ME----- and might not work for you, or need a tweak or two along the way, but it is certainly worth the effort to put this into your bag of tricks.
  • The following works on 100% cotton fabric, pre-washed to remove all sizing. My fabric is 100% cotton Kona muslin with a 200 thread count.
  • Thread is 100% polyester, mine is Coats and Clark
  • the sewing machine is set up with normal tension, longest stitch length, slightly more than 1/4" from the edge
  • I sew with a Bernina 180, you can see the stitching position set "two clicks" from center

  • LOWER tension: I bypassed the slot that feeds/tensions the bobbin thread entirely. I use a "pigtail" case (sometimes known as an embroidery bobbin case) and after bypassing the slot I ran the thread through the "pigtail" to guide. I have used a regular bobbin case with the same technique and the result is a slightly tighter gather in the ruffle.
  • Place the fabric to be ruffled under the pressure foot set at normal pressure and sew with gentle tension on the strip
  • The photo above shows the ruffled fabric straight out of the machine!
The ruffle pinned right onto the anchor fabric---- no pulling needed! (Now if you need a super tight ruffle, you might need to pull that thread a bit but it is much easier!)
  • The technique applies when ruffling a single layer or a double layer (shown above). A double layer will be slightly less gathered because of the second layer of fabric coming through the machine.

  • Results will vary depending on the weight and fiber content of the fabric, experiment first!
I hope you're inspired to ruffle something--- at least get out your machine and putter around!

Don't forget to re-thread your bobbin case before you sew a regular seam or you'll be unhappily surprised!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In Praise of Good Sewing Thread

I was reminded of the wonders (dare I say miracles) of good sewing thread Monday. Sewing was at its simplest, soothing, calming---- all because of thread. The fabric was muslin, my favorite muslin that I use almost exclusively, excellent Kona muslin all smooth and finely woven. Delicious really. A fresh needle in the machine (which quite frankly after looking at the photo could use a good cleaning!) and miles of straight stitching for narrow hems--- good thread makes the difference. Like many sewists I have a drawer-ful of thread. Some way too old, some fresh, some from the bargain bin, some fine quality--- some I don't even recall where they came from! The thread I used for the muslin Zen was Coats & Clark, a fresh matching spool. I have nothing but good things to say about it, and it had been a long time since I'd sewn with it, believe it or not!  My seams are sturdy, I flew along the seams at lightning speed with nary a break or bobble, it even seemed to make the tension wonderful!

I'll be going through that drawer of thread soon and tossing out the old maids----- the less than quality thread. Once and for all! I'll replace my thread with nice fresh spools of quality thread. Surely my sewing will be all the happier for it.

The muslin project? Something delicious---- I'll be sharing along with a technique for one step ruffling on long strips of fabric without a ruffler attachment.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Miscellany

Labor Day carries with it old thoughts, old habits. At least for me. I find myself needing to get things organized, finished, prepared----- ready. Although tomorrow for me is certainly not much different than today or yesterday. Without being in school, or having kids in school, the day after Labor Day just means we're that much closer to fall.

Temperatures here in the good ole' Midwest are decidedly Fall today--- a high of 72, can you believe it? After 104 on Saturday it is fabulous. Summer temps will be back but for the moment it is lovely to dream with the windows open.

I'll be cleaning house a bit, catching up on my online classes and sewing an apron. It doesn't sound like a great day but it will be.

Hope your Labor Day is everything you desire!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy National Sewing Month

National sewing month a thing to be celebrated?
The observance of National Sewing Month began in 1982 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan declaring September as National Sewing Month “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.” 

I'm celebrating by ordering a dress form. I've wanted one FOREVER and am going to take a form, add padding and a heavy cover and make it totally mine and totally wonderful. Now
I'll have a tutorial on making you one too!

Now back to sewing, I hope to have some goodness to show you. (Hope being the operative word!)

Hope you do something Sewist today!