Showing posts from May, 2006

Success at last

Well I just successfully sewed a zipper into my dress. Not an invisible zipper; that will not work with the sewn in lining around neck and armscye. I understand why now but can not put into words.

I just installed the center zipper onto the sheath. I admit I did a really good job. I really love the ease of the invisible zipper. With centered, both sides of the zipper need to match up and sometimes I get puckers. I went slow with this and it went in well and the top of the dress matches up also.

I feel like I will be moving forward with the rest of the dress, doing a little each day.

I needed this success. My day started out great, returning to work after a 3 day weekend. Came home for lunch, then my office called me three times. Got kind of flustered as my plans to visit two of our retail stores changed. In a hurry to leave, I locked myself out of the house. Do I have a duplicate key for the back door? NO! Have I said I need one? YES!

Had to call my secretary to have her come and pick me …

Riding and Sewing

Well a gorgeous holiday is about over.

I got up and made me coffee as usual this morning. Then I read blogs, emails, pattern reviews and such. Fixed my second cup of coffee and was heading for sewing room when DH says' Good Morning". No sewing at that time.

The weather was so good that after a light breakfast and showers we decided to go out for a motorcycle ride on the Parkway. We ended up at Peaks of Otter and had lunch there. The place was so busy that service was slower than normal.

We returned home about 3:00. I started working on my dress again. I am trying a different technique for lining, following instructions from a Vogue pattern. I thought that I could use an invisible zipper instead of having to use a centered, regular zipper. Not so. After attempting twice to insert the invisible zipper and resulting in a twisted mess due to lining attached to neck and sleeves, I have given in to the fact that it will have to be centered zipper.

Thus I lost precious sewing…

Dress in progress

I have been working on my brown sheath dress this afternoon. I will share more details and talk about the lining technique as I complete the dress.

Here is the dress draped over my dress form.

Here is a side view.

More to follow. Time to eat, my DH is actually making dinner!!! Rare treat.

Photos as promised

Here they are photos of my embellished pieces. I am still adding to the second piece. I am not sure when enough is enough. I have to keep in mind the size of the bag and how something may end up outside of the bag front or back.
This is the piece I started in the Embellisher class and I added several more yarns and roving over several days following the class.

This is the piece I have been working on at home. I love the way you can take a piece of fabric and lay it over another. The fabric changes texture and look. I added some roving all around the center fabric as it did not seem to want to hold. The upper left fabric was sheer fabric that Nancy, the instructor, brought as scraps for us to use. It really turned out lovely and I overlaid some roving over this.

Flowers in both pieces are inexpensive silk flowers from Walmart. For them to stay, I needed to add roving to the centers.

It is really fun to just sit and let the machines needle, needle punch while you move the fabric aroun…

Morning treat

Again work is getting in the way of my sewing fun. However, I am giving myself 15 minutes each morning before work to do something in my sewing room. Past two mornings I have been playing with the Babylock Embellisher and really getting quite good at it if I say so myself.

I have just about completed the front half of the purse to be. Will be starting on the second half next. Taking the class last Saturday was helpful and inspiring.

Of course, my clothing sewing is now way behind but I need this creativity to keep me from stressing so much over work. My time to just be!!!

Long weekend coming up and I play to do some R&R and sew, sew, sew and embellish, embellish, embellish.

I will try to post a picture tomorrow AM of the embellished piece.

Sewing for clothes

I spent time doing some finishing touches to my embroidered suit I made several weeks ago. I decided to add hook/eye closure to the jacket. I also needed to take up the blouse darts a little more.

I then started on my brown sheath dress, drafted from PMB. I sewed the darts, serge finished the edges. I will do the same to the lining next. Zipper to be installed, lining attached to dress, hem and I will have my new dress. Next will be a jacket from PMB as well.


The class on embellishing, felting or needle punching (whatever you are inclined to describe it) went very well yesterday. The first part of the class was on needle felting using a blue grip needles that are used in hand felting. The instructor, a member of our ASG, showed some of the items she has made using this technique. It included a hat, a purse, and lapel pin.

She also passed out handouts showing various projects one can make; websites to go to in order to purchase roving (wool or silk) plus needles, forms, etc.

Following lunch we felted/embellished fabric using the Bablylock Embellisher machine. Nancy, our instructor, demonstrated some of the things she has taught herself to do with the machine using various fibers-fabric, yarn, lace, silk ribbons, as well as silk flowers with plastic centers removed. We learned that some fabrics will not "needle punch" or felt to another. Cotton on cotton does not stay felted unless you felt roving over it to attach or use a s…

Babylock Embellisher Class

Saturday, a member of our ASG will teach a class on needle punch felting by hand and by the Embellisher. I am more looking forward to the Embellisher class more so than I am the hand felting.

I purchased this machine after Christmas for a great sale price. Come to find out, many of our ASG members did so as well. I have not done as much with the machine as I had imagined I would do. So this class will be a motivator and a way I hope to learn more than I know at this time. The manual and project book that came with the Embellisher is pitiful. Babylock could have done better, IMHO.

Anyway I think it will be a fun class. I have to go to JoAnn's and get some supplies for the hand felting part. I have a lot of nice roving that I bought to use with the Embellisher. I have practiced with some but have not done enough.

There is a Babylock Group on Yahoo that I visit some. Right now there is this annoying discussion on using the right term on what we are really doing with the machine. This p…


Well this fabric is HORRIBLE! And the pattern though it fits, I really needed to make a FBA of about 1/2 inch to 3/4.

The fabric is truly hard to sew. I wrote once that not all buttermilk knits are the same. This fabric really looks good but it is very difficult to sew.

The pattern instructions indicate that you should serge all the seams first. You then sew the front and back center seams, turn down the self-facing and stitch in the ditch on the right side to hold the facing down. Simple enough, right?

Well the serging of the seams required me to reduce differential to .5 on my serger. I also had to reduce the needle tensions to minus neutral. I have never had to reduce needle tensions to negative before just to serge finish the edges of a fabric. When you stitch the seams together the fabric wants to pucker on the sewing foot. Taut sewing is a must but it was still a pain.

I continued sewing, thinking it could be salvaged. When I went to turn the sleeve hem edges under 1/2 inch, the fa…

What am I up to?

I haven't written in almost a week! That's indicates that my work life is once again interfering with my personal life. I took a break from my hectic pace on Thursday and attended our local ASG meeting.

Our program was on fabric printing using pre-treated fabric sheets and using bubble jet wash and rinse to treat your fabric to become printable. Interesting. Something I would like to try but I can't seem to find time to just do simple sewing.

After dinner with DH last night and after changing clothes after arriving home, I spent an hour of uninterrupted time SEWING! I am making the Textile Studio-Monaco Shell.

It has been very simple to sew but my fabric is rather slippery. A little more difficult to handle and hold taut without stretching while serging and sewing. I wanted to make this simply because it would be a fast and easy project. I like doing something more simple after completing a more time consuming project.

I took my embroidered coordinated suit to ASG for Show n …

Morning sewing

I started embroiderying a T-shirt yesterday with fairies exercising. Cute designs I purchased on line. I wanted to spruce up my exercise t-shirts when I go to CURVES. While machine was embroidering, I cut out my sheath dress pattern fabric.

This morning I cut out the lining for the sheath dress. I had wanted to lay lining over the dress fabric last night. The fabric and lining was so fiddlely that I just decided to cut them separate. Though doing together saves time, the lining would like adher to the fabric below easily.

I also cut out a Textile Studio pattern from a knit fabric I purchased at Hancocks in Danville, VA a month or two ago when we were visiting MIL. I only made a forward shoulder adjustment. I forgot to do the swayback adjustment. However since back is a seamed back I can use Sandra Betzina swayback adjustment which has you cut an indention about 1/2 inch above the back waist and cut in about 1/2 inch then taper back out about 1/2 inch below back waist. This works only…


I called to check on my serger and the work is complete. Test drive to make sure adjustments and such are right. I should be able to pick it up tomorrow around noon!!!

I started working on my next project. Not much progress but have cut around the pattern and have fabric laid out ready to cut. I am thinking about all that is to be done. I have my lining, my thread, my zipper.

Got to go, cooking dinner.


I took my serger in for a general tuneup and cleaning. The cutting knife may need to be changed out as well. I have had this serger for about 3 1/2 years so thought it was time to give it checkup. I hope that I get it back today so I can use this weekend. If not, I will be doing more cutting of fabric and perhaps embroiderying some t-shirts I plan to wear to exercise.

I acquired some cute designs of a fairy exercising that will look nice on the t-shirts.

I will cut out my dress and jacket project this weekend as well. So if I don't get to actually sew as much this weekend I will be getting myself ready to sew.

Here is the fabric I will use to make the RTW knockoff dress.


Here is the photo of the skirt and jacket with the embroidery The skirt is on the hanger and hanger attached to dress form. Does not make a great photo but you can get the idea of how it will look. Every thing needs a final press. The blouse is in the foreground.

Here is a photo of the skirt and one close up of the embroidery.


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