Monday, August 18, 2014

Tri-fold sewing organizer

I posted a review of my tri-fold sewing organizer on patternreview.com and totally forgot to add photos here!  Since I can only put three photos over there, I'll put more here and add links.  Anyway, this is my second tri-fold sewing organizer (third, actually, if you count my taking the first one apart and redoing it!).  I'm getting pretty happy with the design, but of course am always looking for ideas that I can incorporate.








 Closeup of button closure

Case closed!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quick Catchup

The Anne St. Clair bra workshop was WONDERFUL!!!   I love my new bra (even though I have been making bras from her book, nothing beats having the guru giver you personalized instruction!) and can't wait to start on number two!

In the meantime, I'm working on projects for my classes at Sew Contempo.  I plan to teach a class on Techniques and Embellishments, on the Esme blouse (from Sew Liberated patterns), on the Start After Breakfast, Finsih Before Lunch Jacket  (from CNT patterns) Pattern Reading, and whatever else strikes my fancy!  (Except quilting.)

I've also been working on items to sell on my Etsy shop.  I've got vintage patterns, fabric postcards, fabric bowls, sewing organizers, purses, and anti-tarnish pouches for jewelry, so go take a look.

Now, however, it's time for my granddaughter's birthday party!

Friday, August 8, 2014

I'm so excited!!!! Our Anne St. Claire Bra workshop begins today!

I am so proud of my little ASG (that's American Sewing Guild) Neighborhood Group You Sew Girl--thanks to the efforts of one of our members (Margarita), we are bringing in Anne St. Claire (aka The Bra Lady) from NeedleNook Fabrics in Wichita, Kansas for a three-day bra workshop!!!  That's quite an accomplishment for a smallish NG!!!   We were able to pull it off because one of our members wrote us up for a grant a few years ago so we had some money in the bank for Anne's up-front expenses.  Then Margarita knew Anne from when she lived in Wichita so we had that going for us, too.  Margarita is a gung-ho organizer and she got this thing from a comment at our Holiday Party last December ("I'd like to have a bra workshop") to the kick-off this evening!!!!   I'm so excited!!!

Thanks also to the Galveston County Extension Office for the use of their facilities this evening, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday.  They have a superb setup for events like this, and we are blessed to have several people who work there who are also members of You Sew Girl.

So now I'm checking out my machine, making sure it's cleaned and oiled and I have all the right pressure feet, needles, and thread.  My "take-to-class" machine is a Bernina 330 and this will be the first time I've used my walking foot on her.  Everything is in the case by the front door (I must have checked three times this morning, making sure the bobbin box was there, then I had to check the accessory box, and did I remember the manual?)

Anyway, events on this level are usually Chapter-level, but kudos to my swell little NG for pulling it off!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Etsy revisited

After my email to Etsy yesterday, I got a very sweet email from a different Customer Service Rep this morning.  She understood exactly what my issue was and exactly what I needed Etsy to do.  I gave her the 'go-ahead' and she fixed everything!  Took less than 10 minutes from the time I responded to her email to get her response back that everything had been corrected.  Two minutes later (I had to reset my password), I'm in Etsy and catching up on things!!

Now, THAT is service--Judith, you ROCK BIG TIME!!!!

So I'm still on Etsy. Still at RobbieSews.  And now, I'm very, very happy......

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Etsy

Man, today is my day to RANT!  (And I swear I did not get up on the wrong side of the bed!)

I've always been a big fan of Etsy; it's fun to see what wonderful creative folks are out there and I like being a part of that creative community.  I have (had) a small Etsy shop (RobbieSews) with some things listed--not many, but a few and I was working on other items that a few Etsy customers had suggested to me.

Then one day I try to sign in to my Etsy account, and get a response that my password is wrong.  Excuse me? I've been in my little shop every day for months, and now my password doesn't work????  So I try again (same result) and again (same result) so I send in a request to reset my password. I get the response, reset the password, and  (drum roll, please). . . .am told my password is wrong.  So I contact Etsy customer support.

I found out that I am in fact the owner of 3 Etsy accounts--and the RobbieSews account is NOT associated with my normal email.  It's associated with (here the story gets weird) an email address that doesn't exist.  Huh?

HUH?

My normal email is associated with an account I started to set up years ago and never finished.  HUH?

And--there's apparently nothing Etsy can do about it.   They can't tell me why I was suddenly unable to get into my shop.  They can't modify my shop with my normal email.  They don't seem to be able to do anything about it at all.

And I haven't heard back from them in two days.   Meanwhile, I have an active shop and a couple of ongoing conversations with customers that I can't contact.  Frustrated?  Just a little.

So I emailed Etsy (again) and told them to shut everything down.  Close RobbieSews and the other two (never opened) shops.  I wonder what response that will get. . . . .

I love the top, but the instructions. . . . .

If you've had a chance to look at my previous post, you see that I just love the Esme top that Sew Liberated published.  I'm getting ready to cut out Esme #3.

But I do have a problem with their instructions and wanted to let everyone know, so if you plan to make the blouse, you'll be prepared.  The instructions included with the pattern are "basic" (so says their guide sheet). "Basic" has to take the understatement of the year award!

Instead of proper instructions, the pattern designers offer a link to an on-line video, and of course they have email addresses and phone numbers for anyone who gets stuck and has a question.

On-line video?  NO THANK YOU!!!!!  I don't like watching on-line instructional videos, not even when Craftsy does them.  Guess I'm old-fashioned (but then so are a lot of sewers these days) but when I buy a pattern, I expect it to include full and complete instructions.  If the company wants to make a video available, then great--but this should never take the place of full and complete written instructions.

Part of my issue is that I don't like on-line instruction of any kind (guess I'll never be a Phoenix, huh?).  I want to look my instructor in the eye.  That's the best kind of instruction.  Second best is a well-written, complete set of instructions.  Written instructions, that I can hold in my hand, draw pictures on, and underline the important parts.Then if I have a question, it's going to be a pretty important one.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.  Anyone agree?  Disagree?  Think I've got rocks in my head?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Esme Top

I fell in love with this top when I saw it at Sew Contempo--so much so that I plan to teach it soon!!  Here's a picture of the pattern:

Isn't it just darling!





This is the first one I made (sorry for the tee shirt on Miss Susie Singer).  I cut the bib yoke on the cross grain to add some interest.  (More on the two little birds below.)

(My model is Miss Suzy Singer, dress form extraordinaire.She thought the tee shirt would be ok, but I'm not sold on it.)

I added a bit of decorative stitches at the hem:








As an interesting touch, the sleeve is cut on the bias,  It's a dream to ease in and I really like how it fits:

 (Sorry this shot isn't as good as it could be). 

Ok--the bit about the little birds. For one thing, the top needed some color.  Desperately needed some color (other than green).  In retrospect, I should have done the bib yoke in a contrasting color, but I didn't.  For the other thing--well, I tried to get fancy-smachy with my serger, trying to finish the raw edges of the yoke after they were sewn in. Bad idea, you say?  TERRIBLE idea, says I.  The serger bit a nice little V-shaped hole into the bodice before I could react.  So, after stomping around for a few minutes, I decided this was The Lady's way of saying my top needed a design elements just there, to cover it up. And these two colorful little birds solved both prob. . .er, challenges, yes, challenges, with my top.  

I love this top so much that the next day I made version #2: 

This time I used a heavy, loosely-woven cotton for the bodice and sleeves, and a contrasting quilting cotton for the bib yoke, the back facing, and for the bias bindings on the sleeves.  I'm much happier with these colors.  I also replaced the sleeve cuff with a flounce by sewing elastic about 2 1/2" from the sleeve edge. Another thing I did was re cut the hem so it isn't straight but comes up on the sides: 


In the above picture you can see the re cut hem as well as the flounced sleeve.  I think both changes make the top more relaxed and casual.  Finally, instead of sewing the buttons so they come up to the neckline, I left the top ones off to open up the neckline a little bit:

If I don't like this, I can always go back and add the top button.

There are so many ways this pattern can be modified!!!



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Saying goodbye to Eleanor, my Elgin treadle

All good things must come to an end.  Today I sold Eleanor, my elegant Elgin treadle sewing machine (see blog entry dated April 6 2010 for photos).  She went to a lovely lady who lives in Arkansas and is just as excited as can be about learning to stitch on a treadle machine!   I wish her the best and hope that Eleanor makes her happy.

Selling my treadle is part of my downsizing effort.  I'll also be selling my other antique and vintage sewing machines (except NOT the Featherweight!) because I can either mess about with old sewing machines or I can sew.  I love the old machines, but I'd rather sew--and I don't have enough room to use the old machines as decoration.  Besides, they aren't decoration--they are functional machines that need to be used.  I'm not using them and that's a real shame, but better they find homes where they will be used.

Among the vintage and antique machines that will be going to new homes are a Singer model 66 (electric), a Singer model 66 treadle, a Singer model 66 hand crank, and two Italian made Necchi Miras (one in a cabinet).  

Ah.  I'll miss them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tree Top Threads Studio Fabric Sewing Box

I haven't made this yet (just got the pattern a few minutes ago. . . I'm fast, folks, but not that fast!)  but I'm really looking forward to making it.  Go to her Etsy Shop (Tree Top Threads Studio) and check it out--she's got patterns for all sorts of organizers.  I'm a sucker for organizers.  Probably to make up for my lack of organization!!

The boxes I'm getting ready to make come in two sizes: small (approximately 8 1/2 x 5" x 3 3/4") and large (approximately 9 1/2" x 6" x 5").

This is so much fun!!





Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunday afternoon sewing

It seems I never have enough little hand towels in the bathroom.  Don't know what happens to them, and I'm pretty sure the kitties aren't stealing them, but there never seems to be one when I want one!

So Sunday I did what I usually do when the "no-hand-towels-in-the-bathroom" situation is heading to a crisis: I MAKE some!  

Here's my recipe for hand towels:
1. One old towel in relatively decent shape (from the local Salvation Army or other thrift store if possible)
2. My big box of trims
3. Sharp scissors
4. Sewing machine
5. Thread

First, cut the towel up.  You can make whatever size hand towels you want, but I'm pretty simple, so I just cut the towel into eighths.  Trim off the selvages and hems cause they make the trim bulky.

Start trimming!

You can be as fancy or not so fancy as you like.  I love colorful laces, so guess what you tend to find on my hand towels?

Here are four of the eight I made Sunday

And here are the other four
This one has three layers of lace: peach, yellow, and white
Pink eyelet--how sweet!
You can see that none of the ones I made are the same.  
Lace and rickrack
Peach eyelet





I took this trim off an old dress

Two layers of yellow lace and one layer of red

Love this yellow lace!!

All folded and ready to put out

Two of them hung up, See how well they match my light switch?  

And what a productive way to spend Sunday afternoon!