Jul 24, 2008

Tools Needed For Sewing

There is all kinds of things you can buy to help you in sewing. And I do mean all kinds.

There's some very basic supplies needed besides your sewing machine.

Scissors - Like anything you get what you pay for. Spend the money and get good scissors. Use a coupon and buy them up to 50% off. Or buy them when their on sale. You need good scissors to cut most fabric.

Pins and Pin cushion or catcher - One of my safety rules is to always put your pins in something. Never throw them on the table next to you. I've known people who had to have surgery to have pins removed from their foot. Be very careful with your pins. I like using a cushion that goes on my wrist. This way I always have my pins on me when cutting, ironing or at the sewing machine.

Seam Ripper - There's never mistakes in sewing because you can use a seam ripper to take out your seams and sew it all over again.

Tape Measure - If you want things to come out good. Sewing is all about being consistent and a tape helps when cutting and taking body measurements.

Measuring Instruments - It' just makes sewing easier. You don't have to have these tools but sometimes you wish you had them when you don't. A hem/seam gauge is nice to have when working at the iron.

Marking Tools - You need something to mark your fabric with when doing darts, zippers and other things needed to help you sew things better.

Cutting Table or Board - If you have the room a cutting table is nice to have. If you don't you can buy a cutting board for your dinning room table to cut out your projects. The board protects your table from getting scratched by your scissors and pins. It can also fold up to stash away in a closet when you don't have the room for a table.

Iron & Ironing Board - If you want your things to look nice you have to iron them as you sew. There are all different things to help you at the ironing board from tailors hams to pressing cloths.

Again, there are all kinds of implements of sewing construction as I like to call them. If you can think of it I'm sure you can find it out there to buy. You can spend a lot of money on your sewing tools are not very much but remember you get what you pay for. And don't forget to use your coupons to save yourself money.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,

Jul 18, 2008

Sewing Summer Camp

This week's sewing summer camp was a lot of fun. We had 4 new sewers one one who attended camp last year. They started out not knowing anything and by the end of the week they had all these projects made.

They started out making tote bags while they learned the machine. 3 jean bags were made along with 2 handbags made from patterns, 3 pair of pj pants, blanket, skirt and I can't tell you how many pillows were made.

The kids had a lot of fun. I know they will be sewing for a long time. They understood what I was teaching them (even the times when I thought they weren't paying attention and just playing around they did remember what was being taught) It's amazing how different kids learn from adults. With kids usually I only have to say things one time and they get it. Some adults no matter how I explain how to do it some still can't get it.

And another thing that happened this week that put a real big smile on my face. While I was at the ironing board (I iron everything for them) the kids got on a conversation about the presidential election. They talked about Obama and Hillary - and they couldn't remember the other guys name. It was cute how they are getting involved in their country. One of the mom's told me the kids want to volunteer for Obama's campaign. How cool is that? I wish more adults were involved like these kids are. Power to the people.
This week was a lot of fun and many projects were made. I have another week of camp coming up. I'll be having more kids sewing classes coming in August.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,

My Season 5 Project Runway Review

I have to say I LOVE THIS SHOW! They get some really crazy people on there. Some very creative people who really know what their doing others not so much.

This show has really caused teens and twenty somethings to have a very strong desire to sew. I ask everyone who takes my class if they watch this show. Almost all say yes and have big old smiles when you mention it.

Thanks to 'Project Runway,' sewing is hip again

The patterns can be created with a 3-D virtual supermodel straight out of a video game. The fabrics can be as organic as grass-fed chickens. The clothes themselves have style and flair.

In other words, sewing isn't solely Grandma's hobby anymore. The rise of the craft movement and a growing do-it-yourself vibe in American culture has given garment-making a boost, particularly among younger people.

"I think it's got a little more status now," said Maria Kurutz, a lecturer in the textile and apparel design program at UW-Madison. "The difference between 'homemade' and a 'one-of-a-kind creation' has turned the tables."

A popular TV show hasn't hurt, either. "Project Runway" began its fifth season on Bravo this week, helping to inspire a whole new generation of designers.

"It has validated what we do," said Danyel Harlem-Siegel, a fashion design major at UW-Madison. "In high school, if I said I wanted to major in fashion design, it was like it was some slacker thing to do."

Those who sew for pleasure are growing in numbers, too. The Home Sewers Association reported that there are 35 million sewing hobbyists in the U.S., up from 30 million in 2000. Time magazine reports that sales of Singer sewing machines have doubled since 1999.

The first challenge was another visit to the grocery store for your material to make their design. I did love Kelli's dress. It was very creative the way she died the the cloth and coffee filters and using the pins in the back were very smart.

It's going to take me a little bit to remember all their names but I really liked the sweater mop, the napkin dress and the cup dress was really smart. The three who were the worst were awful and not very creative at all. I thought all of them should have been off and probably will be soon. The garbage bag dress could have been done by an 8 yr old. And the one guy who thought he was so great - the one who wore the knit cap has a lot to learn.

You can really tell the difference with the professional and the ones who have no idea what their doing in the first few episodes of every Project Runway. They do have a great group of people this season. Its going to be a lot of fun watching.

My pick to win the whole thing - Keith - or maybe Kelli. :)

Until next time.
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew"much fun,

Jul 16, 2008

New Season of Project Runway Starts Tonight

Just to give you all a heads up. Project Runway starts tonight. I won't be able to see it live. I'll be teaching and won't get home until after it is over. I will be watching the rerun tomorrow at 11am.
Have fun tonight watching the new season and if you can't view it live - make it work!

Until next time.
Enjoy your moments, make them "sew" much fun,

Season 5: The Cast!

USA Today gives us the first peek at the Project Runway Season 5 cast.

Bravotv.com has the bios posted.

Here they are:

Blayne Walsh, 23 from Seattle
Daniel Feld, 25 from Brooklyn (MySpace here)
Emily Brandle, 27 from LA (MySpace here)
Jennifer Diederich, 27 from Italy
Jerell Scott, 28 from LA
Jerry Tam, 32 from NYC
Joe Faris, 41 from Troy, MI (MySpace here)

Keith Bryce, 26 from Salt Lake City (MySpace here)
Kelli Martin, 27 from Columbus, OH (MySpace here)

Kenley Collins, 25 from Brooklyn (MySpace here)
Korto Momolu, 33 from Mabelvale, Ark. (MySpace here)
Leanne Marshall, 27 from Portland, OR (MySpace here)
Stella Zotis, 42 from NYC (MySpace here)
Suede (aka Stephen Whitney Baum), 37 from Barryville, NY (MySpace here)
Terri Stevens, 39 from Columbus, OH
Wesley Nault, 23 from NYC

Keep refreshing this post throughout the day as we add info on all the designers. Season 5 is here!

ETA: Spoiler alert - Episode descriptions and guest judges can be found here. Don't click if you don't want to know!

Jul 10, 2008

Making Your Body Double

The one thing a lot of people want to learn to do is make their cloths fit better be it bought or made clothing. Having your own body's dress form is a nice to have. You don't have to keep trying on the garment while you adjust or sew it. It's easier to pin what you want to do.

Making a body double is done in 3 steps. The first is to tape your body, second stuff your form and third put it on a stand. I help people with step one taping your body.

There are many places online that gives you advice from other people on the problems they ran into when making their form. There's also a great article in Sew News from a couple of years ago where Connie Amaden-Crawford explains how to make your form. I refer people to this article all the time. It has a lot of good information in it.

A DRESS FORM DUPLICATES THE HUMAN TORSO. It's usually made of papiermaché and covered with a heavy linen fabric, which is steamed to tightly conform to the dress form. It has collapsible arms and is set on a movable, height-adjustable stand. Dress forms are available in standard sizes and figure types. Adjustable dress forms are the most common forms on the market today. However, an adjustable form leaves spaces where it's imperative to pin when fitting a pattern, such as the center front, center back and shoulders. Garment manufacturers use dress forms to drape original designs and perfect basic blocks or patterns. Sample garments are then fitted, checked and corrected on the form. Manufacturers select more general forms because their basic patterns and designs are proportioned to fit a variety of customers without involving too many alterations.

Custom Dress Form

This basic form can be made in about an hour. New forms are easily made as the body changes or if various body sizes are needed. Create a dress form for your personal use or for your business when individual fit is necessary. The featured dress form has a finished linen shell with a shoulder princess seam. An arm, made from canvas and firmly stuffed, is also available to attach to the dress form. (See "Sources" at the end of this article.) The arm is used to drape and check the finished sleeve fit.

Body doubles are fun to make. If you want to make one have a friend help you. If you don't have anyone to help reserve a session with me and I can help you.

Until next time.
Enjoy your moments ~ make them so much fun,

Jul 9, 2008

Policy Changes at Learn 2 Sew

My family had a wonderful time on vacation in Lexington KY. We got to visit family and meet a new member of our family. My daughter loved playing mom to her second cousin. We spent a crazy amount of money on gas and with the budget cuts across the state we didn't see any highway patrol throughout Florida giving "all" the speeding traffic tickets. I think it was the first time I drove through the state and never saw anyone getting a ticket.

I came home to a ringing phone and full classes. Monday my phone rang so often I wasn't able to keep up with all the calls. There were a few people I was unable to return their calls because they never left me their phone number in the message they left.

My classes this week are mostly full. I do have some seats available for Friday and Saturday's classes. They are filling quickly so if you want to attend let me know soon.

I'm making another policy change this week. People must pay for the class before they attend. My first class back from vacation Monday night was full - so I thought. I had several people who wanted to attend. A couple of people called me to reserve their seats and asked to pay when they came to class. They never showed up while others lost out who wanted to pay and attend. From now on I will not reserve a seat unless it is paid for in full prior to the class. And for people who pay for sever hours up front reserve seats to a class and don't attend will have their hours deducted from the class time paid. I am loosing too much money from people saying they will come only to never see them. I'm sorry I have to be this way but the actions of others have caused me to do this. It is very rewarding for me to pass on my knowledge to other people but I did open this business for financial reasons and don't want to be taken advantage of.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as I am. I can't tell you how much I love having my kids home instead of school. Oh yeah they fight a lot but I love spending time with them.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,