Sep 29, 2008

Cami and Nick's Road Trip

Cami started my sewing class over a year ago. She knew very little about sewing but wanted to learn how to make costumes. She and her friend Nick entertained children during parties dressing up as a princess and spider man.

She started class not knowing much but grew in her sewing skills quickly. She was one of my first post on this blog:

Bat Girl and Superman

Cami took my Monday/Wednesday class last month. She wanted to come in to learn how to make costumes. You see Cami and her friend Nick do kids parties. She wanted to make her own costumes for the parties. She has never sewn before. She is a natural at sewing. She made everything except the Superman Cape

I got these pictures and with her permission I'm sharing with you. She did a great job! I'm so proud of her.

I hear Nick makes a very good Superman if you ever need one for your birthday parties. Not bad abs either Nick! :)

All the time she was taking my class Nick would pop in to ask questions about what she was doing. I could see the sparks between them. I ask her how good of friend were they? She said "just friends". I told her there was much more between them then just friends.

Over the next year she would come in from time to time when she got stuck on her project and needed help. Then one day she told me her and Nick were getting married! :) She wanted to make her dress and asked my advice. She ended up buying a dress because the wanted to get married right away.

So what are they doing now?

I've been following Cami and Nick on their adventures traveling around the country through her blog called Road Trip and pictures. They are having so much fun. You can see it in their pictures.

Monday, September 22, 2008
After so many days sleeping in parking lots and true, no shower... we finally headed to Nick's sister house, Kathi! They were all at work/school when we got there so the maid opened the door we had the chance to shower before seeing them! (that was great!).

We were very happy to see/meet them, and it was a very emotional moment for Nick and Kathi. We met David (Kathi's husband) and Melissa our niece! Yes! Uncle Nick and Aunt Cami!

We went out for dinner to have a chance to catch up and saw the amazing west coast sunset on our way to the restaurant.

Thank you for everything guys!
Published by CamiSou at 8:00pm|0 Comments
Sunday, September 21, 2008
We started our day walking the Cannery Row in Monterey.

A beautiful old fisherman village, with beautiful colors and home of the famous Monterey Bay aquarium. We saw seals (lots of them) everywhere we looked. We did not go to the aquarium as it was too expensive ($25 per adult). So we walked around to stretch our legs and took a bunch of pictures.

Monterey was also the beginning of the one hundred mile scenic route - Big Sur. Incredible! The most beautiful drive so far. I googled some info as I'm out of words: "...The route follows some of the most spectacular and highly scenic shoreline found along California’s coast. Views include rugged canyons and steep sea cliffs, granite shorelines, sea lions and other marine life, windswept cypress trees, and majestic redwood forests. This Byway also provides you with a lesson in California’s rich Mission-era and natural history..."

We stopped at some key spots (the ones suggested by the book Steven and Rebecca's lent to us). It really reminded me of Hawaii. Mainly the Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park, where the landscape is dramatic and a beautiful waterfall meets the ocean.

Check out the pics!

We took our time and spent the whole day at that route. Ending at a K-Mart parking in Arroyo Grande to spent the night.
Published by CamiSou at 7:51pm|0 Comments
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The campground in Dutch Flat was quiet, behind a gas station. We were not very interested in touring around the area. It was just an opportunity to stop for half price before we get closer to bigger cities (we've been making good use of the card Chris gave us in Indiana, that grant us 50% of in the participating campgrounds).

Friday we woke up late, and hit the road around mid afternoon.

Around 6pm we were on the road in Fairfield, California when we drove by the Jelly Belly Factory! We decided to stop right away! How exciting! The Jelly Belly Factory tour was in our plans when we first started looking at places in California, but we didn't realize it was on our way!

We drove to the factory and they were already closed. Luckily there was a Wal-mart right next to it. So we decided to spend the night and take the tour first thing in the morning.

The tour was amazing! We litteraly the first ones there. While waiting for the tour to start, the lady openened the sample bar. Yes, free Jelly Bellys... any flavor we wanted... till we get tired of it. My favorite was Cantaloupe and Pomegranate, Nick fell in love with Red Apple, Pomegranate and Kiwi. But we tried it all... Crush, 7up, Mint Chocolate, Sports Jelly...yummy!

During the tour they showed us the history, how they come up with flavors, the production process (it takes several days to make a perfect Jelly Bean, we saw millions of tinny little beans, Jelly Belly art work... etc. It was great.

After the tour, time to hit the road again, heading to San Francisco.

It was really hard to find a place to park our trailer safely to tour the city, or find an affordable place to stay (we were on our last few dollars). I looked at the map and googled truck stops outside San Francisco (I knew we should not drive the trailer in the city, San Francisco is famous for it's steep hills!!!). I found one in Oakland. We called them and a very nice guy let us park there.

We arrived at the truck stop around 11am. It was a industrial area by the Colisseum (home of Oakland 49rs)/ Oakland airport. We parked, and took public transportation to the city. It was actually a big challenge, we had to tour without much time as the truck stop closed at 6pm!

We are the champs of quick tours! We went to a awesome farmers market by the San Francisco Port, Pier 39, a far view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street and shared some chinese food. We did it all in 3 hrs got back in the car and hit the road again. San Franciso is a beautiful city, with a lot going on. The streets and piers were packed with tourists. (Everyone in the trolley was holding a map! It was funny.)

Our next destination was Monterey - the beggining of Big Sur (route one) the scenic route along the coast.

We found a Wal-mart just a few miles out of Monterey and spent the night.

Go on the trip with them. Read what you have missed to catch up and follow them along in their adventure. Our newlyweds are enjoying their moments! And after all, this is what life is all about!

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

Sep 21, 2008

Making a Fabric Chart

My inspiration comes from fabric. Most of the time I stare at my fabric stash to decide what my project will be. Fabric speaks to me most of the time - it tells me what it wants to be. Sometimes you don't get it right with combination's of fabrics. It's all a learning process. If you've been watching Project Runway you can see how important fabric can be. It can take a long time to learn about fabric, the families of fabric - all their names and how to sew working with different fabric.

One of the first things you do when you go to design school is make a fabric chart or book. Having an understanding about fabric, how it sews, how it wears, how it presses, color, weight, nap and loads of other information will determined what kind of designer you will be. There are many, many different kinds of fabric. Depending on how far you want to take it, making a fabric chart or fabric book could take a long time to create.

Different kinds of fabric to look for are quilting, garment and home decor. Once again I go to the internet for information to share. You want to start off with a list of different kinds of fabric and what to look for. I found a couple of sites here and here. You want to print your list or write down a few that you want to start off with. As you find the fabric you cross it off your list.

The best way to learn about fabric is a little at a time. As you sew your projects take a swatch (a small square) of your fabric to add to your book. Glue or stable the swatch to a page. Name your fabric, what kind of fabric it is and maybe washing instructions. Again you can find all this information from the list you printed online. You may even want to take a picture of your project to add to your fabric book. I have been taking pictures of my projects for many years. It's a lot of fun to see what you made "years" ago.

If you don't understand or want to learn more about a certain kind of fabric do a search online. You can always find the answer to your questions these days. This site has a lot of information about wool. is another great site to get an education.
Sewing requires fabric. Understanding the different types of fabric available, how they vary and how to care for them will help you be successful in everything you sew.

Fabric Characteristics

Choosing your first piece of fabric is not just a choice of what looks beautiful to you. You need to know the difference in woven and knit fabric. You need to observe one way designs, if the fabric has nap, if you will need to match plaids and if it is a diagonal print.

Before you go shopping for your first fabric purchase. Learn about the different types of fabric that are available and what ones are best for your first sewing project.

Preshrinking Fabric

Preshrinking your fabric may stop you from diving right into the project you have in mind, but it is a step well worth taking the time to do!

Not preshrinking the fabric can lead to an item that is only worn or used once because of shrinking in the laundry.

Don't plan on shrinkage as way to make something smaller. Rarely will the seams and fabric shrink to the same degree, leaving a puckered mess when the fabric shrinks and the seam doesn't.

Fabric Grainlines

As you go to lay out a pattern or cut your fabric, knowing what the grain of the fabric is will allow the items to hang correctly and help assure success for the finished item. Learn why the grain lines are different and how they should be used.

Fabric Storage

Once you're hooked on sewing, it's all most impossible to only buy the fabric you are going to use immediately. Having a fabric stash is just part of sewing. Learn the best ways to store fabric so that it doesn't become damaged in storage.

Finding Fabric Stores

As mass merchants under cut the prices that fabric stores could offer, many small fabric stores were forced out of business. Finding fabric that is different when you are traveling and visiting new fabric stores can be an adventure all on it's own. Learn how to find fabric stores where ever your travels lead you.

Economical Fabric Sources

Fabric doesn't have to be bought off the bolt. Used and new sources don't always cost money either. Learn about resources you may not have thought of.

Many people ask me about fabric and If I teach it in my class. There is so much to learn about fabric and can't be taught in a couple of hours. They also ask me where to buy good fabric. There isn't many fabric stores around these days. Many have gone out of business. I tell people to do a google map search using fabric stores with their zip code. You should be able to find stores near you. You can also buy fabric online. There are many places to go like here and here

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

Sep 14, 2008

Finding Time To Sew / Great price on a Serger

It's been a few days since I've had time to blog. I always say our greatest assets is time. It's something we all have the same 24 hours and how you spend your time is basically what kind of life you will have.

There's so many things that consume my time. First my children and taking care of their needs. Then it's giving others my knowledge and helping others sew in my classes and when I find time I get to actually sew for myself. Sewing does my soul good. I really can't get enough of it.

You know, the project list of things I want to sew are long. For a while now I have wanted to make more laptop bags. I have had a lot of intrest in the one I made I thought I would make a few to sell.

So I went to my fabric stash and found some combination of solids and contrasting fabrics that I liked and cut out a few bags to make. I always tell my students that to me cutting isn't the fun part of sewing and if you have the time cut out a few projects do it so when you have time to sew your ready to go.

Again it only took me a couple of hours to make another bag. I didn't add a pocket to this one but attend on making a pouch for the power cord and other things needed for your laptop. It's a little bigger than my notebook but has room for other things you want to carry too. Its an aqua color with a floral print and a little trim around the flap . It's padded for extra protection for your laptop.

I'm going to be selling this bag along with the other ones I've made. I'll have them listed on my website soon. If your interested in one before it hits my website let me know and I'll make sure you get it.

I also made a hat real fast. This was a fun project and very easy to make.
I used the same fabric I made my sewing machine covers out of. It was given to me by one of my students. I always say, if someone tells you they want to know where they can donate fabric always tell them you.

The hat was a little small for my daughter. She really loves watching the new Nancy Drew movie and asked me to make her a sleuth bag and some Nancy Drew outfits "you know, the ones they wore in the old days" said my daughter. LOL.

So I've been busy with my classes. I've had a few students return to make several different project from aprons to dress and blouses, pants, handbags, cage cover for pets. All kinds of things. I've also had other students who got stuck on their projects they were sewing at home and needed a little help. I really do love passing my knowledge on to others. I have learned what comes second nature to me sometimes takes a while for others to get the concept of sewing.

I also wanted to give you a heads up on my Open House on Sept. 24. It's a time when all my old students can get together and talk about our passion. I've also invited other sewers in the area. It should be a fun night. If you would like to enroll to 8 hours of classes on this night you can save $5.

One more thing. I have a machine I want to sell to someone at a really good price. If your interested give me a call. It's brand new in the box.
Serger 14CG754
Reg. $299.99 - for sale $260+tax

• 1300 stitches per minute • 2/3/4-thread capacity • 6 serger stitches • Extra-high presser foot lifter • Built-in rolled hem • Differential feed

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