Aug 25, 2008

Rock Band Coldplay Sews - No REALLY!

I tell my students all the time theres a vast amount of places where they can get their education on sewing. One way I have educated myself is by using keywords emailed to me. I get any article that has been published online with the words sew and sewing in it. Sometimes it's a lot of nothing and other times you can't believe what you read.

I know sewing has become popular again. It's not a nerdy thing to do anymore. Project Runway has made it cool with the 2osomethings. And check this out. The rock band Coldplay sews their own costumes. Story brought to us by contactmusic.com. I would have never found out about this if I didn't use my keywords sewing.

COLDPLAY - SEWING HOBBY KEEPS COLDPLAY ROCKERS TIGHT-KNIT

Coldplay picture 5154783


Click for the COLDPLAY Gallery

Rockers COLDPLAY have revealed the unusual hobby they have taken up to help them unwind on tour - sewing.
Frontman Chris Martin claims the Yellow hitmakers have bonded while stitching their stage costumes, and insists their secret pastime has made them a more tight-knit group.
Martin says, "Making clothes together in our studio makes us feel complete. We probably sound like a group of grannies in a knitting circle but it's the truth and it gives us some control over our visual identity.
"We see if they have a sewing kit in the amenities draw in case we feel inspired.
"When you are a big band and everyone is taking shots at you, the more things you can do together the better.
"And if you're wearing uniforms made by your own hands it helps."

8/25/2008 12:08:07 PM

Coldplay picture 5154784
So how cool is that? My two passions meet - sewing and music. Now if I could just get Jimmy Page behind a machine. He does live here in Ft. Lauderdale. Did you see him at the Olympics closing ceremonies? Somehow I don't ever see that happening. How about Tool...think they would pick up the art of sewing? :) LOL You know it's all good.

Tonight I have a "sew a tote bag" class. A lot of people told me they wanted to attend. I don't have anyone who have actually enrolled. I have people ask me all the time to run special class. I do want to do what you ask for. I only wish people would enroll when I do have them. If there was some reason why you couldn't attend let me know. If it's a scheduling problem that is keeping people from enrolling I can always accommodate for the next special class (which is a zipper class by the way - check the website for more information)

I had to rock and sew with you,
Until next time.
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,
Cindy

Aug 20, 2008

Sewing Machine Pressure Foot / Accessories

There are many different pressure feet that come with your machine. Many of the accessories are the same for different machine companies as far as how they work on the machine. You do have to use the foot for your model of machine. There are times when you can use different feet on different machines but sometimes it doesn't work. Basically the pressure feet styles all work the same for the different companies.

The very basic feet that comes with your machine are:

Zigzag foot comes on the machine when you buy it. You will use this foot for most of your sewing.
To change your foot either push the little button on the back of the foot or snap them on and off. They get reattached by placing the foot under the arm and lowering the lever until the foot clips on.





Zipper Foot gets you closer to the zipper where the zigzag foot keeps you far away when installing the zipper. I also use the zipper foot anytime I need to get close to the edge of the fabric (like when doing a top stitch) It's also used to stitch cording or any seam that has more bulk on one side than the other. Some zipper feet allow you to sew closer to one side or the other.

Four Step Buttonhole foot slides up and down to allow you to make a button hole the size you need. You have to mark where you're going to start and stop your buttonhole.


OR a.....

One Step Buttonhole foot where the button goes in the foot so that you can make the buttonhole the size of the button. The one step buttonhole is a feature I tell people to look for when buying a machine.



Blind hem foot positions the hem for blindstitch hemming on the machine. This is a fast way to do a hem on the machine as apposed to doing it by hand, Sometimes it has a screw on it that allows you to move the guide to your fold. This stitch takes a few minutes to learn so take your time and don't get frustrated when it doesn't come out like you want.

Most machines come with these 3 feet. You can always buy more feet to make sewing your projects easier.


Walking Foot feeds top and bottom layers together so seams start and end evenly. Use it for vinyl, pile fabrics, bulky knits or other fabrics that tend to stick, slip or stretch. This foot is useful for stitching plaids.





Overedge Foot helps keep stitches at full width and prevents curling of flat edges when sewing overedge stitches. Stitches are formed over a hook on the inside edge of the foot.





Overlock foot does the same as an overedge foot. It's another way to finish your seams when you don't have an overlock/serger machine.






Piping foot lets you sew piping in fabric very easy







Ruffling Foot sews small, individually adjustable tucks. Ruffler can be set to ruffle after every sixth stitch, every twelfth stitch or after every stitch. Perfect for sewing clothing or home decorating items.




Cording foot allows you to sew cording or yarn in a fabric by using a zigzag stitch







Ditch foot lets you stitch in the ditch. It has a guide that lets you follow the right side of the seam






Gathering foot lets you gather the fabric the easy way.








Rolled hem foot folds over the edge of the fabric while the machine sews the fabric down





There are many more different kinds of pressure feet you can get to make your sewing much easier. You don't need to have all these feet, you do need the basic ones, but it sure does make thing go smooth when you do use them.

Remember when you lower your pressure foot it causes the tension to engage the top thread. So when threading your machine remember to leave your pressure foot up so the thread goes through the tension properly.

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

Aug 10, 2008

Changing Your Sewing Surroundings

I don't know about you but I get bored with looking at the same surroundings all the time. I'm always changing things up at my sewing center and home. My kids love coming home from school and finding their rooms have had a makeover.

I needed a change around the sewing center. The first things to go were my seat covers. I made them last year and have taken a beating. My ironing board covers which was also out of the same fabric had turned brown and were a mess from all the use. I bought some purple duck cloth that was on sale to make new ironing board covers. I used the old cover as a pattern to cut new fabric and used the same drawstrings from the old ironing board covers to insert in the new cover. It's very easy to do - just hold the string along the edge of the fabric (after you serged the edges) and sew a zig zag stitch over the string to give it a casing. Just put the fabric on top of your ironing board and pull the string to make it tight around the board.

And I was a bit tired of the plastic sewing machine covers and wanted to make new ones. I was given some purple polyester fabric a few months ago. (hint: when someone says to you "do you know where they can donate fabric" tell them to donate it to you).



Machine covers can be very easy to make. Just measure your sewing machine cut your fabric to the size of your machine. You only need 3 squares. One big square to lay on top to cover the front and back and two other squares for the sides.


Fold your fabric in half where the top would be for each square. Slide a pin in at the fold to mark where to start pinning in the sides to the cover. (sorry the picture isn't very good. If you click on it you will get a better view) Open the fabric where you had folded it and place the two pins on top of each other. This is where you will start pinning the top of the square. You want to leave 5/8" from the edges. A lot of times I will place double pins in the fabric to remind me where to start and stop. Sew the top side of the cover on both sides.

Pivot the fabric around where you bring the side panel edge down to the edge of the front panel. Pin the edges together and sew from your other stitch line down to the bottom of the cover. Do this to all four sides.


Serge all your seams (or finish them but running a zig zag stitch down each seam) and the bottom of the cover. Fold under a little hem at the bottom holding it with a straight stitch. Press your cover really well and you have a new look for your sewing machine.

You can add any decoration you want (ribbons, lace, contracting fabric). I wanted my very simple looking.

It only took me around 10 - 15 minutes to make each cover. I did it in between classes and stayed late one night to finish them. I know I will probably get tired of this look sooner or later and change it up again but hey....it's all fun!

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

Aug 1, 2008

Last week of Summer Camp 2008 - Kids Sewing Classes

The summer is almost over and the last week of camp has ended. This was a slow year for summer camp. I few weeks I didn't have anyone enroll. When our economy is bad the first thing we cut back are what we can do for our children. My kids didn't do their yearly camp either. I don't think I will be offering as many weeks of camp next year. But I have to say my adult classes have been very busy. A lot of people want to learn to sew and having Project Runway on doesn't hurt.

So here are the new little sewers of the world. Again I had a lot of fun with these kids. I am always so surprised how fast kids pick things up. And giving them my knowledge is so rewarding for me.

We made a lot of clothing, more pillows, jean bags, fabric belts and purses. I didn't take pictures of all their projects but here are a few...



I'm going to start having Kid Classes every Wednesday from 4:30 - 6:30. If this time doesn't work out I'll change it to make it work for those who want to take the class. Hey, I'm flexible :) I'll also be having kid classes on Saturdays so watch the calendar when they will be scheduled.

I haven't been able so make many projects except a few that only take a couple of minutes to make. One night after class I cut a pair of jeans that were too short for my daughter and made a pair of shorts out of them. With the pant legs I made some pin cushions because I'm crazy about putting pins back in something so they don't end up in your foot. I also just got done making sewing machine covers that only took 15 minutes to make. It took me a few days but I did finish all the covers for my machines in the sewing center. I also covered a ironing board...all matching. I used fabric given to me. It was my daughters favorite color - purple. My next post will be how to make very easy covers to change up your sewing room. When you keep things the same around you creativity is stifled.


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