Jun 27, 2010

Week in Review 6/27/10 - Many Sewing Smiles

This week the morning classes on Wednesday and Thursday got canceled to make room for the first week of summer camp. The same thing will happen in July for weeks 2 and 3. So thanks for everyone who usually come to class then for taking a week off.

Many sewing smiles were had this week. I have to say I love the process of watching someone discover the wonderful world of creating things with the sewing machine. They walk through the door with a big question mark over their head and through the process they have a glow about them, and in the end the excitement shows all over their face with their smile. I even have some adults jump up and down while clapping they get so excited. I just love the feeling sewing gives me and others. And that's what I remember about this past week were all the smiles that were had...

8 people attended the machine class starting the sewing adventure.
5 people came to cutting class cutting and all cutting out clothing projects.
21 people attended sewing class making t-shirts and tops, kids clothing, refashioning old cloths for a new look, quilts, men shirt, pj pants, Halloween decorations, pants, wallets, and dresses because we make a lot of dresses in class.

The camera didn't get taken out much during the adult classes this week. I do have a few pictures to show.

One being from Ariela who I helped last week on how to construct one of her designs. She had an idea to make a petal skirt with different layers and sizes of petals with an elastic band at the top. I suggested she sew a liner to the petals so when they fly around you can see some pretty fabric on underneath. And it's a lot easier to sew two layers of fabric together and flip them then try to finish the edges of one layer of fabric. So in a few hours after class last week she made herself this cute little skirt. I am so very proud of this young student in so many different areas of her life, not only her sewing skills.

I don't have the picture of the Tee-Pee Samantha made as of yet but I do have her first attempt of quilting. She started this project in class deciding what fabrics to use and cutting most of the pieces needed because I have really big tables for cutting, more than she has at home.  She came back to class the top made and she did it all by herself. Yeah Sam!! She did a great job. This is going to look great on her daughters bed. She's also making pillow shams to match too. Oh, and did I tell you that Sam likes to go thrifting and all this fabric was recycled from old sheets and all kinds of other things she bought for very little money.

And then there's Christina who brought a guest to class with her. She has many people from work who wants to attend my sewing class. Just to let people know if you refer someone to me and they join a class I will give you a free hour of sewing.  Anyway, Christina was away last weekend and was able to get a lot more of her hand embroidery done to the little dress she's making for her daughter. She get the skirt attached to the bodice and is working on the sleeve. As I told you before, it's so much fun to have Christina in class. She already has a lot of sewing knowledge. There isn't much I teach her.
I also want to say Thank You to Christina for bringing me back a sweet little gift from her adventures in San Diego. She was on a business trip and looked up a fabric store (Memory Lane Quilt Shop) to visit while she was there because when you catch the sewing bug you have to visit fabric stores when you visit other cities.   She saw this cuties little charm while she was there and thought of me. So, Thank You Christina! I love it!

Next week is going to be a very short week with sewing classes on Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning and evening and Thursday morning then I'm going to be closed for 5 days for the July 4th weekend. I really could use a few days off. I'm starting to do some really stupid things like forgetting to write people in when they reserve a seat or putting them in the wrong day (Sorry Pilar and Rachael - I'll make that one up to you!!) But just like sewing, nothing or no one can be perfect 100% of the time - mistakes are going to be made.  I need a little vacation :)

I didn't get to sew anything for myself last week. I really hope I have time because I have a couple of tops and another pair of jeans cut out ready for the machine.

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

Jun 20, 2010

Week in Review 6/20/10 - Dancing By Myself

Hi all, Sorry I haven't posted in a week.

It's been a heck of a week teaching 12 classes and bringing my daughter to dance every night, making costumes, picture night, hair and makeup, first week of summer being out of school and ending it with her dance recital last night. I'm exhausted!!!

Before I tell you about the week at the sewing center I have to brag a little because, hey, I'm mom first. My daughter did her very first dance solo. She started dancing when she was 4 years old and got invited to be on the competition team at the age of 6. She's said for years when she was 10 years old she would do a solo. She didn't do a full dance because her hormones are in high gear with bouts of tears so her dance teacher thought it would be best if we didn't put the stress on her. She had a little bit in the opening dance of the recital last night. She was in 8 dances... but this one stole my heart and made me cry. I am a proud mama
A picture of little dancer, a proud mom and grandmother

And now to tell you what happened at the studio this week. I've had a few students I haven't seen in a long time. They came back to class this week. 

The week started out slow with 4 people reserving seats with everyone canceling within 2 hours of the class. That meant I was able to work on my own sewing. I was able to get a few things cut out with one top made and another pair of jeans started.

Denise drives far to take my sewing classes so she takes advantage of my 4 hour sewing sessions. As I said in last weeks review, I am so proud of Denise. She has come so far so fast in her knowledge of sewing. She made this cute little romper for her daughter. I love making little clothes. It's just "sew" much fun!

Betty is one of the students I haven't seen in years. She came back to class last week to make a pillow case for a friend. This week she came to make some baby gifts. I have so much fun with Betty, we have great conversations. She's lived in Hollywood a long time too. She hasn't had things easy lately with the loss of her husband while she was away with a friend. She needs sewing in her life to help her with his passing.

Ariela is another student who's been attending my classes for years. She started when she was 12 years old. She caught the bug and can't get enough of sewing. She made several projects in her 4 hour session. She came in wearing this hair clip she made at home. She made a wallet (already made the black one at home, started a little hat she made a pattern herself and then she drew up a little skirt with peddles we talked about its construction and an easy way to do it.   She is going to NY for a fashion summer camp for 3 weeks. I think she's going to the same place Scott is going (so Scotts mom, if you're reading this which I know you do LOL ya gotta tell me when Scott is going to be there and maybe we can get the two of them together)

Many other students attended class this week but as usual I didn't pull out the camera.

Next week sewing summer camp with 5 cute little girls starting of their adventure in the wonderful world of sewing. I will take pictures of this. The first day we're going to make a tote bag.

So, my sewing. I was able to cut out 3 tops and another pair of jeans (using different denim) I made one top and started on the jeans. I totally messed up sewing this top. It was Friday. I was rushing because I wanted to wear it yesterday. I sewed the shoulder yoke and when I sewed the side seams I ended up putting two wrong sides together, hemmed the sleeves and bottom before I realized what I did. (good thing I try to make the inside look just as good as the outside) You can't really tell, but I can. I'm making another one LOL I like this pattern. It only took me about an hour to sew. Very Easy. I'll have to write down the pattern number next time I'm at the studio and sew it up again.

And that's what happened last week.


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

Jun 14, 2010

Week in Review 6/13/10 - Official Start To Summer

Yes, that's right. It's officially summer with the kids getting out of school on Wednesday. And that's a big reason why I'm a day late ending last week when we've started a new one with today.

Not only did more people attend class this week but I was able to make a few projects too.

8 people attended the machine class on their way to a wonderful world of creating.
5 people learn how to cut their patterns on the fabric in the cutting class.
15 people attended sewing class to sew their projects, learn sewing techniques and alterations.

There's one person I would like to brag about. That's Christina. I love having her in class. I feel she has so much knowledge (I've learned a few things from her) I wonder why she comes to class. She say's she doesn't know construction well and didn't know how to put together this little dress she's been working on. Now the bragging part. Check out her hand embroidery. It's so beautiful! She's doing the same flowers around the base of the dress
Here's what the bodice looks like
She almost has it constructed and since I showed her how to put the bodice together with the liner she will be able to finish it at home.

Then here's Rachael who's been coming to class with her mother Gladys. They both attended cutting class Saturday and stayed around for the first couple hours of sewing class. Rachael's making pants and Gladys is making a top. They are almost done with both since they've used easy patterns.

Terri came back to sewing class to work on her own making little tissue holders out of (what else for Terri) Disney fabric. She's making all these little gifts for a cruise she's going on in September. When you want to sewing class just to hang out and sew with us (and don't need me to teach you) you only have to pay $5 an hour to sew with us. You can see Terri wearing the green shirt above hard at work at her Disney sewing machine.

Yasmin's been coming in to make scarfs. Some of the fabrics she's working with isn't easy fabric to sew or press. I've shown her several different finishing techniques. She also bought some fabric that had a lot of markings on it (like sticky tape). She didn't notice it when she bought it. It happens to all of us buying fabric that has marks right in the middle and you can't use it. This is why I tell people to roll out how many yards you want of the fabric and inspect it first before you bring it to the cutting table.  I really love having Yasmin in class. We have a lot of fun together.
There were many classes when the camera didn't come out. Many more students came to class but I'm only going to share the ones I have photo's of. It really was a fun week of sewing...

Since school is over I can show you the bag my daughter made for her teacher. She picked out the fabric from the stash. It has a school theme to it.
And the liner
This is going to be a summer camp project. Speaking of.... the seats are going fast. I'm only offering 3 weeks of camp this year so hurry and do your enrollment if you plan on attending.

Another reason why I'm a day late doing this week in review is because we needed an Aladen costume for the dance recital next weekend. Little one and I had a sewing date yesterday. It took us a few hours to do because I just cut the fabric and went with it. We needed a small size 5. Ally did a few seams in the pants and I made the rest. It's nice to have several machines because you can set different colors of thread on each one. Makes the process faster. 

I hope to see you in class this week. If you haven't already reserved your seat let me know what class you want to attend. Some of them are filling quickly so let me know soon.

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

Jun 11, 2010

Make it Work Part 4 - Signs

Since the days of my youth I've always known two things: that I would be a mom and I would be a business owner. It took me many years to achieve the dreams of my youth. If there's one thing I can teach my children is to follow their dreams given to them at birth. Your dreams are what give you the most smiles. When you have as many smiles as you can in life you have given yourself a wonderful gift.

To get the most out of your life you have to decide what you want. I wanted to be a mom. I always saw myself being called mom. As much as I wanted them I wasn't given any. It took me many years to have my children but when I did my time was there's giving them as much of me as possible. Being a parent to a child doesn't last forever. I give my time freely knowing soon enough they won't want my presence around them like they do as kids.

 I also wanted to be a business owner. Ask for the things you want and when you are ready for them they will be given to you. Sometimes they're not given to you until your ready for it. Sometimes it's given to you but you don't see the signs telling you what you have to do. The signs are there waiting for you to see them. In my 20's I had a great desire to own a business. I thought one day that would be a hair salo. As the years passed more and more hair styling places were popping up everywhere. They were like gas stations. I've always been self employed but I wanted to be a business owner. The signs have always been there of what I should do. I love to sew and have done it since I was 12 years old, I love telling people what I know. I've always shared my knowledge freely. Then one day the ideas just flooded my mind. My ideas were put to action and Learn 2 Sew was born. I have had many smiles and still do having people pass through my studio doors.

I have many students who have lost their jobs. The want to learn the art of sewing to either save money getting their clothes fixed or to start or help with a business. Some are very upset when they've been told they no longer have a job. I try to tell them to look at the signs telling them what path they should take. They've been given a great gift. When one door closes another opens and more times than not it's a better door then the one that was just closed. There's signs all around waiting for you to follow the path to happiness. It's your choice to follow your heart. No one can give you what you want but you.

I'm still following the signs being presented to me be it in my personal life and business actions. The signs are like lessons... they will be there until you see them, until you learn the lesson. I strive to make things better, to make things easy, to use my time wisely, to enjoy my 24 hours given to me. To give myself as may smiles as I can throughout the day. You can't always make gold but unless you try you will never have gold. Keep trying until you achieve that what you desire most, follow the signs.

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

Make it work - Sharing my adventure of being a parent/business owner and how I make it work.
Make It Work Part 1 
Make it Work Part 2 - Lessons

Jun 10, 2010

I have PANTS and a Refashion T-shirt

It's officially SUMMER TIME! The kids are out of school as of yesterday and it's HOT outside.  I got to squeeze out some sewing time the past week making another pair of pants from my TNT pattern and a refashion t-shirt adding a little print to the bottom.

So many more things on the list to sew.... so little time to sew....

There's a machine class tonight with 2 seats available if you would like to attend.

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

Jun 9, 2010

Sewing Over The Wire - 06/09/10

After taking a few weeks off from doing this series "Sewing Over the Wire" - it has now returned with many fun articles to read.

This is a weekly series where I share sewing news I receive with you.

Enjoy your reading.

About People:
Sewing machine given to designer who lost his in fire
The Daily News of Newburyport Wed, 09 Jun 2010
The owner of a Merrimac shop gives a $699 sewing machine to budding fashion designer
Group sews, knits and crochets for good causesby
The Observer Tue, 08 Jun 2010
Every Friday, Vista Grande Retirement Center serves as a meeting place for Needle Crafters of Rio Rancho, a group of retired seniors and other community members that get together to share their interest in knitting, crocheting and sewing. Their efforts benefit Sandoval County, too.

Minding Your Business
The Cape Cod Chronicle Wed, 09 Jun 2010
Taylor Brown was just using her head. The then 18-year-old was shellfishing, and needed a headband, "so I designed one. My grandmother did some sewing and custom work, and I spent some time with her playing with fabric."

A national fabric sensation
McDonough County Voice Sat, 05 Jun 2010
Mildred Millie Sorrells recently won the American Quilters Societys Bernina Workmanship Award for a quilt made with a home sewing machine. The competition was held in Paducah, Ky. and Sorrells was on hand for awards night.

Fabric, scissors, thread, smiles
Hopkinton Crier Thu, 03 Jun 2010
Three women worked the sewing machines set up on two tables in a room at the Senior Center on Mayhew Street last Thursday. Another turned beige-colored squares of fabric into small, human shapes - two pieces ready to be sewn together and stuffed. Earlier, she'd cut colorful fabric into shapes that, when sewn together, would be hospital johnny's and "smile" bags.

About Business:
Small business growing with special custom designs
Daytona Beach News-Journal Mon, 07 Jun 2010
Phillip Heatherly was worried he might have to spend the rest of his life managing on a disability check, but, then, he learned to sew and started a little business.
The Garment District: So Last-Century, or the Perfect Fit for New York?
WNYC New York Public Radio Tue, 08 Jun 2010
One afternoon last October, hundreds of garment workers walked away from their sewing machines and scissors, and gathered around a temporary stage on Seventh Avenue. They cheered as a one speaker af....
Unhappy anniversary for Equal Pay Act
Guardian Unlimited Mon, 07 Jun 2010
Forty years on, the gender pay gap remains a yawning chasm. And with access to justice through employment tribunals loaded against the ordinary person, that is unlikely to change Saturday 29 May marked the 40th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. Back in 1970, Barbara Castle championed the legislation, having been shocked into action by the treatment of female sewing machinists at the Ford car ...

'Fashion Fever' Hits Craft SuperShow
SYS-CON Media Wed, 09 Jun 2010
The National Sewing Council challenges contestants in their fashion and sewing skills at the CHA Craft SuperShow read more

Student Designers to Compete in Tonight's Project Red Dress Fashion Show
Seattlest Fri, 04 Jun 2010
" RED DRESS AT NIGHT " by MARY LAND from our Flickr pool . Join up and coming designers tonight as they compete in the third annual Project Red Dress fashion show. Students from the International Academy of Design & Technology (IADT) will create one-of-a-kind dresses in red to help raise awareness for heart disease. Given $200 worth of fabric from Nancy's Sewing Basket and only 16 hours, it is ...

Giving Back:
Local effort creates clothes for poor youth
Warren Times Observer Tue, 08 Jun 2010
A group of volunteers at First United Methodist Church in Warren are putting their sewing skills to work, again. And, once again, they are looking for help from generous people across the county.

Making life bear-able
The Shelby Star Mon, 07 Jun 2010
In the time it takes to watch a favorite television show or play a video game, a group of 4-H members are helping Make Life Bear-able for a frightened child. Since 2007, the club has been sewing flat bears to donate to the EMS, volunteer...

Sewing Machine Project helps mend communities
New Orleans Times-Picayune Sun, 06 Jun 2010
This story begins with what Margaret Jankowski calls little idea. She never imagined five years ago what it would eventually becomeI didnt have a clue, she said. I thought, Well send a few sewing machines  overseas, and...

How To:
Turn a Sewing Machine into a Scroll Saw [DIY]
Lifehacker Sat, 05 Jun 2010
# diy If you've got a sewing machine that's just collecting dust, either because you've upgraded to a newer model or you just don't sew anymore, you can easily repurpose it into a scroll saw for cutting wood with precise, controlled movements. More

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

Jun 6, 2010

Week in Review - 06/06/10 - Hot Days of Summer

It is just steaming hot outside. What better thing to do than spend your time in the air conditioner sewing. And that's what happened last week.

Last week was spent getting back on track by making sure everyone who I had to reschedule because of my emergency was taken care of. I had to switch Thursday's night cutting class to a machine class to fit everyone in. By Saturday morning everyone had returned to learn the sewing machine.

9 people attended the machine class with more than half of them bringing their own sewing machines to learn on.
No one attended the one cutting class I had on Friday so I got to sew "yippee".
18 people attended sewing class to feed their passion of learning and creating new things.

Since my mind was other places this week with trying to get my son recovered from his surgery to get him back in school (can you believe only 3 more day's and school is out for summer!) I didn't take many pictures this week. 

But I do have one picture to share of Monica. She came to class in January. She was out one night wearing her dress she made in class and sent me a picture of herself in it. This is called making it work because the neckline was too big for her so next best thing - make it off the shoulder. I had ton's of fun with Monica in class. I hope to see her again soon. I'm thankful for the picture to share with all of you since I was so bad at taking pictures this past week.

Aimee came to class on Tuesday evening to work on her dress. She's so close to being done with it, one more class and we'll be showing off her first sewing project. The same night my daughter wanted to come with me to class to make her teacher a bag to say thank you for a wonderful year. I'll have to take a picture of it before she gives it to Mrs. Burns. 

I am so proud of Denise. She just started her adventure in sewing a few weeks ago. She is so good about learning the process on her own. I always see her out of the corner of my eye always checking her instructions to make sure she understands the concepts being taught to her. There's not much she doesn't understand from the pattern instructions. She's well on her way to making many beautiful dresses for her daughter.

Samantha came to class on Wednesday to finish making a tee-pee from old sheets she's been working on in class for a few weeks to use in her photo shoots. She's almost done with it and as soon as she does finish and the poles are in we'll be sharing a photo of this too.

Terry's back making more Disney things with her new Disney Brothers sewing machine. She's going on a cruse soon and is sewing up a storm to make all kinds of things for it. She did finish a few things but my head wasn't in the right place to take a picture. 

I got to do some sewing last week too. I refashioned a couple of tops with some 50% off knit fabric I found at Joanns for their Memorial Day Sale. I ended up spending a few bucks at their notion wall buying all kinds of fun implements of sewing construction. I did take some pictures but since I'm having a hard time uploading any more photo's I'll have to show you them next time.

Next week's classes can be viewed at my website (link on the sidebar of this blog). I hope to see you in class and if not I hope you're giving yourself the time to feed your sewing passion.

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

Jun 4, 2010

Did You Know?

Did you know you can use your zipper foot not only for installing zippers but to also get close to the edge of the fabric with your stitches when doing an edge stitch?
One of the tricks to sewing straight lines is to find something on the sewing machine to follow. Sometimes you have to find something on top of the fabric to follow because the fabric covers up all the lines on the machine. When you're sewing a pocket, collar or anything that needs to have a stitch line close to the edge try your zipper foot. Follow the edge of the foot with the edge of the fabric and you will get a stitch  real close to the edge.

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

Jun 1, 2010

Weekend Sewing - New Sofa Cushions

Since we're in recovery mode staying close to home this past weekend, and there's only so much house cleaning you can do, I decided to fix something that's been a big problem for a long time.

When the kids were small we needed a new sofa. I didn't want to spend a lot of money because lets face it, kids trash things. So I found this sofa with matching chair at Sears for $500. After the years of abuse by the kids with the pillows being sewn back on ever few months I decided it was time to take these big old cushions off since they were falling off all the time anyway and replace them with ones that can be removed which allows for more laying room while movie watching. (and let me just add - really bad pictures - sorry - its the camera's fault)

I'm not finished yet because I was just going to make some big pillows and decided to hand sew some seam lines to give them some shape. It took 4 hours to do one side. I'm thinking about opening up the other pillow, pulling out the stuffing and doing the other pillow on the machine. It's a little easier on the finger tips. And it will only take about an hour to finish it not 4.
I started out cutting off these big cushions off the back. They were as big as me when I took them off and took up my whole table. They really were too big. Anytime you wanted to lay on the sofa they would push you right off. So I took my scissors out and cut them in half. I have a huge garbage bag filled with leftovers to make throw pillows later (or stuff a few t-shirt pillows)

Since I cut off the old pillows I had to fix the back of the sofa. Good thing JoAnns had a huge sale this past holiday weekend. Most everything was 50% off. Yes, I spent a lot of money there but hey, it was buy one get one. Time to stock up on so many things. I'll show you my stash of what I bought next time. I bought the fabric for this project on their back wall and paid $10 for the fabric.

I hand sewed some brown broadcloth to the back of the sofa because I sure wasn't using a sewing machine on it :)  This is what little one did most of the weekend if she wasn't at dance class. (again - really bad picture) umm, I love brown!

Here's the top of the cushions looking down.  You can see all the seams I hand stitched in on the right one and how the left needs to have a little shape to it. This project is almost done and I'll be happy when it is because it's been on my to do list for a long time. With recovery mode going on around here I had my time given to me to accomplish this.

I have room in sewing class tonight starting at 6:30pm. Maybe I'll stay after to finish the pants I started last week. I'm real close to being done with them and have some tops I want to cut out.

My son still didn't go to school today.... We're still in recovery mode...
Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes...

Congratulations to the Blackhawks for winning game 2 of Stanley last night. That was a great game to watch! Nothing like Stanley playing when it comes to hockey. It's the best! 

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