Monday, November 12, 2012

I'm Official............And Serger Problems :)

I'm official!!!!!!!! I am finally official and I am once again SewHappy.  I finally got myself a SERGER and can enter the land of official seamstresses.   Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!.....I have been looking to get a serger for quite some time but could not find one at a price I could afford.........So I recently saw a deal and I snatched it up.  Now I am OFFICIAL!!!!!!! Here's my beauty......

*singing* Isn't she lovely.........

I'm SewHappy......

And as you can see, I have already put her to good use but I ran into some problems quite early.  The Serger came already threaded and I was happy about that but I did so many happy trial stitches that the thread ran out and as much as I tried I could not rethread the machine to save my life.  I followed all of the directions, read the manual three times and was still missing something.  But thanks to a great video on youtube by artistkaesewing I was able to thread this beauty back up again.  There is something critical about threading the upper looper on a Brother and Artistkaesewing explains it well.  If you are having the same problem with your Brother Serger you definitely want to check out that video.

The problem that I now have is keeping the machine consistent.  It seems as if the thread loosens the more I serge.  Does this happen to anyone else? Does anyone know how to fix this problem?   HELP ME......I know there must be some experts at this out there.  Email me, message me, call me, come you have to do to help this sister whose serger excitement is dwindling.

Looking forward to hearing from you all.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Bags, Bags and more Bags.

I spent a good part of last week working on a specific project.  Bags!!!!!! Why? Because I told my friend ages ago that I would make her one -- I am now getting around to it.  So last week I decided to make it happen.....well, based on my friend's nudging.

This was such a challenge because I was not feeling very inspired so I had no clue where to start.  I did know that I wanted to incorporate some leather into the bag.  Woohoo......a starting place but I've never made a bag with leather before so it heightened the challenge.  Problem was:  Anytime I am not inspired oor havea clear plan it usually means that some fabric will be wasted.  So you know what happened next.......I threw away the first cut of fabric.  :(  Leather proved to be a little  difficult to work with so I put off the leather until I could figure it out and was drawn to clutches.

Here are the results:
Bag#1:  I purchased a square piece of fabric recently from one of my favorite craft stores.....Save a Thon.  I had no idea what to do with it and then the idea of a clutch came to me.  I cut the square in half, lined it with a snazzy oriental like fabric and ended up with this number. 

Bag#2:  Well I didnt just purchase one of those squares from Save a Thon.  I purchased a couple so I decided to make another clutch idea.  This one is lined with another square piece.  It is an off white suede piece.  It feels so great on the inside. 

Bag# 3:  So then I got a little happy and made another one.  This time I wanted to do something a little different to the clutch so I made one with a slanted closure.

Bag#4: So about now I decided that maybe I should go back and try out the leather thing again.  Now I was thinking I would use the leather and do something closely associated to vintage.  So, here is what I came up with.  It is made with a light blue leather material and lined with gold studs.  I plan to add a strap to it.

Bag#5:  Yeah, I started to get a little excited now.  But I left the leather alone again because sewing it was not easy and I had broken a needle....No Bueno! Plus those studs had my fingers hurting.  So, I went back to my fabric squares.  This time I had picked up a red one.  I won't even add a description because this is by far my favorite.  It's hot!

I love this!!!!!!!  It is a red clutch with a lace top.  By the way, all of these bags will be for sale on my etsy store or you can email me.

Bag#6 and #7:  I went back to the leather.  Leather was still misbehaving and between these two bags I broke another 4 needles. Ugh!!!!!! I was not happy one bit but it taught me that I have to find another approach for sewing leather. 
So here are the final two bag creations.

First one: Feathered Leather.  Tan leather with black feathers.  *Feathers only on front.  This bag is not one for sale because the leather was so thick I was not able to sew through it easily or as nicely as I would like.  When I come up with a plan to alter this bag a little nicer, I will add it to etsy.  I am not sure the picture actually does this bag justice because in person it is some kinda wonderful.  If you like to have a piece that's a little different this would be the bag for you.  Ooooohhhh Weeeee.......I love it!  Just wish the sewing was a little better. 

The final bag is also another one of my favorite ones.  I added bag handles to this one.  I enjoyed making this bag because I wanted to do something vintage with my leather and this bag reminds me of a bag my mom carried when she was younger.  I think the handles also take me to that era.  I added the studs to make it vintage yet contemporary. 

Well you can see how full and eventful my week was.  I enjoyed delving into this area and doing something I don't do very often.  Now my friend can have her pick of a bag.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  You might know how to sew leather and if so I would really love to hear from you.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

1970s Vintage Mod Dress

Well Sandy has passed over but the after effects are enormous.  Gas seems to be the necessity of all NY residents and still there is none.  So people and cars line up waiting for hours on hours just to receive the limit mandated. 

But I am assured that my great city will get back on its feet.  So in the meantime I got myself busy again at the sewing machine.  I'm telling you there is never a reason for me to be bored because I have an outlet.  My sewing machine.  So this time I created a dress that I really really love.  It is a 1970s Mod look.  I love that era of dresses where the skirts were kinda flared the necks were high and the fabric was amazingly great quality.  I like to call it the demure era where women and their clothing portrayed confident yet sexy; Classy yet Sexy.  Sexy did not require revealing your genetic makeup.  Modesty was sexy and there is nothing wrong with bringing back an era of Modesty.

I have always wanted to make dresses that would speak to that era; the problem was getting the right fabric.   Well hooray! I finally found a piece that would qualify. 

This is what I call my 1970s Mod look.  It is a high neck collar, with a slightly flared skirt and some buttons in the middle to really bring it into the 70s era.  The design of the fabric is also quite Mod to me.  Check out this beauty.

I wish I could say check out my etsy channel; that, I will be selling them there but I can't because I have no more of this material but I can definitely create this look in a different fabric and might do just that and add to my etsy store.

Here is another view which shows the pattern a little clearer.

Thanks for looking.  Hope you like it.  Don't be afraid to leave a comment :)
I have a video of this dress on youtube.  Check it out here:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Simplicity 2452 Blazer -- In Progress

This is what I call a Sandy Work in Progress.  Work on this blazer, like the city of New York, had to come to a crashing halt.  We did not lose electricity but we had no heat so it was impossible to sew under the covers. 

This project is special to me because even though I have tons of patterns, I usually do not make what the actual pattern suggest but rather, I mix and match them to create something that I can be pleased with.  However, I decided to try making the actual pattern this time. 

This is Simplicity Pattern 2452.  I have not made a blazer in years;   I am very much into making dresses, but I love blazers and I had a paisley piece of fabric that I thought might be a good fit. 

I got very far in making this piece.  I simply have to adjust it a little more to my size, finish the hems, and get some button holes on there which I still do not do well.  I will show you all the end result when I am finish but for now here is the Simplicity 2452 corduroy/velvet paisley blazer in progress. 

More Sandy Pieces....

If there is anything good Hurricane Sandy did, it was to take me to Sew Heaven.  If you love to sew then you have loads of fabric in your home and somehow, I know, you always manage to purchase more.  So being locked in the home to a seamstress is glorious. 

I have a soft spot when it comes to the fabric stores especially when I get a good deal.  I have a favorite fabric store on 35th street in Manhattan.  They have some of the best fabrics there and they are always getting in new styles....They know me all too well because I treat it like my second home.  So, I think I may have gotten this fabulous piece there.  I just wish I had purchased more of it.

The pics will probably not do this fabric justice so let me describe it.  It is black velvet with gold glitter dots.  Some kinda fabulous trust me on that.  :)  I envision this at a New Years Ball or something.  Here is a close up pic of the fabric. 

Well without further chatter, here is the dress.  It is a bateau neckline with a V neck back topped off with a bow.  Initially I had the V back a little deeper but I was worried about bras showing and all so I hiked it back up.  Still a V just not as plunging and my bow in the back can be easily missed by this pic.

So what do you think?

Bonus:  Check out my youtube video.