Friday, June 29, 2012

Well this week I've really been on a roll sewing.  I've just finished making my second bag.   I decided now to use some form of batting to make the bag stand up more.  For some reason this in addition to the lining make the bag look more durable there by lasting longer.  Of course when ever I sew I make sure stuff is not coming apart. It can be sewn wrong, but at least I know those stitches are locked in, isn't that terrible?  I have a phobia about tearing.

The bottom of the bag is made out of heavy canvas, and for some reason this stuff really freyed bad, but maybe it's because it is old.  The lining is just thin fabric, and the straps were grey and I decided to do a contrast with some type of colored ribbon.  I was going to quilt the entire bag, but found out the hard ways that I should have done the quilting before I sewed the sides together.  I wanted to see what it would look like with some stippling on it, and as you can see the white thread is not showing up.  So I decided against it, but was just in a creative move and went with the flow.   Now that I know what a bag will look like with some type of batting I think that I will use this process from now on.  Now I have to think of another project. to come up with............did I say how much I love this machine!  It's fab! I will use this bag if I wear my blue jeans.  I also noticed that the handles are too close to the rim of the beg, and the handles could have been a little more closer together, thereby giving the handles length.  I should have known better.  But who cares, I'm the only one that's going to use this bag.  I might stop in at Ikea and look at some of their fabric.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

sew productive

Today I went to the place I purchase my sewing machine.  I had a few questions of some of the things that didn't seem clear.  Basically I am surprised at how much i am familiar with the machine.  Much to do about nothing.  I was so tense in doodling on that fabric for the purse, that my neck and shoulders were sore today, and I couldn't figure out why until I watched a quilting video.  The lady did say learn to relax.
Even though my sewing people are far, they are really nice to work with, which really makes it easier mentally to go out there, but it's still a pill. But I'll do anything for a sewing machine. Guess I'm just a sick broad and I get worse with age. What is about these machines?  Thank goodness I am not the only person with this illness lol!  I didn't get home until six.

Last night I psyched myself out just to get up and go, and of course I left the house at 10:30 and got home around 6:00............traffic was bad. Now I can get on the machine with a little more confidence.  Even though I may have missed out on another hour of stuff. Time flies by so fast, and then you really can't think of the questions to ask, but of course my brain must have been frozen, because I should have written the stuff down last night.  None the less I got the two most important questions asked, so now I will really have to start practicing more.  I'm looking forward to the next thing I think up.  FMQ is like drawing, so that's the way my brain perceives this, so the sky is the limit , and no telling what might come into my mind, since I have the tendency to go off the path. Now I understand why women like the quilting, for me it's the sound of the machine and the speed I can go, for some reason I am more concentrated, and just zone out, and I notice I am more focused.  I will start tinkering around with the machine at 11:00 and the next thing you know it's 3:00 and I've not even come up for air.

  Today I wore my those flowered blue jeans I made and got a compliment. I was really shocked, I wasn't fishing at all mind you.  I figure that since I made they would look like they are made.  However that's the trick to try and make things look store brought.Making stuff with no patterns is really challenging.  I am just going to have learn to have more patience with patterns. Who knows I could be making that harder than what it really is, but then again .........maybe not.    My next challenge is going to be working on making blouses. Lord knows I need some shirts.  I think it's time for me to get out of tee shirts.  I stain them so bad, and then put embroidery designs to cover the stains isn't that ridiculous?   

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Well I finally finished my bag this morning.  It came out very well, although I really am going to have to change how I put the lining in, never the less this is a sturdy little bag, and I will be using it this week. Developing a more pronounced pattern of FMQ would have been more satisfactory, but rome wasn't built in a day, and I am going to have to be patient with myself with this learning curve. I am enjoying it though.  I almost thought about reinforcing the straps with a cover stitch but dicided against it.  I had to change thread three times, looking for a way for the straps to be not so noticable with stitching.  I am going get some snap magnets for bags in the future.   I have another bag now in progress, and you can see it in the back of this bag.  I really am loving my machine.  It sewed through these thick pices like butter.  The Janome 7700 is really a strong machine.

 I know that Bernina is heavy duty, but I think the Janome really is better.  You can actually feel the power of this machine as you sew.   Also Leah Day who has youtube videos, has a valid point about the feeddogs being down.  I really was afraid to put the feed dogs down, because I don't want to have to adjuct tension, or anything else for that matter.  That's where the sliding pad comes in.  Also she has a valid point about changing the speed control.  I think she is right in letting the machine  stay in the fast mode.  I noticed that with just a control of the foot peddle I had to slow down a bit when trying to manipulate the fabric under the foot.  Tues. or Weds I am going to take another class for the machine.  I really want to feel comfortable about using the quilting foot. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

As you can seee I squiggled on my first attempt, and of course the picture is not clear, you get the idea.  This is going to take some practice and now I can see why ladies like FMQ, because it's almost like driving once you get the feel and know the direction you are going in. There is a slide that I must get, this will make it easier for me to control the fabric.  I'm not willing to pay 65.00 for the slider supreme. Found one on Amazon for 20.00 but it should work just as well.  The one that cost more money is for the larger quilts.  I had no sense of direction as you can see...........

This is the design, and I did try cutting the fabric up in squaares but couldn't wrap my head around it, first I was going to sew four squares together, and then put in a diamond shape and alternate the colors.  Placement is really crucial here.  Yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble to see what new sewing books they have, and also look for the quilting bible of books.  I went through about two or three and this will be my next purchase; well really I am going to have to put a dress form on lay-a-way and i think I will go with AllBrands since they have more choices. I am making a bag by the way, and it looks like it's going to turn out alright. This will be my first quilted bag. I just have the straps to put on, and sew the lining.

I should have sewn it so that the front doesn't match the back just for other words the bottom of this piece should be another pattern of color.  Just my opinion.  I will finish the bag more than likely tomorrow.  I was working on this from 11:00 and looked up at the clock and saw it was 3:30 ......that's just how absorbing this can be.  I kept cutting the sides down because I didn't quite measure the batting.  Next time I will cut all three at the same time.......lining, batting, and then the fabric.  I have some electric scissors that I've not used.  They are so noisy, but I think I will use them because of the thickness of layers.  Don't want to dull my sharpened scissors.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Well yesterday I finally finished up two sleeveless tee shirts.  Just something to knock about, and again I used no pattern. These fit very well.  The grey one should have been made a little more loosley but that's alright.  Chances are I will probably wear it on the balcony or something.  Maybe with my jeans. 

I wanted to make a slight contrast with some material to go around the neck line.  I could have used basting tape, but the material is a light knit.  Needless to say I tried flaring this out toward the bottom of the shirt, and it looks alright, I can get by with it, more than likely I will wear this with my jeans.   Will have to go to mill end fabrics in July, and I will make two more pairs of jeans.  This time I will try another color other than blue.  By the fall I should have this down to a science.  I will more than likely join another craftsy class.  My Janome is smoothe like butter.  Now I am working with some pieces of fabric to make a kinda of quilt purse.  This is more than a notion, and I don't know where to begin, so I'm going to play around with the color scheme of the bag.  So I will take pictures of stuff in progress.  Maybe that will help me to decide in how I am going to do this, because I picked up the little sqaures of material for 2.99 a bag.   Going to have to use my imagination.  More than likely I will take a course on piecing.  Doesn't make since to have this fine machine and not take it through it's paces.  This will be my first time doing FMQ and I am looking forward to it.  The videos say it takes a while to get the feel of the direction you are going in. The speed in which you move has a lot to do with the pattern of your stitch designs.  Over 1,000 stitches per minute.   Also I will have to get a pair of gloves.  That's must, it helps with holding the fabric, and also from keeping the oils from your hands not transfering over to the fabric, and of course keeping it clean.   It's always something.  A little here, a little there. But I enjoy it all.  So far it seems I'm on a roll.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This is the beginning of the dresss, and that is a sheet that I cut out, so there is not pattern.  I just wanted to see how this was going to go. Was really surprised of the outcome.  I like the material, although I don't think it was a good choice for me.

This looks much better on than off, but you can get the picture.  I really like the color.  I was surprised on how this was going to look on me.  I believe I will make the neck line just a little lower, and more open.  I haven't a clue when I am going to wear this, I just wanted to make something other than pants. I tried to take a picture of me without the flash, but the picture didn't turn out too well.  I didn't want my face to show.  I think I am going to invest in getting a camera that i would be able to use a tripod. 

I wanted to show some contrast on the bottom of this dress, so I cut the dress shorter, and then turned the material around to give a contrast appearance.  I learned the hard way that working on knits or shears it's best to use the dual feed foot must be used on fine fabrics and knits.
This is my first time using the dual feed foot and also with sewing knit fabric on the Janome 7700.  Because I was lazy I didn't use the foot the first time in test run while sewing the fabric.  The machine devoured the fabric.  Which is the reason for the single whole device.  This way the fabric isn't eaten up.  I had to carefully cut out the fabric, remove the plate.  Once I put the dual feed foot on everything was smooth sailing.  Although I am going to have to figure out the stitch length. 

I thought I had taken the flash off.  There's got to be an easier way of taking photos with my finished work.  Needless to say I am surprised how this turned out, just happen to be on a roll.  There are so many reruns on television until you have no other alternative but to sew, or read.  This week it's going to be the 80's well I don't do well in the heat. So I'll be sitting at the sewing machine.  I am really glad I got this machine, and now I am going to do another sleeveless top, no pattern but just something to knock around in, and then I will try doing a quilt bag.  I've not begun to touch the surface with this machine.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Well May was really a hell of a month with all the hacking and everything going on.  I am still trying to find a way to transport my blog.  However it looks like I am stuck with the old address for the time being.  I am going to have to get an external hardrive.  In the mean time I've been doing some sewing and made two pair of really nice jeans.  They are not perfect, but they will do, now that I have a picture in my head of how they should go.

These pants turned out really well, and I copied them from another pair that I took apart.   In Kenneth Kings course he shows how to do this with the organza, and he made it look so simple.  Somehow my taking a pair of jeans that I got at a second hand store for a buck, and taking them apart seemed easier.  The tracing looked easier with him doing it on line than actually doing it; I even brought some type of clothe crayons and that helped a bit with tracing, but the pencil didn't glide across the cloth like Kenneth displayed in the video.  I may have been better off just using a #2 penical on the organza.  With these pants,  made a simple quilt stitch at the bottom, so that the pants would frey.  It worked perfectly.

Dadburn that flash but you can just seen how the pants fit my boxy frame.  I thought I had taken the flash off.
This is the first pair of jeans that came out really nice.  I was really surprised at the out come.  I will try and do better.   They are very comfortable.  Right now I am working on a blouse for some.  Just something to wear with some black shorts I made.   I am truly a work in progress.  Since there is nothing on the boob tube and there are all reruns I probably will do some more sewing.  I am really spoiled with the Janome and now it seems like something is wrong with the Brother because it sounds funny.  I'm really long over due for a check on this machine.