Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Registration begins for the American Sewing Expo

On September 24 - 26, 2010, the Rock Financial Showcase of Novi, Michigan hosts the largest independent sewing show in the United States. Featuring 90+ vendors, including Michigan locals Habermann Fabrics from Royal Oak and Fabric Gallery from Williamston. There are many classes, make and takes, seminars, free demonstrations, fashion shows, and the Passion for Fashion live competition. Its a great place to get a feel for fabrics, learn new tricks, and rub shoulders with other sewing enthusiasts.

Register by Internet, fax or mail. Information and tips for registering are available on their website. Special package pricing for seminars and general admission that can save from $6.00 to $60.00, depending on how much you feel you can take in on one weekend. Their website boasts that the show is too much to do in one day.

All day Workshops kick off the weekend on Wednesday and Thursday. Choices include making a jacket, a quilt or a blouse. Learning how to drape, make buttons or make and use silk screens. It will not be difficult to find a class you'd like to try, but to only select one! There are 1 hour Lectures as well as 2 to 4 hour Hands on classes held throughout the weekend. Instructors are designers, artists and teachers who are excited by their craft and thrilled to share their knowledge with interested students. Topics include things like fancy jeweled zippers, Tye-dyeing fabrics, Leather 101 and much, much more. Learn about an innovative product, a better technique or a new skill.

The show has always held appeal for the seasoned quilters and garment sewers, but in the last couple of years it has made extra effort to encourage and entertain the next generation of crafters. With the Reconstruction Zone and the Threadbanger Duo, plus the Sew Experience Café and live Fashion Shows there is never a dull moment and plenty to watch if you need a break from shopping or learning in the seminars. Whether your hobby is fashion sewing, quilting, needle arts, home dec, crafting or you are looking to find something that inspires you, the Expo is a great place to spend the weekend!

(image is the 2010 brochure from the sewing expo website)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sorry, no Passion for Fashion for me this year

Boo Hoo! I just got my entry for the Passion for Fashion Competition back in the mail today. Along with a very nice rejection letter. So this year I will not be participating. But at least my Dear Husband can wear his shirt now! I made him throw it on for the picture right out of the package.


I wrote about my great experience with the contest in 2008. See the entries here.

I guess now I need to study the brochure and decide what days I will be attending the expo show!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Watching Project Runway

I'm watching my dvd's for the second time. I have Season 1 thru 5.


I ask for them for Christmas, because at my inlaws we trade names and its hard to shop for each other. And they aren't too expensive $17.49 to $27.95 each. (A month of cable is more!) I think I like them better this time because I'm not guessing about who is going to win. Its more fun to look at what they are doing. I'm inspired by their efforts and humbled by their imagination and abilities under pressure.

The show has a lot of drama, too. Anyone has a breakdown and a fight or a big mouth and that will definately get broadcast. The designers are big characters, I think its a combination of picking good characters and having a lot of interesting people to choose from. Season 2 has Santino Rice and Season 4 has Christian Siriano. Two larger than life people. I wouldn't recommend it for children, there is bad language, drinking, etc., but it is great adult entertainment. Santino (@santinorice) broadcasts on Twitter and I nearly dropped my laptop when he followed me back!

My husband says we may be getting cable, so I might be able to watch season 8 live. I'm not sure if I really like that idea, I will have to wait to see the successive episodes, not just slip in the next dvd!

I'm asking for season 6 and 7 this year! Maybe one of my brothers will buy one for me too :)

week #4

week #4

That's green beans in the bag and the squash was really (really!) good, I'm excited about next weeks share, we did get a little rain last week!

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Entry, PFF 2010

At the last moment,I got an entry ready for the Passion for Fashion contest in the Novi American Sewing Expo Show this fall. Unfortunately, I didn't make anything new. The machines were all busy making other things for clients and charity. I sent in a shirt I made earlier this year for a job opportunity, I was asked to bring some samples of my work and she said she was especially interested in men's shirts. My poor husband, I made the shirt in his size, but neglected to add the buttonholes for 2 or 3 months. I added them Tuesday night at Midnight, but if I get into the contest he won't be able to wear the shirt till October!

PFF entry 2010

I'm not positive I will make it in. The contest says the entries will be judged 50% on creativity and 50% on sewing ability. While I'm confident I sewed the shirt well, I followed a pattern, and besides matching stripes, there is nothing specifically creative. So, I'll just wait it out till August 1st when the contestants are notified! Wish me luck!

And Week #3 of my farm share:

Week #3

This is the first week it felt low to me, but that is the nature of the farm! I know soon it will be too much to eat. Now I have to figure out how to prepare Kolerabi. And last week I did get garlic, I mistook it for an onion! At least until I tried to cut it.....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Week #2

I love my farm share!

week #2

Words from the farm........
"As I mentioned above still a light week. Honestly that's not anything new for the beginning of the season. I do think that you will see an increase starting next week. Things are looking good, we needed some rain (getting some now!) and with the heat things are growing. The early heat has been hard of some of the early crops-the greens and lettuce really prefer temps in the 70's this 80 degree weather isn't what it prefers, but we are trying to keep the crop irragated to make it happy.

So this week you got some more lettuce-there was some red leaf,some romaine, and some butterhead harvested. If you ended up with a romaine that has spots on the leaves-please do not think it is bad. It's a type or red romaine called freckles and the spots are supposed to be there :)

It really was not in my plan to give you 2 bags of lettuce in these smaller shares, but I had no other green that was ready to harvest for you yesterday. It is important for me to give you what I have-and I have lettuce-SO lots of salads this week!

Garlic scapes & fresh garlic :)

Bunching Onions

Roma Tomatoes


week #2

I did not get garlic. I got peas!
We had delicious salads for dinner. I was too hungry to get a pic ;) Maybe next time.......

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Review: The Mary Frances Sewing Book by Jane Eayre Fryer

mary frances sewing book

Have you seen this book? I think it is a treat! Originally published in 1913, it takes a young girl through sewing lessons with the help of the thimble people, a sewing bird and other new friends. It comes with 16" doll sized patterns to copy and make too.

mary frances sewing book

It has several glossy color pages and the table of contents includes topics like, I. Sewing Bird, II. Sewing Bird Begins to Teach and XIV. A Loan From the Thimble King. There are 33 Patterns included. From a Doll's Laundry Bag, to Doll's Lawn Petticoat, to a Girl's Collar. Instructions for How to Outfit a Work Basket, a Canvas Sampler and 44 others.

mary frances sewing book

I dug mine out again because a friend has an 11 year old daughter who loves books and is interested in sewing. I gave her some sewing supplies, a Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing book and fabric last summer and she was happy and busy making a chair cover. I was pleased and impressed! She did a wonderful job!

I bought the book when it was re-published in 1997, I had been searching for it on auction sites. I'm not ready to part with mine, but I am going to see if she would like to borrow my copy for the summer. I still harbor dreams of a little girl of my own who might someday like to go on an adventure among the thimble people! :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stuff That Needs Doin'

I've been cleaning up my workspace this week. I'm also trying to get an out building ready for use. I have a 5' by 10' table I built out there five years ago for a job I was working on. The stuff I need to do is going to be spread out on the table. It is a bunch of fabric "scraps" from a woman I work for who dyes silk. I make scarves and shawls out of yardage leftovers from other clothing. The pieces I have are left from many previous projects and a work load all its own. I have been procrastinating because it is so much work sorting, but it needs doin' and I have finally made the space.

Three bins full! Thats my Juki, it is set at a 3 thread, I do this work all rolled hem. I have two of these machines, and I love them, but thats a topic I need to do in another blog post...

work to do

I also dragged out my Rowenta that I got as part of my PFF challenge in 2008. Its no Gravity Feed and I prefer the one I have in my other workroom, but its a nice portable iron for my needs right now.
iron from PFF challenge 2008

It will feel like a major accomplishment to get this work finished and send back the leftovers!

Incidentally, if I plan to enter the contest again this year I had better get my act together! The deadline is July 1st!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Week #1

We started our Organic farm share this week! I'm so excited I'm sharing here:)

The box:
week #1
We got a full share so its 2 boxes:
week #1

We also get an email telling us what our share contains:
"We did end up with some nice mini purplette bunchining onion. Some garlic scapes (see link for recipes), some Kale in the bunch. It may not be the type of kale you are used to seeing. I picked heirloom varieties yesterday. Kale is the new hot green this season. It's super good for you. It can be used in your smoothie, in a salad or it can be cooked like any green-treat just like you would spinach or chard. Lettuce we harvested some butterhead & romaine for you. If you ended up with a speckled romaine that's the way it's supposed to be. It's a red romaine called "freckles" the spots are meant to be there-it's not bad lol! Danny grabbed the radishes for you and then spent the rest of the day planting more seeds so that you will see your shares grow!" Plus we got 2 pints of fresh strawberries, YUM!!

My breakfast, our own farm fresh eggs with garlic scapes. Guess what I'm having tomorrow??
week #1

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Interesting Question

I use to track visitors and popular topics to my blog. It is free and I find it very useful. Tonight I see that someone found my blog by searching for "sewing machine used by Christine Jonson". I happen to know that answer, and it is not already written here in the posts.

Christine uses a (*drum roll please*) Pfaff 1222 E! I looked here for a picture of hers, but the one that shows up is not the original one. She has a beautiful all metal body 1222 E. She does have another that looks like these, but she bought it later as an extra shop machine.

An important feature is the dual feed. I was sold on it after using Christine's machine and I couldn't find a used 1222 E or another used Pfaff at that time (I think it was about 1995). It was before the internet became so useful! I bought a new one. It was the cheapest Pfaff I could get at the time with dual feed. And I suspect the shopkeeper gave me a deal. I paid $600.00, it was worth every penny and was the most I could afford at the time. I still have it accessible, have used it very heavily (it has a thread mark!) and it still runs like a dream. It handles all types of fabrics expertly. I just used it this week because my industrial Pfaff 563 wouldn't sew vinyl.

My Pfaff Varimatic 6091.
Pfaff Varimatic 6091

Holy cats! You can still get one!

I encourage anyone who has a similar question for Christine to ask her! I'm sure she would answer your questions in good spirit :)

edit November 28,2013**The Pfaff 6091 doesn't seem to be available anymore at the link (I recommend stalking your local, they do show up from time to time in excellent condition, be sure it has the dual feed), but here is a link to bobbins for the older Pfaff models Pfaff 93-040970-45, PD60 9033P Pack of 25 Empty Plastic Rotary Bobbins 130-362 808-955 1006-1475 2010-2040 6085-7570+ later Sewing Embroidery Machines

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tutorial: Make a Bookcover

Our Vacation Bible School this year is decorating bookcovers as a craft. I was asked to help make them. I decided to post a tutorial here because of a cute gift my cousin gave me for Christmas. The Sewing: 2010 Day-to-Day Calendar. It has great crafty ideas for people just starting to sew or looking for fast fun projects. I've even got a couple pages saved to try out :)

The book I was given to fit is The Catholic Youth Bible. Now I know there are more accurate ways to do this, but this is how I make a fast cover.

First I draw a straight line on a large piece of Kraft Paper with a ruler. This is the bottom.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Then I mark the size of the front.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
The spine.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
The Back.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Then the front.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
And back again.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Then I added 1/2" seam allowance to the bottom (I wasn't the only one sewing these and the ladies said they would be most comfortable with that seam allowance)
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
And the top, plus 1/4" for ease. If it had been hard cover I would have added 1/2" for ease.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
This is the center back piece, it is one front, notice the seam allowances and ease added the same as the cover piece.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Next I removed 1" from both sides of the pattern. I only have a picture of it taken from the left side. It needs to come off the right side too. This makes room on the inside of the book cover for the spine.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
The fold line is the first line on both sides. See it marked 4 pictures up :)

I made a pattern on taped together Manilla File Folders , and its a good thing, because we made 200! Any other paper would have been totally trashed. This was used well as it is! I notched the fold lines and the center back. Plus the center of the back piece.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
The covers are made from a nice heavy weight muslin from Joann's with the use of the 40% off coupon that comes in the mailers.
I used my trusty Juki overlock to neatly finish the side edges of the cover and the center back piece. I did all 200!
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Folded at the notches. The notches were all marked with pen in the seam allowance.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
We used Ribbon to add 2 bookmarks at the center notch.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
After both sides are folded back at the notches, the center piece is added, over the bookmark, matching center notches.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Ready to sew. Make sure the bookmarks go off to the side, you only want to catch them in the top, not the bottom.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
I used a Pfaff mine is a 563.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
I went back and made a double set of stitches at the bookmark.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Turn the center piece first. (The overlock stitch quality is poor because I was lazy and I did not change the needle!)
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Then the sides. I did not clip the corners. I wanted to fill in the corners.
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Isn't she lovely?
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover
Tutorial: Make a Bookcover