Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Latest bag

I have to admit, I just love how this bag turned out.  I found the bird embroidery at a thrift store...I think it was supposed to be a pillow?  Being two sided and all.  I cut it apart and attached it to a bag I made instead.  So cute!  I actually wish I knew who did the original embroidery so that I could give it to them!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

CD holder & Portfolio

Where I live, internet options are limited.  I used to have HughesNet, which was about as quick as dial-up. Finally I upgraded to Verizon HomeFusion, which was sooooooo much faster.  I could actually watch YouTube videos!  Shocking!  It's really annoying how websites assume you have a fast internet connection.

Anyway, my point is, and I do have one, HomeFusion is much faster, but I am limited on my data usage. 10 GB a month.  Which apparently went quick this month.  So off went the internet and off went my connection to the web and all it's great tutorials.  Instead, I became reacquainted with the library, somewhere around the section.  These projects- a portfolio and archaic CD holder (I messed up a bit on the latter, of course)- are from books checked out at the library.  Unfortunately I've since returned them and hence don't remember the names of the books!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Slouchy book bag

Look at this!  Buttons and pockets, oh my!  I even had to do some measuring!  Though in the end, I don't think the measuring was necessary.  I think perhaps the tutorial was a little more involved than it needed to me.  I had to use a ruler (shocker!) to measure and mark the bottom of the bag, just so that I could accurately make the box corners.  Just seemed a bit overkill, but I suppose some people like to be very precise.  You might have figured this out, but when it comes to sewing, I'm not precise at all!  LOL!  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Toiletry bag

Typical Kathy behavior-- I get over-confident in my abilities and skip ahead to the advanced projects. Not, I repeat NOT, a good idea!!  I was so incredibly frustrated trying to make this toiletry bag that I was just about in tears.  Tears, I tell ya.  I thought the Reader's Digest sewing book was a pretty good book until I got to this project....those happy thoughts of it being a good book rapidly then disappeared.  I just could barely figure out what the heck was going on.  I guess I like picture books, because there just were not enough pictures to help me!  And then!!!  For some odd reason, this bag is only half lined on the inside!!!  The inside is just embarrassing!  No, of course I'm not going to post a photo of that!  I don't know what the book's authors were thinking, not fully lining the inside of the bag.  Unless of course, I somehow messed that up.  I admit, usually that's highly highly likely, but I just don't think that's the case this time. 

Oddly enough, despite my frustration and tears, as soon as this project was done, I wanted to start on the next.  During the process, if you'd seen my frustration, you'd think for sure that I was ready to pack up my sewing machine and return it.  But nope.  I don't feel any more skilled, but I'm also not ready to throw in the towel (or the toiletry bag, as the case may be).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Owl back into a pillow

This owl that I made into a bag was annoying me so much that I turned it back into a pillow.  I still don't care for it much, but at least it's less irritating to me this way.

Log cabin pillow

Project number two- log cabin pillow! Look at me go!

Well, my great plans of doing every project in the book came to an abrupt halt.  I just don't have much need or desire for much of whats in there.  Table cloths, roman shades, more curtains.  Already I'm picking and choosing the projects I want to make.  The book is great, don't get me wrong. It's easy to follow and doesn't overwhelm. It's just mostly home furnishings. Stuff I'm not too interested in.   

Mini curtain

I went to the library and checked out just about all the books they had on sewing (it's a small library). One is Reader's Digest Step-by-Step Sewing Course.  I figured I could work my way through this book and learn a thing or two.  First project- mini curtain!  Actually the first project is a curtain, but I don't really need another curtain, so I made it mini so that I could at least learn the techniques. It went fairly well, though the hems seem quite thick/big to me.  That could just be because I didn't scale them down to match the smaller size of the curtain.  So look at me! I measured, cut, and even pinned! I might turn into a decent seamstress after all!

On a side note, seamstress is a much better word than sewer, don't you think? Sewer just makes me think of septic tanks, not needles and thread.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Easy Pocket Pouch

A return to the easy stuff!  And I got to try out some more decorative stitches!  I can see why they recommend that you do a trial run on a scrap piece of fabric.  I first chose a clover stitch and stitched about three clovers, when I decided it was not close enough to the edge.  Out came my stitch ripper.  News to me, but removing decorative stitches is not easy or quick.  At all. So when I discovered I had made the same mistake with the stitch below (on the right), I just left it.

And look! My first snap! A no-sew snap!  No-sew does also NOT mean easy or quick! Not a fan!  Maybe it's because I was trying to push the prongs through three layers (two of fabric and one of interfacing). Ugh. I actually damaged a few of the prongs whacking it in frustration with the hammer, so I'm not even sure how long it's going to hold up now.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Owl keychain

The phrase "comedy of errors" makes all the more sense to me.  I swear, it's one thing after another.  I can't even show you my first failed attempt with the new machine.  I was apparently feeling very over-confident and decided to attempt an "easy tank dress."  Not so easy for me.  It was the "gathering" that got me.  Well, that and bad measuring.  I think I've mentioned before that I don't like to measure.  This became painfully obvious when I attempted to put the dress on.  I heard stitches rip and what was supposed to be a relaxed dress turned into a "hug my ass and show all the lumps and bumps" dress.  My stitches could be heard ripping when I struggled to take it off.  Yes.  Very discouraging.  One should really make sure they understand how their new machine functions first. 

Honestly, just reading the instruction manual for this fancy newfangled computerized sewing machine (my old one was a classic mechanical singer) was intimidating.  Then I watched the included DVD and thought, "wow, I can handle this! No problem!"  Haha.  Hence the dress debacle.  So I reverted back to owls.

Oh, the owls.  The instructions don't call for applique.  That was me using the wrong fusible webbing. So I got to try out the applique stitch on my machine. I clearly had no idea what I was doing.  See the eyes?  Yea. A mess.  Thankfully by the time I got to the red belly, I have a better grip on things.  I also got to attempt not one but two buttons!  We'll see how long they last, as I of course had some big issues with those as well.

Someday I hope I can look back on all this and just laugh.  

Trying out my new sewing machine!!

I noticed during my last post that my sewing machine was very tight.  It was getting very hard to turn the hand crank. So I asked the other half to take a look at it. I left the room while he took it apart.  I heard a lot of banging and a request for a hammer. He asked if the machine had ever been dropped.  He dusted off all the lint and got out the oil.  In the end, yes, he fixed the tight hand crank with a touch of oil. That was all it took!  He put it back together and I was good to go!  For about five minutes. Then the needle hit something hard.  I reverse cranked it just a touch and it was good to go again.  For a few more minutes.  I jiggled it again and off we went.  And then I bent the needle.  I have never bent a needle. Oh, I've broken plenty, but never bent one.  While all this was happening, I'll also noticed that the knobs to adjust the length and width were no longer working,nor was the upper tension knob. So....... 

Here is the result.  I was all prepared to get a Brother Walmart cheapie, but they were out of stock, and this was the next best deal.  I do have my concerns about the innards being plastic instead of metal, not to mention made in China! It's appalling that I would buy something made in China, but I really did not want to spend a lot for a machine.  I've heard that the classic vintage machines are often times preferred..........but okay, I was lured in by the numerous decorative stitches! So bad!  That monogramming is really going to come in handy, lol.....not!  (: