How to make a simple sewing machine cover …

And keep your cats out of your stuff!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

As you can probably guess, not having a proper sewing room, Simon and Sophie love getting into my stuff!  (I use a small sewing cabinet on wheels, which I love.  It lets me sew in any room or corner of the house!)  Before today, I covered my sewing cabinet with a towel and my sewing machine with an old tee shirt – classy, huh?  

I decided it was time to protect my sewing cabinet with a washable mat and protect whichever sewing machine I was using with a proper cover.

The sewing mat was quite easy.  I measured the cabinet top.  The bottom black layer of the mat was cut from a pre-quilted cotton remanent.  The top layer was cut from a remanent of the fabric I used to make this swimsuit cover up.  I just sewed the two layers together and added black bias tape around the edges.  Easy to wash and handy for poking the odd pin into too!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

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Just ONE more sewing machine … a review of the Janome HD3000

I used my Janome 3160QDC (my baby) during my last bag making session.  It worked well with a Jeans needle, but there was an “oh oh” moment when my machine was going through a few particularly thick layers of fabric and fleece and it made a strange “whirring” noise.  I backed off, stopped pushing it so much, took it easy and never heard the noise again.  Just to be safe I dropped it off today with the sewing machine repair mechanic for a cleaning and a check up.  I have in the past opened up machines to see how they work (or clean and fix them) but I don’t feel comfortable opening up a computerized machine.

For about a month now, I have been hunting for a mechanical sewing machine that was not fancy and could take all the layers I could throw at it.  Something reliable.  I asked on a few Facebook bag making sites and was told the Juki TL series was a good choice.  Unfortunately, they are ridiculously priced for my budget!  Someone else suggested industrial machines.  Those in my price range lacked features.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

Another recommendation was the Janome HD5000 or HD3000.  More in my budget!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I found some short reviews of these machines on line, but nothing detailed enough to convince me!  I did find this chart though that showed me that, although there is a $40.00 price difference, the only difference in features between an HD3000 and an HD5000 is a .5 mm stitch width!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!! Continue reading

The Rosie© bag

I’ve always got my eye out for “the perfect bag”.  Even when I bought RTW I stuck to the same couple of perfectly functional bags – wrapped in different materials and styles to change things up.

Now that I am making my own, I am attempting to find the perfect bags for myself.  I am completely satisfied with my tote bag but I am still searching for the perfect medium sized handbag.  

I think though I may have found the perfect mini cross-body bag – give or take a small change here and there.

I am so certain that this is the perfect mini cross-body bag that I have named her “The Rosie © bag”! Continue reading

Sewjo: Lost and Found

It’s a strange thing when you have lost interest in something that you usually love to do.  

There was an odd dullness in my life these past few weeks because of the passing of our Wonderful Mother – my Biggest and Most Loving Supporter.  She was someone who constantly asked what was new in my world, someone who listened, cheered me on and encouraged me in every stitch of my life.

I certainly haven’t felt like planing or sewing any new projects – that dullness invaded my thoughts.  

I took a stab at my UFO pile, mending and hemming a few items.  Sort of a sewing therapy.  Turns out, now I’ve got a couple of new tops to wear.

Scrolling through Designer Fashions on-line, I found my Designin’ December  Designer Original.  How are you doing with your search? Continue reading

I learned something new…

Just by chance actually!  As a matter of fact, I learned a couple of things.

I’ve decided I need more dresses in my life (again).  I also noticed that IG is having a #sewtogetherforsummer Challenge that I can participate in – if I get my entry done by June 21st.  I do not like deadline sewing, so this is going to be interesting.

I have my shirt dress pattern picked out – Butterick B5920.  It is an unexpected shirt dress pattern, as it might not even be a shirt dress.  It’s a Butterick Retro ’51 pattern.  Of course, there is NO WAY I am sewing heart shaped pockets on my chest – sorry.  I am going to leave the pockets off completely.  But I do LOVE this turned up collar.  It kind of follows my neck curve like no other collar I have seen before … and I love it!

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Amber is put to work …

Perhaps you remember my Singer 421G, a convertible free arm sewing machine made in Germany in 1954.  “Amber” for short!  Since purchasing Amber, she has received a good cleaning and oiling, and I took apart her tension assembly and put her back together again.  She runs smoothly now with a nice stitch.

I love the sound she makes – like a train clicking quickly on the tracks, heavy on my table with no shake – unlike my Janome 3160QDC who whirrs loudly and shakes the table as she sews.  Now it’s time to put Amber to work.   Continue reading

Finishing that friggin’ UFO … (Part 2)

I apologize for not posting sooner.  I did continue working on my Sister’s shirt/jacket during the last week, the final chapter of my Sister’s Sewing Projects, although I am sure she will eventually think of something else for me to do!  I am using Simplicity 5455, a pattern from 2003.  I started it here using two wonderful fabrics, a solid blue and a white “newsprint floral”, both made of 97% cotton and 3% spandex.  Things were rolling along nicely … until they came to a dead stop!  Why?

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Not quite a Rocketeer…

My new Baby is a 1954 Singer Slant-o-matic Convertible, model 421G.  I’m calling her “Amber”.  She was “Made in Germany”.  She’s not quite the Rocketeer (the 500 models) I have been looking for, but being in the 400 series, Amber is close!  My sister says Amber’s just a Rocketeen!  🙂  

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Amber not only has an extension bed, but she has a free-arm too.  Better yet, the free-arm has a compartment to hold all her bobbins, throat plates and Special Discs (that’s what they are called in the manual, but I prefer the name from the internet “Top Hat cams”).

amber-2 Continue reading

Love the dress… The Pattern? Not so much…

Sorry…  But this is not the first time I have been shaking my head at a pattern envelope or PDF.  This time it is McCall’s M7169.  I love the photo and diagrams.  This is another garment in my Sister’s Sewing Projects.  

Let me start with… I love my sister’s fabric choices!  Both fabrics are cotton with a hint of spandex – for those days when chocolate or cheesecake are required.  The brown flowers are so abstract up close and so clear from far away.

Ok, maybe I’m over reacting, but chocolate was required in order for me to finish this dress properly.
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Last weekend’s accomplishments.

Well there wasn’t much time for sewing, my sister came for a visit!  I had my pants finished in advance so that we could laze around all weekend.  Well, except for the 5 km walk/jog we did.  My two sisters and I did the CIBC Run for the Cure Sunday.  It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold and it was extremely uplifting to see all the participants and breast cancer survivors, some survivors announcing on their T shirts “18 years cancer free”.  Fabulous!

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I was going to use my vintage pattern, Simplicity 8740, for my pants, then I realized that my pants sloper was pretty much the same type of pattern piece as the pants pattern and so, I used my sloper instead.  

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The fabric was called “Aristocrat Solid”, 88% polyester and 12% spandex, with a soft drape – one of the fabrics I bought during my last trip to Vancouver. Continue reading