Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sergers and such

I have just spent the last hour or so helping a friend learn how to thread her new Janome Serger. here is what I learned from the experience:

The Jet Air Threading system on my Baby Lock Evolve is worth its weight in diamonds. Big diamonds. Big diamonds set in platinum.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Trouble with my Chest

Eyes up -- I didn't mean that chest -- I meant my thread chest.
After opening, and inspecting, and trying to fit my Christmas goodies into my tiny sewing room, I realized that I needed someplace accessable in which to store the 250 spools of embroidery machine thread that came with my machine. (When my husband decides to do something nice, he doesn't do it halfway!) I considered several options at several pricepoints, and while I was researching/considering/agonizing, my sweet husband perused E-Bay and found this lovely oak thread chest.
Great idea! I have, however, hit a little snag: Actually, 2 snags:
The chest holds a total of 240 spools of thread, and I received 250 for Christmas, and all ready had a dozen or so spools. [h-m-m-m, I have been buying spools of embroidery thread for nearly 15 years, so maybe it wasn't too surprising that David figured out to buy me an embroidery machine without any hinting on my part.] So, I have to decide which spools do not rank storage in the chest.
Also, I divided the thread into 8 color groups; but, I only have 6 drawers. Clearly, I need to combine groups. But, wait! Each drawer hold 40 spools, and some groupings have over 40 spools in them.
* * * s i g h * * *
Well: I love a challenge!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Official declaration: owing to the fact that my most recent project (discussed later) took 6 MONTHS to go from cut out to worn, I hereby declare that in 2010, Sarahbelle sews for Sarahbelle!!!! Seriously, the pants were not that hard, or labour-intensive. They were simply interrupted by my sewing other projects for other people. Don't misunderstand: I don't in the least regret the time I spent on Kali's wedding gown, or Aunt Neno's vest or Logan's shirt(s) or Myra's dress, or -- well, you get the idea. I enjoyed all of those projects. However, because my job puts me somewhat in the public eye, and people know that I sew, and sometimes teach sewing, they expect to see me in new clothes that I have made from time to time. As such, my reputation was beginning to suffer.
I am happy to report: at today's meeting of Panola Squares Quilt Study Guild I wore my new pants for the very first time.
They were a big hit.
Using Sandra Betzina's Vogue 1050, and made of silk gabardine (purchased from www.voguefabricstore.com), I embellished them with tabs embroidered on my new Elna Xperience 8200, instead of purchased frogs. I'll admit to not being completely happy with the embroidered tabs. Oh, the embroidery is beautiful, and, if I do say so myself, beautifully done; but they are a tad large overall. Worse, when the pants were completely done, and I mentioned to my husband that I wish the design had been smaller, he wondered (aloud - why does he do that?) why I hadn't made it smaller. I explained that that was the size the machine made. Whereupon he walked over to the machine, turned it on, brought up the design I had used, pushed the 'edit' button, and reduced the design 60%.
It's hard to be mad about this with the person who gave me the machine in the first place, but I came awfully close.
Other than my own failings, I liked this pattern very much. There are a few places, such as the pieced waistband, that is only interfaced on alternate pieces, that didn't seem to make sense. I have learned to trust Ms. Betzina, however, and soldiered on. The waistband went together perfectly, and fits like bespoke tailoring.
I'll make these pants again, someday. First, I have a LOT of projects on my list ahead of them.
Stay tuned: this is the year Sarahbelle's wardrobe goes completely custom-made!