Posts Tagged ‘Sewing’

OMG! Heart Kollabora

Nov 23

Kollabora.com

Hello Kollabora.com! You new crafty website you… Hmm, what to say about this new online community slash craft site that’s kind of like a when Craftsy met PS I Made This and I Spy DIY love triangle?

1.) Somebody over there is my long lost craft twin.
2.) Fiberistas unite!
3.) Seriously though, did you make this site for me?
A.) Kraft Krush!

I first heard about it through a lovely welcome note I got in my inbox! On first glance, I liked the layout and design, visual yet minimal Pinterest-style moodboardy. M.I.A. as interpreted by Saved By The Bell font. But further exploration revealed it’s chock full of great projects and handy features for the savvy crafter.

I raided their pattern library for some great projects. Here’s just a few of my picks, take a peek, you get the idea. :) Join the Kollabora community too and share your knit love. Heck Yeah!

❤ Patterns range from Free to Pricey! Quick to Fair Isle.

❤ It’s not just for Knitting and Crochet, but also features Sewing and Jewelry! The Quad-fecta.

❤ Fun Fact: Kollabora features many knits/designs from people and places I love!! Many already featured on my site. Sister from another misterrr! I also met a bunch of the Kollabora team at this year’s Maker Faire where they had a really fun booth full of Berninas and Novelty Yarn.

❤ Bonus: Kollabora makes shopping for your project materials easy! Just click on a project you like, check the items you need, {pattern, yarn, needles}, GO! And voila, all the materials you need for that one project without having to click all over the internet (lazy fingers) for them! x.x $$$ Q.Q

Patterns In This Post:
Florence and the Machine Sweater
Novita’s Snood Dogg
Fair Isle Capelet
Greta Capelet
Halloween Origami
(more…)

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us

Your First Sewing Machine – For Under $200!

Oct 17

Usha Butterfly Sewing Machine by Usha, India
Usha Butterfly by Usha, India

What do you look for in a Sewing Machine?
Especially your very first adult sewing machine? Style? Cost? Features? I struggled with my first machine because I didn’t want to invest too much as a beginner. I just needed something to tinker with… Taking sewing classes to start is smart because you can learn and try out machines at the same time. But what about when you’re ready to buy?

I didn’t want to spend too much yet I still wanted the best machine I could find for my purpose. Basic yet versatile, so I could easily try whatever type of sewing struck my interest. Well-built so I could sew comfortably and for many projects to come. And lastly, something I wouldn’t outgrow too fast.

How much would that cost? What options were available? What’s a good value for the price? There’s lots of options, it’s hard to know where to begin. So here’s what I found during my research. Whatever your budget or purpose, hopefully this list will help you research and find just the right one. It’s a comprehensive list of home sewing machine manufacturers and the factors I used to narrow down options. You can get a decent well-built machine ranging from $70 – $160!

Sewing Machine Brands in Other Countries
Elna, Switzerland Website
Baby Lock, Juki, Japan Website
Consew, USA Website
Feiyue, China Website
John Lewis, UK Website
Kenmore, USA Website
Necchi, Italy Website
Usha, India Website
Yamata, China Website
Toyota, Japan Website
Merry Lock, Taiwan Website
Michley Tivax, USA Website

Sewing Machine Brands in North America
Singer, USA Website
Janome, Japan Website
Brother, Japan Website
Bernina, Switzerland Website
Husqvarna Viking, Sweden Website
Pfaff, Germany Website
Juki, Japan Website
Ikea, Sweden Website

IKEA SY Sewing Machine by Ikea, Sweden, $69.99
Ikea SY, $69.99
Singer Promise 1409, $91.99
Singer Promise 1409, $91.99

❤ Price/Cost
$200 or below. Entry-level beginner machines usually range from $100- $499. To be honest, I wanted to see if I could get away with a kids’ hobby sewing machine for $100 or less but I found a vintage machine for $25 and went with that to start instead.

Under $100 can get your kid a great first sewing machine or budding home sewer their very own machine to experiment on. Affordable enough to take the plunge, plus it’s cute! It can even get the savvy crafter a very functional sewing machine that will serve them well.

Under $200 is generous enough to cover crafties like myself who need a solid basic they can rely on and grow with who doesn’t want to invest in the holy grail of sewing machines yet until they find what kind of sewing they’d like to focus on most!

$499 can buy a machine that can handle the seriously savvy or creatively crafty mom who not only sews for their pleasure but can double as a tailor, halloween costume maker, throw pillow/curtain/tablecloth maker and casual accessories designer/etsy shop owner on the side.

It’s a strict budget but it’s realistic. It can buy a trusty sewing machine that can both perform all the essentials and grow with you at the same time. Great for the dabbler, great for the serious kid learner, crafty mom, or for an adult learner like me who wants to gradually try it all.

Vintage Singer Treadle 66, $25
Vintage Singer Treadle 66, $25
Singer Fashionmate 7256, $160
Singer Fashionmate 7256, $160

❤ Features & Options
Straight Stitch, Back Stitch, and Zig Zag Stitch are all I needed. They are also the 3 most basic and most essential stitches needed for all beginning to intermediate sewers. Every modern sewing machine comes standard with these stitches.

Removable Sewing Bed. Hemming pant legs or sewing cuffs? Working with sleeves or skirts? Anything tubular where you will have to sew around the edge of a ring is difficult without this feature. The base of the sewing machine will pop out revealing an arm-type base. You should be able to slip a sleeve or pant leg on there and sew it around. Not all modern sewing machines come with this feature.

Foot Pedal Operated. Every modern sewing machine comes standard with foot pedal operation. Vintage machines do not though. They can come with anything from a knee pedal to a hand crank.

Sewing Feet and Bobbin Winders. Like detachable feet for Zipper or Button-hole makers, and Bobbin Winders. Bobbin Winders and Zipper Feet usually come standard with modern machines.

Reliable Stitch Length/Tension Control. Adjustable Tension Control is also standard among all sewing machines. Being able to control how tight your stitches are is handy for basting and working with different textiles. A machine that can do this reliably and accurately is important and not all machines can promise this.

Durability. How long the machine will last, if the feed dogs can reliably feed different textiles through, and how accurate the stitches are are what make a sewing machine reliable and durable to me. Perhaps if it can sustain long periods of accurate sewing at its maximum speed is also a factor.

(more…)

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us

Sewing in Afghanistan

Aug 17

Woman and child sewing together. Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan. Photo by Cedric Houin - National Geographic Traveler 2012 Photo Contest Winner
Woman and child sewing together in a yurt in the Kyrgyz lands.
Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan.

Above is the winning picture for the National Geographic Traveler – 2012 Photo Contest by Cedric Houin. This captivating photo first drew me in by its strong sense of place. A snap in a moment of time, present day, yet so far away as to seem ancient. Then I noticed the remarkable textiles and cultural garb and then the antique sewing machine. And then best of all – she’s sewing!!! A fellow modern day sewer worlds away in a completely different context yet not so different. Novel!

This image was shot in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor. The intimacy of this everyday life moment, shot inside of a family yurt, is in total contrast with the harsh environment these nomadic tribes live in. On the right we notice a television and a sound console. These tribes live weeks away from any village by foot. In spite of being located at an altitude of 4,300 meters in one of the most remote areas of Afghanistan they are equipped with solar panels, satellite dishes and cellphones. Ancestral ways of living, with touches of modernity. –Photo and Caption by Cedric Houin

National Geographic contributing photographer Alexandra Avakian, one of this year’s judges, shares her thoughts on the first place winner:

I’ve slept in the guest yurt of Kyrgyz nomads in remote mountains while on assignment for Elle magazine; the location is hard to reach and off the beaten path for most travelers, and therefore of educational as well as aesthetic value.

Morondava , Madagascar. Photo by Ken Thorne
Baobab Trees, Morondava, Madagascar. Photo by Ken Thorne

This year the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest had over 12,000 entries of daily life from 152 countries and the photos are always breathtakingly stunning. From a moment in time at the ends of the earth to extraordinary landscapes, the transportive images are unforgettable. Winners receive awards from trips to prize money and of course get to share a slice of their beautiful culture, land, or just a snapshot of their travels. National Geographic also provides these awesomely beautiful photos in high-resolution wallpapers for your desktop, iphone, or ipad!

Via http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189479/National-Geographic-reveal-winners-2012-Photo-Contest.html
Via http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2012/

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us

Thimble Blossoms Quilt Patterns

Jun 17

Thimble Blossoms Booth at Quilt Market 2012Look at these wall to wall gorgeous quilts by Thimble Blossoms!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

I love the designs, textures, color schemes… And especially the unique modern vintage style of each. It’s quaint and nostalgic but fresh and contemporary. Borderline hipstery, folk hipstery!

And very “decoratable”! The designs are unique yet versatile enough to fit a variety of home decorating and interior styles! Hooray!

Left: Quilts shown Flower Girl, Spool, Dilly Dally, Hopscotch at the Thimble Blossoms booth, Quilt Market 2012.

Thimble Blossoms is designed by Camille Roskelley who is a 5th generation quilter. I discovered her mom’s a quilt designer too and I can see where Thimble Blossoms got their design chops! I also love her fabric range that she designs with her mother, Bonnie, for Moda! (Love Moda!) Here are just a few of my fave quilt patterns from both Thimble Blossoms and Cotton Way, Camille’s mom’s pattern designs.

#142 Swoon by Thimble Blossoms #152 Dilly Dally by Thimble Blossoms #149 Hopscotch by Thimble Blossoms

Swoon, Dilly Dally, & Hopscotch
Quilt Pattern Designs by Camille Roskelley
All patterns $7.95

Sweet Pea by Cotton Way Peppermint Pizzaz by Cotton Way Sherbet Stars by Cotton Way

Sweet Pea, Peppermint Pizzaz, & Sherbet Stars
Quilt Pattern Designs by Bonnie Olaveson
All patterns $9.00

Simplify Quilt Patterns by Camille RoskelleyCamille also has a cute quilt pattern book out! I checked it out on Amazon and it has a lot of quilting basics and tips and tricks for quilting! It includes patterns for quilts and pillows and according to the reviews is great for beginner quilters! It uses pre-cut fabric packs like jelly rolls etc which takes a lot of the cutting out from the quilting process.

Book $15.85

Where To Buy
Thimble Blossoms Shop http://thimbleblossoms.bigcartel.com/
Cotton Way Shop http://www.cottonway.com/zencart/
Bonnie & Camille’s Fabric @ Fat Quarter Shop http://www.fatquartershop.com/
Book by Camille Roskelley on Amazon Simplify: Quilts for the Modern Home

Swoon Quilt Pattern by Camille Roskelley Spools Quilt Pattern by Camille Roskelley
Swoon” and “Spools“, my two fave patterns!

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us

OMG! Heart Patterns: Testing & Verification

May 05

OMG! Heart learning Free Motion Quilting & Embroidery from Nina PaleyWelcome to my site! I rely heavily on free patterns I find throughout the web… And on my own patterns that I draft myself. My site includes all of them, for free! But this also means that my patterns are not professionally tested by test knitters or crocheters.

Accuracy, Clarity, & Readability
Giving away patterns for free is a tough thing to do. When I knit or crochet a project I design, simply writing down what I do isn’t enough. It could have typos or vague instructions, non-standard techniques or terms etc.

All patterns require test knitters and test crocheters to verify that the instructions are clear and the patterns are accurate. They also require expert crafters who are also experienced in pattern drafting.

So even though my patterns are free, they require the same rigorous checks as paid patterns. Even paid patterns are not always clear of errors! It’s a lot of work which is why most good patterns are not free!

Free OMG! Heart Patterns
But fear not, even though I’m not a professional designer with formal testers, I try my best to minimize errors. Free OMG! Heart Patterns usually range from Easy to Advanced Beginner with the occasional Easy Intermediate. It’s partially why I can give them away for free. The patterns are almost patternless and free from complex calculations and fit/sizing requirements. They’re still great as learning patterns but it means they don’t require as rigorous validation. Nevertheless, I still do test my own patterns and do my best to ensure accuracy and readability in all the patterns I give away!

Free Patterns I Find Online
Free patterns I find online that are shared here on my website are also tested by me. When I follow the pattern to make a project, I act as a test knitter or crocheter! So if you see a free pattern that I have made and featured on this website, it’s been tested by me. If there are any errors or inconsistencies I include them in the Notes Section of my post!

Crowd Testing or Cloud Testing!
Community Pattern Testing! The crafting community can serve as the best test knitters or test crocheters out there. You can be a test knitter or a test crocheter too! Simply by doing a project you like and sharing your thoughts and opinions. If there is an error, inconsistency, or a pattern detail that is unclear, then please share your feedback! Just enter them in the Comments Section found on any pattern page or Email Me! You can keep free (beautiful) patterns, free, just by giving your feedback, suggestions, critiques, or raves!

Ravelry does a great job of this. All the patterns they have on their site show ratings and accuracy feedback from members who have made the pattern. This in turn gives great info on how reliable, easy/hard the pattern is, and even corrections right in the feedback! In fact, everything they do is great, it’s a knitter and crocheter’s best friend! Not all my patterns are on my Ravelry yet, but I am working on posting them up there.

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us

OMG! Heart goes to Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Mar 17

Finger Pin Cushion
Finger Pin Cushion from The Old Country Store

Look what I found when I went to visit Lancaster, PA earlier this year! Well actually I didn’t find it. I totally missed it. My BF found it and got it for me as a surprise :) :) :) Score! AWESOME FINGER PIN CUSHION!

It’s a tiny little pin cushion that fits on your finger! Traditional ones are much larger and strap onto your wrist. They’re much handier for the serious home sewer since they can hold a lot of pins at once. But this one is great for small projects and such. Plus it’s really cute!

Finger Pin Cushion Finger Pin Cushion Finger Pin Cushion

It was freezing cold but we managed to browse around Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA and we also stumbled across this whole cache of Quilting and Yarn Stores right nearby! Jackpot! That’s where I found places like The Old Country Store and Bitty Kinna’s. And the Lancaster Yarn Shop where I first saw the Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Needle Set in person! They remind me most of the Knit Picks Interchangeable Sets.

I bought my first Quilt Block Kit and am planning to make my first quilt block shortly! I found it at a quilting wonderland of quilt stuff and fabrics at The Old Country Store. I cracked it open and, although I’m excited to start, it was a little confusing already! The fabrics I got did not match the pattern, so it wasn’t easy to figure out which pieces were meant to be cut into what squares. I’ll have to tackle that soon though.

Quilt Block from The Old Country Store - Lancaster, PA Quilt Block from The Old Country Store - Lancaster, PA Quilt Block from The Old Country Store - Lancaster, PA

I ate Chipped Beef and Shoofly Pie for the first time. I. LOVED. CHIPPED BEEF! Ha. Which was basically some type of sliced corned beef or pastrami-type deli meat smothered in this white flour/milk/butter gravy. I ate it for breakfast! But didn’t care for the Shoofly Pie much which was basically sugar or corn syrup baked into a pie crust. We also ate Whoopie Pies! YES! We went to the Canning Kitchen in KKV and sampled a huge variety of pickled vegetables, pickles, jams, and spreads. Everything was weirdly sweet IMHO. But in general the food was great (albeit gut busting and not the most diet conscious). Great for every once in awhile or a little splurge.

Shoofly Pie Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast Whoopie Pie

We stayed at Eden Resort Best Western. The service was so warm and friendly, they made our stay very nice. The room rates were great and came with an awesome breakfast buffet each day! It was seriously the best meal I had all day while visiting. The bathroom was spotless and had these cool dual shower heads one with a rain shower head from the top and some water jets from the sides. The entire hotel was well kept and clean. They also had wonderful amenities like indoor and outdoor pools and whirlpools and sauna. The indoor one was really nice, it was crowded with kids (and not the cleanest) but decorated really nice. Great for families with kids and nearby attractions like Dutch Wonderland.

We saw lots of horse drawn buggies clopping around, weirdly old fashioned yet with modern materials. It smelled like horse poop everywhere, even at the hotel! There were even metal posts found along the streets for buggies to tie up their horses. It was affordable, we went in the off season, took the Amtrak (although a car is really needed) and trudged around in the snow. But we had a lovely little “country” getaway from NYC that turned out to be a great knitting and sewing trip too! (more…)

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us

Handmade Ryan Gosling

Jan 03

Handmade Ryan Gosling Handmade Ryan Gosling

Happy New Year! 2012 is here. Elections are coming up (Obama sweaters here I come!), possible apocalypse (12/21/2012), maybe we’ll get some aliens invading the earth (YAY!) … Who knows? It’s also a leap year so we get an extra day before the earth implodes on apocalypse day! I look forward to the unknown. In the meantime, here’s some happy fun to start it off!

Here’s some of my faves from a website I died over this past weekend. I had to make a post about handmaderyangosling.tumblr.com.

It’s Rygo + Crafting Anecdotes + “Dreamy Boyfriend” = Tumblr blog hilarity. What makes it extra funny? I’m not a huge Ryan Gosling fan, he tries too hard to be dreamy and it just turns out douchey IMHO. (Sorry Rygo fans!) So it’s just too perfect that this Tumblr has Rygo looking like a craftie’s dreamboat boyfriend but somehow only makes him look extra corny! Oh the irony! HEART IT!! With extra Roflcopters and Lollerskates!

As my friend pointed out, I think it’s a take on this website siliconvalleyryangosling.tumblr.com. Another meme website involving random Ryan Gosling pics from google image search but with Tech anecdotes instead! Google Image Search + Photoshop = YAY! The world needs moar crafting memes!

From handmaderyangosling.tumblr.com
By @SewSoDef, @theowlandthebee, @katiecanavan, @sweatshopoflove
Follow him on Twitter @HandmadeRyan

(more…)

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us

Wood Cuff Jeans

Dec 28

Wood Cuff Jeans

I got a new sewing machine for christmas!! Wahoooo! Here was my first little test project on it. I tried a few stitches out on some Quilt Weight Cotton, some Home Dec Weight Cotton, and … denim!

It all started out when the Treasure Hunter asked me to fix a pair of his fave denim jeans which had an awkward tear in the crotch area! After fixing that up, we decided to do a little denim customization and added a fabric detail to the cuff on a pair of denim jeans. I used some scrap material from a beautiful fabric with wood grain print.

I didn’t do much measuring and just eyeballed everything. There wasn’t much need to true up the fabric or precise measuring. I did not even break out the iron or pre-wash the fabric. All bad habits but for a simple experiment it was fine. I marked about 4 inches from the edge of the jean cuff (see below pic) and cut out a strip of fabric 4 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the entire pant leg. Pinned and sewed! Making sure to pre-fold in the edges where I could. I also made sure to sew as invisibly as possibly by making all my stitches near the seams.

Wood Cuff Jeans Wood Cuff Jeans Wood Cuff Jeans

Pattern:
- Cut a 4 inch wide strip (add some extra width for folding down). Long enough to wrap around the entire cuff with some extra for folding in.

- Fold in the lower edge. I folded down about 1/2 inch. This edge will be attached to the bottom of the cuff. Pin down the fold.

- Turn pants inside out. Line up the folded edge to the edge of the cuff. See here. Pin it down. Leaving the leftover length by the inseam. Line up the fabric pattern or nap in the way you find most appealing. Try folding the cuff up to see how the pattern shows.

- Sew as flush along the bottom edge of the cuff (near the original cuff seam) as possible from inseam to inseam. Fold down one flap to overlap the other. Try to make sure the flap meets at the inseam. This is where you will sew to seal it. Trim excess.

- Then sew along the other end of the fabric from inseam to inseam. Sew right over the overlapping flaps to seal. Make sure fabric is smooth and flat against the jean.

- Finally sew along the inseam where the flaps overlap. Sew as close to the original seam as possible! Done!

Wood Cuff Jeans

Choose any fabric you desire for your denim cuff accents! Great for fabric scraps. Fold the cuffs back down for normal style jeans.

I chose this beautiful fabric on the left.

Brazilian Rose Wood
Graphic Design BNP by Bold Inc.
Woodworking Landscape Products
Japanese Made

❤ Thanks to the Treasure Hunter for the beautiful fabric!!

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us

FOTD: Even Cowgirls Get The Blues

Dec 03

Fabric of the Day: From The Hip by Alexander Henry Fabrics, circa 2000

From The Hip by Alexander Henry Fabrics

100% Cotton, Cotton Sheeting or Pima Poplin, 45″.
This was re-printed, so it’s no longer Out-Of-Print and still available for sale!

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us

Hello Cotton!

Nov 28

Hello CottonI’m on Hello Cotton, another blog aggregator that happens to feature women bloggers! It strives to connect and inspire by bringing together all the latest news and trends from their rich source of blogs. Part social platform, part girl power. Take a peek and right away you’ll be hooked – it’s not just crafts like Sewing, Crochet, and Knitting but also includes Fashion, Food, Design, Culture … Again, I love learning from others who share their passions online, I glean what’s most relevant to me with a minimum of rhetoric, plus I’m more likely to get a first-hand “opinion” or “review” in that way. Anyway, Hello Cotton is a wonderful resource for just that. It’s free to browse, sign up, and login. Use it for your own personal reference, daily news specific to crafts, or to connect with other noteworthy blogs. See what the latest trends are regarding your fave subjects whether it be Sewing, Cooking, Design, Fashion, etc. It’s Ooo La La!

Hello Cotton

Hellocotton started out in Paris in 2008, with the idea that the web was blooming with talented women bloggers. Their aim is for the best women bloggers out there to get together, creating a community of talented writers, in all categories possible (fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, family…). A place for blog readers to meet up, follow their favorite bloggers and get inspired. Last but not least, Hellocotton is a platform where both established bloggers and newcomers can make the headlines!

  • Tumblr
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us