Thursday, May 19, 2011

Today's fabric "USER"

So - I'm trying to reach out to more of our customers...

I have been doing some broader studying and have learned that some of my customers just might not be the typical home sewer. But all people can be considered fabric users.  Here is a brief list of what we consider "our customers."

Restaurant Owner
Hospital supply person
Small Manufacturer
AND many, many more...

By definition, a "fabric user," does not have to be a home sewer.  A fabric sewer can also staple, glue, or velcro fabrics to get that desired look.

Remember there are many, many different types of fabrics out there: cottons, denims, knits, satins, fabrics that are shiny, fabrics that are oh sooo soft, fabrics that are strong like home dec fabrics, vinyls, and canvas.  There are also soft baby fabrics.  My favorites are those fabrics that are bright and cheery, fabrics that go "BLING."

What I'm letting each of you know is that you don't have to be a sewer to love fabrics.  Fabrics have oh so many multi purposes.  In my last house I didn't sew, but stapled my drapry to a board, and hung them.  They were very modern, and very cool.  All I did to get my idea was to look through a few magazines.

I'm hoping that you ladies (and men too) who don't know how to sew, or don't feel confident doing so - you can still put something together with fabric.  I have many students who are excited to put together something new, and have never sewn a straight line on a sewing machine before.

That being said,  here are a few sewing, yes sewing, projects that take no previous sewing skill, and very little instruction.  Guess what??? No more excuses!  At Sally's Fabrics we even rent sewing machines for in store use.  If you schedule ahead you can come into to the store, rent a machine, and by paying a small fee, get some instruction on your current project.  How can this be you ask?  On Saturdays, we have Lola available in our "sewing lab" - if customers schedule to come, she will be there to answer your every question.

So... if your interest has been peaked, take a look below.

Okay - here is a prime example of something you can do with fabric - YOU can become a "fabric user."  This picture to the left is a close up of a lamp shade done by a customer, who is not a sewer, who, cut out circles and pasted them with fabric glue all over  her lamp shade, which had been worn out.  Then, with some very simple training she was taught how to zig zag stitch over the circles.  She did the stitching only for effect - with the fabric glue no stitching was required - so if you are not a "home sewer" feel free to recover any small appliances as necessary.  All it takes is fabric and glue!

Next project -

This is a rag quilt made entirely with flannel.  At Sally's we would be more than happy to help you in choosing the right amount of fabric for this project.  A rag quilt is a great project for a beginning sewer. :)

And last but not least....

Okay - I know the detail on this quilt is a little hard to see, and I know it looks impossible!  But wait.... this quilt is mostly hand embroidery - very easy!  It can be done while watching TV or while sitting and relaxing in the car, or even while on vacation.  This quilt is just one block at a time, and is another great starter quilt.

Come into Sally's, and we will be happy to get you started!

So, until next time - remember just because you may not be a "home sewer" you can definitely become a FABRIC USER!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kids Summer Camp, Session 2 -

Okay, Okay.... I said there would be pictures for the July Summer Kids Camp projects - and here they are!!! sorry for the delay :)

I l o v e d  this project!  Why you ask....? I know it doesn't really look like much; but, the idea is great.  This is a water bottle holder - it is lined - and it is insulated.  Really, it's great.  What is not pictured is its over-the-shoulder strap which sports for easy travel to games, vacations, and yes, eventually back to school.  Kids will be able to have the water bottle they take to school stay cooler for a much longer time.

Onto project #2

Okay, this project is also very cool.  Do you have kids that when they travel, or get ready at a friend's house, or even just have a simple sleep over, have no organization to their toiletries at all???  This convenient little bag is just the right size for headbands, ribbons, clipies, flowers, curling irons, flat irons, and yes, even make up.  What's even greater is that with this project, kids will learn how to install a zipper.

And, last but not least... project #3

This was a fun project; and, I'm sure this will be a favorite.  It's a friend picture pillow.  I simply ragged the edges, and was able to permanently place the pictures randomly on the pillow so, that there would be no worries when it came to sewing straight lines, or applying straight pictures.  If your child chooses fabric to coordinate with their room, than they can also have a decorative pillow with their friends on it.  Lets hope they choose their photos wisely.... ha ha ha.  

Anyway,  just a bit more information, for our June kids summer camp (session 1) we will be completing three projects.  June's kids summer camp runs from June 6-11, and June 20-24.  There is a chance we will add one more week from June 27-July 1st as both June weeks are almost full.  

In July, we will kick off Kids Summer Camp (Session 2) with 3 completely new projects, all featured in this post.  This session starts July 11-15th, and is almost full.  If it fills I will add an additional week - more information will be coming if that is to happen.

I am soooo excited to have so many kids who are interested in sewing!  Don't forget that we will continue to be having our year round "Kids Can Sew" sewing program.  If you are interested please call the store at 480-833-7201.  We have even started enrolling teens.

Until next time...keep  a sewin'

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kids Summer Camp, Session 1 - Summer is on it's way!

This year I am holding two week long summer camps.  The first camp runs from June 6-10, and is $75.00 plus supplies.  Take note of the projects featured below.

This cute owl purse is our first project, as it will take the longest.  Isn't it sooo cute??  Just lift the purse by the owl's beak to reveal a zipper.  This purse was designed by Sharon, one of our employees - yes.... Sharon is the same gal who designs all of our unique animals throughout the store.  

NOTE:  This June, Sharon will be having another animal class!  Check out our website for times.  Come in and make any of her available animals.  The class is done in two sessions; and, you will have Sharon on hand to answer all of your animal questions.

Okay - here is project #2 for our Summer Kids camp.  Isn't it fun??  Yes, it is a shirt, not a short dress!

AND, here is project #3, to be done in Session 1.  Turn that big beach towel into a towel wrap, secured by Velcro.  It will keep you covered getting out of the shower, tub, or swimming pool.

This is the deal though - The session only holds 8 students.  Session 1 is already FULL, but don't panic, we have opened another week, from June 20-24.  It's filling too - so act fast!  And, sign up your child today.  Only by signing up your child plus paying for your child holds your spot!

Coming soon.... Kids Summer Camp Session 2 - July 11- 15.  Photos and samples displayed in the store this week!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A New Gal in Town

I want to introduce a new designer that we are NOW carrying in our Sally's Fabrics store!  When visiting the "Rusty Barn" back in January, I met her and her mom - she wasn't much of a sewer when she was growing up, (or sew she says:) she just received some basic sewing lessons, and NOW designs a huge line of "ragged" edge quilts, crafts, as well as other darling accessories.  Her name is Bobbi Stucci; and, we now carry many of her patterns in our store.

We have completed two quilts, currently displayed in the store.  My favorite is pictured below.

The other quilt also features flowers - it is a 12 square quilt done in black n whites with some reds.

The above quilt is done in Riley Blake prints, new and old.  Come on in today - these patterns move quick!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Needles, Needles, Needles

Okay, so I have been sewing since I was 12, and knew just "a little" about sewing machine needles - or, so I thought :) 

Anyway, when sewing, did you know that you should change out your sewing machine needle based upon what type of fabric you are sewing on???  Of course, I'm sure many of you know this; but, perhaps what you may not know is just HOW MANY different sewing machine needles there are out there based upon fabric type.

So.... here is a brief, but necessary lesson:

(1)NEEDLE TYPE                                              
*Universal - General purpose w/a slightly rounded point
Most wovens (and w/some brands, knits), synthetic leather, & synthetic suede            

*Ball Point - The rounded tip slips between yarns rather than cutting them                      
Knits such as interlock, rib knits, fleece, double  knits, and jersey            

Slinky knits & knits containing Lycra

*Jeans/Denim - A stiff shaft, sharp point, & a slender eye          
Denim, canvas, & other thick tightly woven fabrics

*Leather - The slightly twisted cutting edge at the point penetrates hides  
 Natural leather or suede; NOT for synthetic leather or suede

*Quilting - A thin, sharp, long point for sewing  
Cotton quilt fabrics & batting multiple layers

*Microtex/Sharp - A supersharp point pierces the finest yarns & produces quality topstitching  
Fine, delicate, & tightly woven fabrics

Okay, here is a bit MORE needle information - but still VERY important.

Needle SIZE depends on your THREAD

**Needle size is listed as two numbers:  60/8, 70/10, 80/12  (just a few, for example)
The first number is the European system, the second the American system - in essence, the smaller the number, the finer the needle.  As a general rule:  Use the smallest needle you can for your thread.  Below is a list of a few brands/types of thread and their appropriate needle size.

Mettler (60wt. cotton)     60/8
Metrosene                      70/10
Gutermann                      75/11
Invisible                          75/11
Embroidery                    75/11
  Dual Duty                     80/12
100%Cotton 50wt
  Quilting                        80/12
Metallic                          80/12
Jeans/Denim                   90/14
Buttonhole/Twist            90/14 or 100/16
Topstitching                   90/14 or 100/16

A dull or damaged needle can snag your fabric, affect stitch tension, break threads, and cause irregular stitches.

Perhaps if I had learned these details earlier, I WOULDN'T HAVE BROKEN SO MANY NEEDLES THIS WEEK! Oh well, there is always something new to learn.

Well, I hope this has been helpful, I know it was for me.  Good luck, and have fun sewing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ladies Night - Thursday, March 31

This Thursday we are going to be having our "Girls Only Night" NOW CALLED  "Ladies Night."  We changed the name because we had so many inquiries about who was invited to come and participate.  Actually, all ages are invited - from baby to age 100+!  This Thursday we will be having refreshments (of course!) and will also be having two separate demonstrations.  Our first demonstration will be how to make those cute flowers for your hair, or for headbands, or for your clothes.  These flowers are extra special because we will not only demonstrate how to make them, but will  also demonstrate how to add "burnt" edges to your's the new and instyle way to make these cute flowers.

Next, we will be doing a demonstration on how to use our in store Accu-cut machine.  This machine works like a die cut machine, but is for use on fabrics.  This machine makes it so much easier to cut out specific designs for your sewing project - and whats more, is it's quicker and certainly more precise! Our Accu-cut machine is always in our store, and is available for use for a minimal charge.

After these two demonstrations, we will move onto our "make and take" projects.  As a customer you get to pick one of the projects shown below.-+

The first photo above is just an introduction of a class I would like to begin this summer.  Depending on any feedback  I receive it will be called "Fabulous Scrap 90/10."  Yes, it will involve a very, very small portion of scrapbooking - only 10%.  The rest of the process will involve fabrics and yes, sewing.  It will be fun.  This make and take will be just a small introduction.

The bottom picture is a portable tissue cover - you know for those small tissues that you keep in your purse, or for travel??? 

Anyway,  come to our "ladies night" PLEASE.... We would love to see you -- and
to entice you even more....all regular priced items will be on sale for 25% off (machines and software not included.)  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

12 Days of Christmas - Block of the Month

So I'd like to introduce our NEW up and coming Block of the Month Quilt! This quilt is square and measures approximately 48" by 48".  Included each month is two coordinating ornaments.

This quilt is great for all quilters... especially beginners who aren't afraid of a little hand embroidery - the detail on each block is hand embroidery (Don't worry  it's easy!!)  The program starts April 1, and consists of two blocks as well as two ornaments per month - by starting now you will be done in time to display your handiwork for the holidays!

Cost per month:  $20.00
Start date: - April 2011
Monthly Kit:  - Each month the customer will receive the patterns for two squares, and that month's two coordinating ornament patterns, AND white muslin for each month's squares and ornaments.  Customers will need to purchase their own embroidery floss.

The monthly kit does not include the red sashing, batting, or backing of the quilt; although, we will carry the red fabric, similar to what is shown above, if you would like to purchase your finishing supplies at Sally's.

Please note:  This quilt is not a class - meaning that  stitch instruction can be explained each month as needed. Only monthly kits are available to sell at this time.  The pattern as a whole is not available at this time.

  Here is April's Ornaments (soooo cute!)

  Here is a "closer" view of month 1's blocks (it also includes a partial view of  month 6's blocks... ha ha.)  Please call the store and sign UP today 480-833-7201.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Totally Cute Knit Top

Before I even begin I HAVE to show you the cutest top!

I'm sure if you have gone to the mall lately you may have noticed a huge trend in knit blouses.  Everywhere I look I see unique designs in  knit, ribbon, and flowers, all sewn onto clothes. At Sally's Fabrics we are noticing the same thing. One of our talented seamstresses brought this shirt in last week for display.  Didn't it turn out great??  If you are interested in making this blouse, first off  you will need to purchase McCalls pattern  M6031; and, follow the directions for Style B.  This is a DYI pattern and is so cute (I'm sure I already said that!)  This stylish shirt would look great  pared with jeans or leggins.

Now, of course, when you see this pattern you will notice right off that Kathy,  has "dressed up" the shirt.  The first thing she did was add sleeves, which is purely optional.  She was able to pattern the sleeves after one of the t-shirts she had seen in a clothing store; but, if you feel a little nervous about doing this, you could easily copy a sleeve pattern from one of your shirts at home.  Kathy did sew in a small strip of 1/8" elastic to form the "sinched up" look on the sleeve that is shown.

Next, Kathy added a gathered knit piece onto the top of the blouse. For the running knit that you see, she cut a piece of knit 1" wide.  Underneath, Kathy used "Chiffon," and cut her fabric pieces to 2 1/4" wide.  For the flower she just pulled the gathers up to form a flower.

On the bottom of the blouse Kathy attached more of the 1" knit on top of the 2 1/4" chiffon.  

Overall the blouse did not take long at all, and turned out so cute!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Conversation Hearts!

 Okay - if you are looking for a very EASY Valentine's Day project.... then look no further!  See just how cute these conversation hearts turned out.

I made three additional hearts; and, HONESTLY, they each only took me about 15 minutes.  First, I have to pay respects to where respects are due:)  I purchased the embroidery design at SWAK Embroidery... quickly becoming one of my favorites!  FYI - the other four hearts say "You Rock," "Text Me," "I Do," and "Love You."  I love this website (SWAK) because the directions are so complete, and so easy to understand. 

For those of you who are new to embroidery, these six hearts were made entirely "in the hoop."  This term used to kinda freak me out because honestly... "all in the hoop? Do I do nothing??"  Well, as the seamstress, you do do a few of the steps, like hoop your stabilizer, and place the felt on the hoop, but seriously, that is about it.  Your embroidery machine directs you through the rest of the project!

See.... so cute!  When I was done with all six heart pockets, I went to the store and bought conversation heart boxes, and they fit inside just perfectly.  And voile!    ....all done.

Just a quick note on embroidery sewing machines...  When you first go to price an embroidery machine, just to prepare you, you will exclaim "holy cow!" when you see the price.  But, as the customer, you must realize what exactly you are buying.  First, you are buying an excellent sewing machine, with like the BEST computer made by man, built right inside the machine.  Your sewing machine will do close to 100 stitches - and that is just the beginning.  It will thread your needle, tell you when your bobbin is running low (very important in embroidering,) will memorize stitch sequences, preform mirror images, sew fast, sew slow... your embroidery machine will almost preform heart surgery! (just kidding.)  Just know... embroidery machines will do all of that plus so much more - PLUS it will also quilt, and (most importantly) it will embroider thousands of designs including letters.  It's so fascinating; it is mind boggling.

For now, I just have to get on my "soap box" and say when you are in the market for an embroidery machine, buy from a dealer (ALWAYS) and buy quality, quality, QUALITY!  Oh, all right.... just come to Sally's and I'll help you out personally:)

Here's my machine.... Isn't it absolutely B E A U T I F U L????

Until next time.....

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Year - New Projects

Okay..Okay..  I've decided that I am not doing my best at keeping up with the Sally's Fabrics blog so, here goes my new year's resolution:  I promise..I promise I will keep up the blog with up-to-date projects, and sewing news.  Sooo... here is to a new year!!

Once I got over my extreme fatigue of completing all of my holiday projects, I picked myself right back up, and began the new year with some machine embroidery projects.

Haven't you noticed the HUGE move towards quilting??  I am so excited about this because it has pulled some new sewers into the market.  I admit quilting is very addictive; and, sewers young and old have hopped right on board towards completing all kinds of beautiful quilts. But, hence I have also noticed that embroidery is also making it's way back, but with a twist.  I remember the days when my Grandma taught me how to hand embroider (we will be teaching this soon at Sally's!)  And, I admit I still love doing it; but, I am amazed at the beautiful embroidery work that my sewing machine will do.  It is also very simple (I was shocked to learn this:)  So, a few weeks back I "Googled" modern machine embroidery, and proceeded to make up some projects that I have set out in the store for display.  Take a look below.

On each of these pillows I stitched my embroidery out on off-white muslin.  I also used some of our new Amy Butler fabric.  Each pillow turned out so bright and cheery.  For the above pillow I downloaded my design from "Meringue Designs."   On my pillow below, I used SWAK embroidery.  Both websites have so many embroidery designs.

Okay - next embroidery project:  design your own shopping totes!

To make this 15-minute grocery bag you’ll need:

1 piece of canvas cut 20”x34”
2 pieces of 1” handbag webbing cut 18” long each
heavy cardboard cut to fit bottom, approx 8”x10”

Fold the canvas in half, and sew the two sides of the bag , then sew an 8” gusset along the bottom of the bag with heavy triple stitching to reinforce the seams, fold down top of bag 1/2” and sew all around.  Attach straps with lots of stitching. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom. This gives it stability. All done!

It did not take me that much additional time to embroider my bags.  I admit.... I'm now addicted to embroidery.

Look at the detail.... very cool!