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!