Stitch-N-Bitch Night with my ladies!

Last night I had a bunch of my girlfriends over to bring their sewing¬†machines, wine and snacks and we had a fabulous Stitch-N-Bitch evening! There was some good projects and sewing instruction, as well as some good ole gal bitching time ūüėČ

Check out all our machines! This is minus my Babylock and my serger since they didn’t fit on the table. It was like a sweatshop in my crib!

Two of my friends Sarah and Rachel are rookies and came over to learn the basic mechanics of how to load the bobbin and how the machine works with tension and stitch lengths, how to feed the fabric through, etc… One of the projects they tried out was a scrunchie “10 minute¬†scarf” that Rachel found on Hope Studios blog. This was an interesting project for them to start with since it required for handrolling elastic thread on the bobbin and taking the tension to zero, and using a baste stitch in order to create the gathers. The scarves ended up turning out pretty well in the end though! Here they are in action:

Purple knit fabric, pre-cut:

Instructional methods

and… the final product!

My friend Jackie is probably the most experienced sewer of all of us, she went to SCAD and knows al sorts of techniques and has her own industrial sewing machine at home. She wanted to try out one of our fancy schmancy elctronic commercial machines, so she brought over some projects to test out. One of them was a bright pink bridesmaids dress that her sister asked her to make into something wearable (AKA make it super short for the clubs)

And here she is taking in a sweater, something I have never tried to do before

My friend Jo who I’d say probably has the most comparable skill set in sewing to myself. She brought over her Mom’s Husqvana Serger that she is borrowing, this is new territory she’s trying to conquer! Her Mom’s machine was crazy complicated, I felt silly ever thinking my serger was confusing because compared to this beast my machine is like the hooked on phonics version. She had to sit down with the manual and get out the tweezers and thread through all sorts of hooks and holes, it was like a logic puzzle. She got a little frusterated to say the least, this is where less “stitching” and more “bitching” came into play-

Reading the instructions…

Serger Rage!

On a happier note, Sarah completed her first placemat- check it out!

Finally my friend Anne who doesn’t do too much sewing, but does do a whole lot of crafting brought over some coatsers shewas making for her mother for Christmas. She just used white tiles (like you would use in the bathroom) from the hardware store, and decoupaged them withdesigned paper. That is she glued them onand added another glue coat on top to give them a protective seal and add some shine.

The coasters looked super cute!

I didn’t get too much of my own Christmas craft projects done since I was helping out with the others, but that’s ok because it was a blast! I highly recommend getting together with your sewing friends and having a sewing night, its the perfect way to trade tips and knowledge base as well as ideas- sewing¬†CAN be a fun social event!

McCalls 6112- va va voom showcaser!

When my husband and I got married last year, we had a Fall owl themed wedding because we both love owls and how cute and quirky they are. We ended up getting a lot of owl related wedding gifts and decorations so it has turned into a little collection. Recently, my husband’s awesomely fabulous Aunt Madonna gave me this¬†crazy cute¬†vintage owl necklace. I have seen these huge owl necklaces around and I love how 60’s and old school they are.

This necklace is quite a statement piece so I wanted to make a dress to wear with it that would show  it off. I have seen a couple of posts of people who have made the McCalls 6112 dress in view B in a plain black knit so that it can serve as a back drop dress to showcase jewelry and bright shoes.  I decided that this would be perfect for my owl necklace, and it would also give me a chance to practice my serging techniques.

This dress was very simple, though I took some extra time on it to try and perfect a serged blind hem. Brother Sergio so far has been a dream, really user friendly and easy to operate. I taught myself how to chenge the thread down to three spools and how to use the blind hem foot to line up the edge of my fold along the hem seam- super easy. However when I finished it didn’t quite look like a “blind” hem, you could totally see the hem line fold. I serged this entire dress except for the arm slits because I didn’t want them to have this bulky folded look. While my hems don’t look bad, I was a little disapointed that they didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted. I am not sure if this material is what is causing me difficulties but instead of ironing out smooth, they looked like this:

Regardless I still like the way it turned out, I made a long wide self belt but I think it looks good with or without it. It is the perfect dress to use as a guinea pig if you are trying to work on your serging skills, this one especially so since it was black and black thread blends in so that you can’t see mistakes. I made the¬†hem short so I could wear it out to parties and events, my husband said “well look at that sexy dress!”

Really easy dress to sew, it would be great in a fun print and it is really comfortable. You can even wear a regular bra which is always a plus!

Brother Sergio is here! Just in time for Father’s Day

It’s here!! I FINALLY got a serger! I have been researching them and reading reviews to try to pick the best one and hands down the Brother 1034D¬†appears to be the best in the less expensive range (less expensive being around $200). I have been watching Craig’s List and ebay, but even the used models were on average¬†at least $100. I figured for another $100 I could get a brand new one that came with all its parts, instruction manual as well as instructional dvd’s,¬†unused, I can register it online for a warranty, and if there is anything wrong with it when I plug it in I can return it.

I had a gift card to Best Buy that I earned from the Virgin Health Miles program that I participated in while they had it at work, and I went on-line and ordered him! I named him Brother Sergio, as he brought divinity to my sewing room o:)

It came pre-threaded with color coded thread which was really convenient. I now know how to tie off the ends to change thread spools, and I can also re-thread the entire machine from scratch. This was actually not as challenging as many people have said it is, the machine has a step by step color coded guide in the inside to follow. The tricky part is getting the thread pulled through the back so that it will line up properly and chain off. Thank goodness a long pair of tweezers were included!

Since I got Sergio the week before Father’s Day I decided the perfect first project for him would be pj¬†pants for my Dad and my Father in Law Fred. I ended up just using the serger¬†for the leg seams, I still don’t quite know how to hem with Sergio yet. A lot of people mentioned in reviews that this model bounces a lot when in use, however I actuallly thought the opposite. I have an old desk in my sewing room that has a glass top and on the bottom of Sergio there are suction cups that kept him firmly planted.

It finished seams like a dream! I am in love ‚̧

Check out the final product, here is my Dad in his light house/beach inspired pj pants:

And here is Chris’s dad Fred taking a nap in his dog bone pj pants:

Happy Father’s Day to the two best Dads!!