Thursday, August 30, 2012

Alto - Improving the Sewing Machine

This is the most amazing thing. Consider that the sewing machine could be improved to be more simplistic. Most newer sewing machines include more stitches than you could ever use and repeat some design flaws year after year. I just never pondered the subject.

Enter the James Dyson Awards. The award is an international student design award that draws from the next generation on design engineers  And if the name is familiar, yes, this is of the famous Dyson vacuums. The entrants are to "design something that solves a problem." First, the problem must therefore be identified. I stumbled onto this story on a blog I subscribe to; my curiosity was peaked.

This year's top 50 projects will be chosen September 20th- a visit to JamesDysonAward website shows that some of the over 500 projects submitted include the Alto, a genetically engineered bread yeast and a prosthetic socket. 

How I would love to be someone who gets to test drive this invention.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Smooth Sailing

This adorable smocked outfit is a Ready to Smock Button Front Day Gown from Martha Pullen's Ready to Smock collection. The smocked design is Smooth Sailing by Mollie Jane Taylor. Just precious on a newborn!

The dress sells for $28.00 and the smocking plate is just $3.00.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Muslin of IRIS

IRIS Pattern

As I have mentioned before, I like the website Colette. I have ordered several patterns from this site, but have not gotten around to sewing them. Today it has poured all day and I decided to make a muslin of the IRIS shorts pattern for my oldest daughter, a senior in college. For more about the value of making a muslin,
click here.

This is the fabric I used for the muslin - a very loose weave cotton which was on sale at Walmart for $.99/yard. Perfect.

Here is the "finished" product - no hem and no zipper on the side - just enough to check the size.
Oh great... it is very snug on my daughter. 
Good thing I made a muslin!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Smocked with Ribbons

This exquisite dress is a Ready To Smock purchase from Martha Pullen's Ready To Smock . The cost is not too bad at $28.00. The ribbonweaving smocking plate is Party Ribbons by Little Stitches and the cost is $3.00. Smocking is really not difficult to learn - I actually taught myself. So for not much money, you can create these lovely heirloom dresses for your loved ones. The only other expense is the embroidery thread and ribbons.

A side note, the developer of Little Stitches designs is Mary Siegel of Atlanta, Georgia. She is someone who has been able to apply her skills to help others. Click here to read an inspiring article about her 30 year love of smocking and her involvement with premature babies in the Atlanta area.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

IKEA and Sewing

Did you know that IKEA sells a sewing machine? It is a basic sewing machine (named Sy) for $69.99. It comes with 13 stitches, both a zipper and buttonhole foot. I have researched reviews and have some links posted below... all in all, it is a good purchase for a beginner.

In addition to a machine and several basic sewimg tools. IKEA sells great fabrics. Their prices range from $4.99 to $9.99 per yard. The colors are vibrant; the fabric is 100% cotton and is 59" wide.

The next time you are at IKEA, check out the fabric department and if you decide to make a purchase, don't leave without grabbing some thread to complete your project!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Scented Linen Spray

I follow a blog called Coletterie and on that blog you will find a great little trick to subscribe to - Snippets.
Snippets is a weekly sewing tip that is emailed directly to you. I absolutely love this. So, the tip this week is from Emily S. and the subject is LINEN SPRAY. Emily suggests that one use this instead of water in the iron. Her tip is "I use linen spray instead of water in my iron for steam. Not only does it do the same job, but it doesn't get stale and it always smells fresh." What a great idea!! So, I promptly linked to Emily S.'s blog, lemony fresh. I just love to find blogs about sewing.

Then I start thinking - how does one make their own linen spray? After an entry in google, here is a great link to answer that question...Make Your Own Scented Linen Spray on the onegoodthingbyjillee blog. Who knew vodka would be involved?

So, I am going to try this experiment..the making of linen spray and then using it in my iron. My old iron first.
In the meantime I have increased my blog reads by 2 with this little Snippet email.
I'll keep you posted....