REPORT BACK ON NEW SHOW IN PORTLAND, OREGON CALLED QUILT!KNIT!STITCH!

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THE EDMONTON SHOW IS NEXT WEEK….SEE YOU THERE!

SEWING SHOW BANNERIT’S TIME FOR THE EDMONTON SEWING SHOW AGAIN……SAME PLACE: September 12-13, 2014
Friday 9am – 6pm
Saturday 9am – 5pm
Millenium Place, Sherwood Park

SHOW PIC

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE……. I WILL BE DOING A PRESENTATION ONCE A DAY ON THE STAGE.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT AT MY DAILY PRESENTATION:  

ARE YOU USING YOUR SEWING MACHINE TO THE MAX?

DO YOU KNOW ALL THAT YOUR SEWING MACHINE IS CAPABLE OF DOING?

I find that SO many sewers & quilters are only scratching the surface of what their sewing machines can actually do…….which is a huge pity as there is so much more sewing fun to be had right there!

This lecture/demo presentation will highlight some of the features & functions found on most sewing machines as well as some that many people don’t know exist or have forgotten about.

Attendees  will be able to SEE as all machine demo’s and close up’s will be projected onto a large screen.

There will also be show & tell items to see and photograph if desired.

 

SHOW PIC 2

SHOW PIC 3

 

FABRIC

 

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SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL SEWING MONTH

JALIE PATTERN # 3024
JALIE PATTERN # 3024

It is NATIONAL SEWING MONTH this month so  I thought we could kick off by looking at a project I made a few weeks back.

Wendy & Brenda at HAUS OF STITCHES in Humboldt, SK highly recommended this pattern so I bought it last year during the SK Stitches Conference. Brenda had made View B in a thickish black knit fabric like a Ponte and she was wearing it with a grey jacket – it looked really smart.

Did I make anything with this pattern last year? What do you think?!  I so often buy stuff and it lies around for ages before inspiration, time & energy allow me to actually put my expenditure to good use! Does this happen to you too? Bet it does as I can’t be the only one!

Jalie is a CANADIAN  company out of Quebec. I think I now own about 6 or 7 Jalie patterns and I can say that none of them have disappointed me. I do think the pattern instructions are a little minimal which is OK for an intermediate to advanced sewer even though I sometimes have to scratch my head a few times before I figure out what they mean. But it does all work out and the diagrams are pretty good.  HUGE multi-sizing – this pattern runs from little girls age 2-13 and adults size 4-22!! So it really is a pattern that will suit any size.

I made View C on the right (with the black & white stripe bodice) in the pic below. It sewed up SO fast I am calling it my “one hour dress”. No kidding…..after it is cut out, you sew & can walk out the door wearing the completed dress in an hour! I used a very thin knit print (pattern is for knit fabrics only). Have made 2 dresses with view C and definitely want to try view A & B as well…..soon?

This does not look like much on the hanger but I have received a number of compliments on the 2 occasions so far that I have worn this dress - and this despite the fact that I really need to lose the extra lbs that have slipped in while I wasn't looking......don't you hate that?

This does not look like much on the hanger but I have received a number of compliments on the 2 occasions so far that I have worn this dress – and this despite the fact that I really need to lose the extra lbs that have slipped on while I wasn’t looking……don’t you hate that?

 I will be doing a follow-up blog post on construction techniques when sewing with knits + how to finish the armholes, neck edge & hemline in the coming weeks. Watch for it as I will give you several options so you can ring the changes and not have all your dresses looking the same.  

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SUMMER SEWING: PILLOW CASE DRESSES FOR LITTLE GIRLS

PIC FROM SEW SCRUMPTIOUS.BLOGSPOT.COM

PIC FROM SEW SCRUMPTIOUS.BLOGSPOT.COM

 

These are known as pillow case dresses:  the fabric and part of the construction in the pic below is courtesy of my dealer, Trudy,  in LANGLEY, BC who gave me the partially made sundresses some time back. I finally got the time to sew the tie straps on & put up the hems. I added in a section of plain yellow fabric in the one as my eldest grand daughter is very tall. She is just 3 & wears T5/6 size clothing. She is a big child and I love her an awful lot. You Grannies out there will know exactly what I mean when I say that when she says “nanna” my heart just melts! And the little one who is 2 is just the cutest little button – every day we understand her long baby talk conversations a little more! ……yes, I know I am a very biased Nanna indeed.

Anyway, here are my precious babies in their new little sundesses…..just perfect for the incredible summer heat we are having in BC. My thanks to Trudy at Langley Vacuum & Sewing, BC for her inspiration and encouragement with this project.

sundress3

If you want to know how to make these simple little sundresses, check out this link.

PIC FROM HOMEKETEERS.COM

PIC FROM HOMEKETEERS.COM

If you prefer to watch a video to learn how to make these little dresses, try this  which is a video from the very popular Crafty Gemini or this  from Sew Sweet who show how to make the Little Dresses for Africa project. My dealer and her customers are also making these dresses to send to little girls in Africa. In fact, they were SO quick & easy to make, I am going to see if I can make some to take with me to South Africa in November. I am sure to see some under privileged little girls who will think Christmas came early if I hand out a dress here & there. Will not be making a big dent in the huge poverty but every little helps……right??

PIC FROM BELLARAGEOUS 3.BP.BLOGSPOT.COM

PIC FROM BELLARAGEOUS 3.BP.BLOGSPOT.COM

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PART 7 IN THE SERIES ON FEET & ACCESSORIES: PINTUCK FEET

“My only comfort,” she said to Meg, with tears in her eyes, “is that Mother doesn’t take tucks in my dresses whenever I’m naughty, as Maria Parks’ mother does. My dear, it’s really dreadful, for sometimes she is so bad her frock is up to her knees, and she can’t come to school”.     Chapter 4:  Little Women,  by Louisa May Alcott

Pin tucks have been around for a very long time, and even incorporated into books!  If you love heirloom work you will be very familiar with pin tucks.  heirloom pintuckI love the look of pintucks in home décor and in fashion.

MKI found this Michael Kors Striped Pintuck shirt on sale for $85 from $198!

The details on this shirt are easily created with the Elna Pin Tuck feet and a twin needle.

If you look closely at the pin tuck feet there are series of grooves on the bottom. The pintucksetgrooves are there to space your pintucks perfectly if you’re making more than one.  They will be parallel and evenly spaced. Choose from the 7 groove or 5 groove pintuck foot and are available in 7mm as a set (wide & narrow) and 9mm, Wide with 5 grooves or 9mm Narrow with 7 grooves.

Adjust the needle tension to the highest setting. This is really important. The higher tension will make the pintuck stick up from the fabric, if it is too loose, the pintuck will not form resulting in just two rows of stitching. Twin needles are available in 2mm, 3mm 4mm and 6mm and 8mm widths. Just be sure your machine can accommodate the width of the needles.

The feet will help you line up your pintucks so they are perfectly straight. Align your first pintuck into one of the grooves and use that as a guide for your next one.

Another option is to insert cording into the pintuck as they are forming. The cord guide set, snaps in place of the bobbin cover and create a channel for the cord to go into the pintuck. These are available for all of our top loading machines. Please see your local dealer for the set to fit your machine. The cording helps the pintuck stand up. Using a heavier yarn that shows through your fabric, creates a shadow pintuck.

pin tuck cord guides

National Sewing Month is coming up in September. Make a goal of trying a different foot each week. Create a pin tuck project and send us a picture. We’ll share it here in Sept!

Happy sewing, Linda P.

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PINS ARE A SEWING STAPLE

pin cushion

Us sewers all use pins almost every single time we sew so even though we don’t talk much about them, they are VERY IMPORTANT. I thought it might be good to have a post focusing just on pins.

magnetic pin cushion

The lovely Japanese pin cushion at the top of the post was a gift from a co-worker a while back and I love it. It has a wooden base and then what looks like maybe silk fabric over the puffy part. It is just heavy enough not to go sliding all over my sewing table but not too heavy to be a hassle to move around. I also have several magnetic pin cushions (above) at work and at home. They are great……until they drop off the table. I think every one I own has a chip or major ding! They still work but are not so pretty anymore. I also have a shallow magnetic bowl which holds a LOT of pins. I’m thinking this was originally an office stationery supply thing for paper clips or something similar so that might explain why I poke myself every time I reach for a pin as many of the pins get caught head end down & point up with the magnet. Ouch!

pins 3

After my recent 3 day sewing marathon (yes…..some people report they run marathons and are sleek & super fit. I sew instead!), I really got irritated by my motley and sometimes painful collection of pins & pincushions. So I set about tidying up in true type A style:

pill bottle for broken pins

I have an old pill bottle which gets filled up with used, bent & broken pins & needles. When it is full I give it to my daughter who is a nurse and she disposes of the contents in a sharps bin. I understand that some drug stores will do this for you, maybe your Doctor’s clinic? or failing that I see sharps bins on the walls of some public washrooms so you could put them in there too I suppose? Hopefully no-one will get the wrong idea about why we have so many “needles” to dispose of?!  But so long as we dispose of them responsibly and they don’t end up in the landfills where they might injure a person or animal, it is all good.

I'm am definitely going to buy more of these....they are long, sharp and have a clear glass head. I like them for every day sewing & quilting.

I’m am definitely going to buy more of these….they are long, sharp and have a clear glass head. I like them for every day sewing & quilting.

I have many different types of pins, some good and some not so good. I am currently weeding out the ones I don’t like and they are going into that little pill bottle together with BENT PINS…….WHY do we persist in keeping those as we just end up putting them aside every time we pick them up???   TOSS…no use in keeping bent, rusty or blunt pins…..they are just annoying as they break the creative flow of sewing.

The flower head pin (which is on very thin ice in my sewing room as it has already got a little bent!)

The flower head pin (which is on very thin ice in my sewing room as it has already got a little bent!)

I also noticed recently that my different types of pins had got awfully mixed up so when you think you are reaching for a fine silk pin, you get a cheap plastic head pin instead…….again: a minor annoyance.  A flower head pin is wonderful for whenever you do not want the head to be in the way (such as cutting pinned sections of fabric with a rotary cutting ruler) but they do bend quite easily as they are so long so I prefer not to use them for everyday sewing. I keep these in a cute little vintage box for occasional use.

I’m all for a peaceful, stress free life so OUT goes the jumbled up collection hence my nicely ordered pin cushion at the top of this post.  Plastic head pins are now SO yesterday in my sewing room. And blunt points have also been given their marching orders. WHAT is the point of keeping a blunt pin?? …..pun intended. SO: toss the junk, buy good quality pins only and keep your types of pins separate as they truly do have different functions.

Metal Heads

Metal Heads

I love these metal head pins as they just appealed to me, I thought they were pretty (I swear I might have been a magpie in another life!)  I think they came on one of those wheels. Come to think of it, I have not seen them very often so they might be hard to find? I have used mine a lot and have a collection of gold, silver & bronze colours.

I remember thinking these were quite expensive and so I bought the little box rather than the bigger one......mistake! I LOVE them so the little box doesn't make sense now. Note to self: cheap pins are probably more expensive in the long term so buy better quality!

I remember thinking these were quite expensive and so I bought the little box rather than the bigger one……mistake! I LOVE them so the little box doesn’t make sense now. Note to self: cheap pins are probably more expensive in the long term so buy better quality in bigger quantities!

Good quality glass head pins with strong fine and sharp points are what you want. I have been very happy with my little boxes of Clover glass head pins – I think I have an assortment of white, blue & red heads.

red clips

I could not talk about pins and not mention the Clover Clips. These are not strictly pins but little clips which are absolutely incredible for holding any edges together like quilt bindings, seams etc. I like the little red ones. I bought the big jumbo green ones…..mistake, I should have bought more red ones…..LOVE them.  Again, don’t make my mistake. They are quite pricey so I bought the little packet rather than the larger quantity. I ended up going back for more. save yourself the time!  And NO, Clover are not paying me to say this although that is not a bad idea!?

green clip

PLEASE SEE YOUR LOCAL ELNA DEALER WHO IS SURE TO HAVE SOME OR ALL OF THE ITEMS MENTIONED IN THIS POST IN STOCK……if not they can order in for you.

DISCLAIMER:  Here at Elna Canada we do not stock or sell pins to our dealers so any information offered in this post is purely my own opinion. I am very aware that there may be many other brands of pins and pin cushions out there which are equal or better quality. If you have thoughts on pins, send us a comment….we’d love to hear what worked for you.

 

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MAKING SERGER LACE WITH YOUR ELNA SERGER

I received something in the mail from Betty Chalker of Tuscaloosa, Alabama quite some time back. Thank you, Betty. She sent me a very friendly letter with a couple of pics of SERGER LACE. It was quite interesting to receive this as I had not long before attended a seminar where the instructor had briefly mentioned making lace with your serger. I filed Betty’s letter in my BLOG folder and am now, finally, getting to share it with you.

This Betty's Guest towel edged with pretty serger lace as well as Guest embroidered onto the fabric which looks like linen.

This Betty’s Guest towel edged with pretty serger lace as well as Guest embroidered onto the fabric which looks like linen.

here is another towel that betty edged with serger lace.

here is another towel that betty edged with serger lace.

Here are some links to info online about how to do this serger technique:

http://community.hsn.com/t5/HSN-Blogs/Darlene-s-Thread-How-to-Make-Lace-with-Your-Serger/ba-p/473000

http://www.ehow.com/how_8556315_edge-lace-serger.html

All you need is a 4 thread serger and a little time to “play”!

Pic: Darlene's Thread

Pic: Darlene’s Thread

And turn strips of serger lace into rosettes & flowers!  Pic: midsouthsewingcenter.com

And turn strips of serger lace into rosettes & flowers!
Pic: midsouthsewingcenter.com

adding serger lace to a pillow case - looks just like fine crochet edging. Pic: aurorasewingcenter.com

adding serger lace to a pillow case – looks just like fine crochet edging.
Pic: aurorasewingcenter.com

 

 

 

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