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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CHRISTMAS IN JULY………GET INSPIRED TO START YOUR CHRISTMAS SEWING EARLY!

pic courtesy of mysewingroom.ca
pic courtesy of mysewingroom.ca

I DO try, honest I do, but some years the wheels fall off for one or another reason so that despite my best intentions, December rolls around and I am nowhere near to finishing my Christmas sewing.

Why, in the first place, do I have Christmas sewing each year?? Well, that is easy to answer: because I am so passionate about sewing that I would rather make special one-of-a-kind  gifts for family & friends rather than rack up $100’s or $1000’s on items bought at the malls.

christmas

DELIGHTFUL CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENTS MADE BY ONE OF THE LANGLEY VACUUM & SWING CUSTOMERS FOR CHRISTMAS 2013. THESE ARE EMBROIDERED IN THE HOOP ON OUR JANOME EMBROIDERY MACHINE AND THEN USED TO COVER AN ORDINARY CHRISTMAS BALL TO HANG ON THE TREE.

DELIGHTFUL CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENTS MADE BY ONE OF THE LANGLEY VACUUM & SEWING CUSTOMERS FOR CHRISTMAS 2013. THESE ARE EMBROIDERED IN THE HOOP ON ONE OF  OUR  EMBROIDERY MACHINES AND THEN USED TO COVER AN ORDINARY CHRISTMAS BALL TO HANG ON THE TREE.

CHRISTMAS CARDS??    Now I no longer send out Christmas cards. I figure we live in an age of emails & online newsletters, etc, so to send out Christmas cards which end up in the recycling bin by January, is absurd. I would far rather make a small personalized gift for some of the folk I would have sent a Christmas to. Besides which, have you seen lately what it will cost to mail out Christmas cards this year? Each year I pick a small project or 2 and I start earlier in the year making these so that everyone has a little something from me. Some years I made a Christmas tree ornament in the embroidery hoop of my JANOME embroidery machine. Other years I sewed a luggage tag or key fob on my JANOME sewing machine. Another year everyone got a knitted scarf, and another year it was a little zippered bag with a soap or hand cream popped inside.

See pics below for additional ideas for Christmas gift sewing and home decorating for the holiday period.

What am I doing this year? Hopefully none of my friends & family are reading this?! I have decided it will be monogrammed eye glass cases which are made entirely in the hoop. If I know the person does not wear eye glasses or prefers contacts (like my son-in-law), I will substitute with a luggage tag and suitcase handle cover to identify your luggage on the carousel. What the heck….if I make good time in the second half of this year, they may get all 3 items!?!

pic courtesy of veryberryhandmade.co.uk

pic: veryberryhandmade.co.uk

 

pic courtesy of aestheticnest.com

pic: aestheticnest.com

I found this pic on someone's blog.......wouldn't you know I MADE THESE!!!!  Scraps of fabric decorated with machine dec. stitches and ric-rac, lace etc.

I found this pic on someone else’s  blog…….recognized them right away seeing as I MADE THESE!!!! I would not have minded if they had only acknowledged where they got the pic. Oh well.  I used scraps of fabric decorated with machine dec. stitches and ric-rac, lace etc.

pic courtesy of advanced-embroidery-designs.com

pic: advanced-embroidery-designs.com

What about a cover for your machine to celebrate the holiday season? pic courtesy of plumgoodquilting.com

What about a cover for your machine to celebrate the holiday season? pic: plumgoodquilting.com

pic courtesy of all freesewing.com

pic: all freesewing.com

But it is not only about sewing Christmas gifts in lieu of Christmas cards…….there is also the sewing of PJ’s for the little ones, making Advent calendars (which I did last year but need to restock them with little candies & gifts again this year); as well as Christmas decorations and home dec projects for the holiday season.

pic: mycottoncreations.com

pic: mycottoncreations.com

pic: s embroidery.com

pic: s embroidery.com

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the yummy food ......and an apron appropriate for the season! pic: allfreesewing.com

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the yummy food ……and an apron appropriate for the season! pic: allfreesewing.com

I thought these were simply the cutest little shoes! pic: craftsy.com

I thought these were simply the cutest little shoes! pic: craftsy.com

What a great way to use up your stash of Christmas fabrics: napkins for use at your Christmas meal or as gifts. pic:littlebluebell.com

What a great way to use up your stash of Christmas fabrics: napkins for use at your Christmas meal or as gifts. pic:littlebluebell.com

Personalized pillow cases always make special gifts - AND they are so easy to make (see our blog on 16th May 2014 for a great technique). pic: hobbyfarms.com

Personalized pillow cases always make special gifts – AND they are so easy to make (see our blog on 16th May 2014 for a great technique).
pic: hobbyfarms.com

I think you get the idea……we GOTTA START NOW! I hope the pics above inspired you to get sewing to make this a memorable Christmas of lovely home sewed gifts and décor rather than impersonal gifts bought in a crowded mall.

Posted in ELNA 7300 SEWING MACHINE, ELNA 760 EXCELLENCE, ELNA 860, ELNA EL730 EXCELLENCE, ELNA EL760, ELNA IN CANADA, ELNA QUILTING MACHINE, ELNA SERGERS, QUILTING PROJECTS WITH ELNA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SUPER BRIGHT LED LIGHT FROM THE ARTISTIC COLLECTION TO SHED MORE LIGHT ON YOUR SEWING

DO YOU NEED MORE LIGHT ON YOUR SEWING?

ARE YOU SEWING IN A DARK ROOM OR BASEMENT?

THEN YOU NEED OUR NEW SUPER BRIGHT LED LIGHT FROM THE ARTISTIC COLLECTION: Super Bright LED Light

Sometimes your extra-detailed work needs a little extra illumination. That’s why Artistic created the Super Bright LED! This small light affixes to the underside of your sewing machine’s arm and casts a bright light onto your entire sewing project. The light can be powered by the machine’s USB hub or a traditional outlet and the velcro backing and cord guide keeps the cable neat and organized. Finally you’ll have access to extra light without having to maneuver a desk lamp around your machine and sewing project. The Super Bright LED is the perfect lighting accessory.

Super-Bright-LED-Final-Back

AS SEEN ON THE SHOPPING CHANNEL AND ALSO AT YOUR LOCAL ELNA DEALER………HURRY TO GET YOURS WHILE STOCKS LAST!

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