Thursday, January 25, 2018

Catching up

It's January and I'm catching up.  So before the year is out I'll try to bring everyone up to speed. My goal for 2018 is to post more frequently.  2017 was  a crazy year but here goes it........

I've been teaching sewing lessons at my local recreation center and have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful folks and either introduce them to sewing or re-introduce them back.  I held my first kids sewing camp  over the summer 2017 and plan to do it again for Summer 2018 so stay tuned for details and help spread the word.  Sewing is such a powerful skill to have and a lifelong one as well. The educational and mental health benefits are there as well.  As an educator by profession I would love to highlight them for you and why every kiddo ( young and "seasoned" ) should learn to sew:

1. Problem solving skills (Math, measurements)
2. Patience
3. Creativity and artistic expression ( Fine Arts)
4. Literacy ( reading directions from patterns and visual diagrams)
5. Science & Engineering ( how textiles are created, working with various fabrics, and construction of a project from start to finish, working a sewing machine and troubleshooting the mechanics of it).

Here are some dates for February:

  • Learn Your Machine (ages 8+)
    • February 4
    • Sundays, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
    • $35 plus materials per class
These are one-time instructional classes. Please bring your own sewing machine (with manual) to learn how your machine works. Learn what the dial means, how to thread your machine, what size needles to use and more!
  • Sewing Boot Camp (ages 8+)
    • February 11, 18, & 25
    • Sundays, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
    • $85 plus materials per 3-week session
Learn how to sew and make multiple projects in our 3-week class. Each week, skills will be added to make a project. Please bring your own machine (with manual) to learn how your own machine works.

You can register at the Pflugerville Rec Center website:

Keep Sewing!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sewing in the Spring and Summertime!!

    It has been a while since my last post and much has been going on.  I have been sewing a variety of projects working on different skills and experimenting.  I wanted to learn how to use piping on a pillow and applique so I created the Long Horn and Texas pillow with some simple embroidery.
Front Back

    I had some fat quarters that I had purchased a couple of years ago but hadn't used up and so I created a set of quilted oven mitts.  I have some "Doc McStuffin" fans in my family and came up with this simple tote bag, that I was considering for teaching during a summer kids camp.  It is unlined.  I opted for doing a lined tote instead.  I will have post a picture of it on another post.

    I fell in love with dredsen plates  and thought I would experiment with a few different styles of dredsen plates and circles.  The result of those experiments turned into this small lap quilt.  I'll call it "Dredsen World".  You will seat least four different styles.
 My daughter has some "Our Generation 18" dolls and so I made a couple of doll outfits for her dolls.  This is a good way to practice clothing construction on a small scale. The process is the same.  I also learned that no one 18" doll is the same and so fitting and some pattern adjustments can be done for a doll as well.  A little tedious though trying to fit a doll.  I've learned that there are body dress forms for dolls out there.  I'm not sure if I will invest in one but if I do decide to, I know that they exist and are available if need be.

I thought I would take a shot at creating a knit dress for myself using New Look pattern 6482. The pattern includes a dress, jacket, and top.  I tried the dress and it turned out better than I thought for a first try.  Knits can be tricky.  I'm still learning about fitting and adjusting patterns for the perfect fit. That seems like a science all in itself.  I have a big learning curve.

This project gave me an opportunity to make a sewing machine cover and trying out applique dies with my Acuquilt Go machine.

Well that is all for now.  I'm working on some more clothing projects and will post as they are completed.  I also found a wonderful project for a back to school pencil bag.

Until next time!!  

The Sew Stormer!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!!!

      Well 2016 is OVER!!! I can't say that I will miss it too much.  Quite a few lessons learned, some sadness with the loss of two family members, and just a great deal of changes overall.  I'm grateful to still be here and also thankful that I pushed my sewing to new heights with my 365 challenge to myself.  Although I didn't reach the goal, I sewed more and tried new projects, learned new skills in the process, and started this blog.  All in all I don't feel so bad.  This year, I'll be participating in another sewing challenge and that is to complete UFOs (Unfinished Projects), working more with my serger ( l learned some simple projects last year that I didn't know you could do with a serger), improve my garment construction skills so that I can delve into alterations and learn a bit more about how to repair sewing machines so I can maintain my machines.  I plan to teach some more classes at my local recreation center.  I was able to pilot a couple of classes last Fall and it turned out successful.  That was exciting.  Who knows where all this will lead but I'm hopeful and optimistic.

Maintaining a blog is challenging work but I plan to get better with this blog and get more exposure and readership.  The learning curve is high, when you are attempting new things.  

It is also sad that quilt shops and sewing lounges are starting to close in this economic climate.  We must do all we can to keep our small businesses alive in the sewing and quilting industry.  Please support your local businesses in your communities.  They are the fabric of our society and in many cases the center of the communities that they serve.

That's all for now.  You all have a blessed New Year this year.   Make 2017 full of optimism and hope!!!

The Sew Stormer!!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Grocery Bag with Lining..... Hey Dr. Seuss ... Foldable or ...... Not!!

So I just finished this latest project.  We'll call it the Dr. Seuss Grocery bag.  Now originally, it was supposed to be a foldable bag where you could just roll it up and snap it shut when you were finished...destined to carry it in your purse so that you wouldn't forget it when at the grocery store.  I was on the path to pursue this aspect of making the bag during the creation process and then decided to forgo it after having such a battle working with putting the lining into this bag.  Mind you putting the lining for this particular bag was a "Cynthia" aka The Sew Stormer addition.  I have to give credit to  Crafty Ady from the U.K. and her wonderful tutorial.  
I will post her blog site on how to do the tutorial a little later.

Ady pushed me to new limits with this bag by actually having me create my own pattern.  She provided the measurements.  Drawing my own patterns was a new challenge for me but somehow I survived this aspect of the process.  It gave me a new appreciation for pattern makers and designers.  Drawing is not my strong suit but it was fun to do it and then turn it into an actual product.  That was amazing.  So I have learned a new unexpected skill in this journey.....pattern making.  What an exhilarating part of the creative process!!

If you wish to try this tutorial here is the link to Crafty Ady's blog and click on the right-hand side for the tutorial:

Happy 4th and Happy Sewing!!!!

The Sew Stormer

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pillowcase Dress Adventure

I'm making these wonderful pillowcase dresses right now for my Sorority to donate to underprivileged young girls overseas.  I am also making some for my younger daughter and granddaughter.  The top one was made from an Amy Butler fabric ( I can't remember the name of the line) and the one below was from a yardage from my never ending fabric stash.  It is an embroidered fabric.  I forgot what I originally was going to use it for but it is now a pillowcase dress.

I couldn't bring myself to actually use a real pillow case so I just have gone through my fabric collection and have been having a ball seeing the transformations.  I have also created my own bias tape bindings for the armholes ( this reinforces the strength of the armhole) and for the ties.  Creating my own bias tape has saved me money, became another solution to use up the scraps, and gave me an excuse to finally be able to use my Simplicity Deluxe bias and piping machine.  That thing is awesome.  Another item I made with the leftover scraps were scrunchies to match the dresses.  I did that for the one I created for my granddaughter.

So if you were looking for ideas to utilize your scraps from a project, here a few depending on the amount that you have left over:

Small tote bag
Doll outfit
Headscarf (bandana style)
zipper pouch purse or pencil case
Quilt block

If you can think of other items that you can create to further make use of your fabric project leftovers please feel free to share.

Signing off for now,

The Sew Stormer

When You Wish Upon A Star......

My Lemoyne Star quilt block almost finished
Ok Happy Belated 2016!!

Life has happened and my sewing challenge has gone in infinite directions but all is not lost because there is most definitely time to accomplish my 365 sewing.   I'm still working on this and other blocks.  Summer is now here and I may need to rethink the goals of this blog.  The sewing hasn't stopped but Life interrupted seems to be ongoing but none the less I shall keep going.

The Sew Stormer

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Falling Behind So What Do You Do?

I've fallen behind in posting and this is definitely not a good thing if you are a blogger.  So to catch up on my latest sewing escapades of which I will post pictures soon, let's begin.  I've been totally enamored with Pinterest which I've come to believe is a very addictive thing.  There are so many projects that you could be on there for days, weeks, and months and still not be able to possibly decide which ones to pursue.  I have pinned so many ideas that I've become completely overwhelmed and have just stepped away from the site for a brief moment.  One night I found myself on it well into the wee hours of the next day.  I knew this was a problem.

So I have partaken in sewing a project or two or perhaps I could do my whole 365 just from Pinterest.   I've have created a tissue cover.  I thought those might make cute little gifts.  I mean who can have enough tissue covers to keep in their bags and purses right?  A very easy project I might add and it takes less than 10 minutes to make.  I messed up the first one so I had to use the handy seam ripper ( A sewer's best friend!) and then redid it and it came out great.

The next set of projects were pillowcases for my youngest daughters.  Well it started out as a mom and daughter sewing bonding thing for the first pillowcase and then wound up being a just me thing for the second one.  The "burrito roll" method makes doing these a snap and they can be completed in about  90 minutes if you are not teaching someone.

I finally sewed the over-sized fleece blanket for my husband.  Who knew that over-size fleece was so incredibly warm and fits a queen size bed very nicely. Unfortunately football season is over for my son because they lost their last playoff game.  Touching moment because he's a senior so all you football moms with senior sons you know what I'm talking about.  Because it doesn't get really cold in my part of Texas until about now, having the experience of hot cocoa and a warm blanket in the stadium is out for us at least until next year or if we are lucky enough to go to a UT Longhorn  or Dallas Cowboy game.... well probably not for now.  None the less it will still get used because I forsee many more cold nights a comin'!!

Now I do like to quilt as well and I haven't really done much quilting in a good while.  There have been several blocks I've been wanting to test out and so I finally was able to sit down and give it a try.  The block is called the Lemoyne Star or Eight-point star.  It looks complicated because you are using 45 degree diamonds but after watching this wonderful tutorial put out by The Fat Quarter Shop (an online Central Texas grown quilt shop) several times over, I finally got up the nerve and gave it a shot.  I'm not completely done with the block yet but I will post the Star that I have completed thus far.  I'm so proud!!  This is my first attempt at this block but I figure after I make several more I should have it down pack.

Well, yes I've fallen behind but as they say........fall down and then get back up.  Thanksgiving is over and I'm very grateful for the nice break and of course I can't wait for December.  I'm really getting in the spirit of sewing gifts.

For now my friends I must sign off.  Pictures of my projects coming soon as this post will be updated.


The Sew Stormer

Catching up

It's January and I'm catching up.  So before the year is out I'll try to bring everyone up to speed. My goal for 2018 is to pos...