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:

http://craftyady.blogspot.com/2012/01/another-ufo-is-no-more.html


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:

Scrunchies
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.


Sincerely,

The Sew Stormer

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Maxi Skirt Adventure

My First Maxi Skirt.  Pattern by Simple Simon and Company at SimpleSimonandco.com
This was my first attempt at making a true genuine Maxi Skirt.  I have always wanted to make one of these skirts but sometimes working with knits can be tricky.  However, when I saw this live tutorial on my favorite Youtube channel " Missouri Star Quilt Company with Jenny Doan, I just couldn't resist giving it a shot.  Now a couple of things that I've not done before and that is work with a garment pattern that I had to download and put together.  This was challenge number one.  You will see more and more these days pattern makers (especially independent pattern makers) giving you the option of downloading the pattern.  The plus side of this is that you  save some money. However, the downside is that it can be a lot of pages to print on your printer.  What I loved about this pattern is that the tutorial was online the creators offered it for free and also offer the paper pattern of which you can purchase from their website.  Since I wasn't quite sure about tackling this project although it is a VERY SIMPLE project to attempt and a great one for beginners, I opted to go free and download it.  This challenged me to try something new and reminded me of my challenge that I made myself as part of this yearlong journey that I was to GROW in my sewing.  I'm glad I did.  Now I went to my local Joann's and purchased about 2 1/2 yards of knit fabric when it was on sale for 40% off.  This particular fabric runs about $14.99/yd regularly.  So getting it at about almost half price, that wasn't so bad.  I decided to go with something for Fall because more than likely I will wear this with boots.  I loved the hounds-tooth print.  I'm a petite lady and so I don't wear really long skirts too often other than with boots during the cold months.  I haven't done this during the summer yet so I suppose I'll  try it this upcoming spring.  The designers also have a knit fabric collection that they designed for Riley & Blake.  The prints are really nice.  I will be purchasing some at a later date.  You can purchase them from the Missouri Star Quilt Company for a very reasonable price.  You can also purchase a sample bundle collection from the designers at their website (5 yds of 1 yd of the prints from the collection).

  The beauty of this pattern is that it runs from a XS to a 2XL so just about anyone can enjoy wearing this skirt.  Thank the designers.  My biggest challenge was working with the elastic.  If you look at the picture you will see that the elastic is attached directly to the skirt. You may see more and more easy projects where you just attach the knit elastic to the material to make thes easy skirts.  The 1"- 2"  knit elastic comes in a variety of colors.  It is very soft and does stretch very nicely without losing its shape.  My challenge was stretching it to get a good fit to the skirt as I was attaching it.  I'm going to keep making some more so that I can get this down a little more efficiently.  Now some things I attempted while trying to make this skirt.


You can make this skirt either with a regular sewing machine using a stretch stitch or with a serger.   I also had a serger cutter attachment foot which performs like a serger but on a regular sewing machine.
I got a bit frustrated and so I just went back to using a regular stretch stitch and everything turned out just fine.  I guess my next set of challenges are to go get out my serger and do a few projects on it so I can get better at using it and probably make these skirts a little faster.
The designers of the pattern estimate that the skirt is a 20-30 minute project.  How cool is that? Well with that my friends I will go ahead and sign off.


I encourage you to give this project a try.  Post your  comments and photos.


Sincerely,

The Sew Stormer

Friday, October 9, 2015

Scraps..........What to do with them? Using my imagination

    Okay, so I've now been able to really start sewing and I guess if I were a perfectionist, I would consider myself way behind but I will not allow myself to put that kind of undo pressure on myself because that would defeat the purpose of this being a sewing journey.  I will get the projects done one at a time.

So today or rather last night and into the wee hours of this morning I focused on some quilt blocks.  Rather than go out and buy more material,( an addictive sewer and quilter habit) I decided to utilize the huge fabric stash that I already owned.  Now I'm so glad that I had previously taken the time to actually cut some of my fabric stash of scraps into 2 1/2 inch, 3 1/2 , and 5 inch squares.  This was an idea that I got from the book Scrap Therapy Cut the Scraps: 7 Steps to Quilting Your Way through Your Stash by Joan Ford.


Now she recommends 2 inch squares but I love 2.5 so much I chose to go that route instead.  I have to say that utilizing this method with your scraps or quilting fabric in general has been very efficient and really does allow you to just jump right into sewing.  I put my squares into those clear plastic boxes.  Now this first stash of squares  I cut up a long while back so I saved a lot of time.  I'm so glad I did.  I can't begin to tell you just how much this handy method has saved.  My only problem was what was I going to make because nothing really matched .




So rather than mull over it anymore, I opted to just jump right in and I'm glad that I did.  It gave me an opportunity to practice my quarter-inch seams. Needless to say many of the blocks that I created were very simple.  Just a plain 4 patch block.  I came up with a few variations and color combinations of solids, prints, and batiks.  I even did some upcyling of old jeans and mixed them with some flannel and cotton fabrics. I have to now figure out how to post my pictures so that you all can see my creations.

I can't quite decide what I'm going to make so I'm just going to go with the flow. I'm so glad I have a  1/4 in foot.  It has worked wonders with keeping my seams straight.  I love that foot.  So I'm thinking what do with these blocks?  Another day for another time......................


Sincerely,

The Sew Stormer