I’m so proud to post this badge: I participated in my first sew-along. As the (charmingly yellow!) badge reveals, the sew-along was hosted at www.mymessings.blogspot.com. (Which is in Melbourne, Australia, so I’ve been virtually travelling!) You can visit over there to see the indie pattern company Sewaholic‘s skirt as sewn by other participants.
I Googled “sew along” and found many sites where one can join in this activity, which is kind of a cross between a tutorial and a quilting bee. The Sew Along-er or sets the pace, stepping the Sew Along-ees through a pattern for which they have previously bought fabric and notions. See? More interactive than a tutorial and more instructive than a quilting bee. And if you want to show off your handiwork, you have to finish it, so it’s very motivational, too. The instructions stay up at the website, though, and you can go back and do the sew along at any point later, too. I don’t think my first sew along will be my last!
It was a happy coincidence that my daughter had to swing home from college anyway and could model the skirt I made for her. It’s done up in a quilt weight cotton because her first employment after graduating with her journalism degree is a reporting job. In Texas. In the summer. Hot, hot, hot! She loves the skirt in the shortest, fullest view (C) and I’m following it up with cool fabrics in views A and B, too.
I’ve done pretty well staying on track with my sewing this year (all six weeks of this year) but I can see danger ahead if I don’t get a grip.
The issue is this: Every time I set foot in a sewing store or shop, I’m going to find either a fabric or a pattern that I want to “run up.” As in “I’ll just run up that skirt in poplin.” It’s a given.
I’ll be working on a plan that incorporates budgets for money, time, actual wardrobe needs and experimental learning projects. If any of these elements were infinite, I wouldn’t need a plan. So, simple, I’ll make a plan.
Right now, I’m going to run up my second Hollyburn skirt for my daughter, go to Bible study and get the floor vacuumed. Right after I get out of my robe. Hmmm. I really need a new robe…
I did something yesterday I’ve never done. I attended an actual sewing class presented by human teacher in a classroom setting. I bought a Bernina in large part because I have a local dealer six miles from my house; since I’m a rural person, the nearest city, which has Husquevarna and Brother dealers, is more than 30 minutes away. Yesterday, as I drove the ten minutes to Pohlar Fabrics, I was glad I’d made the local choice.
The class came with my purchase of a Bernina B580. This is my last machine, my retirement machine, my dream machine. To be precise, it’s a sewing computer with a touch screen (that can be set to different pretty colors!) and a USB port. And more.
Never one to shun a learning opportunity, I’m really excited to learn all this instrument can do. I’ve been treating it as a workhorse since I got it in November and it’s been purring along, doing whatever I ask of it: sewing suede, gliding over five layers of denim, embroidering silk and blind hemming. Yesterday we got from a basic zig-zag to automatic buttonholes. I had done all of that but picked up more than a few tips and tricks to make things more efficient.
I did check with my teacher and found that it doesn’t do any other kind of housework. I asked when I bought it, but I’m going to keep checking to see if it gets a housework update through that little USB port. Because it never hurts to ask.
Much to my surprise, my vacuum didn’t come with on board accessory storage. That kind of sucks (sorry about that). So I spent a pleasant morning constructing a simple sack with an extra long handle. It carries the upholstery brush, crevice cleaner and whatever that other little thing is. When the vacuum isn’t in use I just tie the bag to its handle. While I’m using it, I have the bag over my shoulder, messenger style.
Next up, a bucket bag from the Craftsy platform. (If you sew, knit, crochet or do any other kind of craft, including baking cakes and working with media such as glass, you need to go to http://www.craftsy.com and
drool look over all the cool classes. I’ve really enjoyed each one I’ve taken. Some of them are free.)
The free Bag Making Basics class, led by Kristin Link, resulted in the little bucket bag. I used fat quarters, which made it very cheap to construct.
Then I decided I needed a purse. My good leather one is just a tad small in the zipper to accommodate my iPad. Since my iPad doesn’t actually grow out of my right wrist, as my husband claims, I need a way to carry it.
Enter the Bow Tucks Tote designed by Peggy Sturges of Quilts Illustrated at http://www.quiltsillustrated.com/.
After what I considered a triumph on my wool herringbone and suede tote, can you blame me for making the second one? Since I’m working with spring and summer fabrics I made this vibrant little number to help me blast into a spring in which Emerald Green is the Pantone color of the year. Wouldn’t want to miss that!
After using a soft fusible fleece in making the black and white bag, I experimented with Stiff Stuff from Lazy Girl Designs at http://www.lazygirldesigns.com. It’s an amazing sew-in interfacing and it made the second bag a very different creature from the first. When you untie the bows on the sides the fabric springs open to reveal that extra space. Boing! We’ll see if I survive the spring with a bag with attitude. Of course, I have more than a little of that myself…here’s me, working on the art of self-portraiture via self-timer.