Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Pfaff 1371 Died ...

When I took my Pfaff 1371 in for servicing, I learned that the mother board, circuit and display boards had died. It was 25+ yrs old and I was going to let my daughter take it to school with her so she and her friends could do some sewing. Now, I don't have a sewing only machine. After looking over the Babylock website, I fell in love with the Babylock "Melody" sewing machine. It comes with an extension table, over 180 stitches, loads of presser feet and other nice accessories like a carrying case and a supply of tools. However, the MSRP was $1799 which was well above my budget. I looked at the "Rachel", the "Molly", and the "Amelia" machines which were more in line with what I could afford. While hubby talked to my dealer, I was looking at all of the machines. Then they came up to me and told me that there was pre-owned "Melody" that had just been serviced and had all new inside parts since the previous owner's home had been struck by lightening. My dealer and hubby thought that I would like and it was just a little over my budget but hubby would get it for me since he knew how much I wanted it. I am so blessed. So my early Christmas gift is the "Melody" ... I am thrilled beyond belief. I've already taken her for a test run as I work on a Christening/Baptismal gown.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Set-Back ... Best Laid Plans

Once my broken foot healed, I really started sewing. A young military mom contacted me about sewing for Threads of Love so we met and made a stack of baby blankets and she bought fabric for the little gowns to go with them. I finished up some alterations and was looking forward to making some gowns and a few baptismal outfits when I slipped and dislocated my right shoulder. Can I say "ouch"!!! I cannot sew for the next 4-6 weeks as my right arm is in an immobilizer. I'm biding my time by reading sewing blogs, sewing books, and watching Sewing DVDs plus home renovation shows on TV. My husband had injured his neck and left shoulder at the end of July and he still cannot drive. We are depending on friends, neighbors and our faith family to get to the store, grocery shopping, doctor appointments, etc. We would be lost without them as they are indeed a blessing to us. I'm hoping to hurry up and heal because I have been asked to design and create a wedding dress. The wedding is not until August 2014 but I want to get started on the muslin and get the fit issues settled before cutting into the satin fabric and tulle overlay. The groom has asked me also to make a dress for his mother to wear to the wedding. I have lots of things to do and need to heal quickly.
Happy Sewing Everyone!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sewing in the Summer ...

Still doing lots of hemming and repair projects for church members and teaching sewing classes. I have started on a Christening/Baptismal dress for a friend and it will be gorgeous when finished. I am using Creations by Michie's Infant Tucked Gown pattern. By the way, for style inspiration, be sure to check out Mimi G's blog at Her hashtag is #mimigstylegiveaway. She has some great sewing tips and makes fantastic clothing. Also, don't forget about Thread's magazine. It is one of the best sewing magazines on the market.
Happy Sewing!!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Spring Sewing ... Now On to Summer

This spring has been very, very busy for me. I think that I have sewn more in the past 2 months than I have over the past year (except for Christmas sewing) ... I love it. I made the Daisy Dress (sorry no pics) after the Butterfly dress. I made dolls for St Jude Children's Hospital. I made table decorations for a luncheon as well as a small altar cloth for my minister who just retired. Our UMW mission project was birthing and health kits for Haiti so I made 14 flannel baby blankets in one afternoon along with 14 burp cloths for another agency. Then I made 76 wash cloths for Jacob's Well, an inner city agency that works with homeless and disenfranchised families.

 I did lots of mending and alteration projects including replacing zippers, hemming, shortening, and bridal emergencies. A bridesmaid's dress needed the pleats stitched down. Somehow, the shop where she bought the gown forgot to stitch the fan pleats when they altered the gown. I've even had to sew someone in a dress when the zipper broke 30 minutes before the wedding. Now, I look forward to my summer sewing which includes a blouse for me, a summer jacket for me, a baptismal dress for a friend, more gowns for Threads of Love and sewing for Jacob's Well plus more hemming and alterations. I have 4 new students that are learning to sew so I am keeping very, very busy. Here are pics of some of my recent projects...

Monogrammed backpack ... ALA with intersecting block lettering ... that was fun (not) project for a church member and friend.
 The table doilies are stitched on white felt with a lace trim added. Used my serger for the project after the embroidery was finished
An altar cloth for my minister who retired and will be serving communion to home bound and nursing home residents. Sorry I didn't get it pressed as it was folded in my purse. Sonia Showalter designs and the Methodist cross and flame from an unknown digitizer.

This is just some of the work that I have done. I love to sew and teach sewing classes and just enjoy the creative process. Hope y'all enjoy the process too.
Happy Sewing!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Great Loss

Yesterday around 5pm, my beloved aunt, Olivia Myers, of New Orleans, LA died after a short illness. She was only 11 yrs older than I am and our birthdays were 2 days apart. She was like a big sister. What makes her so special to me is that she opened her home and took me in for 4 yrs during my early teens and left a huge impact on my life. She was so loving, compassionate, kind, sweet, gentle and willing to overlook the faults of others. My heart is just broken right now.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sewing ... Sewing ... and More Sewing

April has been a busy month sewing. I had a slew of alterations to do ... shorten straps on a bridesmaid's dress, replace a separating zipper in a heavy lined denim jacket, and replace an invisible zipper in a pair of crepe pants. Was able to get those alterations done by the first week of April. This week, our SAGA chapter, had a program on mini pressing sewing tools. I was able to finish our kit which gave me 2 small seam rolls and a mini pressing ham. It was fun to do and I was glad to be finished with it. It's rare that I start a project and am able to finish it within 24 hours. Here are photos of my mini sewing tools. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Sewing 2013


As part of my mission group at church, our project for March is to provide clothing for a child in a nearby elementary school. The sizes could be anywhere from size 6-14. I chose size 14 and a Simplicity Lizzie McGuire pattern #4721. It was simple enough that I thought I could just "whip it out". LOL!!! I had some pink broadcloth and cut out the pattern. However, the fabric was very plain and needed something to make it special so I started to embroider butterflies on the dress. It took well over 7 hours to embroider the butterflies. I did not read the pattern pieces carefully enough and as I started to sew the bodice to the skirt, I kept having an oversized bodice so I cut it down. It still didn't look right so I started comparing pattern pieces. On the piece #5 side front and back of skirt, I had missed that I was supposed to cut 4 pieces not 2. Fortunately, I still had some pink broadcloth on hand so I would just cut the pieces. Then I realized that I had changed the size of the bodice in an effort to fix my mistake so I had to cut new bodice pieces too. Then I had to embroider them. I ran out of fabric so I used some white broadcloth to make the bodice lining. I was going to hand pick the zipper but at 11pm, I decided a zipper foot was needed as my eyes were wonky by then. As I started to press the dress, my iron shorted out on me. What else could go wrong? Well, after working on the dress another 5 plus hours, it was finally done. Here are the photos. I truly enjoy sewing and making children's clothing for underprivileged children is a joy in itself.
Happy Sewing!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Last Christmas Gift of 2012

Today, I got photos from my niece, Vani, on the last Christmas gift that I made in 2012. I didn't have time to take photos before shipping so I appreciate her sending them to me. My nephew, Kyle, is employed as Asst Dir of Media Relations for MS State University as is his wife, Vani.  Their logo is a Bulldog and their chant at ballgames is "Hail State". With Kyle being well over 6ft tall (closer to 6ft, 8in), I had to make a big blanket for him. I used 2yds of a maroon fleece from Hancock Fabrics for the base of the blanket and a yd of a light gray since I couldn't find white and cut it in half for the top and bottom of the blanket. It worked out perfectly. On the top of the blanket, I embroidered 5 bulldogs trying to space them evenly apart. Without a work surface table, it was a challenge but I think it looked good. On the bottom, I added the team chant and again tried to space it out evenly 3 times. I was very pleased with the results. Then I constructed the blanket and edged it entirely on my serger. Kyle was thrilled with his Christmas gift and uses on their bed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


During my marathon Christmas sewing, my Ellisimo machine started acting up toward the end. I would turn it off and on and it would reset so I thought all was well. I now have over 3 million stitches on my machine and it is only a little over 2yrs old as I sew constantly for family & friends. Tonight, I went to do a repair on something for my hubby and my Ellisimo would not work at all. All of the upper buttons that control the needle threader, up/down needle position, presser foot and thread cutter are all frozen. Even putting in the foot pedal would not let me sew a basic straight stitch. It's as if the circuit board has stopped working. I am so frustrated. Repairs are not in the budget as I just spent over $400 today having my oven repaired. Ugh ... I am thankful that I do have the Sofia that I can use but it hasn't been out of its case since October. At least, it is still under warranty if something is wrong with it. I did call my dealer last week to ask for an estimate on cleaning my Ellisimo and was quoted several hundred dollars. I am just very upset right now about this unexpected expense since we have to pay college tuition and buy books next week. So, for the most part, my sewing is on hold unless I set my Sofia up to sew. I won't do that until the house renovations are done. Our new windows are due to arrive this week or early next week. 2013 is not starting out to be a good year.
Happy Sewing!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sewing Plans for 2013

Now, another year has begun and I will start my sewing projects by sewing for others. That is usually what I end up sewing 90% of the time. This year, I am continuing sewing for Threads of Love by making preemie burial gowns. Then I will finish some dresses for Children in Africa as well as make some dolls for the children at St Jude's Children's Research Hospital. These are teaching dolls to inform the children what will be happening to their bodies while undergoing treatment. This will be a fundraiser for our ASG chapter as well as helping out St Jude. We have been asked to make 40 dolls a month. That's a huge commitment so I'm hoping my fellow guild members will help with this project. Starting on Jan 12th, I will resume my Saturday afternoon "Sit & Sew" classes. It is a 3hr weekly commitment from Jan to Oct. Anyone within the community can come in and sew or get help with a project or take sewing lessons. I do have extra machines for those without one to use. In between these projects, I will sew for myself.
Happy Sewing!