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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / How do YOU measure and cut big pieces of fabric? on: October 10, 2008 03:09:54 PM
My sewing skills are very piecemeal, I've just sort of picked up different things along the way but never really been "taught," so this question could have a very easy answer.

If I want to cut out something large - like, at least 2x3', but even up to the size of curtains, what is the best way to measure that and cut it to the correct size? I'm reasonably adept at folding fabric and cutting it using a rotary blade and two large rulers, but that is for smaller sized pieces. It seems like whenever I try to measure something big, I get messed up. I've tried the "snip and then tear" method, but that doesn't always give you a straight edge.

So, let's hear it, what do you do?

Thanks!

Mary
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Can someone clarify these instructions for me, please? on: October 09, 2008 04:40:56 PM
Ok, I feel a bit silly asking this, as I know it is a really simple pattern, but for some reason I am having a hard time visualizing it. I want to make a yoga bag from Martha Stewart. I'm going to I'm going to copy the directions here, and tell you where I'm having problems (hopefully I can explain it!) and then maybe someone could sort of guide me through it? I'm not an advanced sewer by any means, but I've made my fair share of bags and for some reason this one is throwing me. I think perhaps because there are no pictures. Martha Stewart's people need to take a lesson on how to make tutorials from all of you craftsters!

Ok, here's the instructions. They came from this site:http://www.marthastewart.com/article/yoga-mat-tote-bag?autonomy_kw=yoga%20mat%20bag&rsc=header_1

Tote Bag How-To
1. Cut one 17-by-31-inch piece each of the linen and the polyester. Sew them along their short ends, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Iron the seams flat. Fold lengthwise with the right sides facing, and pin, creating a tube. Ok, here's my first question. It says sew "them" along their short ends. Sew them together? Just sew a line of stitches?

2. Starting at the linen end, Ok, now here, "starting at the linen end"? That would imply to me that they are going consecutively, but are not on top of each other? what?  And, are we sewing them separate, as in a separate liner and top fabric, like a lined bag, where the liner gets tucked in at the end? sew up the sides, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Stop sewing about 2 inches short of the end, and jump needle about 1 inch (this will create an opening through which you will later thread your cord). Continue sewing the seam. Sew the short linen end closed leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance; do not sew the polyester end shut.

3. To create a flat bottom for your bag, grab the sides of the bag in the center, approximately 4 inches down from the short end, and pull out to create a diamond. Iron flat, making sure the seams meet. Measure 2 inches in from each seam point, and draw a line perpendicular to the seam. Pin, and sew along the lines.Uh, yep, I'm having trouble visualizing this, too. I need pictures, people! Wink

4. Turn the tube right side out. Turn in the raw edges of the polyester lining about 1/4 inch. Press, pin, and topstitch the polyester end closed. Topstitch along the very edge of the top of the bag to anchor the lining. Sew a row parallel to this edge, on each side of the gap created for the cord.

5. Using a grommet kit (available at craft, hardware, and fabric stores), punch a hole in the bottom corner at the back of the bag (where the seam is located), piercing through both the linen on the bottom and side of the bag. Be sure the lining is sandwiched between the linen.

6. Attach a safety pin to the end of a two-yard piece of trimming braid or cording. Apply the seam sealant to the ends to prevent unraveling. Thread one end through the channel at the top of the bag, through each end of the grommets. Remove the safety pin, and tie a knot at each end of the cord.


It's a nice looking yoga bag, and I think once I figure out the concept it should be easy, but ugh! I have a mental block. Any help is appreciated!

3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Does anyone else think this is a problem? on: July 17, 2008 06:39:20 PM
Ok, I was on a quest for a new older machine, found it, and I'm very happy with it. However, every time I turn around now, there is an awesome older sewing machine waiting to be bought! I saw the coolest old Kenmore - looked like it was made of cast iron - today at the Salvation Army, complete with the original manual, a box full of feet, a knee pedal thing, and in a nifty little cabinet for $15!!!! It took every ounce of willpower I had not to walk out with it, because I knew my hubby would not understand! I saw a neat little older Janome at a yardsale for $25. There is currently a Necchi on Craigslist for $20. And, speaking of craigslist, look at this beauty for $75...


How beautiful is that?

The list just goes on and on! The sad thing is, I think I am now more obsessed with the sewing machines than the actual sewing! Please tell me I'm not alone...and that I do NOT need 50 old sewing machines cluttering up my house.

Mary
4  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Help mounting sewing machine to sewing table on: July 12, 2008 04:06:02 PM
On this thread - http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=254739.0;all - I included a picture of my "new" Singer 404, and mentioned a sewing table. I went back to the thrift store where the table was with my sewing machine in hand to check to see if it fit. The sewing machine has these little round things with pieces that stick out that appeared to line up perfectly with the ones in the table, so I assumed it would fit and drug the surprisingly heavy table home.

Now, once we got it home and started fiddling with it, it appears that when you put the bolt thingies into the back of the sewing machine, the machine sits approximately two inches lower than the top of the table. Everything seems to fit, but the bolts are oriented so that the machine is too low. I know I'm not explaining it terribly well, but does it sound like I'm just out of luck, and even though everything lines up it still won't work, or is it possible that I'm just doing something wrong? Here are a few pictures to try to illustrate what I am talking about.

Here is a picture of how the machine sits a bit too low:


And here is a close-up (though a little blurry, sorry) of one of the actual pieces that fits into the machine...


Thanks for any ideas that you might have.

Mary
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / UPDATE - Found a machine, have a question on "Ok, how about this Singer?" on: July 01, 2008 01:35:39 PM
I'm still on my quest for a second (cheap and used) sewing machine. So, from what I've been hearing, the new Singers are pretty junky, and the old ones are much better. Is this one old enough? What do you all think? It's a lousy picture, I know. Here's a link, since we can't cut and paste. It's on Craigslist with the cabinet for $35. A deal? Or a junky machine? I want something older and heavy that will sew through jeans, vinyl, etc. My little Pfaff Hobby just doesn't quite cut it.

http://medford.craigslist.org/fur/730127080.html

Mary

6  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Help Quick! Are there sewing machines with no pedal???? on: July 01, 2008 09:14:07 AM
There was this Morse Fotomatic on craigslist for $25. I heard they were workhorses, so I called about it. The girl said it was her mom's, and she has never sewed a day in her life so she doesn't really know what to look for. Anyway, she said there is no pedal with it. I assumed that it was lost, but she said that she can't even find a place that it would plug in, and that when they turned the machine on, it started "sewing," moving the needle up and down without them doing anything.

Are there actually machines that don't have pedals? And, if so, how on earth do you control it? I'm thinking the pedal has to be lost, but if that's really how it's supposed to be, I want to get that machine.

Thanks!
Mary
7  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Is a Bind-It-All worth $40? on: June 30, 2008 04:49:12 PM
There is one on my local Craigslist that I am contemplating getting, but I just don't know if I would get $40 worth of use out of it. Does anyone have one and think that it is or isn't worth the money?

Thanks!

Mary
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / My version of Steph Blue's Awesome Dee Ring Bag on: May 20, 2008 02:01:54 PM
Whew! I started this bag when Steph first posted her great tute a couple of weeks ago, and then got sidetracked. My dh kept pestering me to finish it, so here it is. I didn't have D rings, so I just used some rings I had on hand. I also didn't have much interfacing, so only the exterior got interfacing. I changed the pockets around - the idea came from an accordian wallet I saw on Craftster somewhere. I really like how the strap is attached, it's very cute and just a little different. I had never done a lined bag that had a zipper before (just button closures), and I really loved it, once I finally figured it out. Thanks for your tute, Steph!








Here is the link to Steph Blue's tutorial:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=243097.0

9  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Please help me with my stitch problem! on: April 21, 2008 02:34:23 PM
I'm so frustrated with this - When I'm sewing, all seems to be going well until I get done and look at the underside of the fabric. Intermittently, I'll get these big, uneven loops of thread on the backside of the fabric. I've tried changing stitch length and bobbin tension. I've changed needles. It does it when I use heavy fabric and when I use lightweight fabric. Please, please someone tell me what this is from (or tell my dh I need a new sewing machine!).

Thank you!
Mary
10  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Please help me find a thread!!!! on: April 19, 2008 05:13:14 PM
I was admiring a thread a week or so ago where a woman had many many, many little girls' dresses from the same pattern. I think she mentioned in the thread that she had made like 50 of these dresses. They were adorable, with sort of a crossover front, if that makes sense. I think it may have been a Simplicity pattern? Anyhow, all her variations of it were great, and I wanted to pick up the pattern, but I can't for the life of me find the thread to see what pattern it was. Does anyone know? Can you post the link to that thread? Thank you, it's driving me crazy!

Mary
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