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21  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / should my red flag be going up? on: April 08, 2009 07:57:50 PM
okay, so my dad sent me a copy of the march 2009 consumer reports review of sewing machines.  for mechanical models the brother xl2600i ranked 3rd and retails for $150. 

as much as i would like a viking emerald, i simply cannot afford it.  my local dealer is having a sale on the 118, but with tax it would be nearly $375 and that is just out of my budget.  i check craig's list frequently and nothing has caught my eye.

anyhoos, the brother xl2600i is actually a retired model according to the www.brother-usa.com website, which suprised me.  i suppose when CR tested the model it wasn't retired at that point.  what concerns me, is if i click the 'buy online' button, a new window pops up and my choice of retailers are costo, buy.com, walmart, amazon.com, and a site i have not heard of called jr.com     

from what i've read, and advice i've repeated, it seems to be a not good thing to buy a sewing machine from the above retailers because the machines may be "value engineered" and not the best quality.

it's just a bit frustrating since i want a machine but cannot afford a more expensive one.  the brother model above actually sells for $95 online at walmart, it's not available in the stores though. 

so if you're still with me here, sorry i tend to ramble, i'm confused.  CR rated this machine #3 yet its being sold at big box retailers.  i know the obvious disadvantage is i can't test drive the machine, but what do y'all think?  do you think this machine will last for a reasonable amount of time?  Right now I love the idea of sewing but I don't want to comitt to a more expensive machine, but that's beside the point, I can't afford one anyway.  I have checked craig's list and such and the only things that have been posted lately are ancient black singer sewing machines and I do not want one of those. 

any advice for this rambling woman?!

22  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / is this a good deal for a "new" viking emerald? on: April 07, 2009 12:59:15 PM
Brand New Husqvarna-Viking--Emerald model 116, $225.00

i called the # in the ad and the woman said she got it as a gift for christmas, took it out of the box for a photo op and then tucked it back in.  she used to sew but no longer is interested in pursuing it as a hobby.  i mean she said the presser foot is still in taped up in its plastic baggie!

is $225 for a "new" viking 116 good?
23  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / price of dmc floss went up again! on: April 07, 2009 09:03:20 AM
Okay, no offense to those of you who <3 Michael's but I stopped shopping there awhile ago after they raised the price on DMC floss, the price varied between 34 and 36 cents per skein.  I continue to get my floss at Hobby Lobby or JoAnns, when needed, since it was 33 cents per skein.  However, it has been awhile since I bought floss, and my JoAnns has spiffed up their embroidery section (yay they carry aunt marta towels now!!!!) so the price tags were missing from the DMC floss.  Today I paid 37 cents per skein at JoAnns!!!!!!!!  Anyone else seeing the price of DMC floss creep up again?

I know Hancocks occassionally has the 5 for $1 sale, but mine carries Anchor and most people have already picked out the DMC floss that was left behind Wink
24  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / question about making a pot holder - finishing edges on: March 25, 2009 12:47:32 PM
Hi y'all.  I have a quickie question about making a pot holder.  I've found 2 tutes:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Quilted-Pot-Holder/   -also has pdf print out

It's the 2nd one that interests me since they are not using bias tape to edge the pot holder.  The tute says "To make your border, fold outer edge of bottom piece over until its edge touches the edge of the top piece. Iron so it stays down flat, tucking corner edges in. Fold over again, so the folded edge comes over top of the top side edge. Iron down, tucking corners in once again. Once the border is ironed down you need to pin it down before sewing. Stitch border edges down to top piece and batting."    This is fascinating to me and sounds quite easy!  What do y'all think, have any of y'all used this method before?

And also, are the majority of hand sewn pot holders made like this kind of sandwich?!?!  bottom fabric face down, batting, thermal batting, batting, top fabric face up??  Secured, quilted/stitched, and then then the edges are finished either with bias tape or with the method from the 2nd tute?

thanks in advance for any replies!
25  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / need help attaching my swivel hook to my detachable wristlet strap - PICS ADDED on: March 18, 2009 07:38:27 PM
okay, i'm sure there is a quite easy solution to my dilemma.  i am making a zippered pouch with detachable wristlet strap to clip into a d ring and i'm having problems with the swivel hook/strap.  i found a good tutorial on attaching swivel hooks to your wristlet strap here (http://pinoyinoz.blogspot.com/2008/08/tutorial-zippered-wristletpouch-made.html) ---please scroll down to find the part on the strap.

i follow what she's doing, her pics make sense, i have made my strap, slid in the swivel hook, but when i fold the strap in half (loop at the bottom) and sew the raw edges together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, turn inside out so the raw edges are on the inside of the strap, but when i then scoot the swivel hook up it only fits into on of "slots" or loops on the inside, so if then stitch across the strap catching the raw ends my swivel hook is only in one of the interior loops and on the outside of my strap my swivel hook is very obviously not in the other loop.

does this make any sense?  i have no digital camera only a scanner.  can anyone try to help me secure my strap properly inside my swivel hook?Huh?  I know the picture isn't the best quality, but you can see I'm pinching the "raw ends" and the are on the inside of my strap, when the raw ends are sewn together, and then the strap is sewn over, the swivel hoop only ends up in one of the loops at the top of the strap.......  what am i doing wrong?Huh?  P.S.  The 2nd pic isn't that wonky crooked in real life, it just got smooshed under the scanner.....

26  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / new patterns!!!! - on: March 18, 2009 09:20:37 AM
i just went to the sublime stitching site and their first new pattern is up!!!!!!!!!!!  hopefully the other 3 will be posted soon!!!!!!


27  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / 3 hand sewn zippered pouches, kitty cat, owls, big polka dots on: March 16, 2009 08:17:46 AM
100% hand sewn!  Time consuming, yes, but the process is quite nice and enjoyable.  All pouches are lined and I also used sew in interfacing to give each pouch more structure.  Hopefully I'll have a machine soon as there are much larger projects I want to sew like skirts n' stuff!

fyi:  polka dot fabric by brother sister design studio bought at hobby lobby; kitty cat print by sara beise for ae nathan bought at walmart; owl fabric by kristen powers bought at hancock fabrics

thanks for looking!

28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / elastic waistbands in skirts and on the grain vs. on the bias for pattern layout on: March 11, 2009 09:57:08 AM
Hello, everyone.  I very much new to sewing and have a couple of questions.  I tend to ramble so I apologize in advance!

First, I've checked out a few books on sewing, the ones I really liked are the "Sew Everything Workshop" by Rupp, and "Sew What! Skirts" by Denhartog & Camp  seems inspiring as well.  When it comes to skirts, both of those books talk about cutting your fabric out from your skirts on the grain, whereas on Amy Karol's blog she has a 5 minute skirt tutorial (http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2008/07/5-minute-skirt.html) that talks about laying out your skirt pattern on the "bias onto your folded skirt fabric.  This means the grain of the fabric should match the arrow on the skirt in that sketch up there, see that? So the skirt pattern will lie at an angle"

It seems the main difference between the skirt patterns in the books and Amy Karol's skirt pattern on her blog is that Amy's skirt pattern is cut on the bias of the fabric AND she uses fold over elastic that is sewn directly on to the waist of the fabric with a zig zag stitch.....  I am wondering if this is an essential point/concept.  Because elastic is stretchy by nature it needs the fabric to behave in a stretchy manner as well???  Since the elastic is being directly sewn onto the skirt, is this why the skirt pattern is cut on the fabric bias since fabric cut on the bias tends to have more stretch to it??

In a different book I checked out, Super Crafty by Beal, Nguyen, O'Rourke, and Pitters, they actually have a "one-afternoon" skirt pattern in there too (well not so much a pattern but suggestions on how to use an existing favorite skirt to make a new pattern).  This skirt pattern is not cut on the bias, they just say to "fold the material in half, with the finished selvage edges of the piece together, wrong side out.  Put your guideline skirt down, flat and face up, so that one side is closed to the selvage edge and one side is closed to the fold."  In this specific skirt pattern guide, a waistband casing is made to hold the elastic.  So because the elastic isn't directly stitched on the "waist" of the skirt, is this why the skirt pattern is not cut on the fabric bias???

Any help of insight would be most appreciated so I can understand the bigger picture and basic concepts of sewing/elastic/waistbands/bias/on the grain.  Thanks!

P.S.  Just curious to those who reply, do y'all prefer using fold over elastic and sewing it directly to the skirt or do you like making a casing for the elastic?  Is one method more sturdier/more secure/more longlasting than the other?  Easier for a beginner?
29  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / two cute kitty cat tea towels with a spring time theme - LOTS of pics on: March 07, 2009 12:28:15 PM
Okay so even though GA had a crazy snow storm last Sunday, spring is around the corner isnt it?!

I love this Aunt Martha pattern set.  Last fall, I stitched up the cooking kitty for my mom on a tea towel and this time around I chose two sweet kitty cats that seem to embody the spirit of springtime  Wink  I SO adore the kitty in the rain, I totally remember both of my grandmas wearing those old fashioned plastic bonnets to keep the rain off their dos!  And of course, its always fun to swing!

The towels are around 20x20 inches and are such a cute size when folded up "tea towel" style.  Thanks for looking!

Stitches used on both pieces:  back, satin, stem, outline, split, straight

30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / patterns for slim petite adults or do I need to buy a child/teenager pattern? on: March 05, 2009 09:54:20 AM
Although I have yet to take my own body measurements, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to buy "adult" sewing patterns for skirts, dresses, pants, etc.....  I was looking at patterns this morning (I think the brand was Simplicity) and it seemed that for adult patterns, the "sizes" started at 6 whereas in real life I'm a size 2. 

I am 5'2" and am wondering if it is going to be a challenge to find sewing patterns for myself.  I am wondering if there are any other slim petites out there and if you just buy regular adult patterns and alter the pattern's directions/measurements (which sounds overwhelming to me!!!) or if you buy children/teenager patterns because those are the measurements that are close to your body type.

Any advice greatly appreciated!  Thank you in advance!
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