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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Embroidering odd items...what I have done so far on: December 18, 2008 07:18:07 PM
The odd things I have embroidered so far include vinyl, a guitar strap and wristbands. 

I already posted about my experience with the vinyl on this board.

The guitar strap was quite easy as it was just regular webbing.  I used tear-away medium weight on the back, a size 14 needle & poly thread.  I just pinned it to the hoop.

The wristbands I will probably never do again.  I ended up having to cut them apart because they were too thick.  I also pinned these to the hoop.  I used two layers of tear-away & one layer of cut-away.  they turned out nice, but it was too much work. 

Has anyone else embroidered different types of items?  I would love to hear how you did it!
2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Update on free digitizing program - Sophie Sew (I finally tried! Works Good!) on: December 08, 2008 08:37:22 PM
I found a free digitizing program called Sophie Sew (google it!), and it has no size limits, you don't have to pay to have it converted to embroidery format or have someone else do it!  (At least I don't see limits anywhere).

It also has full video tutorials on how to use it which can be paused, fast forwarded & re-winded (re-winded???)  Tongue

I needed to have a design digitized & fast!  It is a logo for a hockey team.  I followed the videos step by step while doing the logo & after a few errors it worked great, especially since I have never digitized anything in my life!

It is still in development, which is probably why it is free, and every so often it has an error and it asks you to describe it so that the creator can fix it.  This is perfectly fine with me, except that you lose your work up to that point if you haven't already saved it.  Basically when this happens you have to use your task manager to turn it off.  I got around this by my third try (not too bright am I ?!) by saving it early on, then after each step I saved it again.  it didn't bother me to do this, because I also couldn't figure out how to undo something if I messed up, so at least this way I could just re-open it to the last step I did & try again. 

It is compatible with a bunch of windows OS's (I think including 2000, XP & Vista and some others).  I had no problems downloaded & installing to my computer with XP, but it took a few tries on Vista.  Now I can digitize on my laptop if my DH is sleeping since my other computer is in the bedroom with my embroidery machine, then just email it to myself!

It creates embroidery files in 11 major formats: pec, hus, dst, exp, vip, ksm, dat, 10o, xxx, jef, SsD. 

It has lots of stitches, a thread manager, it can be used to draw basic shapes & circles instead of starting with another program.  It imports pictures to work on also!  I don't think it does photo's or cross stitch, but I don't need those!

I think I will be happy with it one I learn a little more.  I will post a picture later this week hopefully!  If anyone else has tried it I would love to hear what you think of it!  The person who created it obviously put alot of work into it & did a great job!

3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Does anyone own a dress form? I am getting one & have questions! on: November 15, 2008 10:22:05 PM
My husband is getting me a dress form for christmas!  It has been on my wishlist for many years. 

(Story: We have been married awhile and gave up on trying to surprise each other.  I basically convinced him I needed one, he said OK.  I called the fabric store and I have to pick it up and wrap it... as per usual)

I am getting the Singer Adjustable - size 10 - 16 ... like this ,only from Fabric Land (canada) http://buyasinger.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=28

Does anyone else have a dress form?  I am interested in learning more draping techniques and am looking for resources.  I also am interested in hearing how well dress forms adjust to your actual body measurements?  I am 35 bust, 29 waist & 39 hips. 

I sure hope this works out well for me, because the dress form is $400 but with my membership and the current sale it is $200 plus tax, which is still a big chunk of change for me! 

Thanks in advance!
4  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Has anyone tried Sophie Sew? Free shareware digitizing program on: November 11, 2008 01:22:13 PM
I found this site http://sophiesew.com/ and it is completely free digitizing software.  It looks fairly easy to use and has a bunch of tutorials. 

I downloaded it but have yet to try it (it says its ok for Vista, but my laptop wouldn't DL no matter what, so I had to go to my desktop with XP on it and it worked fine)

Has anyone tried this yet?  Is it new, maybe that is why I never heard of it?

Any comments would be great, I will try a very simple design tonight if I can.  I tried WinDaisy & Embird but I just couldn't figure it out, hopefully this will be good! 

I don't like alot of the designs a person can buy instore and really want to just embroider what I like, which is why I hope this works! 
(speaking of which if anyone knows a good place to sell store bought designs which have never been used or opened please pm me! I got 7 EZSEW discs free with my machine and never used them)
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / How many purses to bring to a craft fair? on: November 08, 2008 08:24:48 PM
I hope this hasn't been asked before, I couldn't find anything in my search.

I will be doing a craft fair about one year from now.  I was supposed to do it this year but was in a small car accident and got whiplash, so I couldn't make enough product because of the pain.  (No big deal to miss out this year!). 

I will probably be sharing a booth with a girl from work who makes wicked jewellery.  I am unsure how many purses to make to have enough for the weekend, if any sell at all, which I am sure they will!

I will probably make a few expensive type display purses to showcase my real talent, and otherwise I am thinking of making 4 styles in all different fabrics, and each fabric would be in a purse and a small clutch or makeup bag. 

Would 40 bags (20 big, 20 smaller) in total be enough?  I would also add about 30 small embroidered coin purses and probably 20 childrens coin purses.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

For an example of a smaller bag I will probably make a bunch of (don't want to cross post pictures!)  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=277748.0

This one was a bit more involved because of the four colour changes, I was thinking of doing alot of these in one colour embroidery for about $8 - $10 each.  This one would proably be more like $25 because of the intricacy of the embroidery, but it is probably going to my cousin who found out she is sick, hence the big embroidery. 

Any advice is very greatly appreciated!  TIA!
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Panda Purse! on: November 08, 2008 07:37:32 PM
Here is a simple clutch I made today from some white vinyl.  I think the Panda is so nice!  I got it from www.annthegran.com (for machine embroidery). 

The lining is red polyester.  I could have used blue or gold, but I liked the red!

Let me know what you think!

7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Machine Embroidery on Vinyl? Any tips? on: November 06, 2008 09:16:18 PM
I bought some nice white vinyl, medium/light weight, to make some purses for next years craft fair.  I would love to embroider them but I have never attempted it before.

I am wondering does anyone have suggestions as to what type of needle? Would a redwork design be preferable to a regular design?

I am thinking that I will probably do a white thread on the white vinyl, I would like it to be very subtle.  I have so much vinyl that if I don't like it I can just keep trying! 

I will be trying it out hopefully this weekend, when I supposedly have time to make pants for my kids, make a childs punk circle skirt, make my little black dress AND clean up and be a mom??? LOL, of course I have time for all that!  I am a mom right?!  I definitley don't have time to do my husbands laundry though... Grin Wink
8  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Freddy Mercury Costume! on: November 06, 2008 06:58:24 AM
Before Halloween I was approached by the nicest person I have met for sewing commissions!  She is in a band and they wanted to be "Legends" for halloween.  This means they would all dress up as rock'n'roll legends.  She wanted to be Freddy Mercury and sent me photo after photo!  It was clear she wanted something pretty precise, but I am always up to the challenge!

Here are some pics which she sent and is allowing me to keep & use! (yey! Thanks!)

I altered an existing jacket and pants, added all the trim and buckles and etc.  I even made the bias tape and the belt!

Comments / Critisicm welcome!
9  COOKING / Dessert / Does anyone use natural sugar substitutes or natural chocolate substitutes? on: October 28, 2008 08:24:35 PM
My daughter cannot handle processed sugar at all, although the doctor's are not really sure why (money well spent on university!).  They say it is like being lactose intolerant, only it is "refined sugar intolerant". 

Because of this we only eat food with natural sugars from fruits & plants and organic cane sugar, no added refined sugar.  Brown sugar is OK for cookies but not too much at a time.  We can use splenda but it only tastes good in Kool-aid and on cereal. 

Here are a few things I discovered as sweeteners and substitutes:

Sugar Substitutes:

Agave Nectar (very good!)

Chocolate substitute: Carob Chips!  These taste so unique and way better than chocolate!

Hopefully this helps someone because I have spend 9 years searching for answers. 

We also use some commercially produced products like sugar free jello's & puddings.  there are excellent recipes for icing using sugar free pudding powder.
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Problem Solved! I declined it. (How much to draft & sew this...) on: October 27, 2008 02:37:46 PM
I have a request for a quote for making Zentai Body Suits.  I thought it was sort-of a crafty question since I consider sewing & drafting to be sort-of crafty.

Here is a link to what they want: http://www.stretchy.org/catsuits/options/origami/

My only problem is I have no idea what to charge to draft or sew this.  Usually I just sew bridesmaind & grad dresses and pj's and normal clothing and home decorations so a pattern is usually available, otherwise I just charge $50 or so to draft a dress pattern and I usually keep it for myself just for the fun of it.

What would you charge for drafting a catsuit?  Or for sewing it?  The lycra will be harder to work with and I would need special equipment for the job. 

Is $150 too much for drafting?  What about $100 for sewing each of them? The client would have to still buy the lycra & thread and any other notions and be responsible for his/her own profit margin.  (BTW I am in Canada)

Thanks in advance!
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