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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Please help- walking foot getting stuck? on: September 07, 2011 08:29:59 AM
I'm working on my very first quilt, so I purchased a walking foot for my machine. I heard that a walking foot would make quilting so much easier.

Well, I'm frustrated and struggling. I've only quilted about 4 of the seams so far. First, I was having trouble with needles breaking, so I put in a heavier-fabric needle and forced myself to stop subconsciously tugging on the fabric. I thought that would help.

But now my walking foot is doing this weird jumping thing. It's like something is getting stuck. The whole walking foot will get lifted up and then slam down. Not only does it startle me so bad I almost fall out my chair, but I'm afraid I'm going to damage something if I keep going. Sometimes it does it on every few stitches for a while. Sometimes it only happens once. And sometimes it goes smoothly for quite a while.

When this happens, sometimes the stitches turn out bigger than they're supposed to be and sometimes they turn out tiny. Sometimes they look normal, but it will jump away like 1/16 or 1/8 of an inch from where I was stitching.

I've taken my whole needle plate off and gotten the dust out of the bobbin case, changed needles (the one I'm using now is not bent, but it still does this), etc. I've never had any experience with skipping stitches, so I thought maybe that was the problem, but I've followed all of the suggestions for troubleshooting in my manual. Can anyone help me?

I'm using a Brother Innov-is 40, if that makes any difference.

2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Corduroy Nap on: December 14, 2010 04:21:24 AM
Okay, so months ago, I bought a lot of corduroy to make a coat. I procrastinated, until finally this weekend I started cutting out the pattern and the fabric. I was really careful to make sure the pieces were all cut out in the same direction. The only thing I've ever made with corduroy before is a bag.

But just hours after cutting out the corduroy, I was looking through a sewing book that said that corduroy should be cut so that when you run your hand from the bottom to the top it feels smooth. This shows the best color. Well, I cut mine with the smoothness running from top to bottom.

I don't have any more corduroy, so cutting it out again isn't an option. Did I just ruin my coat, or will it still look fine/hang right when it's sewn together?
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Draping/Dress Form Questions (I have no idea what I'm doing)... on: August 29, 2010 01:40:35 PM
This is Jane, my dress form (in progress):

By a miraculous series of events, she was practically given to me (in a trade for a small tote bag that I made). The lady had removed the padding and cover, because it was getting old and ratty looking. Here's what she looked like when I got her:

She needed to be padded out quite a few inches. So I did, using polyester stuffing, batting, needlepunch, scraps of fleece, and whatever else I could find for free. Tongue It has been a long, experimental, somewhat creepy process. Now I'm at the point where I'm trying to cover her with some white cotton that came from my mom's old country curtains. I'm working from the waist up now, because those proportions are pretty much perfect, while the hips still need some work. I've made two weird dart-type things on each side of the bust to draw in the excess fabric (though the fabric is still wrinkled through there, I'm happy with it). I really didn't know how except from what I saw in a draping video on Youtube once. I even arranged the fabric so that one of the curtains seams now forms the center front line. But now this is my problem:

I've got this awkward excess fabric wrinkling up along the neck and shoulders. I've got the side seams and the shoulder seams pinned down, but I can't figure out how to smooth out this fabric. Plus, I don't know how I'm going to finish it at the top, since the neck has to have the metal rod coming through it, as you can see from that last picture. Although it is a handy place to stick my doughnut pincushion. Grin

So here are my two questions: how do I get rid of the bunched up fabric at the neck (so it'll look nice and smooth like other dress forms), and how do you guys suggest that I finish the top of the neck around the rod? Thanks so much!
4  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / My first bookbinding experience (lots of pictures). on: August 15, 2010 03:20:11 PM
I decided to learn about bookbinding after I saw some gorgeous leather journals on Etsy. So I looked around online for tutorials and instructions. Using this great video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHAJyzzb4EE), I bound my first book with a coptic stitch. It's a new planner for the fall semester. I was going to buy one at Target, but it was $10. Here's what the supplies cost-

Cardboard: Free (cut from my sewing machine box  Smiley)
Scrapbook paper: $1 for four sheets
Awl: Free (my dad used to do some leather work and beadwork, so he went digging through his "craft box" and found it for me)
Waxed thread: about $2.50 at Hobby Lobby
Cream cardstock: $4 for a pack...I didn't even use half of the paper in the pack so far


Front cover:

Inside the front cover:

I went ahead and filled out the weeks from August 23rd (first day of classes until the end of January (three signatures-that's what they're called, right?).

By then, my cheapo pen was going weird and I was smearing ink everywhere, so I just left the last two signatures blank to fill in the dates later.

Inside the back cover:

Back cover:

There are a few more pictures at my blog.
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / First major projects: Alice and a butterfly. on: August 15, 2010 10:41:34 AM
These are my first major embroidery projects. Before, I had only done little designs on some wallets and things.

For this one, I just printed out one of the original Alice pictures and traced it onto the fabric...using a pen, being the goober I am and not having anything else handy.  Roll Eyes So forgive the small ink pen marks that are still visible. I haven't decided what to do about them yet.

I might go back later and fill in some more. What do you guys think?

My cousin's daughter just turned 3, and she loves butterflies. So I made her this (sorry for the poor lighting-the picture were taken in the truck on the way to the party):

I left it in the hoop as art for her wall. I wish that I had really taken the time to finish the back nicely, but as I was finishing on the car ride to the party (Grin), I had to manage by gluing down the edges of the fabric to the inside of the hoop. It looks sloppy in places, but when it's hanging up, you won't be able to tell.

Let me know what you think!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Unusual coat question...*Edit* Additional Question about Lining on: August 09, 2010 06:58:02 PM
Okay, so I really want a cute coat for this fall/winter, but I can never seem to find one exactly like I want. I'm going to try to make my own (probably using http://www.simplicity.com/p-3064-misses-jackets.aspx). I'm obsessed with the movie "Penelope," especially her clothing in the film. I especially love the idea of a purple coat. So I was looking through Polyvore sets inspired by the movie a few months ago and found this gorgeous purple coat. Now that I go back to find it again, it has disappeared.

Thankfully, I had printed out a picture of it to put in a Penelope clothing-inspired page of my journal, so I at least have one picture of it. Here it is (sorry for the terrible quality):

My question is, can anyone tell me how to go about making the bottom of the coat like that? Sort of flared out and asymetrical? What shape do you think the fabric is cut in? Any advice would help...if I can't figure it out, I'm just going to make a plain purple coat.  Cheesy

Thanks so much!
7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Dress Form Advice on: June 19, 2010 01:09:33 PM
I've been interested in getting a dress form for some time now, but I can't afford one. I thought about making one (like the duct tape ones), but never got around to it. Today I met a lady at the local farmer's market, and it turned out that she works at the fabric store in a nearby town. My mom mentioned to her that we were looking for a dress form. The lady said that she had one, or at least the main part of one (I guess like the frame?), that looked about my size. She said she paid $250 for it in the garment district in Manhattan (I think that's what she said? I'm not familiar with things like that, but she was from New York). It needs to be padded with batting and covered with muslin, according to her. It has a metal base and wheels on the bottom. She's supposed to be sending a picture to my brother's phone, but it hasn't come yet, but I'll post it soon if possible.

She said she's been moving the dress form around for years and needs to get rid of it, and that she would trade it to me for one of my bags (I make tote bags, etc. and usually sell them for $25-$30). So what I'm wondering is, do you guys think it's worth it? And how exactly would I go about padding it and covering it? I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to dress forms, so I need some advice. Thanks!  Grin
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / A Bunch of Wallets/Mini-Wallets (picture heavy) on: March 26, 2010 10:30:30 AM
So, I made these over spring break last week, but couldn't completely finish them because I was waiting for my labels to get here. They came yesterday, so I finished these this morning (all embroidery is by hand-I'm just learning, and most of the ideas came from the awesome book "Doodle Stitching"):

Let me brag about my labels a little bit. =) I ordered them from Etsy (here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/greenbeansnstrings ), and I love them. They are a little thin, so next time I think I'll order thicker ones, with the writing a little bolder, and maybe get the labels the next size smaller, since they're a little overwhelming on my smaller wallets. But I really do love them! =)

I made two mini wallets with this fabric on the outside:

But they're different on the inside:

I love this one! It's dark denim I got on sale at Walmart once, with pink gingham (from $1 table at Walmart) on the inside and used for the heart applique:

Here's a big denim one, using the same fabrics (I embroidered the flower, but I'm not sure how I feel about it):

The dandelion wallet, with teal (the color is off in the photos) linen and striped cotton:

Spring blossoms wallet, with chocolate brown faux suede and polka dot cotton:

I usually end up selling these to family, friends, and at the local farmer's market (my family has a table there for our farm products). What do you think of them?
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My first finished projects! (lots of photos) on: June 08, 2009 11:44:22 AM
This is my first finished projects post. I've been sewing for a few months, and everyone here has inspired me so much! I've been coming here for several years, looking at what everyone made and wishing that I could sew. Cheesy Anyway, these are pretty much my first finished projects (and the ones I'm most proud of), except for some purses, pajama bottoms, and a dress that I couldn't wear but my mom could. Here they are:

This is my first real clothing item. It's from a McCall pattern, but I can't remember the number right now. I left off the contrasting band at the bottom and pockets.

Here's another skirt like it, with the band but still without pockets:

Here's a dress I made from Simplicity pattern 2644, leaving off the sleeves and the fancy midriff overlay options. It's made from a turquoise linen blend (about 55% linen and 45% rayon, I think), which is a fabric I really like. It has six panels that make up the skirt, a side zipper, pleats on the bodice, and a lined bodice. The bodice is a little big, but oh, well.

Detail of the bodice:

Here's the back. The puckering around the V isn't very noticable when it's on:

I know this isn't really clothing, but I wanted to post it with these other projects. I might get more detailed pictures and post it on the Purse Board later. It's a 1920's style "vintage" purse, the Virginia pattern from "Making Vintage Bags." It's made from fake suede with a tassel and a grosgrain ribbon rose. I just love it!  Smiley

Detail of the rose:

And finally, here's a shirt I made the other day. It's from Simplicity pattern 3847, which is actually a costume pattern for a 1950's shirt and poodle skirt. It's made from pink and brown gingham (I love the fabric-it's so light and soft, but it's also so thin that the stitches weren't very even, and I'm still afraid to mess with the tension on my machine). The buttons came from my grandma's button tin (they're so adorable and I didn't even have to buy them Cheesy).

Close-up of the fabric:

I had to add the brown piece at the bottom because it was shorter than I wanted and I had forgotten to add a few inches onto the pattern. But I think it looks kind of cute:

Thanks for looking, everyone! I'm sorry the pictures aren't that great; me and Mom are new to "fashion" photo shoots.  Cheesy Besides, I'm much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Dress questions on: May 19, 2009 07:24:01 PM
Okay, I've made one dress before, a plain cotton one that had too many inches of ease and was too big on me. My mom adopted it, though, so it wasn't wasted. I'm going to try again, with a different pattern. I'm using Simplicity 2644. Here it is:


I have a few questions. First of all, the bodice is lined, and I've never dealt with that before. I've seen "lining" fabrics at the store, so is that what I use? Or can I use any kind of fabric (such as the kind I use for the dress) as a lining? Also, I want to make the dress sleeveless, because it's too warm for the quarter-length and I'm not too fond of the short sleeves or puff sleeves. The only thing is that the instructions don't really tell how to make the dress sleeveless (other than leaving off the sleeves, obviously), even though a view of it that way is shown. So how would I make the dress sleeveless with the lining? My cousin who sews and gives me advice said something about having to make a piece to go around the arm holes, but I don't know. Can anyone help me? Thanks!

I'm willing to put on the short sleeves if leaving them off is too complicated for a beginner.
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