Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category


I’m home all morning as Phil is in charge of special parking this weekend at church and JP is drumming.   One thought would have been to sleep in but I am in charge of breakfast (Phil was trying to get chores done, a shower, and out the door by 7:15) and I had to get the cooler packed.  Yesterday I made cookies for the Saturday crew and muffins for the Sunday crew.  Those were ready but you know it sometimes takes a woman to get a man out the door.  🙂

I knew I’d like to watch the special programming for the 9/11 remembrance so was fine to be in charge of the remote.   Ten years ago, we were doing school when Phil headed out the lane to town.  He got to the highway and turned around, hearing unusual reports on the truck radio.  He rang the front doorbell.  I opened the door and he said I should turn on the TV.  He had an odd, almost dazed, look on his face.   My first thought was that he noticed the antenna was down or leaning or broken and wanted me to check.  However, once the TV was on, it was working fine and bringing the disaster live to our living room.

I have family that love NYC and friends who have lived there.  However, I’ve never been to the city and didn’t even know the skyline until that day.  I didn’t know the importance in beauty or the need of the World Trade Center.   But the TV stayed on that day even though the kids did continue their school for the day.

I saw the interview this morning of the last survivor they pulled from the debris.   I’m considering getting her book to read.


After the men were off, I went for my run.  I’m hanging at 3 1/2 laps of the lane for now.  Fed the kitties and rescued Black Nose from the second pen of pigs under the barn. The other female cleared 4 boards of the wall, I’m not sure why Black Nose didn’t want to climb up to the kitten-sized hole of board 2.   I made her walk back to the barn, just in case she hadn’t been out like that before so she’d know she could do it.     She was quite hungry.    The Mr of the bunch jumped onto my lap and PURRED so loudly.

After much delay and watching snippets of the 9/11 programs, I headed to the sewing room.  Last weekend & this weekend, I’ve not “worked” (quilting for others) but done some catch-up on my own due dates.  This weekend is for making clutches to donate to the other guild’s boutique for our show in October.

I’m making 3 for now.  It is easier to do them assembly line and at this point, the easy parts are done.  :eyeroll:  All the embroidery is finished.  The pieces are all cut out.  My last thing (before I came up for a nap and now lunch) was to put the binding around the front flaps.   The first of the tedious parts.

It is stitched by machine onto the front and then hand-stitched to the back side.  I use bias strips so try to choose a fabric with stripes or a pattern that is great on the bias.

These are my 3; hoping to appeal to a wide variety of shoppers.

They are in pieces, just laid out as they will go for you to see.

Next up is piping.  Times 3.  Hence, my procrastinating…


ETA — I’m done!! 🙂  Finished at 6:30 p.m.  Sewed for a few hours after posting, took another nap, still have my headache, watched some 9/11 stuff online, then finished sewing.  LOL!!

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I had 4 students in my summer sewing classes.  We had 3 weeks to meet in June & July but had fun in the short amount of time.   Since there were 2 brand-new students, we started the first class with a review of the parts of the machine and sewing on paper.  Then we made pillows and they each got to choose their fabric from a selection I had gotten out for them.

At the 2nd & 3rd classes we made backpacks.   A separate casing for the drawstring, threading that through, interfacing to reinforce the corners, grommets, and their cute purchased fabrics.  We had enough time on the last day to make little coin purses for inside with a velcro closure.

As the last few minutes of class came to a close, Phil asked if they were done and if he could bring something up to show.

A 2 hour old baby pig!  Quite fun for them!!  As the moms came back for pick-up, I met them outside and let them know about the baby pig so they could bring in the littles in their car.  So much fun!

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Sewing Classes 5 & 6

For the last 2 classes with my young girls, they made skirts.  This is Butterick pattern 4722.  We used view E for an elastic waist skirt with ruffle.   It dawned on me to make my example skirts for Miss E that came to visit the farm last fall while her “Poppa” was helping Phil.  I hope she is DEE-lighted with her skirts.   Her grandma said her favorite colors are red & blue.

My students were much more creative in their shopping endeavors!  And they said they had fun.  😉

A few students were challenged with gathering the ruffle and inserting the elastic so the last class took a bit longer.    I continue to wonder if the pattern was too much for them or we just needed more time.  I don’t know.  The girls were so excited to have made their skirts and had plans to wear them either to “show Grandma tonight” or wear them to church on Sunday.

I had such super students!  Great fun…. but tiring for all of us.  🙂

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Beginning Sewing 2 & 3

For the next 2 classes at Beginning Sewing Class we worked on making tote bags from upcycled jeans.

I was thrilled the girls came with 2 XL pairs of used jeans as instructed on their take-home papers. They (& their parents) were good shoppers!  (or closet divers!)

Most of class 2 was spent cutting.  Too much cutting if you asked them!  We took apart the pants, easily….. NOT by ripping out stitches!   Then I had made heavy patterns from poster board for them to trace around.  Those pieces needed cut out.

We sewed a tiny bit with seaming the pieces for the side & bottom and straps.   All the girls were extra tired and slow-going this day so we didn’t get as far as I hoped.

At the end of the time, they piled their pieces neatly and 2 asked to take all their scraps home with them.  I’m sure the moms were thrilled!  🙂   They had cut out a front, a back, enough pieces to make 2 straps, and enough pieces to make a long piece for the sides and bottom.  The girls were excited about their embroidered pockets I had made and their pocket was placed on top to label their pile.

The next class had them excited to finish!  Maybe it was the sunny day that helped too!  I told them that we had a lot to accomplish if they wanted to finish their bags today.  They worked hard and finished!

There was much more sewing to do this day and of course, all 3 preferred the variegated thread to plain old top-stitching thread to coordinate with the jean idea.    So the 3 of them took turns using 2 machines.

The machines were a bit more cantankerous this class.  I’ve bought new belts for them and have asked Phil to open up the motors to see what he can clean, oil, or tweak in there.  I really need 3 machines going for our next classes.

I helped the girls sew on the pockets as the corners were quite thick!  On one pocket while going veryvery slowly, I broke a needle!  Oh my!  The shock to them that I had broken a needle.  “She did it herself!!”  “She broke the needle!!”  It was quite funny!!  One carried the pieces to the kitchen counter so later I could take them to the broken needle container.

I don’t have permission to post their photos but above these totes are 3 darling smiles! So cute!  They had been parading around the room with them on their shoulders and I asked them for a photo.  So fun!!

We did skip the flat-felled seam to finish the edges.  It was time to be done and the girls were at the end of their limits.  The totes are so big for them but they can carry a lot!

In hindsight, I think the project was  more than they were ready to tackle but they are happy with their totes!  🙂  Next up is a few classes of working with a purchased pattern and making a skirt!  I’ll keep you posted as I can.

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A Peek at Sewing Class

Last week was class 1 of Beginning Sewing Class and I had three 9 year old girls for class.  Another student will join us for the following weeks.

I had out 3 of my black Singers to use.  And you can see in the corner, a selection of fabrics they got to use for our project.

I think it looked quite fun in the living room and the girls were pretty full of smiles to see the machines.  (So were my small group ladies the night before!)  One student admitted to being scared.  None of them had ever used a sewing machine.   One had been taught to hand-sew by her dad! 🙂  (not like our house!)

I went over the parts of the sewing machines and they found the various places on the machine where they were sitting.  I gave them a path drawn on paper and they sewed along the path without thread.  The first part was a square that worked its way to the center so lots of practice with raising & lowering the needle, the presser foot, and pivoting the paper.   The first side was shakey, the next side went better, and then the lightbulbs went on!  🙂   The second half of the paper was for following the line with the edge of the presser foot.  It was fun!!  They enjoyed it much more than I did in 7th grade Home Ec. when I wanted fabric to sew.

Our project for the day was making a pillow.  I showed them the fabric choices, some batik prints leftover from K’s school projects.   One at a time they came to the cutting area, traced around my 12 1/2″ ruler, and then cut out their pillow front & back with scissors.  They repinned for sewing and of course, all of a sudden, all 3 were ready for thread!  I threaded all the machines, one incorrectly I think, and away they went!  They had to do a few stitches in reverse at the start & stop of the opening and pivot at all the corners.  Fun & they did it!!!  🙂

Then they trimmed the corners as I showed them, turned the pillows right side out, and stuffed them.  While the first one was turning her pillow, another student asked if I had the stuff to put inside.  The first student beamed, “Yes, I see it over here.”   So exciting  — I had bought stuffing!!  🙂  And their delight at pulling out bits from the bag.   Glee!!!

After getting enough stuffing inside, I showed them how to hand sew the opening closed.  I showed a hidden stitch with a bite into one fold, then slide into the opposite side’s fold.  After they got going, I checked on one student.  She said the beginning part (that I did) wasn’t right, she had switched to a whip stitch on the outside of the fabric.   I think dad won in that lesson.  So funny!!

I reviewed our next 2 projects, what they need to bring for the next class, and we measured their waists so I bought the right sized skirt pattern on sale last weekend.   And it was time to head home!  I was THRILLED they finished their pillows in the class time AND I got to go over the next projects.  They are excited.

As 2 waited for the ride home, they asked if I had more papers to stitch on. Thankfully, yes!  They were delighted to try a different machine and stitch again.

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I’m getting ready for a Beginner Sewing Class that I’m having here at the house.  Most of the students are young homeschoolers and I’m excited to be doing this!

I’m providing machines…. I guess this isn’t so hard with a collection like this!  🙂

This afternoon I cleaned them all and checked all the cords.  All are threaded and make a perfect stitch!!  Nice job Singer… too bad you changed something when you quit making these black ones!  They are portable machines but not featherweights, but I wonder about #4. (more on that)

I just love seeing them all out & knowing they sew so nicely!!!   🙂

From left to right (front, back, front, back):

1 – this has an Ashland label so I’m wondering if Dad bought this at the church auction several years ago.  It isn’t Aida Mae’s, that is in a cabinet.  (from the church sewing room?)

2 – my mom’s, purrs like a well-loved machine.  Didn’t need any cleaning at all.  Ready to go!  This is the machine I learned to sew on and the reason I’ll snag a black Singer at a sale!  🙂

3 – from an auction but I have no idea when or where!

4 – from an auction in 2009; I peeked in the non-traditional case (not the traditional wooden arched case) and saw a black beauty! This came home in exchange for my $2.50.  It is a British Singer.  It is little… were the British featherweights in cream & leather cases?

Do you know of a website where I can put in the serial numbers and get model numbers & dates? I have Featherweight parts suppliers but not regular Singers like these.  Would love to get a few new parts.

ETA:  Thanks to Michelle, I’m dating a few of these!

#1 made in 1930, 10000 were made Model 99

#2 made in 1948 and I have my mom’s pristine manual still 🙂

#3 made in 1946, could be Model 15 but manual online doesn’t match machine.

#4 was made in 1954, Model 99K, and I was able to download the manual for it free!!! 🙂

At various sites, the information on the models conflicts but I think these dates are at least in the ball park!  😉

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Warm Fleece

Last week I felt I was in the middle of projects.  It wasn’t time for the basement floor job.  I didn’t want to get out a big quilt project.   I had 3 projects coming home soon to roost that I’d work on starting Monday.  See posts on Fabrics for K and Super Shopping.

So I pulled out some .99 patterns I had chosen in the fall.   A pattern choice along with choosing fabric from my stash of fleece and a perfect zipper in the zipper drawer gave me this:

I’m thinking of a new profile photo all around…. this?

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