Leah's Sewing Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Feb. 14, 2006

I have been so neglectful in writing in my blog. Shame on me!

I got my embroidery machine back last week. I stitched out the last tee shirt for my kids. (The "I'm the BIG brother/sister " shirts.) I am really not happy again with how it came out. I went in and fixed the design, so I thought. It is better, but not great. I don't understand why a design would stitch out absolutely perfect on a woven and so terrible on a knit. I also don't get why rotating the design would ruin it. Several of my baby blocks had their underlay stitches showing. Not good, but at this point, I no longer care.

I spent all day Sunday working on a quilt for the baby. I embroidered hearts on fabric to cut out for the between squares. I then printed pictures of Yossi onto fabric. I have this big thing that I want something of Yossi to wrap around the baby when they are born. With Shoshana I did a photo quilt, and was very happy. Except that I used Bubble Jet Set 2000, and over the last three years, it has faded terribly. I tried the fabric sheets by June Tailor (sp?). The pictures look fantastic. BUT, the directions say you can not wash the fabric with detergent. HUH? How am I supposed to clean this? Also, the fabric is sooo stiff. Next time I am not sure what I will use, but I am not pleased with either product.

Next, I had a dickens of a time piecing my quilt. The embroidery was too close to the seam allowance, and my machine had a terrible time going over it. It tended to pull the stitching to one side, making for seams that were not straight. It was very frustrating, especially since I was having contractions off and on, and I kept thinking ... I gotta hurry and get this done! LOL. Anyway, once the top was completed, I wanted to take the short cut of either bagging the quilt or using the back as the binding. But my good cyber-buddy Deanna said to make binding, it would be much nicer. So, I listened. I quilted the top. I messed up on the upper corners. I didn't think to check to make sure that the edges were still pulled tightly. The two corners where I started my stitching down the side pulled in a bit. I didn't realize this until I was going around the whole edge of the quilt to get it ready for binding. At that point it was too late to go back and fix it. I just wanted it done. My binding a drop too wide for my liking. (I used a 2 1/2" strip.) The sides buckle slightly. But, the quilt is done. I am not sure how happy I am, given all the little imperfections in it.
Overall project satisfaction: *** (Was going to give it two stars, but I am so glad I am done. I just don't like how stiff the pictures are. I also have a smalle problem with the sqaures between the squares. I am thinking of using my sewing machine to make a heart in each one to tack it down.)

Quilt top, laid out on the table.

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Close up.

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Another close up of a different part.

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I learned how to do a miter border. Wasn't so hard, except for this one. LOL. Of course, this is the one I have to take a picture of, right???

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Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Feb. 1, 2006

No sewing really. I packed up my embroidery machine, and sent it off to the sewing machine doctor. I suspect I have a piece of thread caught up in it. Since this machine is now a year old (I saw on the box it was shipped Jan. 27, 2005), it is due for a cleaning anyway!

Here are two pictures of the stuff I have done for the paroches:

This is a scene of Jerusalem. It will go in the middle of the curtains.

The Bais Hamikdash looks stunning, because I did it on a shimmery organza fabric. It is still weird looking here because I didn't wash away the water soluble stabilizer.

So far I am pleased with how it is coming along. Now I need to get my embroidery machine back so I can finish working on it!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Jan. 31, 2006

I didn't do any sewing on Sunday. Yesterday I decided to work on the kid's sibling shirts first instead of the parachos. In the course of doing the first I did something wrong, and some how both threads went into the machine. It was a huge mess, and now the machine is not working right. I am trying to figure out if I need to take it in for a cleaning or what. Anyway, for the time being I have no embroidery machine, since it is not stitching out well.

I did manage to finish embroidering two shirts. Chanie's took me almost 3 hours to do. :-(

Over all project satisfaction: -*** (Yup, negative three. I am very upset with how the embroidery looks and how long it took.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Jan. 25, 2006

I got real behind on keeping track of my work.

Last week (Thursday), I spent a lot of time laying out the curtains (paroches) for the boys yeshiva. I had a friend come over and help. In the end, we decided that the Holy Temple (Bais Hamikdash) will be done on a shimmy organza material. The scene of Jerusalem will be done on muslin with two shades of embroidery thread. The stars at the top are not going to surround the Bais Hamikdash. Instead, I will have a band of fabric that will hang down. I have room for eight stars. I called Yossi's classmate, and it turns out that there are seven boys in the graduating class. So what I plan to do is embroider eight stars on organza. They will alternate between gold and green. (Green being Yossi's favorite color.) One of the green stars are going to be embroidered in a holographic shinny green. That will represent Yossi. The other 3 green ones can represent his three close friends. The other four gold stars will represent the other graduating boys. Finally, I have the wording. It is very long and looks like it will take me 16 hoopings to get it all done. I am still not positive on which topping I will use. Some say to use burn away stabilizer, others say to use a water soluble that you pick away. I have a little time. My sewing goal for today is to work on the Bais Hamikdash and the stars on the band. I would like tomorrow to get the extra piece of velvet which will be embroidered with the words marked and ready for embroidery. My goal is to embroider that on Sunday and Monday next week. That leaves me Tuesday and Wednesday to sew it on to the big piece of velvet. I really hope I can keep to my schedule. (My big problem is that my back has been hurting a lot.)

Got the Bais Hamikdash finished, but ran into a glitch. I used free motion embroidery to fill in the windows and doors. However, when I drew out my design on the water soluble stabilizer, I shaded them in. When I washed it away, the pencil marks remained. I checked and they won't show up when I put the organza on the velvet. The other problem was that I used a very dense satin stitch, and the organza got a little out of shape after I washed away the stabilizer. I ironed it and it seems to be pretty OK. I was too tired tonight to embroider my stars. I hope to do that tomorrow. I also want to redo all the writing, so that it is a drop smaller. That means starting from scratch again. :-( Not looking forward to that, but since each star takes about 14 minutes to stitch out, I will have a lot of time to kill while I baby sit my machine.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Jan. 14, 2006

Worked on the spring twirl skirt for Shoshana. I love how fast they go together.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Jan. 12, 2006

I am nuts. I started the baby skirt at around 1:00am, and finished closed to 3:30am. Then, I got up this morning, and decided it needed a shirt and hat. I was going to embroider a tee shirt, but I didn't like the way it looked with the shirt. So I made one from scratch!!!

The skirt is a double layer bias skirt. I used lace to edge each layer. Then I made a waist band, but instead of putting the elastic in, I used button hole elastic, which I have never done before. It turned out pretty interesting, although I will have to work to perfect this technique. I haven't tried it on Shoshana yet, but it should fit nicely. Turns out the waist band was 2" short. I measured the pattern piece (that I made up) against the skirt, and lo and behold, it was short. Wrote a note on it to make it an inch longer (it is cut on the fold).

Overall project statisfaction: *** (I am not thrilled with the way the skirt looks in general. The lace is just too overwhelming for the skirt. It is 3" wide.)

The top is a peasant top. I spent over an hour working on the embroidery designs. The front has the words, "I'm the BIG sister!" and a girl and a baby on it. The back has Shoshana's name spelled out in blocks. It was hard to do because I had to twist the blocks around and layer them. (In Embird, I mean.) Finally, I stitched everything out. The front design is OK. The back got a little messed up when I worked on the design. (My fault, not the design.) I also wish I had thought to use my vinyl topper I have. I saved it for something exactly like this, where there is a solid block of embroidery instead of the airy designs I usually do. Anyway, all the mistakes I see are probably only visible to me because I know to look for them. Next up, I added lace to the hem and sleeves. The top went together nicely. The sleeves look very renaissance. I sewed elastic in the sleeves near the cap, and the hem is like a bell bottom. Paired with the skirt, I like the outfit a lot better now.

Overall project satisfaction: **** (I am pretty happy with the top.)

Finally, the hat. I wanted one with the brim that could go up. I decided on a cloche hat. I embroidered a tiny rattle on the part that folds up. I could not remember what size seam allowance to use. I used a 5/8ths seam. I tried on one part (on Shoshana's head), but with the whole thing put together, I am not so sure it will fit. But it is just darling.

Overall project satisfaction: **** (if it fits, less if it doesn't)

Basically, that is it for the week. I need to work on her last twirl skirt Sat. night, and then it is on to the parachos (curtains) for the boys yeshiva (school). I am thrilled to have met most of my sewing goals for this week!

If you would like to see all the pictures, with close up of the embroidery, please see my yahoo album RIGHT HERE. Thanks for reading and looking.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Jan. 10, 2006

Shoshana doesn't feel well, and seems to need a lot of attention. I am not sure how much sewing I will get done today.

I did work some on my robes. If I can steal an hour away from her I can probably get them finished.

Goals for this week:
*Finish the two robes
*Test out the embroidery for the parachos (curtains) for the boys yeshivah.

Well, I can't believe it, but I finished both robes!!!! I spent most of the sewing time doing froggy sewing. First of all, the Kwik Sew instructions for this pattern stink. As far as putting in the zipper goes. They did not say to baste the front shut. Needless to say, my material rolled as I was putting in the zipper, and it looks awful. Never mind that the zipper and ribbing don't match well. I would have been better off using contrasting colors. I also had a hard getting the ribbing in. Well, not exactly. I pinned the ribbing in the feet and one had before I realized that I was not stretching the feet or arms at all. It looked so big. I pulled out the pattern piece, and great genius that I am, since I am making two robes, and the pattern piece said cut 2, I cut 4. Of each color for each robe. And sewed the together. And therefore my cuffs would have been twice as big! I am so glad I caught this mistake BEFORE I started serging!!! Anyway, that set me back another hour having to fix this mistake. I messed up slightly on my Shabbos robe as well. The neckline rolled. I did use wonder tape to get the top to stick, but I also had thought about using interfacing even though the pattern did not say to. I now wish that I had. I have to see how it feels before I decide if I want to try and froggy stitch that collar. It is almost impossible to pick out the stitches, since the thread is the exact same color and I used terry fleece for that robe.

Purple robe: overall satisfaction rating- * (not happy with my sewing or color choices)
Green Shabbos robe: overall satisfaction rating- *** (love the fabric, embroidery, and color choices, don't think I did my best sewing on it)

If you want to see more pictures, go to my yahoo album HERE.

Jan. 9, 2006

I took the serger in to the Bernina store almost as soon as they opened. Hugo switched the threads for his thread, and it worked perfectly. Then he rethreaded the machine with my thread (Maxi-Lock), and it was skipping. He spent an hour getting it right, but in the end, it works perfectly. Hooray! No sewing for today, but at least I know it works right now.

Jan. 4, 2006

I struggled with my serger for almost an hour. It is skipping stitches. I have tried putting in different size needles and different kinds of needles. I give up. For now, no more sewing. :-(