Monday, April 29, 2013

Walter Floriani seminar and more

On Friday my friend Lori and I attended the afternoon session of 'On Tour with Walter Floriani.... the Master of Embroidery'.

Being relative newbies to the world of machine embroidery, we decided any and all educational opportunities are a must at this point. It was a 3 hour lecture with a break, for shopping of course. The first half of the lecture was all about the mechanics of embroidery designs, why some work and why some don't and then how to fix them depending on what medium you are stitching the design out on. Of course it was also a huge plug for Walter's software and he did most of the lecture using his software to show examples.

Embroidery software is currently sitting on my wish list... It is expensive, very expensive. Walter Floriani's Total Control software retails for $4299.00. Yikes! Of course they were running a must have promotion on the software for the bargain price of $1700.00.... Still a bit expensive for me right now.
I also feel like I need to check out all my options for software.

My friend Lori did buy the software so I will have to bring her some wine and play on it! Check it out via hands on.

The second half of the lecture was all about stabilizers. Some of this was repeat but it was good repeat for me. There are so many options and it was good to hear them all explained by the person who developed them. I did get a nice set of stabilizers. Mr Floriani had put together several different kits and had them for 50% off regular price, I'm now set for a while on the stabilizer end of things.

Each attendee also received a great big gift box of items. A sampler of stabilizers, 10 spools of thread, a stabilizer info CD by Kay Brooks and 5 CD's with designs on them.

So....not wanting to forget everything I learned I spent some time today playing in my sewing room. One of my goals is to incorporate machine embroidery into my sewing. However, to do this I want to feel more comfortable embroidering in general. Hands on work and practice is the only way to make that work. I pulled a plain sleeveless tee from my closet and choose a design. Used the info I learned on stabilizers and got working.

The design is meant to be very tone on tone. I think it came out quite nicely. I am still toying with the idea of adding some more to it mainly for the practice of multi-hoop designs.

I had some real sewing to do. Headrest covers for our friends new car. (I was asked to make these in the beginning if the year!) while I was making these cute quilted headrests I had the embroidery machine running.

I made 2 sets of business card holders, this project was in a specialty issue of Quilting Arts called 101 Patchwork Projects. (also could be used for credit cards and cash, etc...) one is part of a birthday gift and one is for me. These designs are quite similar except for some of the colors and that mine has my initials on it. I. D&I don't put the initials on the birthday gift because she is betrothed and I am not sure if she is changing or keeping her last name. The goal of this exercise was to play with copying designs, mirroring them and correct size and placement. I was a little off in the overall dimensions for the actual business card holder. The entire thing should only be slightly larger than a business card... Mine is a little bit bigger. I would have had to fold under some of the embroidery design to get that size and it looked funny when I tried that.

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Location:Linda Z's Arlington Heights, IL

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bridal shower sewing and embroidery projects

I figured I needed to break my Bridal Shower post into 2 posts. Otherwise it would just have been overload!!

I did some additional sewing for the bridal shower in the form of gifts. (Besides the center pieces, rosette, luggage make overs and the zillion luggage tags that I made as the favors! I will do a separate post on the luggage tags later)

The first was the gifts for the bridal party from the bride to be given at the shower. (She also has a special gift planned to give them at the wedding) My daughter wanted to give her girls something special and unique that they could use for more than just the wedding. So we decided to go with a set of chic travel accessory bags, that include a set of shoe bags, a lingerie bag and a laundry bag to be used while traveling. This project was based off the Anita Goodesign Chic travel Accessories project with some slight modifications. I had lots of fun working with my daughter on picking out the fabrics for each girl and then mixing and matching designs for them.

I made 5 sets of these Chic Travel Bags! (Now i think i need to make 2 more! one for the bride to-be and one for me!) One for the Maid of Honor, 2 for the bridesmaids, 1 junior bridesmaid and 1 for the flower girl. The included designs on the CD were varied enough that we could tailer the design appropriately for the age.

My niece, Ashley, the maid of honor.

Ashley also received the beaded sash that I worked on earlier this year. This will make her dress just a little different and special than the other girls.

Julinda, bridesmaid, Melissa's best friend since grade school!

KellyAnn, bridesmaid, another of Melissa's very good friends.

Adrianna, Junior Bridesmaid, my other niece. :)

My very happy and beautiful daughter!

The other bit of sewing that I did was to make this fun set of drink towels for my daughter as fun shower gift! I picked up the towels at the Sewing and Quilt Expo a couple weeks ago from a vendors I believed named All About Blanks. The towels are linen and already had the border on them. All I needed to do was to add the embroidery! I am very happy with how these turned out!
I had some minor glitches sewing out the designs and took good pictures of the boo-boos before fixing them so I can ask 'why's from the experts at the sewing shop this Friday.

I am relieved that the shower is done! Now I need to start working on the rest of the sewing and DIY wedding projects. I sure cant wait to share those!! Maybe I'll even get to fit in some sewing just for me :)

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DIY Bridal Shower- Vintage Travel Theme

This past weekend was my daughters bridal shower. I am beyond happy with how well everything turned out. The decorations were simply beautiful, the restaurant had perfect service and delicious food, the guests enjoyed themselves and the Bride to-be was beaming!

Melissa, the bride, in the center with her bridal party.

3 generations: my daughter, my mom and me!

The success to the Vintage Travel themed bridal shower was all in the decorations and favors.
These included: 3 vintage suitcases, 2 of which had the insides re-done. 12 vintage red and white scarves. Large cardboard 3- dimensional letters with fabric scraps and modge podge, Various glass vessels, 10 circle serger lace edged center pieces, vintage map, vintage pictures and lots of imagination! The best part luggage tag favors with a bag of chocolates.
The brides wedding colors are red and white.

The welcome table!

Extra large cardboard letters covered in fabric scraps and midge podge. (The letters are the bride and grooms first initials) between the initials is a poster made from a vintage map of Idaho with a fabric heart over Stanley, Idaho where they will be getting married. Pictures of the bride and groom together gave it a personal touch. Under it all are the circles of fabric with the serger lace edging. All strewn with red and white rose petals.

To go with the travel theme the seating cards were labeled as 'Check -In' and each table had a vintage mode of travel pictured and I had the names laid out in front of smaller matching pictures. The name cards were printed with a vintage map background.

Vintage small suitcase with printed vintage postcard fabric re-done on the inside. This vintage samsonite was used to collect postcards the guest were ask to fill out. The postcards included area for the guest to give some advice to the bride and a space. for their favorite travel destination. Everyone had fun with these!

The round larger hat box case was for decoration and to carry supplies. The second larger suitcase that has the inside re-done with compass fabric was used as a substitute for the traditional wishing well! Guests were asked to bring a small unwrapped item that they can't travel without! Super fun!!

To carry on the theme, I made 'Baggage Claim' signs for the gift table. After all the bride had to claim all of her gifts!

Large rosette to decorate the brides chair! This was made from vintage ribbons and lace that I have had for a very, very long time. Most of them were from my grandmothers stash.

The center pieces on the tables consisted of 2 different sized serger lace edged circles, 2 glass vessels with vintage scarves stuffed in them and rose petals strewn about. In front of each place setting is the favor. A fabric luggage tag I made with Moda fabric 'Town Names' canvas and Moda red with white polka dots canvas. Tied to the luggage tag is a small bag filled with chocolates in red and silver wrappers.

Another of the tables, showing the decorations and the table travel theme. There where 4 tables. Airliner, Cruise Ship, Passenger Train and Greyhound Super coach.

In the luggage tag was an insert that has the wedding date with the bride and grooms initials on a map background. There are lines on the back of the card for name,phone, and address for the guests to use.

Of course we had to have one of the bridesmaids make the rehearsal bouquet from the ribbons and bows off of the gifts.

KellyAnn with Melissa and her Rehearsal ribbon and bow bouquet!

Up close of the center pieces from the practice run at home.

The giant rosette that I made from vintage ribbons and lace! This was a fun craft project that I D&I while watching Downton Abbey, excellent inspiration. :)

All of the ladies in my family! My mom came in from Delaware, my sister from Mississippi, my niece (the maid of honor) and my sister-in-law from New Jersey and the bride to -be and I from Illinois. It was so great to have all of us together! I am blessed.

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sewing during weight loss: Part 1 Decisions

This topic must come up for many sewers. I KNOW I can't be the only one that has faced the challenge of garment sewing during weight loss.

I am currently in the phase of losing weight and am just about at my half way point to my goal. I know many people feel uncomfortable talking numbers but here goes. My goal is to lose 75 lbs, I am at a current lose of 36.6 lbs. (Woo Hoo!!! Just about half way!) I've averaged about 7 lbs per month which in my book is pretty darn good.

Now that I am we'll on my way to my goal I have encountered a HUGE problem of my wardrobe. 18 or so months ago I did a wardrobe purge and got rid of all my clothes that did not fit. Too big (not many) too small (lots and lots) they all went to the donation pile. The only thing I allowed myself too keep we're the items that I have sewn that were too small. I seriously dislike giving away clothes that I have made and like regardless of fit!

Now I have an ever growing pile of clothes that are rapidly becoming too big, my dresser is piled high with them, which means an ever shrinking wardrobe! yikes.... I really want to be ale to sew all my own clothes but am struggling with some things.For example, spending so much time on fitting a great pair of slacks for work to only find that 10 weeks later they are too big and I need to do the fitting process all over again.

I have decided to try and focus my garment sewing on items that can be used transitionally through my weight loss and not have my time and efforts be a total loss.

After spending some time thinking about this problem I have come up with a list of items that I believe i can successfully create and will look good during my transition as well as garments that don't take as much work. This does mean that I will have to change around my sewing plans a bit, but that's OK. It also means that I am even more motivated than ever to loose the weight at a good pace! I want to create some gunning fitted garments just for me :) ... A great goal for me!

Back to my transitional weight loss sewing plans.

The NOT sewing list:
Slacks (I actually had to make an emergency purchase of 2 pairs of slacks for work) NOT 1 pair I own fit!!!
Skirts with a fitted waistband
Very fitted and/or structured garments

The YES sewing list:
Loose jacket styles
Knit garments, tops and pants
Flowy skirts and dresses
Tops and dresses with defines waistline
Things that can be belted as I loose weight
Easily altered items

The Challenge: not to dress like a frump!

Stay tuned for my next post with a good selection of patterns for sewing during weight loss.

- Posted by Steph from Siouxzeegirl Designs

Monday, April 8, 2013

Finished! Cynthia Guffey Jacket J 5054 and Skirt seminar

I finished my Cynthia Guffey Jacket J5054 this week! Added bonus was that Cynthia was in town for. The sewing and quilt expo so I got to wear it for her. Always nice to be able to show off a successful garment to the pattern creator, a total win- win feeling!

I had my husband take a couple pictures of me in it. Of course this was at the end of the day after wearing it to and from the expo, sitting for lectures, etc... I see in the pictures that it is a little wrinkled in the back, but not bad. It was quite windy out so please excuse the crazy hair and in the pic of the front I am holding it closed cause the wind was whipping. The fronts really do match up perfectly! In fact of all the work on this jacket the only thing I need to change is the button placement for the hidden tab, it needs to move over a quarter inch more so the tab does not show at all.

Wile Cynthia Guffey was here I signed up for a 1 day straight skirt fitting seminar. We were a small group of 6 women and paired up for the day. Cynthia had mock-ups or muslins made of her straight skirt pattern in the three different size options and we used those to work from. It was a great all day class and I learned much about fitting skirts and how to read muslins and of course how to make changes to muslins to fix them. Cynthia first did a demonstration and then we each got to work with our partners in fitting each other. With the small class size we had plenty of one on one with Cynthia for questions and answers. Near the end of the class, we were able to take the muslins and transfer all the markings to our own patterns, which were included in the price of the class.

I'm bummed that I did not get a before and after picture of me in the unfitted and fitted muslins. It was amazing to me how great the fitted muslins looked, so darn flattering. I've now lost over 36lbs so we also had a discussion on changing fit over time and how to start from a jump off point and not from scratch.

One of these days I hope to make it to one of her 4 day fitting/sewing classes. I think that would be very educational!

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Monday, April 1, 2013

Idaho vacation is over :( last hikes, and misc...

My 9 days in Idaho flew by! Vacation time always seems to move differently then real life time. :)

I had a great time and was able to get in 2 more hikes after Melissa joined us on Thursday. It was quite nice having a partner to hike with and of course chat with! From the amount of talking we did one would think that we hadn't seen each other in a long time.... Not just 5 days!

Anyway, the two of us, me with my broken leg and Mel with her broken back were hiking fools and for anyone familiar with Pocatello we hiked the big bear. It was great, amazing, beautiful, peaceful, rejuvenating and so much more. Just what I needed.

We had great success in finding a dress for the last member of the bridal party! Woot, woot!! The junior bridesmaid now has a beautiful dress that works wonderfully with the other dresses.

Adrianna, the junior bridesmaid, showing off one of her gifts from Melissa. Part of a travel set of bags I made for each bridesmaid.

We got home late last night and I. Had a super busy but great day today. Started it with an early morning swim, a great checkup with my cardiologist and spent a couple hours giving my sewing studio a thorough cleaning! Dusted, cleaned, floors cleaned with the Hoover floor cleaner and straightened up. Ready for me to proceed with renewed sewing mojo!

- Posted by Steph from my iPad