Friday, November 27, 2009

We have a Winner!

Thanks to all who commented on the "One Yard Wonders" post! A winner was chosen at random from all the comments, and that winner is:
Kim from Phoenix, AZ!
Kim, you didn't leave an email address, so please contact me at with your address, so I can get your book off to you! Congratulations!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm Published in an Actual Book!!

Sure, I've had projects written up in a few trade magazines and contributed to a few blogs, but there's nothing to compare seeing your name and work in an actual book -- one that had a first printing of over 56,000 copies!! I am so tickled to be among the contributors to One Yard Wonders, by Patricia Hoskins and Rebecca Yaker. It was released last month, and yesterday, I got my copy from the publishers.

Is that a happy face, or what?

My project is on pages 38-40, and is called "Smocked Pillow in the Round". This was a pillow I had designed for the 2006 International Window Coverings Expo. Once the project was accepted by the authors, I had to make a sample using the fabric they sent me, plus write out comprehensive instructions for creating the pillow.

They're Having a Contest!
Want to win some fabric so you can make at least 12 of the projects in the book? Storey Publishing is having a "Win Free Fabric for an Entire Year" contest, and 25 very lucky people will be winning a yard of fabric every month for all of 2010.

I'm Having a Contest Too!
Want to win a copy of "One Yard Wonders"? I'll send a copy (and I'll even autograph my project page... which ought to increase the value by at least three cents) to one lucky reader of this post. The rules are simple: Just leave a comment on this post. On Friday, November 27, at 8pm Eastern Time, I'll pick one of the comments at random. (Just be sure you give me some way of contacting you!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Girlfriend Gown: First Muslin Needs Some Tweaking

Sis came over this morning to try on the first muslin of her gown. It was drafted with Wild Ginger Celebrations, so the fit was quite good. But yes, it's going to need some tweaks.

Here's the front view:

Let's see... Do ya think that neckline's just a tad wide and deep? Yuh-huh. It's going to be moved in and up at least two inches. Sometimes it's very hard to visualize what a neckline will look like when you're looking at flat pattern pieces.

Here's the back view.

In contrast, the back neck isn't low enough. So it's going to be dipped a bit lower, so that the emphasis is on the small of the back. I did a little pinning with the motif to show Sis what I intended to do.

The back neckline will curve into where the motif is pinned. For the final version of the dress, the neckline will be trimmed with a matching beaded trim, and there will be another motif at the base of the front neckline.

What doesn't show up very well in these pictures are the godets inset into the hem. I added six godets, each 18" long. Sis wants them a bit higher, so I'll cut them 24" tall and make them a bit wider than these (which were cut at 30 degrees). I'm also going to start the skirt flare further down the skirt, so it is more of a trumpet flare than this.

The final dress will also have bra cups built in, so she won't have to worry about wearing a bra.

Sis was really quite pleased with this "first draft" and is looking forward to the second muslin, which I'll have ready for her next week.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Does Lightning Strike Twice?

Friday I went to another round of estate sales with my friend Sue. This time, it was an apartment in Arlington, VA. The apartment was completely packed, and the company managing the sale couldn't empty the cabinets because there simply weren't any flat surfaces on which to stack the items from the many, many drawers and cabinets. And there was a room devoted to crafts. Yep, that's where I spent my time.

There was a lovely wooden sewing cabinet, priced at $100, and a Janome Jem Gold priced at $150. Nice table, nice machines, but I don't need another machine. Then I looked in the corner, around the stacked boxes and piles of various stuff, and saw something innocuous sitting under a table (which I suspected held yet another sewing machine).

I was curious what was in it, so I picked it up and opened it. This is what I saw.

I didn't look further, but just added it to my pile of stuff from that particular sale. It wasn't until I got home that I unpacked the machine and got to see exactly what I bought.

It's a Singer Featherweight!

Time to play with Google.

Turns out you can find out a lot about these Singers by researching the serial numbers.

Based on the serial number, this machine dates back to 1954.

But that's not all that was in the box.

The accessories box had a ruffler, a zipper foot, a bias binding foot, a brand new 1/4" foot, and another foot I didn't recognize. It also held the bobbin shuttle and a package of needles, plus a spool of thread and some tools.

Don't kill me. Please.
Okay, so how much did I pay for this? The guy pricing everything had no idea the machine was under there -- that's how cluttered the apartment was. And I was buying other stuff, with other people waiting to check out, so he was a little rushed. "Old sewing machine... $25." Yeah, fine!

Unlike the Bernina find from two weeks ago, this one won't be spending a lot of time in the sewing room. I plan to put it through its paces and make sure it runs, and put it up for sale.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Apartment Therapy Likes Me!!

I love the Apartment Therapy blog, so it was doubly exciting today to see a post with a review of One Yard Wonders, the new book by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. They really liked the book, and said they wanted to make the smocked pillow for their own house. Why does that excite me? Because that pillow was my contribution to the book!! Yippee, I'm published!!

That's the sample pillow I made and sent to the authors for inclusion in the book. I haven't gotten my copy yet, so this is the first time I've seen the pillow in print!

Have any of you seen the book yet? What projects do you plan to make from it?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mystery Items

I've been going through the accessories included with the Bernina I bought last week. I found two things in the drawers that I just cannot identify. Does anyone know what they are?

This looks like a presser foot add-on, but I can't figure out what or how it attaches. I'm really, really hoping it's an adaptor that will let me use snap-on feet.

This looks like some sort of plug, but it has the same kind of lever as a bobbin case. So what's the story on it?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Be Still My Heart!

Last Friday I joined two friends for a few hours of bargain hunting at some estate sales. The first two were interesting: one was a "tear down" -- a hoarder's house that was going to be torn down after the conclusion of the sale, so things were pretty cheap. However, they were also pretty disgusting. I didn't take pictures. The second was an upscale townhouse, with prices to match. Didn't buy anything there.

Then we went to our last sale, up a long, bumpy driveway. The estate sale company organizing this sale was one I had dealt with before; they engage in a lot of good-natured joshing. There wasn't much at that house either, until I reached a bedroom. And there was a cabinet with a hand-printed sign on it: "Bernina".


This picture was taken in my sewing room, so I'll spoil the suspense and say yes, I did buy it.

When I opened the cabinet, this is what I found.

Whoa. It was certainly the right cabinet for my sewing room: the avocado green organizers on the door even match the baseboard trim.

It is a Bernina Record 930 Electronic, nestled in a Horn cabinet. I opened the drawers and found this:

Do you know how much Bernina feet cost?? A lot. And this was a case full of them, including one that had never been opened.

Now comes the part where all my sewing friends are going to come after me with pitchforks.

I paid $125 for the whole thing: machine and cabinet. And they even loaded it into the van for me.

Now that it's all set up in its new home, I'm going to play around with it by sewing some new projects that I have lined up.