Sunday, February 11, 2018

baby lock Sewing Machine "Aria" is in the House!

A while ago, I was contacted by baby lock and had a brief interview... long story short, I was given the opportunity to work with their company and their fabulous sewing machine as one of their influencers. This is like a dream come true for me and I am still pinching myself!

Many many years ago in our humble beginning, my husband bought me a simple Singer sewing machine and that served me well for a while. When the time came to shop for a new sewing machine, I did all the research that I could and decided to go with Baby Lock. I REALLY LOVE my Espire; it is durable, dependable, has many nice features and I never had any issues with it. When people asked my advice about sewing machines, without skipping a beat I always recommended baby lock. When I had an interview over the phone with someone from baby lock, she asked me what kind of sewing I do. I told her I do both, I mean sewing garments and making quilts. Reading the instruction booklet and other's reviews, seems like Aria is a perfect machine for both worlds.

I finally cleaned up my studio and my Aria is sitting pretty on my table. I just started playing with it, I only did a couple miner bit of sewing so far. I added ruffles to my daughter"s dress that is getting a little short.

Since I have been using my Espire many things are similar, but I know I have a lot to learn to take advantage of this amazing machine to take my sewing adventures to the next level. There are a few things I will share with you.

Color LED touch screen is super nice! When I first started using the machine, I set the clock and language. I am capable of many things, BUT anything to do with technology flies over my head, but it was simple enough that I was able to figure things out quickly. I was amazed at how many thing are designed so user friendly and among many languages, it had Japanese!

I am so thrilled about 11.25" throat space as well. I can't wait to machine quilt my next quilt.

As I was organizing and cleaning my studio, I found lots of clothing patterns and fabrics I bought with the intention of making them. I am looking forward to learning different features on Aria while I sew a lot more this year!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Year, New Attitude ~ Getting Organized

In January many of us make new year resolutions. One of the things on my list this year is to get better organized and simplify my life. When I say "Organized", that included many things. My house all the nooks and carnies, but also my schedule too. When I think about it, it is a bit over whelming, but I decided to start small and keep working at it. This is one of the small(and CHEAP!) organization project that I started a while ago, but made such a difference for me, so I will share it with you today.

I like finding inexpensive cute earrings. Not only do I take good care of things, I don't lose them and also I thought I could always give them to my daughter when she is older, I kept them and my collection grew and grew... If you are like me, one of the challenges to collecting things is to find the best way to organize them. I tried a couple different methods, but they didn't really work out for me. They look kind of organized, but it is still hard to find the ones that I want to wear for the day.

I still need to look for the other matching earring!

For this project, I bought several foam sheets. 33 cents a sheet at Walmart! Cut them to strips. I cut mine for various widths. 1" for smaller earrings and 1 3/4" to 2" for bigger earrings.

Then, made holes with an awl. It is so easy to put an awl through the foam and you can just make an indent. You could easily push the earrings through the foam, but this step will create more even placement for the holes and it looks much more organized and pretty when it's all set and done.

For the smaller earrings, I organized them like: gold, silver, rose gold, pearls and unique. This allowed me to find the earrings I want to wear for that day much faster.

For the bigger earrings, I had fun categorizing and grouping them by theme and color. I store those strips in the shallow drawers.

I used three sheets of foam which is around a dollar. This is the best way that I have organized my earrings and I love it so much! I hope you will give it a try!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Etsy Shop Restock Announcement

Hello! This is a quick post for my Etsy shop restock announcement.

I can't believe it is already December! I was planning on restocking my shop earlier, but unexpectedly, the end of November got quite crazy and busy for me.
I worked pretty hard the last few days and finished 36 brand new tiny tin sewing rooms! (Yea!) Those of you who have been asking if I am going to make more, thank you for waiting so patiently.

I hope you will find one you like for you, or for a special someone; perhaps as a Christmas gift.

I am planning on a simple craft/organizing post soon. So stay tuned!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Book Review ~ Complete Book of Sewing Techniques

I was given a chance to review the Complete Book of Sewing Techniques by Wendy Gardiner. She is an Internationally-accredited sewing machine expert and she has been an editor of Vogue Patterns, Sewing World and Sew Hip and has produced books and DVDs on sewing. She also teaches and is a regular guest presenter on shopping channels Ideal World and Create & Craft TV.

Her book contains more than 30 essential sewing techniques ideal for beginning sewers as well as those who already know how to sew.

Are you interested in how to lay patterns onto fabric or how to alter patterns?

or, you might be interested in different ways to finish the edges...

Perhaps, you might want to know how to sew darts to create more nicely fitted clothing.

Wendy includes useful information of fabrics, threads, needles and other equipment. Her clear directions and the helpful pictures will help you in your sewing adventure!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Orange Peel Quilt Finished

I finished piecing this quilt a while ago, but I was debating whether to hand quilt this, machine quilt it myself, or ask someone else to machine quilt it for me... I finally decided to go with choice #3. I dropped the quilt top off at my friend's who does machine quilting. I happened to have enough bias tape I made a long time ago and the colors went perfect with the quilt. Don't you love when things work out like that? I quickly binded the quilt and took advantage of a beautiful Autumn day to take some pictures.

I spread the quilt to take a picture and my dog must have thought that was an invitation for him to sit and chill...

He kept coming back no matter how many times I would shoo him away. I decided to change the location to the near by bridge.

There were some beautiful yellow and orange leaves still on the trees that gave me a gorgeous background for my picture. I love how this turned out and it motivates me to finish more quilts I have started this year.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bell Sleeve Dress for My Preteen

I don't know if this is just me, but I feel like there are so many cute baby and toddler clothes everywhere I go, but when it hits a certain age group; preteens is where I have a hard time finding pretty clothes. Especially nice, modest, stylish dresses that don't cost an arm and a leg!

I decided to make one for my daughter, but none of the patterns that I saw caught my eye either. It was time for me to roll up my sleeves and tweak a pattern I already had and create a dress for her.

I found some pretty fabric at Joann's a few weeks ago and fell in love with the color and texture. I thought I could create a feminine & pretty dress with this. The lady at the cutting table told me that the bolt came in earlier that week and it is selling fast... on Friday I finished off the bolt. Phew... I am glad I decided to stop by to check what they had.

I love love the bell sleeve and I am so glad she did too. She came in to my room when I was just finishing up with the sleeves. The first thing she said was "WOW!! This is so pretty, how did you do that?!" (while touching the sleeve)

I was going to bed because I was at a good stopping point, but looking at her excited and happy face made me change my mind. I used up my extra fuel for that day and finished up her dress, so she could wear it to church on Sunday. I quietly went in her room and hung the finished dress where she could see it the first thing in the morning. I was feeling giddy; just like when I am leaving a present in the kids' rooms the night before Christmas. :)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ruffle Sleeve Top Mini Refashion

I found this top at a local TJMAXX a couple weeks ago. Was it love at first sight? Yes, but when I tried it on, I loved everything except the length of the sleeves. The sleeves were very long (I actually have long arms and they were still too long for me) and the end seam was touching my knuckles. It looked a little out of balance and like it was pulling me downward. I still bought the top and decided to alter it a little.

I took off the bell sleeves and looked at the straight sleeves. They are nice, I thought, but I also liked the look of the "bell", when it was placed in a higher location...

I know the ruffle or bell sleeves are trending right now, but for how long? I just didn't want to do a refashion for something I will only wear for a few months. So, here is what I decided to do.

I sewed the seam of the sleeves, so I can wear it as a straight sleeve styled shirt.

Then, I added the bell sleeves on top of the sleeves with slightly larger stitches.

This way, I can enjoy the bell sleeve top for a while and when I am ready for a change, I can simply unpick the stitches and change it back to a straight sleeve top. Sewing with larger stitches makes it easier to do this.

I have a few things in my closet that need a transformation like this. I might start sharing these mini refashion posts more often!
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