We’re in a Giveaway!!

Everyone likes free stuff, right?

Come on. You can admit it.

Free stuff is even more fabulous (FOR YOU!) when it includes a Stitch To Stitch twirl skirt, right?  Right!  :)

 

I’m excited to announce that Johanna over at Mama Chocolate has asked me to participate (again) with her in A Blogtastic Extravaganza 2.0

Participants can enter to win either a fabulous Princess Package or a Natural Baby Package.

You can also click on the 100+ links attached to her post to enter their giveaways for thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

 

SO GO ENTER!!  The contest is open now through Sunday, August 21st.  Make sure to tweet about it everyday for extra chances to win.

Good luck!

 

 

 

I’m so excited that she wanted me to participate again.  It’s nice when other people invite me to their parties.

Simple Solutions

Sometimes the answer is so simple you just don’t think about it, instead spending your time and energy trying to come up with creative, intricate solutions.  (Okay, maybe you’re more quick to come up with simple solutions than I am.  I used to be a research scientist and my husband is an engineer — the common theme in our house is to make projects exponentially more difficult than they need be.)

One of the most used, and most beloved, gadgets in my studio is my Side Winder

This nifty little machine fills bobbins with the push of a button, allowing you to leave your machine undisturbed if you need more bobbin thread in the middle of a project.  Because I’ll admit that I always underestimate the amount of full bobbins I need so more often than not I need a new one when I’m sewing.  I’ve gotten so I never wind bobbin thread on my machine now that I have the Side Winder.

With all the elastic thread I’ve been using lately — which everyone recommends winding onto your bobbin by hand — I decided to see if the Side Winder could fill bobbins for me.  So I gave it a whirl and threw the machine-wound bobbin in to sew with.  Voila!  It looks like it doesn’t wind it so tight that it causes problems.  Which is AWESOME to know since each romper I make uses at least 3-4 bobbins of elastic thread.

One problem though.

The post that holds the spool of thread is way too short for the elastic thread.  When I try to wind the bobbin, the elastic thread wobbles all over and 9 times out of 10 comes off of the post.  I ended up having to hold the top of the thread spool to keep it from coming off, or I stuck a pencil down inside the tube to keep it steady.

But last night, the answer came to me.

I guess it’s a good thing I have a drawer full of fast food straws, napkins and utensil sets (all clean and unused, I promise).

Perfect fit!  And a perfect solution.

Again? Still?

Back to the drawing board again!

Please bear with me as I try to work through this myself for the time being.  It’s slow going with everything else I have to work on but I’ll keep plugging away.

Let me know what you think so far!  Especially the background — too dark, too light, need a different image all together?

Elastic Thread: New Lessons Learned

 

After listing the girls petti ruffle rompers in the shop, the amount of sewing I’ve done with elastic thread has increased significantly.  I think I’ve used it on 10 out of 12 of my last orders and most of the clothing items I’ve made for my kids.   I’ve seen a marked improvement in my ability to work with it due to all this practice.

 

And I’ve learned a few important things:

  • Not all elastic thread is created equal. Different machines will have varied results among brands.
    • I have a Viking sewing machine and have found the stretch rite elastic thread to work the best in my machine.  It’s the kind that comes on the cardboard spool, not the plastic spool.  The Dritz brand (which comes on the plastic spool) does not gather as nicely for me.    These are the only 2 brands I have available to purchase locally.  Thankfully for me the stretch rite is half the cost; unfortunately it’s not always in stock so when it is, I usually clear the shelf of it.
  • Not all machines are created equal.
    • Typically you’ll want to set your stitch length as the longest possible setting and turn your tension setting way down.  In order to find the exact settings that work for you, you’ll have to sew some test strips.
  • Not all fabric will shir as equally well as others.
    • The lighter the weight of the fabric, the better it will shir.  My favorite fabrics to work with are 100% cotton broadcloths and the premade ruffle fabric.  They will both gather fabric down to about half of it’s original width when multiple rows are sewn in.
  • When shirring panels (like the front and back of a dress or romper) stop your shirring about 3/8-1/2″ away from the edge of the fabric before sewing the two panels together .
    • This will make it much easier to join the pieces together.  Especially when working with ruffle fabric that is more tedious to sew.  It keeps the edges of the fabric more straight, instead of pulling them into a zig-zag pattern.
  • Hem the top/bottom of your fabric before sewing in the elastic thread.
    • Once the fabric is gathered, it makes it increasingly more difficult to get nice straight hems.
  • Use your presser foot as a guide for sewing rows close together.
    • Instead of marking the fabric all up, I just use the edge of my presser foot to line up a new row.  If your needle moves position, you can widen/shorter this distance to your preference.  I typically leave the needle in the “0” position, giving me a 3/8″ distance between rows.
  • Iron in guide lines for sewing rows further apart.
    • Instead of marking the fabric up when sewing further apart than your presser foot can measure, fold your fabric at the designated sewing lines and press a quick crease into it.  These lines will disappear as you sew and won’t require washing the finished item to get chalk/fabric pencil marks off.
  • Use your iron to gather the fabric more when finished.
    • If  you don’t feel like your fabric has shirred enough after you’ve sewn all of the elastic thread in, use steam to help draw it in more.  Turn your iron on its highest steam setting and when hot, hold the iron just over the rows, blasting it without touching the fabric directly.  I can usually cause my fabrics to shrink down a little bit more by doing this.
  • Practice is key!
    • The more you work with elastic thread, the easier it will be to use.  I love working with it now; almost to the point where I prefer to shir something than to put a casing in for regular elastic.

 

Happy Sewing!

 

A New Fascination

 

 

Pinterest

 

You need to go check it out.

 

It’s a fabulous place where you can “pin” all of your favorite things.  You create the categories, you pin the photos/sites you want.  It’s like a photo-representation of all your bookmarks.  But exemplified.

 

And then you can follow your friends — getting a peek into their lives and their favorite things.

 

I could lose hours pinning photos.  (I should admit that I probably already have.  :)  )

 

 

 

Saturday Pattern Sharing 8/6/11

With school supplies stocking the big box store shelves and ads for back to school shopping every you turn, I figured it would be fun to showcase some cute accessories today!

The Ellis’ over at Six Sister’s Stuff has 3 great headband tutorials.  Go check ’em out!

 

Double Ruffle Headband Tutorial

 

Easy Ruffle Knotted Headband Tutorial

 

Ruffle Headband Tutorial

 

Back to Square One

Over the last few months I’ve taken on more and more sewing projects that aren’t children’s clothing items — the camera straps covers, the purses and some other special request stuff.  There has been a solid interest from buyers to make some of these items available for sale but I’m against listing them in my current Etsy store.  I want the original STS on Etsy to be children’s boutique clothing.  Nothing more, nothing less.  And I’ve waffled about opening a second Etsy store to sell other wares.  On one hand I think the variety would be interesting, but then I sit and look at my schedule and contemplate the logistics of opening another shop.

I’m running on too little sleep and too much coffee as it is; the thought of two Etsy shops makes my heart rate elevate slightly.

My answer to this request was to redo THIS site.  To turn this webpage into an e-commerce shop where both my current Etsy items and the other crazy stuff I create could be sold directly to the buyer.

This place originally started as just a basic blog.  A place where I could talk about what inspires me to sew, to share ideas I think are fantastic and to just give everyone a peak inside this crazy head of mine.  The thoughts of turning it into something more was exciting and has kept me up more nights than I’d care to admit.

After jotting down some basic ideas and some rough design plans I set the wheels into motion.  Part of me wanted to take on the task myself but my husband oh so politely pointed out that my plate is already crowded and I spend more time on the computer than I should.  So I hired someone to redo the site for me.  The money, in my opinion, would be well spent to save myself the time it would take.

We worked out the details — me trying to convey exactly what I wanted the new layout to encompass.  Over the last couple of months I’ve watched the new site take shape.  Slowly it morphed into the picture I had in my head.

And then, just yesterday, when trying to get the actual boutique finalized, I’ve been forced to go back to square one.  To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement.

So in the next little while, this site will revert completely back to the old blog.  A new redo will be in the works.  As for it’s ETA…that remains to be seen.