Thursday, October 30, 2008

Seams to me.....

I recently made some canvas liners for wire baskets, and because I didn't want the seam allowances to show through the holes of the baskets, I used the flat felt seam. You know, the seam that is on your jeans. I watched a video of how jeans are made, and as I suspected, someone in a factory, feeds the pant legs into a machine that makes the seam in one swift zzzihhhhh of the special flat felt seam machine. (Editing note: I always thought this seam was called a flat felt seam, and when I searched it on the internet, as such, I found plenty of entries, but after looking it up in the dictionary, and other sewing resources, I now know that it is actually a flat felled seam. )

I also watched a couple of nice tutorials on making a flat felt seam in the comfort of your own home, but honestly, they were a little tedious for me, but that's just me. Impatient I guess. The tediousness involved a lot of pressing and pinning, which is certainly necessary sometimes, but because I make slipcovers and work mostly with heavier fabrics, it's not always practical.

Several years ago, before I started my slipcover business, I worked in an upholstery shop. There was no use of pins there, which was a shock to me at the time, and though they had an iron, as I recall, when I asked to use it one day,a search was called to find it. So, here is my flat felt seam instruction for the impatients of the world. (It works best with fabrics that are a little heavier, that stay where you put them.)

Because I started out making a tube that had only one seam, I positioned the top layer of fabric with 1/4 of an inch allowance, and the bottom about 1/2 of an inch of allowance.

After the seam is stitched, the larger allowance is folded over the smaller. If you are making something from a pattern and it isn't practical to move the top allowance over before stitching, then sew your seam, and trim the top allowance.

Next, fold the seam flat, with the "folded over" allowance on top, (this is where the pressing and pinning would come in, if you wish to add those steps) and stitch close to the edge.

Here is the finished seam.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pink and white memories sprinkled with tears.

Today I came across this cute pattern, and because I love felt food, and mostly because it contained those cute little pink and white circus animal cookies, I bought it.

This led me to do some looking around for news of whether there might be hope for our favorite cookies. I found a forum with comments from several former employees from another state, and the prognosis didn't sound too good.

If you want something to help you remember those delicious little critters, I found this T-shirt.

It says "Lights down, little cookies". If they are not all sold out, you can find it here.

I really don't want to be eating cookies, pink and white, or any other color, but it is still very sad to see them go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Papa.

I love this picture of my mom and dad and one of my two older brothers. It was taken at my maternal grandmother's house in Fredericksburg, Texas.

My sweet Papa is 90 today. He is very young at heart though and puts me to shame in many ways. He and my mom live in a beautiful log home that they did a lot of the work on when it was built many years ago. Every summer my dad grows a huge garden and I wish so much that I lived closer to them.

Have a great day, Dad. I love you!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The gift of inspiration.

Even though my birthday was a month ago, a friend surprised me with a belated gift yesterday. The best kind of gift. The kind of gift that inspires.

She knows me well. She gave me two beautiful vintage tablecloths, and a pretty tin full of awesome buttons. (the picture only shows a few of them) She also gave me a sweet vintage "bird" pin.

I have lots of buttons, but a new batch has me inspired to do some creative crafting!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Shh don't tell.

Shh, don't tell that I am making the "Shh, Don't Tell Chocolate Fudge Birthday Cake" from The Bride and Groom, First and Forever Cookbook. When I was at my daughter Raya's after her baby was born, a friend had made it for her and her husband. Mmmm good. (The main ingredient is a box cake mix with extra ingredients added, and a super fudgy frosting made from chocolate chips, sugar, milk and butter.)

It is my youngest child's 19th birthday. Shh, don't tell her that I have been waiting for an excuse to make this cake, so I neglected to ask her what kind of cake she wanted.

Shh, don't tell my sewing clients that I am making a cake instead of working on their sewing projects.

Shh, don't tell me how many calories are in this cake, or how many I just consumed off of my fingers, spoon, and spreading knife.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mother, come back!

I was shocked and saddened to hear that the maker of our favorite cookies, those pink and white sprinkly Circus Animals went suddenly out of business. I woke up early the next morning, and thinking there would be a run on Mother's cookies, went to the grocery store to "pick up a few things" (cookies). I got other stuff too, honest.

My husband's all time favorite cookie is the Iced Oatmeal, also made by Mother's, so I had to buy some of those too.

While I was in the cookie aisle, a delivery man from another cookie company assured me that someone will buy the Mother's company. I sure hope he is right. I hate to see more people losing their jobs, and us without our favorite cookies.

Do you think we could make our own Circus Animals by putting icing and sprinkles on regular animal crackers? I have a feeling it wouldn't be the same.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I just finished some simple covers that have been dressed up with a monogram. After I made my pattern and cut out the backs, the designer took them to an embroiderer and brought them back to me so that I could then sew the covers. I like her choice of fabric, and thread color for the letter.

This beautiful monogram is from the gallery of Caroline Brackenridge's Monogram Inc. website. If you are doing any kind of snack replacement, this is a delicious place to visit instead of eating a cookie.

And I have to recommend that you visit angie's blog. She is a fellow slipcoverer who has been doing some beautiful screen printed monograms.

If I didn't have piles of work to do, and several other projects going I would be soooo tempted to do some monograming myself.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sometimes you just need a change of location.

I love the recycle/re purpose trend that is going on these days. My brain seems to work that way naturally. I'm always thinking, "what else could I use that for", or "what can I use to make this, since I don't have the real thing" a DAYBED.

A few weeks ago a friend said, hey, we took these window bars off of my parents' house, and they are kind of cool looking. (Or something like that, I don't remember her exact words.) So, because I have been thinking about how to dress up the plain beds in our house, that was my first thought. We made a little trade, and well there you have it. Window bars on the windows.... not so pretty. Window bars on the wall....better.

I like it a lot. You have to use your imagination a little, but that's okay with me.