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Profile for SewJoe - Threads


South Pasadena, CA, US

craft interests: embroidery, fashion, sewing, ceramics

Member Since: 03/21/2009

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Spring chartreuse/pink clutch

I've been having lots of fun making these great clutches in many sizes using the kisslock frames.  The textile is men's necktie fabric, woven in Italy.  I buy it by the yard and have made...

Make a pretty bias-cut linen apron, perfect for entertaining.

Linen is my favorite textile, and using it bias cut makes this beautiful fabric shape perfectly to your figure.  I found this piece of linen that had a striking photo of a floral bouquet in the...

recent comments

Re: How have you organized your stash?

I bought IKEA wardrobes and fitted them with a closet pole for hanging fabric that I will be using soon. Below that are two of those wire drawers, lined with thick clear vinyl and filled with neatly folded linings. Another wardrobe has shelves for fabric sorted in bins and more clear vinyl lined wire drawers.

I have a large bulletin board next to the machine with many pockets and small hooks for notions and regular stuff I use while sewing (such as hooks for cording and piping, zippers etc--things I use a lot) The pockets are pinned up on the board to hold labels, scissors, tube-turner, notes and other small items.

I definitely get more done when everything's organized.

Re: Project Runway: You Can Totally Wear That Again

I don't think Michael C. should have won. The dress was really nice and well designed, but black is too hard to see details on. Mondo's dress was a fresh new look with great angles and beautiful construction; he should have won.

I do like Michael C. and can't seem to figure out why a few designers are so cruel. Gretchen: ("I was just trying to help") --I wanna smack her. And IVY: (I'm on PR, so my $%&# don't stink) Valerie is just hanging with this pompous designer crowd and April should get away from this infection while she still has a chance. They remind me of that gaggle of self-centered high school girl's 'clique' who thinks they're better than everyone else. You had it right 'sews4fun' they're butt whiskers.

The drama is getting in the way of true design challenges. Last season was sooo much fun! Everyone really got into the design thing and did it very well. We liked them, and loved the bits of drama, but it was competitive drama not the BS we're getting now.

I will miss Peach, she was a really cool and fun personality. Her designs weren't that great, but it would have been nice to keep her around a bit longer.

Re: Spring Color Contest

This is a great look. I like the smocked trim idea, nice work.

Re: Spring Cleaning for Your Fabric Stash

I too bought at IKEA; the tall wardrobe and added the wire drawers. Upper shelves hold my folded yardage. I cut a teeny swatch, tape it to a piece of lined paper, then write the yardage next to the swatch. The paper gets taped inside the door corresponding to the shelf.

For the small scraps, since the drawers are wire, I lined them with heavy clear vinyl, now I can see perfectly what is layered in those drawers.

I organize the scraps according to size in each of four drawers. Drawer #1 is small, #2 is medium and #3 is large sized scraps. The 4th drawer has only stripe fabrics (I use quite a lot of stripes for piping and other accents). I love these drawers, as they are big enough to dig through without messing up the neatness and the clear vinyl saves the day.


Re: Video: How to Sew a Bias-strip Scarf

This is a nice idea, but I agree with ThreadyBear, it would be nice to see a better close up of the finished product for a few more seconds.

Also FYI, you do not need to drop your feed dogs when using an embroidery/darning/free motion foot. The foot has a spring which operates to pounce the foot up and down with every stitch. Try it, you'll see!

Re: Starter Machines and Beginning Sewers

I don't believe in introducing a beginner to a 'toy' sewing machine. There are parts on the machine that must be understood and respected, and if a beginner looks at it as a toy, what can be learned? I learned on my mom's machine and it was good for me, I was happy she trusted me, and I felt proud.

What I have observed after teaching regularly for four years, is that ages eight to ten is just a bit young for the machine. It's all about hand, eye, foot and brain coordination, far too many things for someone so young to control at once. Better to teach them hand stitching and embroidery as a solid foundation and ease them into the machine later. On the other hand, I have noticed that ages 12 and up who have NOT done hand sewing, and while they take to the machine very well, are not very adept at sewing on a button and are not interested in the calming and joyful skill of hand stitching. This age group wants to rush their projects and get them done too quickly. Just an observation over the years.

Re: Fresh Start for a Sewing Space

I use a bulletin board for organizing small items that I use regularly. The board is fun and creative, and I make fun push-pins by gluing some favorite buttons onto the push-pin. I now call these "push-buttons", tee heehee. The larger buttons work great because now I have a place to drape long hanks of piping, bias tape, zippers, ribbon and other trim I regularly use.

I have made "pockets" sewn onto a separate fabric backing and attached to the board with a sturdy t-pin pushed all the way down at a severe angle for stability. In these little pockets, I have small 2" strips of fusible interfacing that I have lots of uses for. Another little pocket has my care labels and my name labels. I have a larger pocket that I made for my important notes, and some extra blank papers for notes. You can even make sturdy felt pockets for scissors. There are many things you can make a pocket for, and hang them on a bulletin board or wall right next to the machine. This is the ultimate storage solution for me--I don't like digging in boxes for items I use quite often, and this takes far less valuable real estate in your sewing area. Think of it as the tool wall in the garage, except everything is in pockets instead of hanging free and getting dusty.

If you want photos, go to my website and send me an email and I will send you a photo.

Re: Measuring with What's at Hand

My handiest (pun intended) measurement for one-inch is the first section of my index finger. Looking at the line across the inside of the index finger, measure it to the very tip, excluding the fingernail. Most people's will be one inch. I teach sewing to teen agers and have not seen it fail me!

This is particularly convenient at the ironing board when measuring and turning up a hem. Now check your same finger, second line (the middle one) two inches! This also helps when figuring distance on a map where the indicator key says "one-inch equals a mile"

Re: Book Giveaway - The Complete Photo Guide to Ribbon Crafts

Love ribbon, hope I win this book.

Re: Project Runway Episode 12 - Who Goes to NY Fashion Week?

I don't know why some of these comments think that moving back to NY is the answer to the boring personalities and designs of the program. NY has nothing to do with it, these designers are auditioned from all over the U.S. (Personally, I tried out for Season 5--what a great experience!!)

I do agree that the producers are looking more for a 'cast' than talent. When I went in, within five seconds Tim said "it's not what we're looking for". I had not even hung my garment bag, let alone unzipped it to reveal what I had designed. My husband says it's because I don't have any tattoos.

I am disappointed in the way they packaged the Los Angeles season. I drive past FIDM quite often on my way to the fashion district in L.A., and I assure you, the building is not yellow. Most of their camera shots of downtown L.A. look yellow-tinted, are they trying to make it look sunny? We have some gorgeous old buildings in the fashion district, and the street scene here is quite fun to experience. BTW, Michael Levine fabrics has been downtown over thirty years and has way more selection than Mood, which only opened two years ago on the westside. Hmmm--isn't that about the same time the show decided to move to Lifetime?

Since I'm ranting--where the heck were all the fun challenges? L.A. is one of the most inspiring places on this planet, but they chose boring cliche' challenges based on tourist locations. Yuk!!! Hey Tim, Heidi, give me a call! I'll show you around. You don't need another season that looks like you just flew in from NY for the filming. L.A. rocks, and Project Runway rocks, so stop trying to pick a cast to fit your formula. Get some spicier talent in there and spend a little more time digging into the L.A. scene. Heidi and the other judges often comment that they want to be 'WOW'd', but they should definitely consider taking their own advice and push the envelope!

Re: How to Make a Knotted Belt

Lots of posts asking about length of cord--anyone answering? I am wondering if the orange and blue cords are longer since they are doing more knotting. Hope to see a post answering these questions soon.

Re: Dust Off your Sewing Machine

Sewing has definitely skipped a couple generations, but is not a dying art. Part of it is a numbers game, there are those who will sew even if mom didn't teach them or schools don't offer it anymore. Then there are those who are "gonna do it someday", "waiting for someone to teach them" and "I am just not good at it". Thanks to Project Runway there has been an exciting new life for that machine in the closet and people of all ages have taken steps to create fashion and accessories. I own a sewing store in South Pasasdena, CA and classes this summer were filled by eager teenagers learning the skill. I watch them realize the potential this art form offers and I love the pride on their faces when their projects are done. Even if those of you who take a few sewing classes never go on to make a designer wool coat or a couture gown, sewing as a life skill will be there for a quick hem or Halloween costume. Remember, if you want to take up sewing, every time you sew, your work looks better. And if you're one of those who will fall in love with sewing, you will easily fit it into your schedule.

Re: What's Your Favorite Non-standard Sewing Machine Foot?

I cannot live without my teflon feet. I have a standard foot in teflon and an adjustable zipper foot in teflon. The foot part is white, (looks like plastic), but the teflon is a must-have to sew on vinyl, oil cloth and leather. Unlike a roller-foot, the teflon just glides over these textiles like buttah-baby! It leaves no marks at all. I sell them at my store, you can email me for information.