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Conversational Threads


rodezzy | Posted in General Discussion on

Happy New Year Everyone, glad to be back on the scene, happy, healthy and blessed.  It was a great vacation and good holiday.  Gave of myself to others and received from above.

All right, I didn’t post any pics because I didn’t get around to it, and the items are all gone now.  Hats and scarves for friends, relatives and the homeless here in Chicago, and baby blankets for the hospital. 

I made a 12′ x 18″ mantel for my apartment bookshelves and faux fireplace area.  Covered it with leather look vinyl and backed it with chocolate fleece while on vacation.  Failed to create the radiator cover shelves, but will get it done eventually.  Ran into problems, wasted a little money on that project, but I’ll get it right.

Just finished crocheting a vest in ribbon yarn these last two evenings with a skinny scarf to match.  I have it on today.  Lovely. 

My wish list for January is to finish the lap quilts I didn’t finish in December.  Gave alternate gifts until I finish.  Sometimes I have to go with want is calling me and knitting and crocheting is pulling my strings right now.

But, I’m going to have to get it together because my quilt guild quilt show is in October and I need to have at least one quilt in the show if nothing else.  ummm…I have that black and white quilt that could go in..it has to be quilted yet, and I saw a great new technique of quilting from the back on Simply Quilts last night that I may try.  If not I have a lady that has a long arm quilting machine and does quilts at a good price.  And I made a quilt for my cousin’s house that is going to be in the show, oh yea, that covers it doesn’t it!  Whew. 

Also, I have material waiting to be fashioned into wearables.  Well, I’m looking toward spring now and will transition my thinking for my crafting for the new year and coming season.  I want to knit something too.  Oh, well, as usual, my mind swirls with fantastic ideas and my minds eye sees so many creations and fabulous designs.  Unfortunately, the reality is that I can’t do it all try as I might. 

I have quilts to finish, crochet and knitted purses to finish and new things the get started, so wish me the will to get it all done.  Oh, yea and those crocheted boots.  We’ll see. (giggle)  So many creations crowding my mind and so little time and money to see them through.


Rodezzy, Fiber Artist


  1. jane4878 | | #1

    Hi Rodezzy,

    Glad to hear you had a great vacation.  I had a quiet one at home, however I ended up with another teenager in the house mid Dec.  Sort of an unofficial foster child.  I'll need to push Children's Services to find something more permament for him.  With 3 teenagers in the home I'm getting eaten out of house and home!

    I would like to finish my 2 capes this month.  One is already cut out, and try to make a T-shirt and cardigan.  I'm terrified of sewing knits--so I'll take the plunge!

    1. rodezzy | | #2

      Hi!! Glad to be able to talk to all.  I've missed it.  Hey, quiet vacations are good.  I didn't go out of town, I was home also.  Just had some projects to do.  The last week I was ready to go back to work.

      Yea, teens eat a lot, got to fuel those growing genes.  They are lucky to have you I'm sure.

      Man, I hear you on those knits.  I've strayed away.  Maybe your success will encourage me to try something (smile).

    2. starzoe | | #3

      Sewing knits is a snap, get the right fabric, the right pattern (for knits), the right needle and that's it. I don't have a serger, don't need or want one as speed is not my thing, enjoying the process is.Once you have sewn with knits you will wonder what all the fuss was about. Enjoy.

      1. rodezzy | | #4

        Thanks for that advice, I may challenge myself later in the year to do a knit item.  I have always love the drape of knit fabrics.  Is it usually cut on the bias?

        1. starzoe | | #5

          No, knits are cut with the most stretch going AROUND the body. Always. Knits, especially the lighter ones, have a drape of their own and rarely are cut on the bias. Maybe that is the point that freaks people out.I have been sewing for over 60 years and have only once cut a knit on the bias. Woven fabrics drape and show off on the bias better than knits do. Start with a t-shirt, simple pattern. Or a camisole. My THREADS arrived today, about two weeks later than the girls in Australia got theirs and I am only just across the US border on the west coast. Now I can see what the conversations about this copy are all about!

          1. rodezzy | | #6

            I received my Threads last week.  What was the talk about? 

          2. Gloriasews | | #7

            Don't feel bad, Starzoe, I'm in Canada & still haven't received my new Threads . . . maybe this week.

            You're right about the knits - a zigzag machine is all you really need.  I don't have a serger, either, & don't feel the need of one.  The only problem I've had with thin knits has been the edges curling up, but that's been manageable.


          3. User avater
            Flax | | #16

            Gloria,Excuse me for interrupting, but I read a tip somewhere that if you spray with starch and press the edges of knits that are curling, you can cut and sew them much easier. I tried this myself and I was very surprised how well it worked indeed. Flax

          4. Gloriasews | | #21

            Thanks for the tip - I needed to know that positively, as I had THOUGHT I'd read that, too, but wasn't sure.  That must have been why I bought the spray starch (other than using it for quilting).  Anyway, I will be making something out of thin knit, so I'll try it for sure.


      2. jane4878 | | #10

        I'm sure I'll be fine!  I have a terror of leaping in though.  I wanted to use the Jalie twinset pattern.  Hopefully I can find it locally.  I'm going to make a muslin first, because I ordered a beautiful print knit from EOS http://emmaonesock.com/fabrics/knitprints19293.asp .  And I really don't want to screw it up, especially now that it just sold out.  EOS can be an evil addiction :^)  I have a serger, but I wasn't going to use it--my machine does a nice job.

        I'm Canadian as well, and it takes forever for Threads to show up!


        1. fellbabe | | #12

          hi jane and everybody in this forum

          happy new year

        2. ctirish | | #24

          Hi Jane, I read you are going to dive into the world of knits, you will love them once you make a few. the fabric you chose is stunning and beautiful. You need to make your muslin out of a similar fabric - weight and stretch so you can see the fit and where the possible problems may turn up. Every knit is different and may require a little different treatment when sewing with it. You don't need a serger to sew knits and you are probably better off not using one for your first few pieces. Threads has a good video on their site for necklines, I think I watched it five times before I did my first neckline. Make sure you use a stretch or ballpoint needle and a 75/11 needle and you should be fine. When I use my sewing machine I use a zigzag stitch of about 1-2. It just adds a little extra thread to each stitch so the thread doesn't break when it is stretched after washing or to pull over your head. You should do some trial stitching and see what length and width work so that the stitches don't break with the fabric. Please post a picture of the top when you are finished, the fabric is great. jane (too)

          1. jane4878 | | #27

            Thanks for the advice, Jane. I'll need to find some knits to play with. I've been lusting after that fabric for quite awhile and then it went on sale. It hasn't shown up yet in the mail, so I'm getting anxious!the other Jane

  2. Gloriasews | | #8

    Welcome back, Rodezzy!  We missed you over your long holiday, but glad you enjoyed the break.  What colour is your new vest?  You'll have to post a pic.

    As for the rest of us, it was fairly quiet over Christmas - everyone was busy trying to get their gifts finished.  You'll have to spend time catching up on all the conversations when you have time.


    1. rodezzy | | #14

      Thanks, I've missed you.  I've checked up on the threads and there were some wonderful projects being finished.  I even saw the dress with the little dogs on it at a Joanns here in Illinois that was posted.  The Christmas dress I believe with the teddy bear dress to go with it. 

  3. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #9

    Happy New Year to you, too!  It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday.  December was a busy month, lots of things to do and places to go.  Other than embroidering several sets of towels for gifts, I didn't do a lot of sewing in December.

    Like you, I have lots of fabric, yarn, and ideas, but not nearly enough time to do all that I want to do as quickly as I'd like to.   I'm working through my list of projects, and am trying not to add too many new ones for now.  In January I have already cut out a pair of boxers for Tim, and will stitch them up this weekend.  I've designed the monogram for Mother-in-Law's purse, and will start sewing on Friday.  I'm working on another Project Linus afghan, and have about 8" more to crochet to finish it.  I also need to straighten up my craft closet and organize my fabric and supplies--that's my big challenge for this year!

    Oh, I almost forgot....I have a new serger to get acquainted with.  My boss was very generous with year-end bonuses, so I treated myself to a Baby Lock Evolve!  I made a little drawstring bag with it, but still need to play around with all the stitches and see what it can do.  This is my first serger, so I have a lot to learn.

    1. rodezzy | | #13

      You have been busy, wow a new serger.  I want a computer and sewing machine that does it all.  I can dream can't I.  I get a bonus in March.  I'll see what I can get.

    2. MaryinColorado | | #28

      Oh boy, now your family is going to be wondering where you are all the time.  The "urge to serge" is so addicting!  Hope you love it as much as I do.  You might want to get the book Serger Secrets, it's my favorite on the subject.  I am going to be making serger lace scarves and embellishments the next few months.  Congratulations!  Have fun, Mary

      1. User avater
        VKStitcher | | #29

        I've been wanting a serger for a while, and I'm excited about learning how to use it.  A book would be quite helpful, since I've never used a serger before now.  The machine is easy to thread and use, but I'd like to know the tips & tricks, and the best uses for all the different stitches.  Thanks for recommending "Serger Secrets".  I'll check it out.

        1. MaryinColorado | | #31

          You might also like to peruse http://www.lindaleeoriginals.com .  She is called the "sergerlady", is one of the co-authors of "Serger Secrets", and has a serger workbook, which is nice for beginners, and several serger specific patterns.   Mary

          1. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #35

            Hi Mary,

            I just checked out the Linda Lee Originals website, but only have a few minutes now.  I'll have to look at it again tomorrow when I have more time.  There's a lot of information there!  Thanks for letting me know about her site.


          2. MaryinColorado | | #36

            You're welcome!  I thought you might  find some good information there.  I saw a small serged quilt yesterday at a shop, I might take that class and start going to thier serger club.  It would be fun to be with others who share my "urge to serge". 

            I loaded the 4D software for my embroidery machines.  Whew!  There is so much to learn.  I hope I am up to the challenge.  The next several months will likely be focused on this.  So my January/February challenge is decided.  Wish me luck, please.  Mary

          3. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #37

            Yes Mary, there's always more to learn!  I've discovered that with embroidery, the more I do, the more I want to learn how to do.  Stitching the designs is the easy part!  I have a monogram software program, and the editing software for my machine.  I enjoy combining monograms or names with embroidery designs to make gifts that are special and unique for the person I'm giving them to.

            The software for my machine is somewhat limited, and I'd like to download the Embird demo.  I want to have a block of time to try it out so I'll know if I want to buy it.  But I have several projects that I want/need to get done first.

            Good luck to you in learning the 4D software.  Just take it step by step, take a break when you get tired, and you'll do fine.  :-)

          4. MaryinColorado | | #38

            Thanks for the encouragement!  I am pretty intimidated by it so far.  One of the things I really look forward to is being able to split large designs to fit my hoops.   I am going to try to take it step by step as you suggest.  It's as if you read my mind and knew I was trying to absorb too much too fast.  Mary

    3. User avater
      VKStitcher | | #68

      I can't believe it's February already!

      I finished my January sewing projects, but organizing my craft closet is an ongoing process.  I rearranged the sewing room yesterday, but will have to tackle the closet next weekend.

  4. Josefly | | #11

    Okay, so where's the picture of that new vest and scarf, at least? Glad you enjoyed your vacation, and glad to see you're back with us.

    1. I owe a Christmas present, too, that I didn't get finished in time, so that's my number 1 to do. Haven't done any sewing since Christmas, since the rush to finish presents sort of burnt me out.
    2. And I have fabric partly cut out for a bag, too.
    3. And I want to play around with free-motion stitching and see if I can become adept enough at it to quilt some fabrics for a jacket.
    4. Then I want to follow through on my promise to myself last year, to fit myself with a pants pattern. Think I'll use the article that was in Threads #134.
    5. Then, I want to try some knits, like you and Jane. I already have several in my stash to use for muslins. Solosmocker made some great knit cross-over tops that inspire me to try.

    But I'm giving a bridal shower in February, and also want to make a gift of placemats and napkins for that. We'll see... I'm not very good at following through on sewing goals, which is why I haven't joined in the monthly challenges thus far. But maybe writing them down will give me the discipline to get it done. Thanks for getting the challenge started.

    1. rodezzy | | #15

      Whew, I sweating just reading all of that.  So many projects...blah blah blah!  Let's get it on. 

      Well, I have on the vest now, but I'll try to remember to take a pic tonight.  I was so excited to wear it.

      1. Josefly | | #17

        Heh, heh. Yes, I'm good at the blah, blah, blah. Time will tell...

        1. rodezzy | | #18

          Me too, I blah..blah...blah a lot, then I get on fire.  But it's not always what I blah blah blahhed about that I get on fire about.  Lots of times it's totally new and I go off in a totally new direction.  I can't seem to help myself.  I come back later to most things, but not all.  Eventually I feel bad about starting something and not finishing it and get back on track.  But, I'm not always happy to be doing it, until I finish.  Then I'm glad I finished it and feel good about it again.  What is that!?!

          1. Josefly | | #19

            I dunno, rodezzy. I guess we humans are perverse that way. Feel a sense of worthiness because we've finished something that we disliked doing. But I think I dislike doing a thing mostly because I've told myself I MUST do it, and forgot that I really wanted to do it in the first place. THAT is perverse. How I rob myself of pleasure.

          2. rodezzy | | #20

            ..."I dislike doing a thing mostly because I've told myself I MUST do it, and forgot that I really wanted to do it in the first place. THAT is perverse...."

            That's exactly how I feel....When I tell myself I have to do this, I almost hate doing it.  That's why I don't do things to sell on order.  If I sell something, it's for people that let me do my own thing in my own time and give me lots of time to do it, or I've made stuff and put it up for sale.  No orders; as is. 

            None of that..."I like this, but do you have it in orange?"......  Back in the seventies when I made hats, scarves and shawls to order, I would interview each person and have them tell me what their favorite colors are, what will it be worn with....a particular coat, outfit, event.  I did the same with my floral business.  I customized each item accordingly.  Then I could do it.  It gave me a blue print to purchase materials with and get a design in my head.  I always got it right then. 

            Now I am hungry to make things for myself.  The past two years is the first time I really did lots of stuff for me!  It feels good, and people look for my creations on me when I go to my favorite haunts.  Guild meetings, craft meeting, visiting relatives, out dancing, where ever I go.  It feels good.  I'm getting old and I've got to wrap myself in me before I leave here. giggle. 

          3. Josefly | | #22

            "I'm getting old, and I've got to wrap myself in me before I leave here."I love that.

          4. rodezzy | | #23

            There's a new movie out w/Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson called "Bucket List".  They devise a list of things they want to do before they "kick the bucket." 

            So, I guess, that's what I'm doing.  I will be 56 on Tuesday next week and after a while, no matter what I put on, it'd look better on a younger person, so I'm trying to realize some of my dreams before I'm too old to look decent in them anyway. 

            That goes for totally decorating my apartment, I've never been able to dress my surroundings as I would like.  My bathroom was redone over vacation and I bought a new fridge and made my mantel and faux fireplace.  Lots yet to do.  Money is the biggest stop gate to most of my doings.  One check just doesn't stretch very fat.  But I'm trudging on. (smile)

            Edited 1/11/2008 12:11 pm ET by rodezzy

          5. Josefly | | #32

            By your type of reckoning, I'm waaaaaaay past looking good. Sixty-four, and not ready to give up. But yes, somebody younger will always look better. Good for you for getting your house like you want it! I've got some changes in mind, in my house, too. So, we'll get it done!

          6. ctirish | | #25

            I never used to finish anything I started, the minute I hit a problem, I would put it away and it would stay in the closet forever. I don't remember when it was but at some point I started telling myself I couldn't start anything new until I finished the last thing and I couldn't buy an item like it until I finished it. For some reason that worked for years and years. When I had to stop working and had more time I started thinking I have more time so it is ok to have more than one thing going at a time. Well, now I have a dresser full of UFO's so one of my New Year Resolutions is to get back to the mindset of no more material until I finish two projects. I don't understand why I have to deny myself things to get me to finish things. Of course, right now I am trying to remember why I bought not one but four 32 inch Christmas trees with lights and decorations from Hallmark the week after Christmas..they were 50% off and..each one is different, but why 4 is beyond me... jane

          7. solosmocker | | #26

            Happy New Year, Rodezzy and all! So great to hear from you and glad you had a restful, creative vacation. I have the holidays and all those bags behind me and decided it was time to make one for myself. I finished it yesterday and put all my "junk" in it today. As far as the rest of this month, I am going to try and concentrate on my new toy. Today I took delivery of my felter. It is still in the box and I hope to go unpack it in a few. So who knows what that will help me get created. Should be great fun playing with this. Keep you posted. I have also been thinking spring and picked up some neat canvas to make a summer bag. Not ready to start that yet! Oh, and DD#2 gave me a nice gift certificate for Joanns. Shouldn't have any problem spending that!Off to my new toy and great to be back on the challenge. solo

          8. rodezzy | | #39

            What a beautiful bag.  Just awesomely delicious.  Are those leather straps and accents or vinly?  Looks great.  Oh, what is a felter and how does is work?

            Edited 1/14/2008 11:21 am ET by rodezzy

          9. solosmocker | | #42

            Rodezzy, the bag is made from a wool/poly suiting from Joanns clearance. The straps and bottom are faux patent leather. It is thin and therefore pretty easy to sew with. It was leftover from the Halloween fabrics (embarrased) and I picked it up for a 1.50 a yard. The lining is what I love. It is a silk jacquard I bought years ago but only had a small piece. So it has been hanging around till I needed a ling for this bag. Thanks for the lovely compliments. solo

          10. rodezzy | | #43

            Wow, faux patent leather!!!  Isn't it great to be able to sew and do things?!  I am very thankful for my abilities and the abilities of others to craft and sew.

            I have more time to do stuff, but I'm kind of lazy.  I am also moody with my sewing.  But, I'm inspired by the gatherings threads.  I hope to get some stuff done by the end of the month.  Well, sewing any who.  I've crocheted three articles this month and last night I started knitting a scarf practicing different stitch combinations I remember by heart.  The yarn was purchased on deep discount at a yarn shop trip with one of my crafting groups "Everything Handmade".  Wasn't enough to make anything else but a scarf, but I had to have it (giggle).

          11. solosmocker | | #44

            wow! January is just flying along. Hope spring comes just as quickly! I did have two goals going into this month. One was to fill a request by DD#2 to make DGD,3, a tutu for her leotard for ballet class. She described it and off shopping I went. Tulle is so inexpensive I decided to make two of them. The pale pink one is what she requested. It is filled with silk flowers, some glued on, some floating, and has an organza ribbon waist and bow. The other was my idea and is a lipstick pink v. sparkly tulle. I took what I cut off that was gathered and made a rosette for the waist in front. It has the same organza ribbon and bow. These took no time at all to make and I know she will just love anyting pink and sparkly. My other goal is to finish a winter jacket I started. The jacket is basically done and waiting for the lining. The lining is cut out and I hope to get to it next week when I come back from visiting the twins. They are doing wonderfully and I can't wait to see them. As far as my embellisher/felter, I have purchased some yarn and a friend gifted me with some roving but I haven't had a chance to sit undisturbed and get to know my new toy. Maybe next weekend. There is a wonderful place called the Fiber Studio in NH that I will try to stop it before coming back to NY and then I can get started playing as soon as this jacket is done. So far this is my goal report. Hows anyone else doing? What have you knitted this week, Rodezzy?solo

          12. solosmocker | | #45

            forgot to add my pics. This was certainly a bit of frilly fun sewing. Here are the tutus:

          13. MaryinColorado | | #46

            Those tutus are adorable!  I made them for my DGD when she was little.  They are so fun and quick to make and no pattern needed.  This brought back fond memories of those days.  She still remembers her first boquet of flowers given to her by dh/grandpa after her first recital.  I made hair scrunchies with dangling ribbons to match. 

          14. Crazy K | | #47

            Oh......how adorable!  You are such a talented grandma...........your kids and grands are so lucky to have you!!  Little girlie things are so fun.  Right now, my closest is a little guy so we're getting into karate, hockey and the like..........no frilly, girlie stuff here!! ha

          15. Gloriasews | | #48

            Those are SO gorgeous - she'll just love them!  Good job!


          16. jane4878 | | #49

            Too cute!  My 7 y.o. is in dance--she'd love those!

          17. ctirish | | #50

            The tutu's are adorable. They will want to wear them everywhere. You inspire me to do cute things for my dgc.

          18. jane4878 | | #51

            I really haven't gotten much done this month.  I've been sick off and on and working on top of it.  I finally took yesterday off because I was so sick (stomach bug).  Today I feel more human, so hopefully I'll be more inspired.  I couldn't find the Jalie pattern I wanted, so I'll have to order it on-line.  This weekend I'm working, but I'm hoping to hide in my sewing room and get stuff done.  I'm going on a trip in a month, so I really do need to get moving. :^)  I have a ton of preshrinking to do as well.  I bought all the thread and elastic I needed last weekend as well.

          19. rodezzy | | #53

            Oh those are so cute.  I doooo love this site.  I smile so much when I'm here.  Thanks for the pics.  Just cuter than cute.

          20. rodezzy | | #52

            Hi solosmocker, sorry I'm so long in responding to you, I've been out of work for a week because of my car and yesterday I had lots of work to do to catch up.  Took public trans early and left to pick up my car.  Check my response to Gloriasews in "best garment you ever made" or something like that I can't remember, but you'll find it.

            While at home, crocheted a sweater jacket, made several scarves (appx. 6) for my manager's three kids and wife.  I'm glad to be back and talking with you, have missed you.  I found a new way to do the lining for my bags that I will have to try, and I'll make sure I make pics to show.  I saw it on Kayes Quilting friends show on WYCC TV.  Got to look it up on the internet because I erased the recording and didn't realize until days later that I needed that episode.  (ugh)  But I'll find it somewhere.

            So I've forgotten what my personal challenges were, my craft group mtgs was cancelled, my birthday get together had to be cancelled, I lost five vacation days over none sense, and I'm looking forward to February.  Let January go away. (whew)


            Edited 1/29/2008 2:29 pm ET by rodezzy

          21. solosmocker | | #55

            Sounds like you were pretty productive to me! Can't wait to see that lining idea. Glad you liked the tutus. They literally are just minutes work. I just finished my jacket, and in time to still wear it for winter. It is one of Malden Mills high performance fleeces so despite its look, should keep me nice and warm with a scarf and hat. I hope to wear it out this afternoon for the first time in what I can only call a white hurricane! Still haven't done anything with my embellisher. The jacket was priority and I have been back and forth to Massachusetts to help with DD's twins. They are so beautiful and soooooo much work but worth it! Here's the jacket and a detail. My piping looks thick and thin but really is perfect. Its just shadows of the collar and such. I used the Darr Piping ruler to make the piping and that little baby is just awesome. If anyone out there is a piping freak like me, get that tool. Yours will be perfect too.

          22. rodezzy | | #57

            That's a beautiful jacket and you look beautiful in it and you are beautiful.  Great work.  I have a pattern similar to that.  Did you draft the pattern yourself or was it from one of the big three pattern makers?  I love those big buttons.  They are hard to find though. 

            Glad you saw those twins.  I bet they are so yummy to hold and sniff.  I love the smell of babies.  So fresh and clean, I mean while they're clean.  (lol) I try not to remember the other smells (giggle).  My son is 36 and sometimes when I look at him, I can still smell and feel the baby he was.  I just hug him and hug him and sniff his neck.  He gets fussy and says, O.K. Mom!!!! I know he loves me to hug him sometimes. 

          23. solosmocker | | #58

            You are so right. There is nothing like the feel and smell of a baby's neck. So sweeeeet. The pattern is Vogue 8307 and you can't tell but it is a princess seam swith a LOT of flare at the hips. It looked better on me once I tamed down the flare. I "petited" it by taking out a 1/2 inch in the upper chest, front and back, half inch in the sleeve cap, lowered the armscye. I do that with every pattern I make as soon as I pull it out of the envelope. Learned that from one of Sandra Betzina's books and it has made a huge difference for me. Then I proceeded to lower the bust level,(yes, they have sunk), and do a full bust adjustment. I have really gotten pretty good at fitting the Big Pattern companies, thanks to SB and Nancy Zieman. I try to pay attention, LOL! This pattern has several reviews on it on Pattern Review. I really think it would flatter anyone and it has those princess lines for easy fit. Give it a shot. Thanks for the compliments. solo

          24. rodezzy | | #59

            Wow, I have that pattern and you really made it your own.  I love that about you girl.  You even changed which side the buttons go on.  I thought that pattern was familiar.  Isn't that the priviledge we have, sewing lets you completely have an original, even if 1,000 ladies buy that pattern and make the coat or jacket, each one will be an original accordingly with the vision each person has for the final design.

            You did a great job.

            Edited 1/31/2008 12:02 pm ET by rodezzy

          25. kbalinski | | #60

            Great jacket, love the piping.  You make me want to be brave and try piping!  I'm about to cut out my first coat (wonderful wool I found at the sewing expo in Sept), so seeing your great outcome is inspiring me to get that fabric cut out and pieced before spring hits!  Although, with the 8 - 10 inches of snow predicted to fall tonight and tomorrow, I think I've got some time!

            Also, loved all your bags.  I'm sure you wrote it somewhere, so I hope I'm not troubling you too much to ask, what pattern did you use for them?  Such wonderful gifts, and like you said, and great way to use small yardages that speak to you.

            Keep up the good work!


          26. solosmocker | | #64

            You can do the piping. I have always loved what a touch of piping can do and use quite a bit in childrens clothing I make, so a lot of practice. There is a notion, NAYY, called the Darr piping ruler that can really make things easier. Its a great little toy that gives you wonderful accuracy in the piping. Just a suggestion as I love mine. solo

            Edited 2/1/2008 9:31 pm ET by solosmocker

          27. SAAM | | #62

            Hi Solosmocker,I LOVE your jacket. What a fabulous design, and, as always, your work is so beautiful. What pattern did you use, or did you design this yourself?Sherry

          28. solosmocker | | #63

            The bags I made for Christmas gifts were all McCalls 4400. The black one with the red lining I did for myself was Vogue 8406. The jacket is Vogue 8307. A word of warning on the jacket. This pattern has a lot of flare. Thats fine with the full length coat but if you have any hips like moi, all the flair just sticks out. I found it much more flattering to take the flare out and just shape it to my hips. I think if I made the full length coat I would keep it in. I think I might have made it an inch longer too. Thanks for the lovely compliments. Rodezzy, the collar and buttons are on the other side because I wasn't paying attention.! LOL!solo

          29. jane4878 | | #66

            Love the jacket and piping! I really like the colours.

          30. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #67

            Your jacket is so stylish--I love it!

          31. Josefly | | #40

            Another great bag. And the lining just begs to be seen! How fun.

          32. RhettaRic | | #54

            That bag looks PERFECT.  Love it.

          33. solosmocker | | #56

            Glad you like the bag. It should work v. nicely with the new jacket. solo

          34. dressed2atee | | #61

            Wow, 2 of my ASG members have felting machines and they brought them to our last meeting.  I am hooked.  Which machine do you have?

          35. solosmocker | | #65

            I have the Sewing with Nancy one, which I think is the Janome Expression if I remember right. I got that one because I had a gift certificate for Amazon and I bought it thru Amazon. It was the only one I could get thru them. I am very happy with it though. It is so simple and straightforward.

          36. MaryinColorado | | #69

            What a lovely coat!  It looks comfortable and very classy.  I love the piping.  As always, your personal creativity and special touches make your garments truly special and unique.  You look so pretty and slim. 

          37. solosmocker | | #70

            Thanks, Mary for your sweet comments. I just love doing piping. I use a it a lot on childrens clothing and throw it in now and then for myself. Its a fun tool to use. Solo

          38. MaryinColorado | | #71

            Hope your  two little "peas in a pod" are doing well!  I'm sure thier parents appreciate all your help as well as the beautiful clothing!  I imagine it was fun to make something for yourself for a change! 

            I haven't been able to entice my 14 yo grand daughter into the sewing room for months.  She has a natural talent for it, I gave her the H/V Rose which runs like a new machine.  She has her own tools and notions, fabric, laces, even 3 T-shirts waiting for embroidery.  She is such a sweet girl, she'd never complain, but I might have been "too helpful" or critical or something.  Maybe it's because she has graduated from girls sizes to junior petites and hasn't found her niche.

            I took her with me to the Denver Creative Festival.  I didn't want to push, but hoped she'd get inspired by something.  I noticed her listening attentively when a designer was explaining the 6 optional hem techniques for a 6 panel skirt with a sheer underlay.  I pretended not to notice.  A while later, she walked over to me and showed me the pattern "Grandpa" bought her.   She told me the designer, Cheryl Weiderspahn, explained how to make the size 4 pattern fit her size 1.  (I will email her a big "Thank You" for taking the time to encourage and inspire DGD!)

            So my most important January challenge is to be available as mentor if she asks, drive her to the fabric store, give her enough money to get whatever fabric she wants, and stand back and let her spread her wings!   (She knows how to read patterns, follow suggested fabric recommendations, and sew.)   

            Also, a professor from a design school took an interest in her, gave her a handmade bracelet, and told her she would make a great model!  What a wonderful experience for her.  I am so grateful to these ladies! 

            This is more exciting than learning my new 4D Suite software!  I'm so glad she came with me to the festival. 

            oops, guess it's my February and foreverafter challenge!

            Edited 2/4/2008 12:23 am by MaryinColorado

          39. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #72

            I think it's so special that you're mentoring your granddaughter.  Fourteen is an awkward age--maybe she just needs a little time to find her style and transition from being a young girl to a young woman (in life as well as in fashion!)  It sounds like you both had a great time at the Creative Festival.

          40. MaryinColorado | | #73

            Thanks, I do cherish the time we spend together. 

            Today I am rearranging my studio so she has room to work.  I can't believe I have a plastic bin full of paperwork to go through, yuck.  That's what I get for procrastinating.  I really need to go through all my threads and yarns again to resort them by color.  There are lots of things that didn't get put away in thier proper places during the holiday rush.  Can't believe it is February already.  Mary


  5. fiberfan | | #30

    As usual, I have lots of things I want to do. 

    I bought a beautiful soft royal blue wool gabardine the day after Christmas.  This will become a dress using a self drafted pattern that is becoming a favorite.  I bought some matching ambiance lining and will make a separate lining so I can wash the lining more than I wash (and potentially iron) the dress.

    My flannel nightshirt has finally bit the dust - sigh.  I bought some purple flannel at Joann's the day after Thanksgiving for a new nightshirt.  I will cut the old one (RTW) apart to use as a pattern as the old one was very comfy.

    I need to finish an elastic waist skirt from a pretty border brocade for a friend.  The skirt has been fitted and should only take 1-2 hours to finish.  I have 2 more fabrics to make skirts for this friend - I will wait until she has worn the new one to make sure I don't need to modify the pattern.

    I need more tops.  I have a royal blue sarong and a fuchsia skirt, both from wool, that only go with one top (different ones).  I have a nice hand-dyed silk to match the sarong and am working on a hand-dyed rayon challis to match the wool skirt.  There are lots of fabric in stash that will make nice tops as well.

    I have a class on sewing a jacket with handwoven fabric in April and want to complete a sample for the fabric this month.

    Joanne - so many ideas, so much fiber, so little time

    1. Josefly | | #33

      I've been wondering about dying rayon. I have some yardage that cries out for more color. Is there anything special about dying rayon I should know?

      1. fiberfan | | #34

        Unless the rayon is an acetate rayon (I haven't seen this, just know it exists) it will dye the same as cotton.  The main difference is rayon will usually dye a more intense color with the same dye to fabric ratio.

        If you haven't dyed fabric before or haven't done much, Paula Burch's web site has great information about dyeing fabric.  Her gallery has some wonderful eye candy.  Dyeing fabric a solid color is more work than dyeing it an un-even color.  There are a variety of ways to manipulate the fabric to vary the un-even dye.  A nice book with information on the low water immersion technique (and a lot of beautiful pictures) is Paula Johnson's Color By Accident.  Check your local library for dyeing books.  A good beginner book for dyeing both cellulose and protein fibers is Hands on Dyeing.

        I wouldn't recommend using RIT dyes, they are a combination of a dye for protein fibers (wool, silk, angora etc) and a dye for cellulose fibers (cotton, linen etc).  The protein fiber dye is an acceptable dye but will be wasted on cellulose fibers.  The cellulose fiber dye is a direct dye that is not very color fast.

        For occasional dyeing, the Dylon cold water dyes sold at Joann's, Hancock's and Walmart are a good fiber reactive dye with the soda ash that is needed to raise the ph so the dye will attach to the fiber.  If you are going to do a lot of dyeing, I would recommend buy Procion MX or Sabracon/Cibracon dyes from ProChem or Procion MX from Dharma Trading.  Both web sites have good information about using the dyes they sell.


        1. Josefly | | #41

          Thank you for the tips, links, and references. I will email your message to myself, and check out the info before I try to dye. I don't plan to do it often, so will probably try the Dylon dyes you mentioned. This is so helpful!

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