Who’s Got the Funk? SewTigerSew’s Sew Grateful Giveaway

Three funky, funky patterns!
Three funky, funky patterns!
Two lovely patterns with plastic covers!
Two lovely patterns with plastic covers!

Today in honor of Sew Grateful Week I’d like to offer two lots of vintage patterns, one with plastic covers and one without. (I had no idea how to split these up, so covers it was!) Click each picture for a larger, more detailed view.

These came to me through a super-fun swap in 2011 at Mena’s (of Sew Weekly and TypePad fame) place, and I have made up two and found both to be awkward for me. They just didn’t fit the way I’m used to things fitting, and I had to realize that I’m just used to modern ease, etc. I think it’s time they moved on to new homes.

To enter, leave a comment telling me which lot you’d like to win and which pattern you think you might actually make up. I’ll be happy to ship worldwide, so please enter from anywhere! I’ll use a random number thingie, assuming more than two people leave comments. 😉

Update: I’m keeping this giveaway open through Friday, February 28th, so please feel free to enter throughout the week!

Serger Basics Class

On Saturday I went to the local Babylock dealer, Eddie’s Quilting Bee, for a class on how to best use my new machine. It was a fun change of pace to get up early and get to the store, a wee bit dressed up in one of my me-made dresses. 😉

It was a pretty basic class, as I’d already been using the serger, and had one before this one for 8 years, but I learned a couple of key things that would have taken a long time to get around to learning on my own. I am SO chagrined to say that one of my major complaints of late about the old machine would have been solved just by using one of those handy plastic over the thread cones! Sigh. When using slippery thread, it’s key to keep the strand from dipping down and catching on the bottom of the cone on the way back up. Seriously, I felt so silly for not thinking of/remembering that.

We sewed a bunch of samples and I had a ball taking notes right on my fabric squares! I found my favorite settings for a nice rolled hem, and now I’m itching to make napkins for everyone! I got to discuss how to best use my new coverhem binder, though we didn’t go over that in class, and I think I’m in for a LOT of practicing before I use it to finish my XYT top. (I’m thinking this first go I will just do elastic as Melissa suggests.)

Most fun of all, probably, was teaching the teacher something! I showed her Debbie Cook’s great technique for finishing a coverhem in the round. So all this blog-reading does do a person good after all, it seems, aside from making me want to buy more fabric and patterns!

All in all, it wasn’t the complex techniques class I look forward to (they have those every couple of months), but it was fun to spend the day sewing with other ladies, talking about sewing, and being out for an activity for which I am usually at home. The store offers “serger club” classes, the next couple of which are somewhat elementary for me, but I may just go and have fun anyhow! This month’s is a pyjama project, and I owe my dear husband a new pair of PJ pants, so maybe I’ll go and sew those up while the others do the assigned ladies’ pattern. 😉

Between this and my class at Canada College starting next month (French Pattern Drafting with Linda Maynard), I’m enjoying combining sewing and socializing in real space as well as online!

To Heck with Waiting for Better Pictures: The Craftsy Weekender Dress

After we settled from moving a second time in 3 months, I had some time off from work for the holidays. Thank heavens! I needed it. We got almost completely settled in the new (upstairs) apartment within a week, and then hosted my mom and stepdad for Christmas and my 40th birthday, and after that, I was SO happy to spend all day reading your blogs, rest, run, and SEW!

IMG_5577I thought the Craftsy Weekender Dress, October’s sewalong, would be a nice little project to get my sewjo back. And it was! Simple, easy to fit—I just graded out a tiny bit so that the skirt would skim my hips more lightly—and my serger was working nicely at the time.

I especially liked how they had us do the empire waist embellishment—just sewed it in the front underbust seam like a binding, and when the side seams were sewn up, it was stabilized plenty so as not to flap up, though it’s only sewn on top, and not on the bottom of the band of red fabric.IMG_5579

You can see from the back view that yes, I could use a swayback adjustment. I guess I’ll have to learn how to do that when there’s no waist seam. This would be an improvement for my t-shirt patterns, neither of which I would yet call TNT!

All in all, I like this pattern, and I think I may re-make it. It’s very easy to wear, fits nicely, and the half-length sleeves are just perfect for my office.

So, here’s to developing a bit of a rhythm for this blogging thing. I’m trying to take the attitude of “Done is better than perfect.” What do you think? Is this worth a read?