Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New Free Embroidery Designs

Embroidery Library, has just released their new March Free embroidery designs plus a nice lot of Spring designs that you pay for (but they don't charge much!). Two of these new freebies are perfect for me. One is "So many scraps, so little time" for the quilter in me, and the other is "So many books, so little time" for the reader that I am. They also have a clover applique design with Celtic style embroidery on top. All in all a great bunch of designs and in two different sizes also. Don't forget that Embroidery Library's free designs are only good for that month and then you will have to buy them.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Fitting Book

Among the pile of sewing books that I got the other day, was The Busy Woman’s Fitting Book by Nancy Zieman with Robbie Fanning. I had seen Nancy demonstrate this fitting technique on television years ago, but didn’t have a written copy to refer to. As I have several body areas on my patterns that need altered when sewing, I have been reading up and trying to find a method that would work for me. I like Nancy’s approach that once you have fine-tuned this technique with classic style patterns, you will be able to add the same alterations to all patterns. I’m looking forward to trying out this technique as it doesn’t leave your pattern in multiple pieces and lots of tape attached to it and seems fairly simple and straight forward.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Yesterday was sunny and an almost balmy 30 degrees. Time to get out of the house and to my delight a local town was having a Friends of the Library (FOL) used book sale. Hubby and I drove to it to see if we could find some good books to resupply our store. Unfortunately when we arrived, we found lots of books, but not many that would be an asset to our store.

We did come home with three boxes of books because I found quite a few books on sewing. Not really valuable books money wise, but valuable to me for reference when I'm sewing. I also found lots of those fun little mystery paperback books that can be read in an evening and provide more entertainment than a TV show. I even found a signed Tess Gerritsen hardcover book that will go into my own collection as she is one of my favorite authors.

My favorite find of all though, was The Complete Book of Sewing Short Cuts by Claire B. Shaeffer. I have one of her other books and was very impressed with it and have read many of her columns in Threads magazine, and so was happy to find another one of her books. The title is a bit of a misnomer as I didn't see many so called short cuts for sewing. What I did see was a sewing book author who thoroughly knows her stuff and presented it in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. The copy I bought is only illustrated by black and white diagrams, but perhaps a later edition may have colored illustrations. This book will definitely be referred to many times to help know the best way to sew an item.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bought more fabrics today

Just because I don’t have my sewing machine handy, doesn’t mean I can’t plan and purchase stuff for sewing. I’ve really been thinking about the Sewing With A Purpose plan and have started planning some colors, picking out patterns and buying fabric. Of course, with the numbers of patterns I have to choose from in our store, I have to be careful not to try and hoard them all! I live a very casual lifestyle and so don’t need a lot of ‘dress-up’ clothes. Mostly I need clothes for around the house, grocery shopping, occasional nights out with hubby (dinner and a visit to Barnes & Noble) and church.

If a pattern has back zippers or buttons it didn’t even make the first cut. Formals and extremely complicated patterns also got the thumbs down. And while every article on wardrobe planning tells you that you need a tailored jacket, I don’t wear them and am not going to start now. I do like wearing my sweatshirts converted to a lightweight jackets as a cover-up although I only decorate them, I’ve never sewed one from scratch. Perhaps if I have success with the pink knit that I bought yesterday, maybe I will try.

Anyhow, I have narrowed my patterns choices down currently to 5. I want to make at least one dress, 3-4 skirts, maybe one pair of pants, 4-5 easy tops and a better blouse. Very ambitious plan for me. I do remember the summer before I started nursing school and needed something more than the ‘mommy’ rags I had been wearing, I made 11 items in 9 days and was watching 4-5 kids all at the same time so surely if I give myself some time I can get the above plan made.

My great hope is eventually get rid of the worn out, non-fitting, misfit items in my closet and instead have clothes that coordinate with each other at least to the point that each top or bottom has 3-4 matches. Currently I have some tops that only have one bottom that matches them and skirts with minimal tops to match.

At this point I am planning on using black and purple as focal colors with cream, pink, rose, light green as accents. I have some nice things already in the closet that would work already with those colors and my mother gave me a huge bag of fabric with some of those colors as solids also. Today I bought some purple crinkle Charmeuse, a cream cotton fabric, and a light color sheer with purple flowers on it. There is enough of the purple for a top. I was hoping the cream would be enough for at least a tank top but I’m about ¼ yard shy now that I have checked my patterns, but I will see how I can make it work. The light sheer I thought would be nice as a scarf, or accent fabric perhaps as godets in the dress I want to make. Anyways I feel like I am making progress at least in the planning of what I want to do and I think when things melt enough, my sewing machine is coming back home for awhile.

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Fabric!

I woke up today to blue skies, the temperature was a bit above 20 degrees, AND I felt great, PLUS Joann Fabrics was having a sale. I had a coupon for an additional 10% off of my whole purchase which was great on top of the sale stuff I bought. I bought two 3' x 5' cutting mats. One for me and one for hubby in his piano work. I'm going to try and learn to cut out garment patterns with a rotary cutter. I've used them for years for my quilting, but never for cutting out garments. Hopefully, the bigger mat will allow me to cut the larger pieces (I'm a big girl) without them falling off the mat or me having to shift the fabric in mid-cut. A friend gave me a new small rotary cutter which I hear is good for going around curves. All I know is that if I can't learn to cut out patterns this way, my future of making my own clothes will be ending soon. Trying to cut things out with scissors hurts my hands too much.

I found some pretty silky type fabric that I thought would make a nice skirt and was in the colors I've been thinking of using in my own personal SWAP--black, purple, rose. I thought there was only enough on the bolt for a skirt, but it ended up being almost 4 yards so I think I will have my choice of skirt or dress. I also found some pink knit 40% off and got 5 yards. I haven't sewn with knits much but I wear them a lot so this will be a project of learning to sew with them. I figure I have enough fabric for a wearable 'muslin' or a second project. Since pink is one of my very favorite colors I wouldn't mind having two finished items in the same fabric. Now to get my sewing room set up and be able to use my sewing machine again!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Too Cold, Too much Snow, Too many flare-ups!

It has been a strange couple of months for me and unfortunately not really good ones. My arthritis has been flaring up big time with periods of relief barely long enough to get the dishes caught back up. The cold and snow we have been having here in Pennsylvania hasn't really helped either as my artificial knees can't handle cold weather below 20 degrees. So week after week I have been sitting at home feeling miserable.

To make things worse, we are having permit problems with our new house and can't move in yet. This, of course, we found out after I had moved all my sewing things over to the new house. So I haven't even been able to do little projects.

The one thing I have been able to do is surf the internet for which I am very thankful. I have found some interesting sites including one that has a lot of information on Sewing With A Plan or SWAP. All about making some basic pieces for your wardrobe in coordinating colors for tops and bottoms and with eleven pieces you will have wonderful opportunities for mixing and matching clothes for all occasions. This is an area that I having been thinking much about as my clothes are all getting to be on their last legs so to speak. I want to have an organized approached to my sewing for maximine effectiveness. At the same time I also have to cater to physical problems which makes back zippers or buttons impossible for me anymore, tighter fitting pullover clothes are harder now to pull off. I also want to take into account clothes my hubby would like to see me in and clothes I would like to wear and find comfortable. I'm having a hard time explaining to him just exactly why jumpers are so comfy to wear.

SWAP is a fantastic idea for planning your sewing. Click on the links and read more about it. Timmel Fabrics actually is sponsoring a SWAP contest and even if you don't want to participate in the actual contest, there are lots of great ideas and photos to see what other sewists are making and will give you ideas for your own wardrobe planning.