Beginning sewing projects

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The best way to Learn to Sew is to practice.  The cold winter months really give us time to do just that.  Jenny’s Sewing Studio will help you make a plan…!

If you need to learn to use a new sewing machine, serger or embroidery machine you got for Christmas, I have the perfect class for you. Instructional lessons are usually 2 hours and I will steer you through the instruction book and get you ready for your upcoming sewing projects.

Start with Beginner Sewing 2 lesson class to learn the basics of sewing and reading a pattern. We will make 3 projects to get you started.

Here are some easy sewing project ideas I found on-line to inspire you. Most of these projects will use scraps of fabric. They also make great in expensive gifts. One of my favorite web sites is Sew4Home with lots of free project ideas. Also make sure you look at some of my free sewing project patterns. Check back often for more ideas to come.

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Blizzard January 3, 4th and 5th of 2018 in Salisbury, MD

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If you do not live on Delmarva or along the east coast of the mid Atlantic and New England you may not have heard about our blizzard. The last blizzard I remember here on Delmarva was when I was in high school in the 1960’s. It is a rare event. My mom and I are snowed in until Monday when the temperature come out of the single digits and into the 40’s. It snowed 15″ in my backyard. We have had big snow before but I never remember it being so cold and so difficult to dig out. It took 3 men and a plow to open up my driveway and walks today. All I did was go to the mailbox. I know people are driving but I use a minivan and it is not equipped for this kind of snow. I think I will play it safe and wait for some melting to happen. I thought I would show you some pictures taken by the local news using their helicopter. I love the shots of cars that are stuck in the snow, one is of the pile of cars waiting to dig the stuck car out. I have been in that situation where you slide uncontrolled into a snow bank. I think the news was trying to send a message.

As far as I am concerned, we have had plenty of snow this winter.  Jenny

 

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A great beginner sewing project for 2018

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Are you learning to sew? If you have taken a beginner sewing class from Jenny’s Sewing Studio I have a great pattern suggestion for you to make. This kimono jacket came be worn by everyone and is a great addition to your wardrobe. The pattern also offers easy fit. Try a nice cotton print to start with. You can then graduate to silks and slippery polyesters later. Here is a link to classes. You can find fabrics at JoAnn fabrics in Easton or Serendipity Quilts in Dagsboro, Delaware. I also like to shop on line at Mode, Fabric.com, and Fabric depot.com . Please email me if you have fabric questions and if you are in doubt of an on-line fabric, send me a link. See the email form attached.

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First snow of the season

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It is snowing in Salisbury, MD and it is so beautiful. I just want to turn off all the lights in the house and look out every window to see the snow filled trees and the falling snow.  Sorry I can not capture the beauty on film but thought I would share what I could. Tomorrow when I have to shovel the snow it will not be as pretty.  We are expecting anywhere from 4 to 8 inches.

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Thanksgiving for 2017

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What am I thankful for? My health, my family, my mom, my sewing skills, and my special friends make me thankful. This year I joined Weight Watchers and I am also thankful to all my new friends there and the special support they have given me.  On my birthday I celebrated a loss of 50 pounds. I am grateful for the chance to improve my health and am looking forward to the continuing weight loss to go in 2018. It is a new life style and a new path for me to stay focused on.

Here is a family picture of our family at my sister-in-laws home in Easton, MD. The day was beautiful and a little cold in the 30’s and 40’s. Picture includes from left to right my nephew Andrew, his son Joshua and wife Valerie, Me, my Mom, my nephew Michael and his wife Shalini, My sister in law Sue, Grand nephew Nolan, my niece Laura and her by friend GM, GM’s mom Barbara, Sue’s mom Janet, Sue’s brother Mark and his father Roy. The second row is my brother Jim and his girl friend Carol.  Missing is my nephew Jason and his girl friend Penny. Missing in our hearts is my Dad Gray and my brother Gerald.

To stay on my smart points I prepared some Thanksgiving treats to take with me. I made the Fruit Turkey, a special crustless pumpkin pie and I took steamed carrots. I had to show you the turkey. Hope you had a wonderful day and enjoyed friends and family.

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Learn to Sew at Jenny’s in Salisbury, MD

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I have had several brand new sewers recently and wanted to share our latest project. Maria is modeling her newly created apron. An apron is a great gift project, especially if you are making a holiday apron.

Maria learned how to use the sewing machine basics, how to sew a standard seam using a seam guide, how to sew a 1/4″ seam and how important a steam iron is to you when sewing.  The first project was a pin cushion, second was a zipper change purse and then she learned to read the pattern and lay out the fabric. In the second class she cut the apron, marked the pocket placement, made pockets and straps.

We started a second project which was a knit dress. Maria found out how hard it is to cut a jersey knit. We finish the cutting but I learned I needed a new pair of SERRATED KNIFE-EDGE bent handled scissors for the next knit project. Scissors really make a big difference.

I hope you will join me in class during the holiday and in 2018.

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Christening Gown from a wedding dress

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Today I started a brand new project. A friend of mine asked me to remake her daughter’s wedding dress into a christening gown. She picked a Simplicity pattern. I set to work tearing the dress apart to harvest fabric and trim for the baby’s dress, slip, bonnet and shoes.

My mom thought I was crazy but I bought a large fancy box to store all the trim, fabric and scraps as I worked on the dress. I told her once I cut into the dress and pattern, I needed to stay organized so I would not loose anything. The next thing I am going to do is buy a padded hanger for the christening gown. The fabric wrinkles fast and I need to preserve the fresh pressed look .

I took pictures of the original gown before I took my scissors to the dress. The first cut was hard because the dress was beautiful. I cut off the bodice to work on the shirt sections. The main dress is an organza with lace appliques. There is a dress lining that I will make the slip, bonnet and slippers from. I cut the dress shirt along the seams to be able to see the open patches of usable fabric. I had to feel for the straight of grain when laying out the patterns. Each step of the way, I would study the construction and fabric grain to make sure I was making the best cutting decision. I steam pressed all the fabric before cutting any pattern pieces. It took me 4 hours to cut the 24 pattern pieces and the dress. I left the accessories to cut last, as they only take small amounts of fabric.

Cutting the front of the christening gown was easy. The wedding dress shirt is cut high in the wedding dress front and long in back for a train. That meant I had to cut off the satin trim from the hem on the train.  I will then reapply the satin trim and lace to the back bottom edge of the christening gown. The Christening gown will reveal the design of the wedding gown in the hem.

Once I was able to evaluate the project, the next step was to order the notions needed.  I ordered threads, elastic, ribbon and lace. Since we have very little in wedding dress supplies in Salisbury, MD I was forced to order on line.

I embroidered the grandmother’s and grandfather’s initials on the slip 1st.  The embroidery says, “All because 2 people fell in love” and includes the grandmother and grandfather’s initials.

My final sewing decision was to line the organza. It added to the shape of the bodice and the flow of the dress. I have included pictures of the whole sewing process for you to see. My mom helped me by holding the dress for pictures before I cut.  I think the dress is a masterpiece. See what you think?

If you have a special project you would like sewing help with you can send me an email using the form below.

Jenny

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Helpful sewing tips

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There are lots of ways you can save time and problems when sewing. I call these helpful sewing tips! There are probably 1000’s of sage advise sewing tips. I will share just a few right now.

My beginner sewers learn all about the seam ripper. Thank goodness for the seam ripper. I like the small sharp rippers. When I first learned to sew I would do lots of extra sewing steps to try and cover up mistakes and not to rip it out. I usually ended up ripping the mistake anyway. It was a lesson I learned early. 

A great tip is to use a straight pin at the ends of the buttonhole when cutting a buttonhole with a ripper, so you do not slice too far.

Change your sewing machine needle when starting and new project and throw the used needle away. Most of the time the needle gets burred with little effort. When we had our repair shop the first thing we would do is put in a new needle. Check your book for the best style and size of needle needed. Here is a link to the needles Jenny’s Sewing Studio sells.

Another helpful hint is to check the top threading before you sew your project. I always use a scrap to check the stitch. If you are getting a bunch of loose threads under the fabric it is usually caused but incorrect threading on the top side. Make sure you place tension on the thread as you bring it through the threading path. That way you seat the top thread for correct top tension.

When beginner sewers come to class and I teach them to use the sewing machine I notice one consistent thing. Everyone want to push the fabric or pull it through the sewing machine. I advise the sewer to learn to steer the fabric from in front of the presser foot. I will use my left hand to hold or smooth the fabric before the needle and the right hand to steer the direction the machine is taking the fabric. with practice the correct hand hold on the fabric will mean straighter seams. Sometimes I recommend a magnetic seam gauge. most students love to use the guide.

A oldie but a goodie is the Singer Sewing Book. When I first went to work as a sewing instructor for Singer in 1972 this was my first purchase. Today you might be luck to find a copy on Amazon. It is an encyclopedia of all thing sewing and I use the reference all the time.

That is all for now, till next time, Jenny

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