Happy Spring Sewing from Jenny’s Sewing Studio

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Welcome Spring!  My mom keeps counting the days till spring. I try to tell her the weather might not improve on the 20th of March.  I think we are in for another Nor’easter.  I think that is 4 big storms in less than a month. Other than preparing for the storms I have been sewing to past the time inside.

I recently lost 62 pounds this year and am trying to take in all my spring clothing to fit. It is a huge task. I refuse to buy new clothing right now so I am trying to be creative. I have cut off at least 8 inches on the sides and tucked the necklines so they are no so large. The next step is to shorten sleeves and lengths.  I like my clothes and it would cost a fortune to replace all these clothes.  My goal is to lose 60 more pounds in the next year. I will be happy with working on a pound a week.  At some point I am sure I will need a new wardrobe, not now.  One thing I have to say is thanks for knits!

I started a Pinterest page on Creative Clothing and Vintage Clothing and I look at the ideas every so often to get inspired. The pictures remind me of what I would like my clothing to look like. The sewing market has changed so much in recent years.  The picture of the shirt waist dress will give you an idea of what I was sewing in junior high school. I made a dress identical to the blue dress and wore it a lot. Full shirted shirt waist dresses were also very comfortable. Today you might not find the Peter Pan collar but I think I could find a shirtwaist dress in a pattern book.

 In the early 1970’s I started sewing pantsuits with double knits. They were main stay in my wardrobe.  I fell in love with knits.  

There was nothing like going into a fashion fabric store and seeing the drape and feeling the fabrics. Locally all we have is Hobby Lobby and Walmart.   I miss the fashion fabrics that were coordinated to tell a fashion story and the fabrics would be mixed and matched to make pants, jackets, dresses and shirts.  I can remember spending hours buying fabrics to make entire fall or spring wardrobes with. I do not have the need for such wardrobes of clothing now but I still desire style and comfort.  I will probably never wear another dress, but you never know.  I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s when I think clothing nice fit and style. 

I look forward to sewing clothing again.  I have tried the shopping on-line approach but it takes much longer to research and find that special fabric. I do have a few fabrics in my stash and I think I will be able to embellish the fabric to make a special look for myself. One of my favorite embellishments is piping. The bag picture shows you some self-made piping. I think I can place the piping in the seams and on the edges and always used the piping foot to make it an easy insertion.  

Another embellishment is topstitching. The walking foot really helps keep the stitches even and straight. I have used 2 top threads placed through the same needle eye to get a defined stitching look. To help you get the best look on your topstitching I have a kit that is on clearance. Get the walking foot, guide ruler, a 1/4″ foot and a free motion foot all for the price of a walking foot. Kit fits all low shank sewing machines.

I have a student using this kimono pattern in a “Continue Sewing” class.  I like the garment, it is a great jacket and really dresses up the plain top and pants I already have. This garment gives the sewer plenty of challenge with facing, interfacing, border prints, and learning to under stitch.  The fabric for this kimono is also a challenge. If you are looking to advance your basic skills I suggest you plan 2 or 3 lessons on the jacket.

I hope you are planning your Spring sewing to include a new wardrobe garment. Have fun and enjoy the sewing till the warm weather comes!

 

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Walking foot sale at Jenny’s Sewing Studio

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Do you do quilting or top stitching or use difficult to sew bulky fabrics? The walking foot is the answer to a lot of sewing issues.  If you sew on quilt binding, the walking foot will keep the top and bottom layers even as you sew.  Do you need to “stitch in the ditch”,  or sew the borders and quilt edge? The walking foot is the key. I recently sewed a fluffy fleece robe and it was impossible to feed through the machine without a walking foot. I have several types of walking feet on clearance. Take a look at this link. Most closeouts are in limited supply. Don’t miss out!

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Quick Trip Quilt Classs

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I had a great time teaching the Quick Trip Quilt to Ashley and Betty Lou. Both had never sewn before so the whole process of picking the fabrics, using the machine and sewing the 1/4″ seams was new. Grandmother and great grand daughter did a great job. The class only allowed enough time to cut and piece the quilt top, so I hope to see them come back to finish the quilting.

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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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Personalized Sewn Memories

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I recently had one of my former students contact me about making her some pillows. I usually do not sew for people but this was a special case. Her husband was a partner in my brother’s firm and had passed away about one month after Gerald. She has gathered about 25 shirts from her husbands closet and wanted them sewn into pillows to give as a memory to her grand children and her husband’s mother.  It was an unusual request but I was surprised that Pinterest had a whole section on memory pillows made from shirts.

I looked up many ideas but decided on a few pictures for inspiration. I am going to pipe the pillow edges and use the machine to write her husbands name and birthday in the strips of a rail fence quilt square design. Another great idea is a pillow wrap as pictured here.

If you would like to try a pillow I give a one on one class on how to make the pillow with piping. The piping foot is available for most machines. If you would like to sew the patchwork, I also sell the 1/4″ foot.

Below find some very creative ideas.

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Learn to Fit class

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If you have ever sewn your own clothes you know that fitting is the main issue most sewers have to over come when making a brand new dress or jacket or pair of pants.  I have had many requests to teach pattern making and for the sewer to make their own patterns they need to understand fit.

In 2 -3 hour classes Jenny’s Sewing Studio will teach you to fit patterns. Get that perfect custom fit. You will use McCall 6901 basic fitted pattern. In class fit and sew a gingham basic fit dress to use as a base for future sewing pattern fit and design. You should be able to fit most dresses and shirts with skills learned in class.

In the first lesson bring McCall’s M2718 pattern and your 1/4″ check gingham in a pastel color. I will measure you and help you make all pattern adjustments. Cutting and marking the fabric will be done as time allows. Make sure you wear something form fitting to class so measurements can be taken over the leggings or leotard.

In the 2nd lesson we will sew and fit the pattern to create the perfect fit. A new pattern will be created as a reference for future sewing. This is an intermediate class and not designed for the beginner sewer.

Perfect Pant fit will also be available. Since these are one on one classes you can choose the best time to take the class.  In 2 -3 hour classes Jenny’s Sewing Studio will teach you to fit a pant pattern. Get that perfect custom fit. You will use McCall 6901 basic fitted pattern.

In the first lesson bring McCall’s 6901 pattern and enough muslin and some sewing thread to create a fitting shell. I will measure you and help you make all pattern adjustments. Cutting and marking and sewing the muslin will be done as time allows. Make sure you wear something form fitting to class so measurements can be taken over the leggings or leotard.

You will need to cut out your new pants so we can construct a perfect fitting pair of pants in lesson 2. This is an intermediate class and not designed for the beginner sewer.

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Learn to use your Sewing Machine to it’s fullest

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Have you  recently upgraded or purchased a new sewing machine for the first time? Even if you are an experienced sewer you should take the time to learn what features come with your new machine. Jenny’s Sewing Studio offers a 2 hour class on machine instruction and since these classes are one on one, they can be scheduled most afternoons during the week and weekend.

Most new machines will do zig-zag, blind hem, mending stitches, buttonholes, and some decorative stitches. I personally like electronic machines since stitch selection is automatic. I also recommend a machine that has a front drop in bobbin since it is much easier to operate.

Accessories and sewing machine feet make your sewing machine have additional strengths. Take a look at some pieces Jenny’s Sewing Studio offers. You may consider them for your machine.

The walking foot helps keep layers even and feed together as you see. Consider the walking foot for top stitching and quilting. I always use the walking foot to sew bindings in place.

Seams sew easy is a rather new sewing foot that gives you a gauge for the seam allowance. Place the gauge at 5/8″ for regular sewing or 3/8″ for a top stitch. This foot helps you sew straight and look more professional.

The pearls and piping foot is a real helpful guide. I really like using 1/4″ prepacked piping to make a pillow or finish a lapel. Piping makes the edge turn so much better. Make the piping match or make it contrast. The piping foot keeps you on track when you place the piping in the groove.

A lot of sewers like inserting an invisible zipper. The invisible zipper foot is now a snap on foot. Just press the zipper coil to flatten the curve and use the grooved foot to install the zipper. It is fast and easy.

 

 

 

 

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