Monday, January 26, 2015

A little rick rack in the seam is a nice touch

Working on something. 
Somethings, Buncha somethings. 

Yes, sis, I'm making you that shirt. No, yours will not have rick rack.

 And yes, I've got the last part of the Emerald City Comic Con cosplay suit in the works. I need two blue LEDs and a couple of dead K cups. Picking up the derby tomorrow morning. 

And I've got rick rack on bees.
the colors are creamier than this

Yes, this is the Tula Pink bee fabric. This is the most ridiculously soft cotton; it's made for clothing not for quilting. Yum yum yum.

ohmygerd apencilline!

The fastest way not to mess this up is to pretest to determine where in the seam the rack should ripple. I've got some tested, and I'm going for a half circle exposure. Although there's plenty of options.
for example: do I want to just have half circles, lock ness Nessie 'bumps' or the full serpent? Or do I want to entwine two different ones?
First of all, it should be even. "rip out the parts where it's an 1/8th off and redo them" even. And that's boring work, so preparation is a must.

 I figure out where the seam line should be,  where that puts the rick rack in distance from the edge, mark the fabric with pencil for the line the indent will follow (easier way to line up a steady curve the eye will enjoy than by the outside bump) and baste stitch it there. 

I make sure I am not sewing on the seam line, as I don't want any stitching showing at all. And it's easier to go back and pick out the bits that wobble and wander if they are two distinct seams.


I hope all you folks in the eastern US are all ready to stay home and read for a couple of days, hopefully in heated snowcaves with plenty of warm food.  Out here in Seattle we are experiencing the upside of global weirding: it's sunny and 60F today.  In January.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Buttonhole Theory

Recently in Colette Pattern's Snippets Department, there was a whole lotta nonlove for the stuff that trips you up in sewing. From the things that are just hard to remember (which was to turn for french seams) to the the hard to avoid (staring at the moving needle when topstitching), there's always something that messes a body up.

I have several (shirt/pants open wrong way, kaff kaff) but one I have learned to work around is

The Failed Buttonhole.

The Bernina, the Damned One, can make an automatic buttonhole. It's never the same size from hole to hole in the same piece, so I just don't use it anymore.

I draw a box on the fabric, or sewing lines, and I do four turns with the zig zag set reasonably dense. Not super dense, but something that gived adequate coverage. And I do four turns, and sink the needle at the corners.

This is not to scale. I would never make a button hole with a hole that big, unless I was using the Bernina, the Damned One. Your Bernina may vary.  Do not say "Bernina" three times on a moonless night. Okay, maybe it just needs more tuning up than I have money for. Do not say I need a new machine three times on a moonless night.

The zig zag will not entirely match up. Perfect is the enemy of good. I should point out that this will look better than if I use the automatic button hole feature. 

I poke a hole in the opening with my seam ripper, and use cuticle scissors to trim to the ends. Then I grab the thing, pull the sides to open it up, and clean up the whiskers that linger.

If I can't draw on the fabric because there is too much texture, I will make a bound buttonhole, using iron on woven facing pulled through to the back. But that's another day.

Pen Holder Hack(s)

Okay, I am working on a few other things that are shiny and distracting and have piping and waterproof zippers. SewExpo in Puyallup is coming up; so is Emerald City Comic Con. What to wear to either? Both? Making a Surf to Summit Fehr Trade rashie for the Pattern Review workout wear contest.

That and I had a birthday. And the teen had a 18 year old birthday. And the Seahawks won. 
Okay, it's busy town like always.

I am always pondering tool storage and bag hacks. And I loooove Jet Pens; I go to their emails almost faster than to Idle Hands (and I love Idle Hands). 

But this seems a bit overpriced for something you can make with duct tape.

Take a piece of heavy tape (gaffers tape if you want to upscale) that's three times as long as the 'wrap' distance around your fave pen/pencil. Goo side up, place another piece of tape a little longer than that 'wrap' in the middle. Apply to back cover of chosen notebook so that none of the goo is going to touch your pen/pencil. 

This works better with a pen with a clip, but you can put a piece of thin fleece or scuba fabric or something squishy in the place of the 'wrap' tape, and that cushion will help hold a pencil.

This will last as long as the notebook will.
Seahawks make front page of NYT. Left coast WIN.
This is the quick and dirty version with wide elastic, glue and duct tape (I was running out the door to a conference).

Your results will be prettier.

And speaking of pretties:

There are a lot of patterns out there for this pen case. The trick is the zipper; either get a long one and do the endless zipper installation, or use a regular zipper and tack the tail into the center fold at the top.

Of course I am making a pattern for something far tricksier. When I'm not doing that other stuff. 

Yes, boss! Back to work!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pants Pattern ComParison

I wander around Pinterest now and then, and stumble onto much goodness. I seem to be a visual search person. 

This is much much goodness about pants patterns, written by Dixie DIY in 2012 on her blog. I could repeat it, but she wrote it and researched it. I'm here all week, working on pattern testing; see ya later.

Dixie DIY wrote a great post about this:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Front and Back Yoke

I'm sure it's just me, but this cracks me up.

This is the back

And this is the front
Just flip back and forth between these photos.  The button is on the front. The details are a little hard to read in the dark grey fabric.

Will be back next week with grown up material

Thursday, January 1, 2015

How to sell an empty box OR: The Branded Lifestyles of Quirky Female Creatives

my screen shot of ad page from Creative Live, their photo. 

my screenshot from online streaming class. I went for a smiling one.

Recently, I spent about a week watching video classes from Creative Live. I RSVP'd and watched them for free during their initial broadcast.

Creative Live is an online training company; they produce classes on various subjects, mostly in the creative arts, out of two studios (Seattle and San Francisco). They recruit for the live studio audience on their website. There are printable materials you can download; in Ms Olin's case, she creates a very charming workbook you can refer back to later.

(I also reread this, which drives me crazy) 

It's not the content of these two classes that is bothering me.  Like so many day long events of this nature, there were bits that worked for me and bits that did not. Creative Live has a house style that is heavy on Power Point presentation, which puts me to sleep. There are lots of digital products that did not get discussed.
Your results may vary.

What bugs me is the pitch of so much in the crafting world: this is how to have a lifestyle on your terms doing things that encourage others to cultivate/buy a lifestyle of living on your/their terms. Throw in 'quirky' and 'creatives' as your target audience. And don't be coy: we are talking about selling to women in the audience. 

I know, I lost me there, too. What is your actual product?

"YOU! llc"!  

The empty box, with a handmade/homestyle patina. You are your product! 

Even Martha Stewart, who is her own brand, would call that out. She sells stuff with her name on it. Some of it might be useful. Some of it is overpriced. All of it is real stuff.
There's no 'how to build a business' here.  When you break the day long 'pitch' down, there's nothing but a Power Point presentation selling salesmanship.

Back in the eighties, my spouse traveled and did day long 'training' seminars that were sales pitches for more training seminars. Yes, there was a nasty brush with multilevel marketing and EST/The Forum; the ultimate multilevel religion.  Now he hires out as a marketing consultant. 

You don't have to love what you sell. You don't even have to know jack about it. You have to love the process, love the game. And you have to have something to sell that you don't mind selling out.

And here are some classics of that game you can pick up at the library, for free.

And they still work.

I sound like such a crank on this topic, but, there is nothing new under the sun. 

This book is a hoot. 

If you want to start a business based on what you create, look to regular business advice books and websites; most of the information you need is the same information small business owners have needed for years, and most of it is free. The media/medium changes but the message is the same: believe in yourself, believe in your product, and Pay Yourself First. If that means it's going to be a hobby for longer than you want, be okay with that and enjoy it for what it is. Hobbies are beautiful things. 

And if your business is going to be your lifestyle, don't be Scrooge.