Apr 192013
 

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! THANK YOU FOR ENTERING!

 

A little while back I finally won one of the Pattern Pyramid Giveaways–brainchild of Karen from Did you make that?. I kept intending to give it away on my original personal blog, Amity Originals, but with so much going on here at Lolita Patterns, it did not seem like I would get around to it. Perfect solution?  Give it away here on the Lolita Patterns blog!

I tried for 7 pattern pyramids before I finally won this one! And there are plenty of goodies to go around. Not only were there amazing patterns in the package, Beth (from Sunny Gal Studios–I won the giveaway from her) included some super cute trims for me to use along with a hand written note!  But wait there is more! I am including 8 more patterns…courtesy of a swap between our sewing buddies, Caroline, Jill, Julianne, and Ms. McCall. Some of these are really cute! There is even a Marc Jacobs designer pattern and an Amy Butler pattern. Here it the new loot:

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

Let’s break those down so they are easier to see shall we?

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

A Vogue Basics with some wearable dress patterns, a hat pattern from Vogue, Simplicity pattern with multiple wardrobe piece options and a Marc Jacobs Vogue pattern.

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

 The all purpose skirt vintage Vogue pattern, a retro Butterick suit with cape, and an adorable McCalls dress pattern.

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

And Amy Butler’s lotus tunic and cami.

Now let’s take a look at which patterns are continuing on the pattern pyramid journey.

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

Those awesome overalls are still in the running!

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

And for the ones I decided to keep?

Lolita Patterns | Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

This cool 70’s pattern and a nice dress and jacket pattern…both close enough to my size to work!

Now for the rules about the giveaway–taken from the original Pattern Pyramid blog post:

  • Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by midnight PST Sunday 28 April–the day I drive home from PR day San Francisco!– BUT you must have an active blog. (Reasons to become obvious.)
  • I will randomly select one winner.
  • Each winner will pick one or two patterns to keep for themselves, then host their own giveaway. They will randomly select a winner, post the remaining patterns to that Person C. Person C will pick a pattern for themselves, host their own giveaway and post the remaining patterns to the winner, Person D. Person D will…

THE SMALL PRINT

  • No way am I going through 30 patterns, ensuring that every pattern piece is there. This is pot luck!
  • Please don’t email me for specifics on the 30+ patterns.  Take your chance!
  • Your selection of patterns will be picked at random, though I do promise to attempt a good variety of makes. Please don’t contact me asking for specific patterns.
  • I will keep a couple of patterns for myself, because I deserve it.
  • If you’re a winner, I would love it if you could make a small contribution to The Brooke. This is a charity close to the heart of Catherine, who so generously provided these patterns.

Who is entering???? Leave a comment here!

Apr 082013
 

As many of you may have figured out Amity and I are very different in many respects.  As you can tell from her post on sewing tools she loves having the perfect tool for each situation.  Me, I like to use what I have around; hence the post title “Dual Duty Tools.”

Dual duty tool #1:  Sewing machine seam measure guides.

My 2 sewing machines don’t have usable seam markings on it.  My Elna Grasshopper has no seam markings.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

My Elna Carina has metric measurement.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

To create my own seam measure guide I position the 3/8” mark at the needle.  Our patterns will use mainly 3/8” seam allowance but more on this in a later post.  I lower the foot to hold the ruler and put a piece of blue tape or a post it note to mark 3/8”.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

 

Dual duty tool #2:  Straight stitch throat plate

Another use for blue painter tape is to create a straight stitch throat plate.  Straight stitch throat plates are extremely useful for troublesome or thin fabrics. Many times, when starting stitching lightweight fabrics, the larger throat plate sucks the fabric down the hole. With the smaller opening of a straight stitch only needle plate, the fabric does not have any room to be pulled under and you get a much better quality stitch without the headache!

Some sewing machines have a throat plate designed for straight stitching.  I’m not sure if the Elna Carina does or not but I don’t really care.  I make my own with a little bit of blue painter’s tape.  Cut a small piece, small enough to cover the hole without covering the feed dogs.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

Lower your needle to puncture a little hole.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

Presto you have your own straight stitch throat plate.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

 

Dual duty tool #3:  Thread spool holder

The thread I use to sew with is serger thread that comes on a cardboard tube.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

Yes, I use this for all my garment sewing.  No, my clothing is not falling apart.  I use an industrial serger thread that is strong, light weight and has very little lint.  This is not the junk I dub “crappy-lok” that you can buy at a nameless fabric store.  Since this tube has a big hole and wobbles around while I sew.  To stop this I stuff a hair curler foam into it.  The curler has a little hole in it, perfect for the spool holder.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

 

Dual duty tool #4:  Clapper

When I was sewing my fuchsia Fuchsia skirt, I was struggling to get the scallop hem to hold a press.  The fabric was 110% polyester.  The extra 10% was there to drive me extra crazy.  Amity suggested I put a clapper on it to hold the press while it cooled.  Great idea except I didn’t have a clapper.  I ended up making one out of a sleeve board, a heavy flashlight and some pattern weights.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

At first I had used a wide ruler instead of the sleeve board but it kept the moisture in and it wouldn’t dry even after many, many hours.  The sleeve board was perfect because it was breathable, covered a large area.

 

Dual duty tool #5:  Standing height table

Amity loves doing everything lying down.  I love standing. I told you we are opposites. I stand cutting, sewing, serging and even eating at the kitchen counter.  My sewing table is a piece of plywood we found on the side of our house one day.  It’s a great width and length without breaking the bank even if it wasn’t mysteriously donated to us.  To get it to standing height I used these adjustable saw horse like things from IKEA.  I also found some mystery furniture parts for the support across the 2 saw horse in IKEA’s as-is section.  I wrapped the top with a faux leather fabric to snazzy it up.

  Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

 

Dual duty tool #6:  Chalk line eraser

I learned this trick from my mom who drafts her patterns with a piece of chalk right on the fabric.  She was a factory sewer and didn’t own any gizmos and gadgets.  She didn’t own pins, had one presser foot and her straight ruler was a piece of scrap metal that my dad scored a few marks with a razor blade.  When she made a mistake in her drafting, she got rid of it my slapping it with her metal ruler.

 

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

Now you see it

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

 Now you don’t.

Lolita Patterns | Dual Duty Tools

 OK you can still see it a little but after handling it while sewing it eventually disappeared.  This is much faster and efficient than that itty brush.  Bonus:  she also used her metal ruler to flatten seams.

 

Dual duty tool #7:  Tube turner

My mom was a factory sewer in the 80s.  I remember her sewing a lot of waist ties.  I assume these were in fashion at the time.  To turn the tubes, I used chopsticks.  Shhh! No one report her to child protective services because I was only 8 at the time.  Chopsticks are inexpensive and readily available.

What do you think? Can you incorporate some of these everyday tools into our sewing room? Do you have any other tips to share?

Nhi Signature

 

Apr 032013
 

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

Yes, April 1st is April Fools’ Day in the US but it is also my dog, Waffle’s, birthday.  Maybe they’re one and the same because who thought to create a pup shaped like this one.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

If he was a sewist, he would definitely have lots of fitting issues.  So in honor of Waffle’s 5th birthday, I made him a birthday collar.  I’ve sewn him many collars, for many occasions, but not a birthday one.  Better late than never.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

Pets are such a big part of the sewing community and I thought some of you might want to make your own for your furry loved one. See how below!

Step 1: Gather supplies

Supplies shown are for a 14-23” adjustable collar

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

–          3/4 yd of 1” wide nylon strapping.  If you dog is smaller, you should use a narrower and shorter nylon strapping.

–          Decorative ribbon.  I used 5/8” wide Offray MicroSpool.   I like these because the prints are small scale and it comes in 3 foot spool which is about what I need for 1 collar.  At my JoAnn’s these are stocked on a wire rack near the scrapbooking section.

–          Curved buckle.  This is comfy-er for your pup than the straight ones.

–          D ring for dog tag.  Dogs should always have ID and be micro chipped   15 percent of lost dogs were found because they were sporting identification tags or microchips.

–          Slide for adjustability

–          Thread

 

Step 2:  Prepare the straps

–          Using a lighter, carefully singe the edge of the collar.  If you’ve done any fabric swatch burning, you will know that nylon melts.  This will stop any fraying.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

–          Tuck 1/2” of the ribbon under the strap.  Using a straight stitch, top stitch one edge of the ribbon to the strap.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

–         Repeat for other edge.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

–          If your ribbon is narrower like the Easter (carrot) themed collar from the multiple collars picture above, I sewed 2 rows of ribbon.

 

Step 3:  Sew on hardware

–          Thread one end of the strap up one slot of the slider and down the other slot.  Stitch as close as you can to the slider to secure the slider.  I stitched 3 lines: forward, reverse stitch and forward again.  I moved my needle to the right but you can also use a zipper foot.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

–          With the wrong side up, slip the other strap end up into one of the buckle halves.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

–         Continue threading the strap through the slider.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

 –         Thread the strap through the D ring and then the other buckle half.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

–          Sew 3 lines of stitching to secure the buckle.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

–          Sew 3 lines of stitching to secure the D ring.

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

Voila! Your pup will be the most stylish hound around!

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

Lolita Patterns | Dog Collar Tutorial

If you want to read more about sewing for pets and want to see more of Waffle, check out the PR article on Sewing For Pets.

Nhi Signature