Archive | May 2016

Computerized Machine Updates

This is just a short post to remind sewers with computerized machines to be sure your machine has the most recent firmware or software updates.  If you have a machine made in the last 10 years (or more), it’s probably got a computer inside of it.  How do you know if it has a computer?  Well, if you screw up, it beeps at you!  HA  I would venture to guess that many of you just pulled the machine out of the box, read the set-up guide (if that) and got to it.  You should do this even if you bought your machine second or third-hand.  There’s no penalty from the manufacturer to re-register a machine you might have bought from a previously registered owner.

As a computer security geek by day, this is near and dear to my heart.  You should do this in case you haven’t been to the manufacturer’s website in awhile too just to make sure you have the most recent update to your machine or designer software that came with your machine.  Your sewing machine really is a computer and it requires the latest updates just like a laptop or your phone.  NOTE:  If you take your machine in for service regularly, your certified technician will make sure your machine has the most recent version of required software.  An off-brand machine repair technician may not.

If you haven’t registered your machine at the manufacturer’s website, you should.  They will make sure you receive important newsletters and firmware updates.  If you get a new laptop or upgrade your home computer’s operating system (Windows 7 to Windows 8 for example) you need to make sure that your sewing machine is ready to work with these files.  If anything, if you are robbed, your machine’s serial number will be logged with the manufacturer and you can go there to get the number and reclaim it from the local pawn shop.  Yes, I think like that…

What’s my inspiration for this post?  Hint:  There’s a reason I recently needed to access a manufacturer’s website for firmware updates.  🙂  Hmmm, whatever reason could that be???  A follow up post to let you know soon!

So dig out your owner’s manual, see how to do this, and be a good to your sewing machine!



Disney Frozen Dresses

I have been sorely remiss in blogging as of late.  Sometimes, life just gets in the way.  I’m in a new position at work, not more money of course, just more aggravation and responsibility (of course).  But I love what I do so that’s something I suppose.  Don’t think for a minute that the new business of my work day will stop me from sewing daily.  I have to keep my sanity somehow!

Before Hancock’s announced they were going out of business, a friend’s daughter had asked me to make some custom baby burp cloths for her sister’s upcoming baby shower.  My go-to shower gift is to stitch some cute fabric down the center of a couple of Gerber cloth diapers and call it good.  Too simple.  I had made some for the first of her two daughters and she said she loved them because they didn’t allow spit-up to soak through to her shoulder, they held up in the wash, they were cute, and they were custom from a friend.  That was enough to say I’d make some for her to give to her sister.  So she and I were in Hancock’s looking for baby boy fabric and she came across some adorable Frozen pre-shirred dress fabric.  The girls were scheduled for a Frozen birthday party so she asked me if I’d make dresses for the girls – now ages 5 and 3.  Of course “Aunt Becky” will make them!
Disney Frozen Dresses

Suffice it to say, I didn’t get enough fabric for one of them – it was light pink.   I have no idea how I managed to screw that one up but I did.  It required another trip to the store – now Joann’s (45 miles away) since Hancock’s is a madhouse and looks like a tornado went through it in their “Going out of Business” sale.  These things are too simple to make.  Just fold the fabric in half wrong sides together being sure to match the shirring in the middle so it’s not wonky, sew a single seam and boom.  Done.  They even come hemmed already so you don’t have to do a thing to it.  In truth, I’m kind of glad the first one didn’t work out because it had a border print across the bottom that would have made the dress too long for the youngest, Miss Madeline.  First of all, thank Goodness Joann’s carries the same type of Frozen shirred fabric!  Could you imagine if they didn’t??  Tears! ACK!  For the 2nd attempt, the fabric I chose allowed me to shorten it by cutting off the bottom using a narrow 3-thread serge stitch.  I did this so it would match her sister’s…’cause, you know…  Without a border print, the dress retained the complete look and didn’t lose any of its Frozen-ness. 😃  Here is Miss Madeline and Miss Peyton fresh from gymnastics.  Aren’t they adorable?


I added 12” straps that crisscross in the back with 3 sets of button holes and small buttons on the inside of the back near the shoulder blades to adjust for growth.  Construction of the straps was a 4″ x 12 1/2″ wide matching cotton, creased with an iron to fold in half lengthwise.  Fold in 1/4″ on each short end.  Fold the side edges inward toward the crease, and fold along the crease to enclose all the raw edges.  I fused a 1″ wide strip of lightweight interfacing internally for body, then stitched the long edges 1/8″ from the sides and across each end.

How could I say no to making dresses for these two sweethearts?  When I was asked how much I was owed, I said hugs and kisses would be payment enough.  Don’t you think?




Check Meowout! A bag for mom on Mother’s Day

This ain’t your Grandma’s embroidery.  I found a new site called UrbanThreads [IG @urbanthreadsemb] and oh my goodness!  They have the most awesome stuff.  When I saw this cool guy, I just couldn’t pass him up.

NOTE:  A shout out to Urban Threads on their customer service.  I originally bought the wrong size of this cat for my embroidery machine.  I emailed them about my mistake and within a couple of hours, they switched it out.  Awesome!

I made this bag for my mom for Mother’s Day and this design is on both sides of the bag.  She’s down to just 4 cats now so I’m not sure if that’s still considered Crazy Cat Lady status or not.  I used the “Riviera” Pink Sands Beach Designs bag pattern and whipped this cutie up in an afternoon.  I’ll admit I had trouble with this pattern.  I’m sure all the problems were user error but I ended up not being able to have the outside pockets because the inner lining was too short.  So I just stitched them shut across the top – no biggie.  It seemed weird anyway to have the outer pocket opening only between the handles in the center yet the entire front was the whole pocket.  Seems you’d be digging around from side to side without much room to see what got down into the far corners.  The image below is not blurry…it’s your eyes.  😉

The thread on the sunglasses is a Mederia Poly Neon variegated and I chose the orange/yellow because of the other fabric I found in my stash.  Seriously, I did not buy the “floral” abstract print, solid orange, or gray all at the same time or from the same collection.  It literally was Fabric Carma that they all came together perfectly.

Having all the Pellon products for this project is the result of buying the bolt vs. just the amount needed at the time.  I’ve had the DecorBond and Peltex 70 for some time now and it’s always so nice to have what you need when you need it.  On the inside I added an embroidered monogram for mom from @TheItch2Stitch in the Natural Circle Sketch Monogram.  Due to the monogram, I had to alter the pockets on that side of the bag to be different from the pattern.  I made them a bit deeper to hold pens or reading glasses.

Zipper installation was easy by the instructions.  However I chose a sport zipper vs. just the regular one called for in the pattern.  I thought it would look cooler – like the cat. 😉
I really tried for a pattern match…believe me.  But the print was so wonky on the fabric, I’m grateful being “on-grain” wasn’t required.  Hey, good enough for government work, right?

Well, needless to say, SHE LOVED IT!!  She’s traveling from Tennessee to Wisconsin this coming weekend for a family wedding reception and she said she’s going to take it with her.  She was always good at hanging my school projects on the refrigerator and now she’s taking my bag to show off at a family event.  🙂   What a great mom!

Have you made any bags lately?  Link to them please!