Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Mother Lode!

What a day, what a day, what a day!

Our tiny Jo-Ann store is moving from its current location, to the store space literally right next to it.  Like, one door down in the shopping center.  But the square footage is more than doubling.  Yay!  But THAT's not what made my day...

Instead of moving all the inventory next door, they're just treating it as if the store is completely closing.  That means LIQUIDATION!  I wandered in there today expecting to get a yard or two of whatever was on sale; I walked out with both arms full!  Ev-er-y-thing in the store was 75% off - that means even clearance items were 75% off on top of the clearance price.

Check out this reciept:

 Woot!  I like to show my husband the "total savings" part.  I think that softens the blow.  He may disagree...

That's about 18 yards of fabric!
 That big roll is auto headliner fabric.  2.5 yards (that's all they had left) for $3.45/yard.  Hello!
All the cotton prints there ranged from $1.50-$2.50/yard.  Amazing!  And I got 5 yards of something akin to Heat & Bond, for like .60/yd.  ALSO, those colorful 3 bolts are knits.  I'm going to give it a go.  Wish me luck...

Now my stash is refreshed (I was getting pretty tired of the same old stuff, trying to use it up!), I've got stabilizer & interfacing coming out of my ears, and I'm a happy lady!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekend Project: Fingerless Mitts

Or should I say, fingerless MITT.  Singular.  One mitt.

Going through my sewing room and knitting stuff this week, I was shocked and appalled at how many projects I have lying around, unfinished. 

I even started a project as a part of a KNITALONG, going with the idea that it would be finished ALONG with everyone else!  Novel.  Problem is, it was a Downton Abbey knitalong, and I would get so sucked into the show, that I couldn't knit and watch at the same time.  So I fell behind.  (I really need to learn how to do two at a time, like the way people do socks two at a time....  Well, anyway.)

This weekend's project for me will be to finish the first mitten I started, and to get at least 3/4 through the second one.

Here is the first:

How cute is that???  The yarn I'm using is Knitpicks Felici, which I think is a blend of merino wool and nylon...don't quote me on that...but it's really soft, the stitches are well defined, and I love the colors.

HERE is what I need to do to finish this first one: weave in the ends (duh!) and figure out a better bindoff for the bottom, where it's ribbed.  It's supposed to be stretchy, but it's not!  I bound off "in pattern," thinking that would do it, but there must be something I'm missing.  Look at the next picture:

See how it's cutting off circulation to the rest of my arm???  I don't like that.  ;)

So me out do I do this? 

So there's that to do, and then start the other one.  That is what I will be doing every time I get a moment this weekend.  I want to actually be able to wear these before summer gets here!

What about YOU?  Fess up, I know you've got UFO's of your own....  Wanna do a weekend project with me?  Tell me what you'll be working on this weekend!  :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sewing Habits: Good & Bad

Today's topic at Mommy's Naptime is:

***Bad sewing habits. Do you have them? Share with us, what are your worst habits when it comes to sewing?***

Hmm.  I think I've improved a lot in this area, but there are still some things I do that I shouldn't.

1. When I'm changing thread, I leave it attached to the spool and pull it out from the top.  Did you know that you're not supposed to do this???? I didn't!  Until a month or two ago, when I got my machine serviced.  The guy told me that you're supposed to cut the thread and pull it through the bottom.  Continually pulling thread out through the top messes up the tension & timing.  Who knew?   I did it the right way for about a week, then slid back into my old ways.  

2. I also tend to disregard instructions when it comes to...well, everything.  Heh heh.  I can't tell you how many times I had to rip seams out or do something completely over when I was making my Petrillo Bag simply because I didn't fully read the instructions.  I even got the wrong kind of snaps.   ArghMy disdain for reading instructions has also been the cause of iron-on transfers permanently on my ironing board to this day.  Also, once I purchased some no-sew Heat & Bond, and didn't believe that I shouldn't sew through it.  I believe now!  

3. I definitely don't change my needle as often as I should.  That's my frugality coming through.  It seems a waste to go through so many needles when I could make them last a little longer.  But using a fresh, sharp needle really does make a difference.  

4. Even though I made myself a cute machine cover, I hardly ever cover my machine.  Apparently that extra 4 seconds it takes is too much of a hassle for me.

But I do have some good habits, too!  Really!

1. I oil & clean my machine about every other time I sit down to sew - which is like, every day.  Gold star for me!  I entertain myself while doing it by saying "oil can" out of the corner of my mouth. 

2. I don't sew over pins (anymore).  I got tired of breaking all those needles.  See Bad Habit #3.  

3. I do keep spare rotary blades around so that I can replace them as soon as they get dull.  I also have forbidden my family to use my fabric scissors for anything but fabric, and never do it myself.      

4. I have finally learned to take the time to pre-wash & dry fabric that I'm using for garments.  Finally.   

What about you?  What are your bad sewing habits?  And do you get any gold stars for doing things right?     

Monday, March 11, 2013

Petrillo Bag

Holy Cow.  Has it really been a MONTH since I've been here last?  What happened to my new year's resolution?  Oh well.  :)

Well, over at Sew Sweetness today, Sara has released yet another awesome bag pattern.  And I got to be one of her testers!  Hop over there and check out all the bags - this is a really good pattern.  Very detailed.  If you take your time and go step by step, it will turn out the way it's supposed to!

I didn't take too many (any?) pics of the process, but here are a few shots of my finished product.

Here's the bottom - I kinda love it. :)

There are two pockets on the inside - one basic zip pocket, and one padded pocket for a tablet or e-reader - which would be so perfect IF I HAD ONE!  Alas.  I've been using it to tote my knitting and a book or two.  I can stuff a lot into it and it maintains its shape really nicely.

Two new products I was introduced to while making this bag:

1. Auto Headliner fabric - It's basically 1/8" foam with fabric on one side.  It helps the bag stand up nice and tall, and keeps it from being saggy and sad.  I used it as a substitute for a much more expensive fabric stabilizer.  With a coupon, I got a yard (54" wide, mind you) for about $10.  Sweeeeeeeet.  Thanks to Cindy of Raspberry Sunshine for that amazing bit of genius!

2. Pellon SF-101 Shape Flex interfacing - How is it possible that I've never used this before?  I love it.  It shall henceforth be my go-to interfacing.  SO nice to work with, and it didn't melt under my iron. 

So...whaddya think?  :)