Thursday, September 15, 2016

Easy Singer Featherweight Case Tote

I made a new tote for my Singer Featherweight Case!

I am looking forward to taking Nova Montgomery's Featherweight Maintenance class next weekend when she comes nearby on her Autumn Tour.  Because of the age and weight of my Featherweight, I do not like to rely on the case handle to tote it around.  Although my case is in good shape, I would just rather not put the pressure on the handle anymore.  I have a large canvas tote bag that fits the Featherweight case very snugly.  I thought I would make a similar, but nicer tote bag for my Featherweight that matches the Singer Featherweight look.

- 3/4 yard of black Double-faced Quilted Fabric (I purchased this one at my local JoAnn store).
- 4 yards of 1-1/4" black Belting (Mine was $4/yard, but I used a coupon at JoAnn).
- Black sewing thread

- Gold or similar tone embroidery thread for embroidery.
- Singer Featherweight decal embroidery design (I used the "Tall Bed Decal" from Jen's Vintage Sewing)
- The "Singer Featherweight" wording I did on my computer using a "Shelley" font. (.PES format is here for FREE - disclaimer - please test stitch your design first.)

1. Fold the fabric with selvage edges together.  Cut a 16.5" strip across the width of the fabric.  This is the body of the tote bag.

2. Cut a 9" strip across the width of the fabric.  Cut this long strip in half, so you have two pieces, each 9" wide.  These will be used for the side panels of the bag.

3. Straighten out the edges of the fabric and trim the selvedge.

  • A. Place the Featherweight case in the center of the large panel and gather the edges together to get an idea of where you would like your embroidery placed.

  • B.  Mark the center for embroidery.

  • C.  Edit the design as desired.  Hoop the fabric and embroider using your center mark made earlier.

4.  Pin the cotton belting to the front of your tote panel. I pinned mine 3" from the edge.  Start the belt at the bottom of the bag (center of the tote body panel).

5.  Pin the belting up the side of the body panel, give 24" for the handle, and continue pinning back down the other side of the panel.  Across the bottom, and up the panel, giving an equivalent 24" for the other handle.

6.  Pin the belting back to the beginning, overlapping a good inch.  Cut the excess and fold the edge under a bit for a clean look.

7.  Sew on the belting.  Start at the bottom, zigzag across the folded edge and box stitch the overlap for reinforcement.  Sew along each edge of the belting, a scant 1/4".

8.  Stop sewing the belting 1" from the top edge of the tote.  We will be folding the top 1" of fabric over at the end of the construction.  Box stitch the belting at this point for reinforcement.

9.  Find the center of the long edges of the tote body panel, and the center of a 9" side of each side panel.  Pin a side panel to each side of the body, matching the centers, right sides together.  Baste or sew each side in place, 1/4" seam.

10.  Pin the side panel long edges to the sides of the tote body panel, right sides together.   The side panel will be a longer than the tote body - that is OK, we will trim it later.

11.  Sew a side panel to the tote body panel, using 1/2" seam.  Start from the tote's top edge, go down, around the bottom (where it is already sewn in step #9), and back up to the top.    Repeat for the other side panel.

12.  Trim the side panels top raw edge even with the top of tote body panel.  Fold the top of the tote fabric down 1" all around (wrong sides together) and sew to secure.  Turn your tote right-side out and push out the bottom corners.  Top-stitch around the top of the tote, 1/4".

The Singer Featherweight case fits nicely inside!

I added snaps along the top of the tote for a neater look.  These snaps are functional for when the case is in storage, as most will pop open when carrying the tote in transit.

I now have a complete 3-piece set for my Singer Featherweight.  I have a tote for machine, a tote for the extension table, and a matching apron to wear.  All set!!

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

My Destiny II Awaits!

I was in the Poconos in Pennsylvania this weekend, and at Pocono Sew and Vac.  I am coming home with a new machine!

I am SEW excited to be a new owner of the recently announced top-of-the-line Baby Lock Destiny II!!!

Babylock Destiny II

Can you see me doing my Happy Dance!?!

I am beyond excited!!

This machine is incredible.  It has the extra large embroidery hoop, camera, IQ Designer and Nancy Zieman designs.  The Destiny II has the first Destiny upgrade already installed.  I can't wait to start working with it.

I've also pre-ordered the AirStitch Upgrade which will enable wireless transfer via their Designer's Gallery software.  Even better that it is Mac-compatible software.  It is expected to come out at the end of the month.

I still love my Brother Duetta.  It has served me well for a number of years.  Never been a problem, and stitches great.  I just wanted the larger embroidery field, latest features and the new technology found on the newest machines.  I went with Baby Lock brand instead of the equivalent Brother Dream Machine 2 because the Baby Lock Destiny II deal I was offered included Baby Lock's Love of Sewing membership which provides four years of service coverage and unlimited access to Baby Lock's Sew at Home OnDemand Classes.  Brother does not have this.  The covered service is important to me since I was buying my machine out-of-town, I can still bring it to my local dealer for covered service.  I decided to go with Nancy Zieman designs found on the Baby Lock this time instead of the Disney designs found on the Brother.  Plus, I wanted to step away from PC software and use my Mac for embroidery.  I only run Windows on my Mac for the purpose of embroidery, so it will be nice to not have to do this.

Lots of new things to see and do coming soon in my sewing room.  :-)

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Work Still in Progress Video

Riddle for you!  What is green and gold and 1.6 million stitches?
My still unfinished, much beloved, going-to-be-awesome Golden Tapestry!
It is so close, just four more side border panels, and four corner blocks to stitch.  Most of the work is done.

My project, as it stands today.

Over the summer, I made a 1-minute video to show a non-local friend the details in this project.  This project is done completely in just two colors of thread on two colors of silk fabric.  It is by far, the most stitch-intensive project I have undertaken.

I love Anita Goodesign!  Their designs are so well digitized, it doesn't seem like the photographs do the stitching justice.  I asked them if I could share my little video, and they said I "most definitely" may.  Just love that company!!   :-)

So if you are curious for a closer look at this project, then this short video may be for you.

Anita Goodesign Golden Tapestry Special Edition can be found here.

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer Retreat & Projects

An annual event I look forward to planning is the Summer Retreat for our local Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Sewing Guild.  Last year, we tried a new venue at The National Conference Center - it was met with favorable reviews, so came back again.  This time we were in their Conference Hall which was located in the same building where dining and accommodations were.  Plus, even more space as a bonus.

Our guild hosts two retreats annualy - one in the winter, and one in the summer.  The summer retreat used to be a smaller preview of the winter retreat, and was called A Taste of Retreat.  But this year, it was renamed to simply Summer Retreat because it has become just as popular as the winter one.  We had 39 registered attendees - including a few Junior members!  I was so excited.  The entire conference space was available to us - 8400 square feet!  We sectioned off one-third so it would not be overwhelming.  Behind the open doors in the smaller section we had some tables and chairs set up for relaxing and several tables for trade-ups materials that attendees choose to share.

6000 square feet to Retreat!
In the large space we set up the workstations.  To promote socializing, we gave everyone two worktables for their use, set up in a "L" configuration, with three or four "L"s grouped together in pods.  Along the center of the room we set up plenty of work tables for cutting, measuring and ironing.


Our youngest attendee.

More friends and Juniors. :)

My sewing space.  I got to watch the Olympics while stitching.  Go Team USA!

Sneaking in a Sewing Selfie. :)

So what did I make for my 3 days of fun?  A couple of embroidery requests, and then I worked on aprons.  These will be gifts later.  I ordered a dozen apron panels a few years ago, but have never gotten around to sewing them.  So here was a good opportunity.

A couple embroidered Christmas stockings for a niece and her boyfriend.

Wristlet for a Golden Anniversary

Even added my little label inside!  :)

The aprons I am making are by Wilmington Prints.  One is called Le Petit Bistro, and the other is called Wine a Little.  
Le Petit Bistro Apron Panel
Wine a Little Apron Panel

I was asked by several folks where I found these panels.  I ordered them from Hancocks of Paducah at the time, but I do not believe they have these exact designs anymore, but they may still carry something similar.

The aprons are very easy.  Everything is included in the panel, including a pocket and straps for neck and waist.  The longest task was turning all the straps after their long seam was sewn.
Cutting out the pocket.
I thought the apron fabric was a little thin by itself, so I decided to line the apron and pocket with muslin, then top stitch along the borders for a finished look.  The added lining gave the apron just enough weight that it felt right.

Cutting a muslin lining.

First one done.

After I cut out all of the aprons, pockets, straps and linings, I was only able to complete five of the dozen aprons.  Completion of the others should not take as long going forward since the pieces are now ready to go.

On a personal note, I also have an excuse as to why I didn't get to finish everything!  I was absent for one entire afternoon.  I had to leave to watch my son test for his Black Belt.  He is now a holder of a 1st Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.  Good work, my boy!  :-)

My son has earned his Black Belt!

 Hope you enjoyed your summer too!  It is back to school for our family now.

Happy Stitching!


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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A little time with the Sweet Sixteen

I have to admit, it's been a while since I have been able to spend time on my Sweet 16.  Not for lack of desire, just lack of time to focus on it.  I did get a new addition for my Sweet 16 this summer - two table extensions!  I had been trying, but failed to find a coupon or a sale on the table extensions.  I ordered these from Pocono Sew & Vac.  They do not advertise the price, but when I called them, the cost was less than retail.  Free shipping and no tax if out of state. (Disclaimer - I am not affiliated with them - just sharing my info.) :-)
I think even our dog loves this package at my door.

Installing the table extensions was not hard.  Besides the printed instructions, there is a Handi Quilter video online that walks you through the installation setup.  You start with your Sweet 16 table upside down. Then flip it up on its legs once the extensions are installed.

Start installation on the floor

Flip the table up onto its legs.

Sweet 16 Table with extensions folded down.

Of course I got to rearrange the corner of my sewing room to accommodate my larger table.

I have my friend's rainbow 1600 quilt on my table ready to quilt.  

I finally sat down this week and did a large all-over stipple on the quilt.

All-over quilt finished.

My friend is giving this quilt to her daughter as she goes off to college this fall.

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

5th Saturday - Pet Screen Summer Tote

Our Northern Virginia chapter of the American Sewing Guild likes to host some type of sewing program when there is a 5th Saturday in a month.  Doesn't happen but a few times each year.  Last Saturday, July 30th, was an adorable "Pet Screen Summer Screen Tote" event.

We met a a local library.  One of the chapter members had made these totes for her bridesmaids.  She was gracious enough to write up the instructions for us.  We had 16 ladies at this event.   Special thanks to the ladies who organized the event and prepared the kits for us.

I liked that this bag had the webbing wrap all around the tote for extra reinforcement.  Also, the pet screen was one long piece as well for extra strength.  I found the mesh fabric slippery and a little tricky to work with.  My stitching wasn't the straightest on this bag, but it still worked to get it done.

First step was to cut the panels for the top rim of the bag.  Reinforced the fabric with fusible stabilizer, fold over each long edge .5 inch.  Fold over each end of the mesh and top stitch in place.

A magnetic closure can be added if desired.  Then stitch the panels down.

The webbing was sewn in 5" from each side. and a 4" section in the middled was marked with tape for the bottom of the bag.

Two more panels were cut for the bottom band of the fabric.  These were stitched on top of the webbing.

As I was stitching them, I watched a few other ladies in the room turn their bottom panel into outside pockets on the tote.  I decided to do the same.

The side edges were covered with a fabric binding, and the bottom corners were stitched to make a box bottom on the tote.
All done and ready for the pool!

Happy Stitching!!

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