25 June 2011

It's summertime!

It's summertime:)  Tea syrup, green peppers, jars ready for jam, fresh strawberries, ice water, and... swim goggles!  YaY for summertime!

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23 June 2011

Couture Snippets #1

Haute couture (French for "high sewing" or "high dressmaking"; pronounced: [ot kutyʁ], English pronunciation: /ˌoʊt kuːˈtʊər/) refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture is a common abbreviation of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit.[1]
It originally referred to Englishman Charles Frederick Worth's work, produced in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century.[2] In modern France, haute couture is a "protected name" that can be used only by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. However, the term is also used loosely to describe all high-fashion custom-fitted clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as Milan, Tokyo and London.
The term can refer to:
This definition found here.

That said, I hear the word 'couture' used for the 'proper way to sew something'. 
I'm using it in the name of my tutorials.  'Couture Snippets'
Now.  Don't expect a tutorial every day!  Or even every week for that matter:)
And by all means do not consider my tutorials the only way or even the best way something could be done!  Just because I'm using the word 'coutoure' does NOT make me the one and only or best seamstress out there.  By far the opposite if I were truthful:)
I have had requests for tutorials on a few things. 
So I am going to try to be accommodating.  I want to do this.  I love the tutorials I've used from other bloggers.  A seamstress can never know too many fun tricks of the trade.  There's always a quicker, easier, or more fun way to do something:)  And while I'd like to do this every week I am being realistic.  Life gets hectic.  I never have enough time to do everything I WANT to do now.  So I will do them when I can:)

First up is an invisible zipper.
It's been so long since I did the other kind I almost forget how.
Invisible zippers are the way to go.  It's, well, invisible!!  Hence the name:)

 Start by sewing the seam the zipper will go in.  Invisible zippers can be put in any straight seam.  You will leave an opening in the top portion of the seam that is 1 to 1 1/2 inches shorter  than your zipper.  If you zipper is 9 inches (just the teeth, don't include the extra below the spot the zipper tab stops) then you will have a 7 1/2 to 8 inch opening.  Sew the seam below that point.

 Press that seam open.  Press back the edges that were not sewn the same amount as your seam allowance.  I use 5/8 inch seams and press the open edges back that far too.

Next open the zipper
Press those zipper teeth the opposite way from what they already are.  press them as flat as you can.  This is VERY important:)
Use your machines 'zipper foot'.  Every machine should come with one. If yours didn't go buy a zipper foot that works with your machine or get a new machine.
Your zipper will end up sewed in this way.  Right side of zipper against the wrong side of the fabric.  That's the end goal.
Place your fabric right side down and your zipper also, right side down.
Make sure the seam allowance that you pressed back is laid out flat, not folded back.  You will use the crease you ironed in as your guide line.  You want your zipper teeth right on that fold line.
You zipper foot will allow you to sew with your needle right beside the zipper teeth.  I change my needle postion slightly to get it as close as possible.
Continue to sew along the zipper teeth, keeping the teeth right on that creased fold you made when you pressed the seam allowance back.
Sew down as far as you can.  You should have an inch or so of zipper feet that extend beyond the point where your seam starts.  Just stitch to this point and backstitch.
Done with side one.
This is what it looks like with one side sewn in.
Your zipper sides should both start at exactly the same spot at the top for everything to end up smooth at the bottom when you are finished.
Sew the second side just like the first.  Zipper teeth on the fold line, sew as far as you can to the bottom.
This is what you should have left at the bottom of your zipper when you have finished sewing side 2.
Close the zipper.
Check the right side.  It should look like this.  Invisible.

Now it's time to stitch down that little end that's left!
Open out your seam allowance under that last couple inches of the zipper.  Sew the remaining part of the zipper to the seam allowance from where you stopped to the bottom of the zipper.  Your garment is all folded to one side and you are stitching through ONLY the zipper and the seam allowance.
One side of the bottom part sews from the top down and the other from the bottom up.  You only need to sew down the couple of inches that were not already sewn in the first couple steps.
Voila!  All you see is the tab at the top.  That's the beauty of an 'invisible' zipper:)
Inside view.  i turned down and topstitched the top of this skirt after the zipper was in. 
Here is what it looked like when i pressed it before turning down the top and topstitching to finish it.  Once I turned that down the tab was completely at the tip of the seam.  If you have space above where the zipper stops when your garment is finished you need to add a hook and eye.  I don't like hook and eyes.  So I eliminate that as often as possible:)

So.  Did that help you at all?  I'm sure the pictures do WAY more than any instructions I can write here.  A picture is worth a thousand words you know!  Let me know, should 'Coutoure Snippets' become a regular part of 'Sew a Fine Seam'?  What would you like pictorally explained??

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22 June 2011

Garage Sale finds

If you are like me and thoroughly enjoy finding neat old stuff cheap you will totally get why I think my husband is a 'spoil sport' to say no more!  (he really doesn't mean absolutely no more I don't think.  I mean, really, there is a cool yearly garage sale just up the street that starts tomorrow.  he doesn't really expect me to not go, now does he??Surely not.)

 This $2 box contained a treasure trove of goodies. 
 The best thing being this vintage stapler.  Now won't that look cute on my desk?  Only problem is Little Sister pounced on it the moment she saw it and proclaimed it 'hers'.  When it goes missing I can find it upstairs in her room amongst all her art stuff:)
 I got a ton of neat old games.  You can use these for so many fun projects:)  Birthday cards, gift tags, etc.  25 cents for this deck.
 All those vintage bingo cards you can get on Etsy for several dollars for 6 or so cards?  i got the whole game for 25 cents! 
 All these old playing cards for $1.
 Aren't they beautiful?

 Middle sister wanted the chess pieces.  I haven't seen them since we go home with them.
 Middle Sister also wanted this old book.  For 50 cents why not?!
Little Sister wanted Chatter the telephone.  She even took it to town with her when we went grocery shopping that evening:)
 Nativity people.  I thought they were rather unique.  Never mind how many nativities I already have.  Don't remind me!
Fun fun.  Really.  How can I stop???

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21 June 2011

School sales - Two Weekends in a Row!!!!!!!

A week ago my husband went with me to a school sale.  This past weekend was another school sale, this time the elementary. (Last weekend was the High School)
This time I went with a friend.  She made me bid for her too!  I had a total blast!  I do believe I'm becoming addicted to auctions.  Which is not good because my husband said that was enough auctions for awhile.  AND he went on to say that included garage sales.  Spoil Sport.  I was having so much fun:)  Oh well, I guess there is a limit to how much cool old junk one can haul home before hubby says 'enough'.  Especially when said hubby is dubious about the 'cool' part of the 'cool old junk'.

 Part of Saturday's haul.  How could I pass up old yard/meter sticks?  And old metal trash cans?  Vintage stool?  Old Map?  Be still my heart!!

 I have a thing for old carts.  Especially if they are metal.  And when they are painted a neat color it just adds to the sweetness.
 Seriously would you have left that stool there?  There were 3, I claimed 'em all.  Three times the money:)  Yes sir, it's fun to get the bid and have your pick or 'take 'em all!  Gina took the yellow one, Trisha nabbed the reddish one and I got my blue one.  Sorry to my hubby that mine ended up being the one missing a wheel and the rubber bumper from around the bottom.  Good thing my hubby is so good at researching and fixing things up.  It'll roll like new in no time.
 Since the Village of Covington now recycles, these oldest trash cans will find their new home on my kitchen porch to hold the 'glass' and 'plastics' that have been making an unsightly pile as they wait for 'trash day'.  Need a little paint at least on the inside first and I might actually give them some fun colors.  Or they might get bathed in white like everything else around here:)  The newer, grey trash cans will find their new home in my sewing room, girls bedroom, laundry room, kitchen....
 You can't see the lines on this paper but it is a large pad of wide lined kindergarten paper.  A friend got a huge pile of these for $1.  ALL of them for $1.  Those are the really fun bids to win:)
 My $12.50 microscope!  YIPPEEEE!!!  I'll take 'em all.  All 5!  I had 3 other friends wanting them so I only had one left over and it was taken before they were even on my pile of goodies.  I could have had my own little auction and made some money on these babies.  But I didn't.  I just collected $12.50 from the four lucky ones and smugly carried mine home with me.
 I like maps.  This was my last purchase of the day.
 Circa 1965.  Isn't it beautiful?  I'm still deciding if I'm gonna keep it or give it to my nephew.
Not as old as the map but still kind of cool.  And I got this cheap cause no one else wanted it.  The map I had to fight for.  Well, not really, but it didn't go cheap.  Not outrageous but not cheap cheap.

I have some fun garage sale finds to show you too.  You might start to understand my husband saying 'enough'!!!!!  But man it was fun while it lasted!

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19 June 2011

What I got for my birthday..

 Middle Sister has figured out that ladies like to get roses!  So since she couldn't drive to the store to buy me one she made one - with a green colored pencil for a 'stem' and then taped a red pom-pom on top for the 'flower'.  Along with the note, what Mother could ask for more?!  I loved it.
 Dishcloths made by my Grandma.  These are my favorites!  The foil fan was on top of my gift from Mom and the feather was also from my Mom.
 I found this nativity after Christmas in the after-Christmas-sale stuff.  My Mom got it and saved it for my birthday.  Thanks Mom!

 Feather found a home in this little vignette.
A very good friend brought this stuff by!  Thanks Jessica:)  Middle Sister talked me out of one of the little notebooks and all three girls are enjoying the soap.  They say it smells like something Kara would have at her house.  So I guess Jessica has great taste:)  I do have to say it smells heavenly!!!

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