SEWING DILEMNA? Ask Londa's FREE advice!!! a sewing educator for over 35 years, designer, and author with experience as a sewing machine dealer/fabric shop owner, custom dressmaker and more...I'm most happy to answer ANY and all questions to the best of my ability. Just contact me HERE with your question.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Batik Combo Contest

I've created a new CONTEST using my Batik Combos... 

Contest Rules are all found HERE.  

Limited Quantity of Batik Combos - 2 yards each of 3 different, coordinated Batiks for just
$__ found HERE

You can add 2 solid fabrics to these fabrics in your project. 
Deadline:  November 15, 2011.
PRIZE:  $250 to spend at Londa's Creative Threads  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Londa's Comments on THREADS Magaizne #157

I LOVE THREADS Magazine!  I hoard it when it comes - keeping it 'saved' for 'me time'.  This week, I finally stole some time to thoroughly digest this most recent issue - November 2011.
WHY do magazines dated November arrive in August?????

Anyway - here I go, straight through from beginning to end - just MY thoughts, my experience, my opinions for what it's worth.

page 15.  Well - I just ordered myself Couture Sewing Techniques - and put it up on my website for sale.If you click on the link above, for a limited time, you'll save 15%!!!
Claire Schaeffer was the last celebrity I had at my retail sewing store in 2003 - so she is extra special to me.  She is a dynamo little lady who really knows her stuff!  An investment in this book would be a treat to yourself for many pleasant 'vicarious' sewing hours, as well as a great resource for techniques for years to come.

page 23.  Shirred Velvet jacket - beautiful!!!!  However, I think it would be even prettier if it had been created with 3 sections of  tucks rather than 4 sections. If I were to do it, I'd certainly use a very strong 100% polyester thread so that it wouldn't break when pulling up to gather.   Honestly, as beautiful as it is, having sewn on velvet more than enough in my 45+ years of sewing, I really don't think this project will go on my 'to do' list.  Sure fun reading and admiring it though.

page 31.  Personally, I don't care for the sleeves on Marfy blouse 2314.  Guess I'm old enough to remember the leg-o-mutton silhouette on sleeves and I just don't want to 'go there' again.  Pretty colors though.  But heh - don't think I'd carry that brown purse with this ensemble!

page 32. New Look 6028.  My French Loop or Italian Trim would either look beautiful on this Chanel style jacket.   
              Vogue 1220 - I just went to look up more about it at Vogue  and decided quickly that IF I needed a 'business' dress, the lines on this one are very interesting, but that I CERTAINLY would NOT make that wide belt - much less tie it in a bow on my tummy!   I think a self-fabric or skinny leather or metal belt at the natural waist would 'fit' much better with the tailored look of this dress.

page 33.  Colette Beignet 1005 - a new pattern line for me- I'd never heard of it anyway.  I like the skirt, but have NEVER liked a buttonhole that close to the hemline  I'd quickly eliminate that lowermost buttonhole and button. 

               Butterick 5575  looked intriguing, so I looked it up online.  As made up with the black ides and print center fronts and back, I do NOT like it.  My opinion is that it looks clowny.  Just mu humble opinion.  I also don't understand why put a tapered let on the women's size pant.  My feeling is that pegged pants make the hips look larger.  I prefer to balance a wide hip with a boot leg silhouette.

The Cover Stitch - pages 34-39.  Pam Leggett obviously knows her topic, and this is a great article if you're trying to decide if you need this feature in your sewing equipment.  Honestly, I have it on my Elna 744 serger and have NEVER used it!  Give me my twin needles and fusible stay tape - and I'm set to go.  Wanna race?  I can guarantee you it wouldn't take me 10 minutes to 'set the machine'. I know many have the cover stitch and love it - that's great.  Just not me, thanks.
#6 - page 37 - I would bury the threads rather than knotting and sealing.

#7 - page 37 - I would certainly use an applique scissors to trim - they help alot but do not INSURE that you don't nick through the outside of the garment.
page 38 - I LOVE that bias trim on the skirt!   The hints in the Basic Guidelines for Cover Stitching are all VERY important.  -especially starting with the needles in the fabric.  THAT I remember well from selling sergers with the cover hem.

page 39.  The scarf looks quite bulky to me.  If I did this technique, it would have to be on something very very lightweight and drapey...ala silk charmeuse.

page 40-47  Season Fashion Forecast
In a nutshell:
1. Think 'outfits' - 'ensembles'
2. hip emphasis (be careful here if you're hippy in the first place - for example, SKIP those fur cuffs as on page 41 photo at the top!)  So perhaps REAL defined waists are back as in the diagram ono page 41!?!  THAT will be hard to teach any 30 and under gal - WHERE her waist is!!!
3.  Shoulder emphasis - YEA - shoulder pads are back - jut natural - not huge.  IMHO if you have slanted shoulder, shoulder pads should ALWAYS be 'in'!
4.  Higher necklines - YEA - tell the female newscasters that 'decollette' -revealing tops and dresses are OUT and in bad taste, would ya PLEASE?!

5.  Jacket - wide lapels or NO lapels.  Then why didn't they sketch a wider lapel on the diagram??
6.  page 42 - I don't see how a 'slouchy pocket' can be slimming on anyone.....
7.  page 43 - LOVE that asymmetric burgundy sketched top!  I'm ready to LEAP into embellishment options for T's and TOPS after my fall show circuit - STAY TUNED!!!  I can't sleep for all the ideas I have, and my 'box' of design stuff in my studio is overflowing.....
So - that grey slouchy look at the top left is 'feminine' looking?  That's a new definition of 'feminine look to me - I call that 'sloppy'!
That orchid blouse with the full bishop sleeves, gathered shoulder and tie neckline looks like straight out of the 70's...I made MANY of these for myself and dress-making clients.  A very 'lady' look!
8.  Love all the textures - ala pages 44-45.  However, that Oscar de la Renta combo is a bit much for me...I'd skip all that jewelry - the top and skirt 'talk' enough, thank you.  AND - I do NOTget that green top underneath - and those too long slouchy sleeves sticking out - but heh, what do I know?!?/?
9.  page 46 - Black is NEVER gone - so how can it be 'back'???  Again - love the textures.  10.  Color palette - KNOW your colors!  Yellows are HARD to wear well.  KNOW your best pink and red - is it 'cool' - mauve-y, 'berry'  or 'warm - 'tomato-y'???  Better find out!

page 48.  Hand-Embroidered Understitching   - in my DREAMS I'd have time to do this - but if I had the time- Yea, I could enjoy it!

pages 52-55 Love that Bias Half Lining.  The old tailoring and dressmaking techniques are always worth a second look.  THANKS for this, THREADS and Louise Cutting!

pages 56-61.  I LOVE this all -lace red dress.  THIS may be my direction for New Year's Eve Ballroom Dancing gown this year!  I used many of these techniques with lace on my daughter's wedding dress(es!)

page 62-65.  INGENIOUS!!!!  WHY didn't I think of that??????????????  Very smart construction order - VERYsmart!   Way to go, Susan Pottage!

page 66-73 - interesting reading.  LOTS of effort for entertainment in my book.

page 73 - COATS  I looked up each of the patterns in the 'try thee Patterns' box...
Butterick 5297 - seems to be a VERY good basic, but UNLINED- which, in most cases, I would prefer lined personally
Classics 104 - Cecelia Podolak - seems she is designing for the larger woman - and pattern sizing reflects that.  Basics.
Elements 013 - Linda Kubik - LOVE the collar on 013.  009 with yoke and slot buttonhole in front yoke seam is also TRULY wonderful.  On my 'list' for when I need a new coat - either of these.
McCalls 4975 - basic, raglan sleeve nothing special imho
McCall's 9576 - basic, shawl collar, set-in sleeve, nothing special imho
Vogue 1145 - that's a BIG collar - too big unless you're at least 5'9'' or more! imho...
Vogue 8695 - cut-on Kimono sleeves - more of a 'jacket' than a coat I think, or a very lightweight coat.
Vogue 8539 - nice - fits that 'cocoon wrap styling from the style forecast article - but beware of the collar depth - if you don't have a long neck, you probably will want to decrease the depth of the collar or you'll feel strangled. 
page 74 - Preshrinking wool technique - never heard of turning off steam and re-pressing with a dry iron.  Sounds like it makes sense.  Always learning - always!

I'll never forget making a wool melton coat.  Melton is HEAVY.  I did a fantastic job, but then my machine could NOT make buttonholes!  I took it all over town looking for a tailor to make hand-worked or good machine buttonholes.  I honestly don't remember the end of the story - but it mustn't have been positive, because I don't remember wearing that coat!  lesson - if you are going to make a coat of HEAVY fabric - and your pattern requires a buttonhole, buy an eighth of a yard and play with buttonhole solutions FIRST! ;)

page 75 - Shows use of the duckbill applique scissors very well - middle right hand side.  I LOVE mine - and think every seamstress needs one.  HERE is a link to buy the applique scissors at my site.  

page 76 - It's Sew Easy new PBS series!  Little ole' me was on the 2nd program of this first series.  Read about my experience taping HERE.

Agree COMPLETELY with the Style Tips for length of skirts, and proportions with the longer skirts.  And I'd just decided to shorten some of my skirt - guess NOT!

page 77 - 'Measure of a Man" trivia - very interesting! Love things like this...tidbits of trivia along sewing lines!

page 78 - a Good Color Forecast - a good visual summary.  Now choose what is good for YOU.   

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Batik Boutiqe Arrives

Here are the 'cool' bolts - ADD to these 8 more assorted batiks that arrived today and you can imagine the fun I've had!

Cooking up a new creative contest with these BATIKS and special Combos I've put together.

All will be offered at HUGE savings - passing along the GREAT DEAL I got on you!

Should be ready tomorrow morning - watch for my Newsletter!
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Wristlet Gift for Kids

I stole about 15' (tops!) and the smallest leftover COLTS fabric from another project and stitched up this great little wristlet money-holder for my #1 Grandson as he starts First GRADE!

I found this on the blog: And Sew She Says...and highly recommend that blog as well...

I also made the Spareribs recipe from that blog this weekend - sprad with barbeque sauce, wrap in foil - 4 hour at 300 degree oven - EASY and meat falls off in tender scrumptous bites...

Anyway back to the Wristlet...just follow the directions. Any size zipper will do - you just stitvh across at the length determined in the directions.

No batting or anything - just really 4 layers of fabric with a window in one set - in which you insert the zipper, stitching around the window, then 'face' with the other doubled fabric, leave a hole, turn, press and topstitch. adding strip of velcro on outside of one end, inside of the other.

WALA - perfect 'carrier' for lunch money, reminder note, permission slip - whatever the little tyke needs.

I did grab my favorite white Point Turner to stick out those corners.

AND - for my Sidewalk Method for slip stitching the hole you leave to turn it all...check out my You-Tube Video at this page of all my videos HERE.

OF COURSE, a good NaNa inserted money - starting with a dollar bill which went to his piggy bank, then had to add some more change for these photos.

Send me photos of yours.

Come to think of it - these would make GREAT stocking stuffers too!

Now write that idea down somewhere...where you won't forget it! :)

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My New 'Living' Sweatshirt Jacket in 'Christmas' Colors...

I was excited about  completing my new jacket version of the Living™ Talking Pattern™ last week and uploaded a new Album on my business Facebook Page...but now I want to take a minute to repeat those photos here and share more regarding the creative process that I so love.

Christmas Living™ Sweatshirt Jacket
Inspired totally by the angular button shapes and colors
If you look closely at the set of 3 buttons from Crone Art Fimo Clay Buttons on this jacket - you can see that THEY WERE THE INSPIRATION.  I sell amazingly beautiful buttons of this type only at the Sewing Expos and guild/shop  appearances since they are one of a kind and therefore would take forever to scan, measure, describe and put on my site.  :)  However... you can always contact me with specific color/size/shape needs and 'm most happy to snap a picture of some that qualify and email it over to you!
I especially loved the touch of purple in them - feeling that capitalizing on that color with the 'typical' green and red Christmas color theme would take it beyond solely a 'Christmas' look.

Determining which color to use for binding edges.
Determining which color to use for binding edges.
Here you can see that even though I had already applied an iridescent hot pink/green silk binding to the jacket's right front edge - at this point I realized I didn't like the 'pink' that was showing in that fabric, AND I really was considering the emphasis on the purple that I ended up with.
Look closely and you can see that yes - I had even mitered those points of the binding.  OFF they came.  Creative sewing definitely includes UN-SEWING!!!
That is...if you are like most creative people - and have to 'try it' before you can see if you 'like it'.  Kudos to you if you can 'see' the result ahead and always KNOW if you're going to like it or not!
After I had committed to the front closing edge shape, decided on how much of the left front's Underlap to let be exposed, and created interfaced facings for both the left and the right front edges, it was time to play wit the hem silhouette.  Here you can see what I came up with.  This is why details like exact hem length and shape are NOT included in my Talking Patterns, but rather my personal explanation and teaching you HOW to determine this for YOUR project IS included.  Much, much more fun - and even educational in the long run!                   Playing to decide atractive hem silhouette and length.

Inside look at the overlapped left front.
See here the inside of the Left Front.
Look closely here at the inside of the jacket's left front.  Because I wanted the green silk dupioni to 'peek' substantially to the right of the right front edge on the jacket, I set it over further than the cut edge on the jacket's left front.  THAT is why the stitching line is further to the left edge.  I eventually trimmed back the excess green sweatshirt edge closer to the stitching.  '

The black you see here is Pro Woven Fusible Interfacing from Pam Erny that I love.

If you look very closely, you can see that I've serged the right most edge of this interfaced silk Underlap.

Exposed left front of jacket - the Underlap I created.    And here is the photo that shows closely how much underlap on the Jacket's left front I had decided to have exposed.  Note the pins marking the points of the closure.  I needed to decide and mark that securely so that the 'fit' didn't constantly change on me.
This decided, THEN I could go back and tweek the side seam fit.  I DID use Fronts, Back and Sleeve patterns as found in my Book 2, or Genesis Too™ Talking Pattern™ or Refined Too™ Talking Pattern™ to create the basic part of this jacket, as I wanted the sleeve up at it's natural location on my shoulder.   You can do the same - even if you do NOT have my bodice pattern.  Just make use of ANY jacket pattern that fits you the way you want it to.  Cut the back, and the sleeves out of the available sweatshirt - which I 'see' as just fabric once the ribbings are cut off.  For the Fronts, obviously leave it cut on the center font fold, and cut neck, shoulder, armscyes, and side seams ONLY.  THEN you your buttons down - and go to work designing a pleasing edge line for the front closure that looks good with YOUR buttons.
Rejected fabric and embellishment - to orangy red.    With my stash of fabrics and yarns for this jacket was this silky polyester that had a wonderful selvage.  I thought all along that I would use this fabric as well - and here at the right most side of this photo, you can see where I had wrapped a cable cord with the selvage.  However - durned if the red wasn't objectionably too 'orangey' compared to the blue undertone of the chenille yarn I'd already chosen and attached - centered with a purple chenille yarn.
Below, see the entire hem silhouette I decided on.  The point in the back is centered, but I had also decided that I would do some couching in a non-centered orientation as well...just not sure WHAT.  You have to be OK with NOT making ALL decisions at one time - but rather, one decision at a time that you are feeling good about and just trust that the rest will fall into place.  Just like life - eh? See how valuable SEWING is?!? Full view hem silhouette
Trimming layered bias strips for Dupioni Fur Trim.   Ahhh - naughty girl!  I really SHOULD close my rotary cutter blade when I lay it down!!! you see that I've trimmed the sides of the layered and stitched (down the center of) 3/4'' wide bias strips so that the edges are clean and straight 1/4'' from each side of the center stitching.

This is the technique I was honored to be invited to share in the first series of the new PBS Sewing show called It's Sew Easy HERE is a link to the written how-to's for my segment of the 2nd show!
AND, I even saved the scraps that you see in the pile.  They were so pretty - I think they'll end up on the front of some stitched Christmas greeting cards.  Stay Tuned...........

After trimming, I ATTACK both edges, both sides of this strip with the Fabric Chenille Brush which is indispensable for this task!  NOTHING works as well!  Find it HERE.  Just $5.99, but for a limited time - get it FREE with purchase of my DVD:  Refined Embellishments for Creative Sewing - just $19.95.
Extended Sleeve lengths with cuffs of silk dupioni.  The sleeves weren't as long as I would like - since I had cut them out of the sweatshirt in order to Re-Cut with a sleeve cap.  Just a 'creative opportunity'... I added interfaced BIAS cuffs as you can see here. And yes - interfaced the outermost layer with Pro Woven Fusible Interfacing.

Back View of my finished jacket.
Back View of my finished jacket.
And here you can see my finished jacket  from the back side.  Be assured the placement of all of the chenille strips and couched yarn was NOT quickly and immediately decided upon!  Not only standing back from a proposed design of those embellishments, but TAKING A PICTURE with my digital camera to view has become my absolute favorite way of 'seeing' if I really like a design proposal or not! I'm surprised not to see that trick yet on Project Runway.
There you have it - the Creative Process for this jacket - and such fun! Approximately 6 Jumbo Clear Plastic Snaps actually close the front of the jacket.  Those were unavailable for a time, but now I have them back again at my site HERE.  YEA! Those snaps are included with the Living Pattern Combo which includes the pattern, snaps, my tissue pattern for the front, back and sleeves, one each of the Fusible Stay Tapes AND makes a $5 donation to my Drill a Well for an African Village project!
Don't  let time get away from you  - send in your entry for my Creative Sweatshirt Jacket contest.  Find all the details HERE - and have a good chance at winning the Grand Prize of $250 at my site or one of the other great prizes.  Deadline for entry:  November 15, 2011.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

'Resource Center' aka Fabric Stash Additions

Ahhh - it's about time to get started creating more stylish jackets from sweatshirts! I want to have a bunch of new samples for the Fall Show season. What an excuse! These pieces are ones I found at a fabric shop on Nantucket Island in off Cape Cod during our vacation there in July. Can you tell that I LOVE STRIPES??? It's just that I KNOW they have so much creative potential in wearable art. Here is how my mind goes crazy with ideas...
  • Of COURSE...cut on the bias for great 1) bindings - or any width 2) Create matching fabric chenille strips as I taught on the new PBS sewing show: It's Sew Easy making use of this awesome Chenille Brush which PERFECTLY ruffs up the bias edges. Read HERE for all the details of my technique as taught on the It's Sew Easy - Techniques page there to support/reinforce what was aired on PBS! If you don't get this show in your area - Call and Tell them about it! REQUEST it! P.s. If you're a supporter of that station with your $ - they will listen to you better! :)
  • I LOVE this brush SO much - SEW much better than your fingernail, a toothbrush, and safer than a stiff wire brush too, that I've made a new COMBO of my DVD for embellishments called 'Refined Embellishments for Creative Sewing' that INCLUDES this brush FREE with purchase of the DVD for a limited time. fabric chenille brushClick HERE to get this brush FREE!
  • Re-Create Fabric - by cutting and/or stitching the stripes in different configurations. For example, on the brown/aqua piece - I could create a 'fabric' of just the narrow aqua and cream stripes for an area on a jacket. I could cut out one of the narrow aqua stripes and piece it down the center of one of the wide brown stripes - couching yarn along each of the raw edges. ....
  • Use stripes themselves for cutting a stripe out and applique it on top of the fabric itself at an angle...
The textured piece above the aqua/brown stripe is a wonderful REVERSIBLE piece of aqua and brown! AND - check out that SELVAGE! I LOVE to make use of SELVAGE as trim!!! AND, this fabric will ravel amazingly well along the straight grain - and look ever so wonderful...can't wait to play..and this looks awesome on a BROWN sweatshirt!
Many of the same ideas for the blue/sand stripe to the left. Denim is bound to be combined with this piece!
WHAT is this you ask? about am amazingly wonderful HUGE (108'' long) linen tablecloth?
Found at an Antique center and talked them into a price of $85 - I should be able to get an amazing Creative Sweatshirt Jacket from it - PLUS another all linen & lace jacket - PLUS some kits for my Creative Sweatshirt Jackets as I sell at the sewing expos. It is wonderfully rich on the Brown Comfort Color Sweatshirt, but I also just today ordered some sweatshirts in White to play with dyeing with RIT DYE to achieve a perfect off-white color. We'll see...
SEW... Stay tuned - LIKE me on FACEBOOK to be sure to catch every step of my creative escapades! 
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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Check this out - UPSIDE-Down Pockets

As seen in the airport at the start of our vacation in July...the UPSIDE-Down pockets - on I think Izod pants (see alligator peeking above right pocket) Sew...I feel on purpose. Got my attention! Not too useful...but kinda cute.

Question: Would you do this? Might be fun...just to see who notices..........
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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Thoughts on THREADS Magazine 156

First treat to myself on recent vacation was to read through the most recent THREADS Magazine cover to cover…
Sew…for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts and comments on this great issue (I think most of them are great by the way!)
Threads Magazine current issue 156

Page 24 – I don’t expect I’ll try this one – in the bias area of that butterfly sleeve, I would think it would ‘pull’ into diagonal lines like crazy – even WITH my Pfaff Integrated Dual Feed. Thoughts???
Page 27 – There’s no mention of it, but notice the finished interior edge of the facing in Photo 2. Silk organza was cut same as the facing, stitched right wides together on interior edge, then seam pressed open, then as needs to be BEFORE attaching to the garment as a facing. I did this years ago on nice linen heirloom front button blouses. PERFECT amount of ‘body’ for a facing!
Page 28 – I sure don’t have time to hand do understitching if it’s not to be seen. Happy for those who do!
Page 31 – Vogue 1211 – immediately checked out on my IPad – quite dramatic! I like asymmetry, but feel I’d decrease the size of the collar some.
Page 34 – Love that collar stand interest. While on vacation – saw some men’s shirts from Robert Graham featuring machine embroidery on the UNDERLAP side of the front placket – between buttons, also on the collar stand.  Yea – found my notes and just looked up online… See HERE – hover your mouse over the collar area and you’ll see the embroidery.
Page 36 – I must be inept, but can NOT get bias applied like that to look good enough to suit me on both sides. I would stitch right side of Bias to Wrong side of shirt, then finish stitching on Right side of shirt.
Page 37 – I would fold the top tip of that triangle down first to ‘miter’. Cool idea though.
Page 44 – I LOVE that dress! Could be a sheer woven, but then you’d have to hem the skirt. LOVE Love, Love not hemming knits cause they don’t ravel! My Home Ec professors would turn in their graves…
Page 54 – Gusset thingie – If I were doing alterations, this would be a Keeper!
page 64 – Also loved the Balanciaga article – so interesting re the church influence. Blue dress on page 64 looks like nun wear to me!
Page 67 – I especially liked the stay or the ‘pleat’ at a cap sleeve. THAT can be added any time – and I sure plan to do this to several of my tops.
Page 69 – I assume the Balenciaga bow would be cut on the bias for soft folds.
Page 73 – love the ‘whisper rather than shout’ lingo in comment bout the gown’s sleeves. Too much fashion ‘shouts’ these days – ala the collar in the Pfaff ad page 17! Now….that shouts. Each to his own. I’d rather ‘whisper’ myself.
Always look forward to the next THREADS!!! Love, love, love it!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Titanium Facts explain STRONG Rotary Cutting Blades

I LOVE my Roll the Gold Titanium Rotary Cutting Blades...
and I sell LOTS of the Schmetz Titanium Embroidery Needles....SEW I was curious...
WHAT is Titanium?  
Googling...I found: oh yeah - that it is on the periodic table of elements - #22.  Briefly taking me back to the horror days of college chemistry!  (It probably woulnd't have been so bad if I'd had a CALCULATOR instead of SLIDE RULE...but then let's not talk about how long ago college was for I already gave it away!  
Gorgeous, textural stuff if I do say so.  See this:

I knew it must be strong - so here are some interesting facts:

1. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant (including sea water, aqua regia and chlorine) transition metal with a silver color.
2. Titanium was discovered in Cornwall, Great Britain, by William Gregor in 1791 and named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth for the Titans of Greek mythology.
The element occurs within a number of mineral deposits, principally rutile and ilmenite, which are widely distributed in the Earth's crust and lithosphere, and it is found in almost all living things, rocks, water bodies, and soils.
3. Its most common compound, titanium dioxide, is a popular photocatalyst and is used in the manufacture of white pigments.

4. Titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, molybdenum, among other elements, to produce strong lightweight alloys for aerospace (jet engines, missiles, and spacecraft), military, industrial process (chemicals and petro-chemicals, desalination plants, pulp, and paper), automotive, agri-food, medical prostheses, orthopedic implants, dental and endodontic instruments and files, dental implants, sporting goods, jewelry, mobile phones, and other applications.

5. The two most useful properties of the metal form are corrosion resistance and the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. In its unalloyed condition, titanium is as strong as some steels, but 45% lighter. 
As I blogged once before - this blade, along with the Dritz KAI blade, are the only ones I use in my sewing/design work.  WHY?  They just hold up longer!!!!  Nothing aggravates me MORE than 'hanging chads' i call them of fibers of fabric I'm trying to cut.  I want a crisp, clean cut - EVERY TIME, and that's what I get - the longest - with these Titanium Roll the Gold Blades. 
SAVE $ on these blades since you read about them at my BLOG!  
Click Below. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Vacation Inspiration

The Hydrangeas were AMAZING, BREATHTAKING, HEAVENLY, EVERY COLOR - EVERY WHERE.  They said all the rain they had this spring contributed.  The BEST part of vacation - next to visiting my cousin! Her hubby is a scallop fisherman - now THAT was interesting!
I even made myself try Steamers and Clams.  Once is enough...thank you!

Inspiration from a ceiling - I think in the Libary in Boston.  This will be design inspiration for free motion or couching ... something on one of my Creative Sweatshirt Jackets!

99% of library patrons sat laptops or ipads.  WHY were they in the library is what I want to know. Oh yea - perhaps the aura of learning.

Sunset the first night in Provincetown.  It set SO quickly!!!  Sunsets and the ocean..always put me in my place in relationship to God.  I find it so easy to get so 'into' ones one life - the minutia...that unless we spend time in God's word DAILY, the ME gets way, way to big. 

This guy was a dichotomy in eras - an Indian from when settlers first arrived, and dressed as such - in a power chair.  Good for him!  Working - sharing - celebrating his heritage.  Each character at Plimoth Village IS and STAYS in character!  Really educational. 

Texture of stacked bark off trees - bound to be roof of their 'homes'.

 Don't tell me that wallpaper is anything new!
Women have always worked with their hands to create something of beauty - I forget what fibers this gal was using - but they were from nature.
This settler woman was roll-hemming a kerchief for her husband.  Linen fabric - linen thread.  And we think WE don't have time to sew!!!!

Whale Bone - scrimshaw it is called.  Whale bone was also used in corsets for the 'boning'.  Duhhh
The first is a beautiful basket.  The 2nd is the contraption that you use to wind a ball of yarn from a skein of yarn.  I forget what is called - anyone?

And if you think there is such a think as 'junk'... think again.  On the island of Nantucket in one of the gallery windows, we saw this!  I wish I had written down amazing artist - but alas, no.   See what this artist transformed stuff like this into!  Taking a photo let me 'see' it in from a different vantage point - a trick I'm finding useful in wearable art garment design - take a photo, then look at the photo for a different 'view' that is VERY revealing.
Also - on Nantucket - I FINALLY found a fabric store!   Here is what I added to my 'Library' of fabrics... 'Visual Resource Center' a customer once cleverly called her stash!
This reversible texture with a GREAT selvage and a wonderful stripe - that I can seam, cut, piece, and bias strip in many ways is very rich and wonderful and 'in' color scheme on the Brown USA Comfort Color Sweatshirt. 

This is a 92'' x 72'' antique tablecloth.  Wish I knew lace to know the type - JoAnne, I'll be emailing you for your ID of it! 
Anyway - on brown, cut up, pieces, border - can't WAIT to get started.  
SEW... Comment to let me know what YOU have found on your travels to add to your stash or inspire you! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Product Bulletin: Wonder Clips from Clover Notions for sewing and quilting

New Product Bulletin:  Wonder Clips

These little clips are going to change your sewing experience. The more you use them the more places you will find to use them instead of a pin.
The genius of the Wonder Clip design is the flat bottom to make machine sewing flow smoothly. The heavy duty hinge holds even the thickest binding/quilt while stitching by hand or on the machine and the 1/2″, 3/16″, 1/4″ and 3/8th ” marks on the flat side (clear) of the clip allows you to accurately clip and mark where you will sew.
The BEST is that the Wonder Clips replace pins … no more blood drops on your quilts, no more bent pins, no more poked fingers …just a “painless” binding experience.  For those of us that love to do English paper piecing, these little clips will be a life saver. Often times when tacking the first couple of corners of the paper piece/fabric the paper template will slip and, if you’re not careful, when finishing there won’t be enough fabric to correctly finish. Just place a clip on the fabric/paper template and NO MORE SHIFTING!  Wonder Clips are available on a card with 10 clips, or in a box of 50." 7-26-2011:  The card of 50 is on backorder, so if you order it  plan to wait.  :)  

SAVE 20% for a limited time.  Click HERE to order Today!  

Friday, July 08, 2011

Baby Alyssa Ensemble

I've been so looking forward to sewing some little GIRL ruffles - and baby Alyssa,my sister's granddaughter born May 23 is just the excuse...

This little Sun Suit from Sew Beautiful, current issue No.137, 2011. Vol. 25, No. 4.

First, I show folding the back ruffles as directed. I KNOW my ruffles are cuter because I cut them on the BIAS rather than on straight grain as directed.

This is the back for Baby's bibbed sun suit. It has you hand wind elastic thread (without stretching) onto the bobbin, then stitch. Oh - and once you do this stitching as directed, it is important to hold a steam iron over it to make it all pull up as you see here. I don't like this technique - never have, as it doesn't hold up. I would rather advise to line with a soft fabric - even in this area only, sew casings, and run 1/8'' elastic through the casings. You'll be happier.

This is the sleeve ruffle - cutting an arc at one end, then using that as the pattern to cut the arc at the other end. I used fabric cut on the bias, and folded for the ruffles instead of eyelet trim or lace.

Here are my finished straps. See my gathering technique on You-Tube. Search for Londa Sewing...

Cloth Baby Booties

These are adorable Robeeze copy fabric baby booties. I found the pattern on a blog -

Here you see I have pulled the 9'' length of elastic through the Heel casing, and the wrong side of the Top through the slits, pulled to 7'', stitched, then the excess cut off. Note that the sides of the heel are NOT stitched to the sides of the Top/Sole seam. This took me a bit to figure out.

Ahhh - too cute! Now, I've trimmed the Sole to Top and Heel seam by pinking with pinking shears. I honestly think this is preferred to serging because tiny toenails could get caught in serging threads/loops. This makes it nice and soft inside, and solves the notching that is necessary to remove some of the bulk of the 'outie' seam allowance because when it gets turned right side out - that exterior most seam edge becomes an 'innie' curve as I say - needing less space. Understand?

Elastic joining scootched around so invisible. This shot shows the inside of the bootie really well.

Cute or what? Needs a bonnet....

Back View ...I just had to add the yellow ribbon on the straps and down the center of the butt ruffles.

Londa's Heirloom Bonnet  -Kit 
SAVE on my combo of the pattern seen below, silk organza for back pouf lining, elastic, baby piping cord, safety pins. 

Creating the Fancy Band for the Baby Bonnet. Here is the first step of the Colonial or Candle Wicking Knot - I"m using 1/8'' wide silk ribbon. The white is adorable,delicate tatting I bought at the Martha Pullen Arlington Market I did in late June, 2011.

Next step in those Candle-Wicking Knots.

And...the last step in the decorative knot. I let my silk ribbon travel from one knot to the other on the back side of the Fancy Band as my pattern directs you to line this Fancy Band any way - covering it up.Note here you can see that I staggered the loops of the double rows of the tatting when I applied it. I carry the itsy bitsy piping cord at my website. You can see it at both edges of the Fancy Band. Yellow was obviously the 3rd, and accent color of this ensemble.

Just enough tatting left to put into the front edge of the front Ruffle on the Bonnet. Yeah!

Stitching the 'lining of the Front Ruffle - from the side where I can see the stitching of attaching the tatting - stitching just a needle width to the left of that stitching.

Cutting the arcs at each end of the Front Ruffle.

Using my gathering technique to attach Front Ruffle to Fancy Band. Note the threads figure 8'd around that right most pin. My You-Tube video can be found with all the rest of my how-to videos HERE.

Ahhh - too cute! I LOVE sewing ruffles. Dear Lord, send me a Grand Daughter to join my #1 grandson! Now to line the Fancy Band.

Sandwiching the Fancy Band/Front Ruffle unit with the Front Band Lining as per my really good directions in this pattern - my very first - done way back in1988!!!

Flipping Fancy Band Lining to the inside. See how nicely that baby piping just adds the little touch of color at each long edge of the Fancy Band - which, by the way sizes the bonnet. You just take earlobe over head to other earlobe (bottoms of each) and add 1/2'' for how long to create the Fancy Band - and approx 2'' to 2 1/2'' wide.

Drawing in side bonnet casing lines as per directions - on OUTSIDE of the Pouf.

At this time - I realized I hadn't cut a Pouf Lining (duh - I didn't have enough fabric!), so I went to my STASH and found the perfect silk organza for the ling - which is over the top of all this - the elastic pieces as directed, are secured. The left one is for the back pouf circlet and the right one (duplicated at the other end of the Pouf) is to pull the bonnet in at the bottom, neck edge. The Silk Organza was perfect because it is lightweight and ads just the perfect crispness to the bonnet.

This shows ripping a little hole at the X as at the top of the 2nd side of the directions in my pattern. This is the ONLY thing in these - my very first directions ever, that I would improve on - you can't really see the X in the diagram. It is at the left end of the Back neck Crown Edge - right above the words 'Center Back'. It is through this hole that the back crown elastic will exit. That gets anchor stitched, and eventually covered with a ribbon/button unit as you'll see.

My directions do instruct you to secure tiny safety pins onto the ends of each piece of elastic, so that you can easily pull the elastic through after the Pouf Lining is attached.

Oooo - I need a manicure! Anyway - securing the end of the elastic with machine stitching. Do at both 'sides' or bottom edges of the POUF.

Attaching Pouf to the back side of the Fancy Band. The pattern calls for a Back Ruffle as well as the Front Ruffle, but I just didn't think this bonnet needed the Back Ruffle. What fun is sewing...YOU are the designer!

Now it is time to stitch across each of the lowermost ends of the Fancy Band, securing the Lining to the outer Fancy Band. I designed an absolutely adorable technique to attach the Ties on the outside. See next steps!

How the bottom-most edges look all finished off.

1/4'' folded in on both sides of each tie. At the machine, finger fold in the little bit of extra. Establish where under the presser foot the right folded edge will be guided, and WALA, a beautiful, double folded and stitched edge! Do one side of each Tie.

Fold one end at an angle as shown. Now,stitch across this double layer at the other long edge, along the pressed line from the opposite side you see here.

Trim excess, turn right side out, pull out corner crisply with a pin and press. NOW finish the other long edge with same technique used on first long edge,but stop at this cross stitching.

Fold 3/4'' down to the wrong side at the other end of each tie. THEN fold it as shown.

Attach folded end with machine stitching as shown, then pull center fold down as you see here. Add a decorative Candle Wick Knot or French Knot inside for that special little touch.

Hand crocheted thread loops close the back of the Bonnet - at both the back crown elastic edge, and the lower edge. Ribbon streamers make it very 'girly'. I need to add my hand crochet method for thread loops to my YouTube Videos...

Finished ensemble. Now to wrap it and send it off. She's just a month old now - so this will be perfect for NEXT spring and summer. Can't wait to see baby Alyssa - my Grand Niece - first GIRL of the GREAT Grand Kids for my folks in it!

Londa's Heirloom Bonnet  -Kit 
SAVE on my combo of the pattern, silk organza for back pouf lining, elastic, baby piping cord, safety pins.