Category Archives: Notions

We broke up

My boyfriend and I broke up. You remember him, don’t you?  My ruffler/gathering foot.  I don’t know what I did wrong, but suddenly he gave me the cold shoulder.  He didn’t want to gather or ruffle for me anymore. 

When I was making my niece Katie’s Xmas nightgown (a monument to gathers and ruffles), I couldn’t get him to gather for the life of me.  I looked up his directions in the manual (wouldn’t it be great if men did come with manuals???), I did an internet search on how to get better gathers, I changed thread tension, I changed stitch length.  In short, I tried everything.

My boyfriend wouldn’t gather.

My last ditch effort to save the relationship?  I thought to crowd the fabric from behind the needle and the fabric started to gather in a more acceptable fashion.  I don’t know why this idea occurred to me.  I don’t know if I had read about it in someone’s blog post or in one of my sewing books, but the idea just popped into my head.  I just smushed the fabric against the needle plate as I stitched and it helped the foot to gather the fabric as it fed through.  It wasn’t as consistent as it had been in the past, but what man is consistent?

I’m not sure if we’re going to get back together or not.  The pain is still too fresh.  But you can be sure, I will let you know if there are any further developments.



Feeling exposed

Saturday night I was happily sewing along on my latest rendition of B5147 in plummy tweed.  I had just finished all my darts (all six of them on the shell) around 10:30pm.  I thought for a moment about starting the darts on the lining when I realized that I didn’t have matching thread for the lining.  Quelle horreur!  Not only that, but I didn’t have a matching zipper! 

That’s the problem with having a notion stash my friends.  You just assume you have all the supplies for every project under the sun.  Well, guess what?  Sometimes you don’t.  So that was my deciding factor to pack it up for the night. 

On Sunday, Jack and I headed over to Purl in Soho to peruse the yarn selection for his annual sweater vest.  I know I said that I probably wasn’t going to make his sweater this year, but I booked the appointment for our yearly pictures and I just can’t stand the thought of not having Jack in one of my sweaters.  Call it narcissism if you must!  After last year’s debacle, I made sure to get a color fast yarn that’s easily washable.  I chose Cascade Superwash 128 in a yummy forest green and an equally yummy ivory.  I still haven’t decided how to use the ivory yet, but will kind of “feel” it as I go I think.  

Jumping into the future:  Since I am an instant gratification person, I had to cast on Sunday night to see how the yarn looked.  I’m using Ann Budd’s book for the sweater vest pattern with a few modifications.  Me likey…

in progress: back of sweater


Back to the past:  Unfortunately, Purl didn’t have a large selection of thread and zippers for my new dress, so Jack and I had to walk over to P&S Fabrics to get those items.  P&S is my go to neighborhood fabric/notions store.  While their fabrics aren’t necessarily the best, you can find some bargains there occasionally and they have a decent selection of notions, buttons and yarn.  I started to panic, however, when they didn’t have an invisible zipper to match my plummy tweed.  What’s a girl to do without an invisible zipper in this modern age???  (Read: I have no idea how to insert any other kind of zipper.)  Near the zipper section, P&S has a few grubby bins filled with one-off zippers, some of them regular zippers that you could use as an exposed zipper.  Since I was already envisioning this dress as more of a jumper than an elegant sheath dress, an exposed zipper might be just the ticket!  There were two that I liked in two different lengths, 18 in and 20 in.  The pattern calls for a 20 in zipper, but an emergency call to Carolyn confirmed that an 18 in zipper would do just as well; I’m not an amazon being only 5 foot 4 inches tall.  And as it so happens, the 18 inch zipper (the one at the top of the picture with the deeper purple tape) is the one I like best with my fabric. 

Of course I have no idea how to insert an exposed zipper.  And of course, I went searching on the internet for a tutorial on how to insert one.  The tutorial I like best so far of all that I found was on the Husqvarna site (click on the exposed zipper tutorial).  That’s the one I will use tonight.

I sewed the darts in the lining last night and started to attach the lining to the dress at the neck.  I had a huge moment of inspiration at that point and am adding more detail to this simple sheath dress pattern to make it my own.  But that’s a post for another day…

I know.  I’m such a tease.  😉  

Happy sewing everyone!

Wish List

First of all, thank you all for putting up with my pity party yesterday.  I appreciate all of your support.  It was just shocking to find out, after adding significant width to a skirt, that it was still too small.  *big sigh*  But I am putting on my big girl pants and putting all that nastiness behind me. 

Yesterday, I fantasized about feet.  No, I am not a fetishist.  I was daydreaming about sewing machine feet.  I have a Husqvarna Emerald 183 machine which actually came with several feet, but I have been envious of other people’s feet of late.  You know…  like narrow hem feet.

image from Viking Husqvarna

If money were no object, here’s the list I’ve come up with to buy.  Check them out here:

  • 1/2 in bias binder
  • 1/4 in bias binder
  • Piping foot
  • Spanish hemstitch foot
  • 5 or 7 groove pin tuck foot
  • Edge stitching foot (actually, I might have this one already, but have to check when I get home)
  • 3mm shell rolled hem foot (love this one!)
  • 5mm narrow hem foot
  • 2mm narrow hem foot

I have no idea how much any of these feet cost, nor do I know if they will work on my machine, because in their infinite wisdom, Viking does not make all of their accessories compatible with all of their machines.  Go figure!  So I guess my next step is to call my dealership and find out all that information and then decide which I will really get.

Do you have any of these feet?  If so, which do you love and cannot live without?  I love the gathering foot (aka my boyfriend) which came with my machine.  LOVE IT!  It beats the heck out of sewing two lines of stitches and then trying to pull them into even gathers. 

Happy feet people!

Need your opinion

I have a very limited button stash with very few “sets” of buttons, i.e., more than one button in a particular style.  But at my recent outing with fellow PatternReviewers, we stopped at Botani Buttons and I picked up a bag of buttons.  There were a lot of one offs in the bag, but it did include some sets. 

My Knip Mode skirt calls for 5-6 buttons.  I found one set that might work, but need your opinion.  I am thinking this button might be too noticeable and become a design feature where I might not want them to be.  So tell me, should I go on a search for different buttons that don’t cry out “Look at me!”?

Here are two pictures.  One shows the fabric as it really looks, the other shows the buttons as they really look.

true representation of the fabric (navy/white cotton woven)

true representation of the swirly white buttons


Let me know what you think please!