Friday, April 26, 2013

Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina

It is no secret that I love to sew.  A few months ago while attending the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA, I found an unusal fabric at the Vogue Fabrics booth.  The fabric interior is a fleece with all the comfort of a favorite sweatshirt, while the right side has vertical rows of zigzag stitched ombre colored yarns - burgandy to pink to white to black.  I don't recall the fiber content and held my breathe when I cleaned the yardage on the delicate cycle in the washing machine, I was thrilled that there was no pilling or fabric deterioration.  Easy maintenance... that's what I want in my fabrics and garments. 

From my local store I found a Sandra Betzina pattern #1243.  I had been wanting a cute jacket to wear with jeans - a throw-n-go type jacket. 

Vogue #1243

I chose View C since the design was unique to my regular wardrobe . . . no lapel and soft gathering at the neckline.

Plus, I was really curious about the jacket construction.  Leave it to Sandra Betzina. Not only does her design style speak to me, but her pattern directions are so well written.  I stitched this jacket up in no time - and thanks to my serger. The sleeve construction and soft gathers at the neckline were a breeze.  The front jacket is lined with a sheer floral that along the hemline and front I rolled forward for a nice contrast finish. 

I love this little jacket!  Will pair up a lace camisole under this jacket, but really need sun and warmer temperatures before venturing outside. 

Sandra Betzina designs Today's Fit patterns for Vogue Patterns.  She has an array of garment patterns that are stylish and fun to sew.  This week when I received Sandra's Power Sewing newsletter I was thrilled she featured this pattern in Episode 127: Simple Travel Jacket, just after I had already finished my own jacket.  Timing is everything!  Check out Sandra's jacket pattern on her Power Sewing website. 

PS:  I used a SCHMETZ Universal 80/12.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is around the corner.  Here's a nice gift suggestion for Mom or that special someone that taught you how to sew - the SCHMETZ Gift Box

Six Gift Boxes Available
Embroidery, General Sewing, Heirloom, Quilting, Stretch and Universal

A convenient hinged tin contains the ever-popular SCHMETZ ABC Pocket Guide, four packs of needles and a sample of Sulky Poly-Lite thread.  Remove the interior foam plugs and the tin stores up to 20 packs of needles.  This cute little tin is the perfect size for use next to a sewing machine or for tucking into a tote of class supplies. 

And if your Mom taught you to sew, then give her a big hug!

The SCHMETZ Gift Box is available at your local quilt and/or fabric shop and machine dealer.  See all variations at



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Grabbit Sewing Tools

I love Grabbit tools!  Maybe you don't know the name, but I bet you know and already use a couple Grabbit products:  Grabbit, the original magnetic pincushion and BobbinSaver, the skinny donut shaped bobbin organizer.  I use both of these products nearly every time I sit down to sew.  Now I want to tell you about a few more Grabbit tools to make your sewing life easier...

Grabbit Sewing Tools
Wrist Grabbit
Do you have a tendency to put pins in your mouth?  I confess I do, and I know I am not alone.  The solution is the handy Wrist Grabbit.  Smaller than the original magnetic Grabbit, this Grabbit straps to your wrist for easy pin access.  Now here's the thing... place this magnetic Grabbit on the INSIDE of your wrist.  When I first started using this I had pins flinging through the air as I lightly hit my wrist on the sewing table, but no more.  Even my husband likes this too - he finds fewer needles in the carpet!

Magnetic Needle Threaders
Speaking of magnets, these little needle threaders not only help thread a hand needle easier, but they are magnetic and certainly easier to find when placed in a Grabbit pincushion.  Love the power of magnets!  Plus the larger threader has a convenient built-in thread cutter.   

I am not a fan of ironing, but do it because of its essential role in nicely finished items.  The PressIt Steam Pressing Cloth is nifty because of it absorbency without dripping.  Have a hard to press wrinkle?  Create more steam with your hot iron by adding additional water to this viscose fabric cloth.  PressIt in no time flat!  Ha, ha... no I'm not sorry for this pun!  :)

Spooler Spindles
Yes, I really like this handy product.  Right now I am working on three different sewing projects each with a different color of thread.  So when I switch projects, marrying up my filled bobbin with the matching spool of thread is neat with a little thread trap at the end of the spindle.  Saves me time searching. 

The designs of Grabbit are thoughtful and clever.  Sewing is fun . . .  especially with handy tools!
Visit the Grabbit Sewing Tools website for more information.  Buy from your local quilt shop and machine dealer.




Tuesday, April 16, 2013

SCHMETZ Needle App

There should be an app for that!  Right a needle app. . .  Yes, a SCHMETZ needle app is in the works and soon ready for Beta testing. If you have a iPhone, iPad or iPod updated to at least iOS 5 and interested in testing this new app, then I want to hear from you.   
The SCHMETZ App will be a FREE app based on the ever-popular SCHMETZ ABC Pocket Guide.  Information will include SCHMETZ needle types, a needle and fabric reference, needle anatomy and other useful needle information. . . . handy info at your finger tips.
Be part of the fun in testing this SCHMETZ app.  To participate send an email to with your name, email address, and device type - iPhone, iPad, iPod.  Contact me by Monday, April 22nd.  Yahoo!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Pat Bravo, Art Gallery Fabrics, Kollabora

Spring and summer are just around the corner.  So, now is the time to grab a Pat Bravo pattern and a variety of Art Gallery Fabrics.  What a combo!  Pat is not only a designer, but co-founder of Art Gallery Fabrics.  Located in Florida, Pat's designs - patterns and fabrics - are fresh and flirty with a touch of sophistication appropriate for everyday use.  I love the thought of combining Art Gallery Fabrics' colorful florals and intricate graphics into relaxed, yet chic dresses, totes and a variety of quilt and sewing projects.  Check the website for free projects and creative videos.  Art Gallery Fabrics are found in quilt shops around the world.  Pat's patterns are presented in a CD featuring 40+ pages of detailed instructions with full color diagrams and pics.  Plus real size patterns are included in the CD case.  Yahoo!  Let's get stitchin . . .

Pat Bravo and Art Gallery Fabrics
Inspiration From Around the Globe Speaking the Language of Color

Looking for a creative community?  Join Kollabora to collaborate or work together.  Learn new skills - sewing, jewelry making, knitting and a whole bunch more.  Get inspired by the creative projects of other members.  Make new friends from around the world. Kollabora is a DIY dream to share projects, instructions and techniques.

Make Something Awesome

Sew many projects, so little time.......
Let's get stitchin!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

STUDIOe Fabrics, Saf-T-Pockets, Pellon PERFECT Loft

Is your stash ever complete?  Absolutely not... and I want this beautiful collection of STUDIOe Fabrics.  The fabrics are fresh and inspiring... really delightful for sewing and quilt projects.  STUDIOe fabrics are found in independent quilt shops around the world, but check out their website for some amazing FREE quilt projects.  Just how can I fit more sewing time into my schedule?

STUDIOe Fabrics
Collect fabrics from all STUDIOe designers
If we have met at a sewing show in the last 6 months, at one time you have probably seen me wear this pattern, Saf-T-Pockets T-Shirt Trifecta.  Yes, I love to sew and quilt and this pattern is my current favorite to quickly stitch with the serger or sewing machine.  From glittery textured knits to recycled t-shirts, I have made this pattern four times in the last 6 months with two more fabrics waiting for the Trifecta.  Marsha McClintock, owner and designer of Saf-T-Pockets loves stylish pickpocket proof patterns for traveling.  My favorite is View 1.

View 1 is My Favorite
I am about to begin a little recycled sock creature project and was curious about what stuffing to use.  Pellon has provided the perfect solution - PERFECT Loft.  This fiber fill is soooo soft, yet retains its resilence - Pellon states 30% more filling power than standard fill.  PERFECT Loft will never clump nor bunch and is hypoallergenic.  Just ask Leslie pictured below.  Leslie is a new sewist with a new blog and recently reviewed Pellon PERFECT Loft.
 Pellon PERFECT Loft is Oh So Huggable
Read Leslie's March 8th Review at 50 Sq Ft Studios

More terrific sewing product reviews coming. . . .
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Monday, April 8, 2013

ToolTron, Angela Wolf & Indygo Junction Product Reviews

This week I am excited to show you a few new sewing products that will soon be seen in your local stores.  Where do I start? 

Have a hard-to-reach area on your sewing machine?  This little Micro Screwdriver from Tooltron is as adorable as it is functional.  Already I have used it for easy removal of my machine throat plate during cleaning.  The chunky 3/4" handle makes usage very easy, especially if you have large fingers.  Available with Flat and Philips heads.  Thanks Tooltron for this cute and very useful screwdriver.  Tooltron is a terrific source for all kinds of nifty tools for pets, fishing, scrapbooking, and lucky for us - quilting and sewing.

Creative Tools for Creative People
A good pair of jeans is very hard to find. . .  just ask me how I know.  A solution is to make your own.  Angela Wolf has just the pattern  . . .  appropriate for every body type.  Angela is an internationally renowned fashion designer and her pattern, The Angel Bootcut Jean, is a stylish lower-rise jean that will flatter every body shape.  Angela loves to share her sewing knowledge.  Find her teaching and writing for, Craftsy, It's Sew Easy TV, Threads and Sew Stylish magazines.  With Angela's detailed instructions sewing fabulous jeans is so much less daunting.  I can hardly wait to stitch up a pair myself.
Design & Tailoring Expert
I have known Amy Barickman for many years and marvel at her design prowess and business expansion.  I love Indygo Junction products and this book is no exception.  Fabric Flowers are all the rage, and Amy shows how to create stunners.  Grab some favorite fabric and Clover Flower Making Tools to create your own floral bouquet!  
Let Your Creativity Bloom

Three more product reviews coming...


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How To Open the Needle Cartridge

Opening a package of SCHMETZ needles is a fairly simple procedure... once you know the physics behind this little plastic container. Put away the hammers, pliers, rocks, and whatever else you might have been using to free your needles from the confines of the storage container. Many already know the secret of getting to your needles, but if you are still have lost patience and have uttered any one of the seven dirty words you can't use on the radio, then please read further.

Here's the secret...
The clear plastic cover is designed to SLIDE down over the main storage case. You cannot pry the clear cover up and off... it is designed to SLIDE off.
It can't be that simple you say. Well, actually, yes it can. Follow the illustrations below to help you master the technique. This technique works on the cartridges storing both carded and loose pack needles.
1. Correct way to slide the cover:
The correct way to slide open the Schmetz needle cover.
To open - SLIDE cover pushing from the top edge towards the needle point
(not towards the shank); take care not to press the cover towards the bottom.
2. Incorrect way to slide the cover:
Inncorrect way to try and open a Schmetz needle package

Now insert your needle, thread your machine and start your new sewing adventure!