Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Care and Feeding of Your Pleater

My pleater was pampered today. She had been in need of a good pampering for a while. She's quite a work horse and serves me *very* well!

I have a Pullen Pleater, and I love her to death, but while I have been giving her a workout, I have been neglecting to give her a good pampering. So today, while doing the grocery shopping, I picked up a $2 roll of wax paper, came home and gave my pleater a spa treatment.

Running wax paper through your pleater is the best way to lubricate it and keep it working properly. Just like any piece of machinery, a pleater's gears get tight and need lubrication.

Try it, and the next time you pleat, you will find the fabric just slides through the grears and off the needles almost effortlessly!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Martha's Dress & My Smocked Socks

I did it -- barely, but I did it. Martha is all dressed and ready to go, and I have my smocked socks tucked away in my suitcase to wear this evening.

For Martha's dress, I made my own smocking design inspired by the fabric --of pincushions and thread spools. It went really well.

As for my socks.... I have only done it once before and got this idea at the last minute. I decided they would look cute with my denim skirt and loafers. The hardest part was finding the socks. I looked at Walmart, Target, and Boscovs (a high-end department store). Only Boscovs had the socks I needed, but they were $6 for one pair. I don't think so!!!

I came home, frustrated from that outing and went to the K-mart website and lo and behold - they had a 6-pack of the socks for $6. Now we're talking!! I went to K-mart Tuesday night and got them. They worked perfectly. I chose a dark blue thread to match my denim skirt. I will plan to smock the others as I have time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sew Beautiful #135

I got this issue of Sew Beautiful last week, but have barely had a moment to glance at it. If all goes as planned this evening with my dress for Martha and my 3 etsy orders, I am planning to do a podcast tomorrow featuring this latest issue of Sew Beautiful and all the great articles in it. If you already have this issue and have anything you'd like to share about it - your favorite article/garment and why, please leave a comment and let me know - I'd love to include it in my podcast.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Episode #5

So, now that I have come out from underneath all that black fabric, I can blog about the last episode of "The Smocking Bee." The jumper pattern that I mentioned I will be using for Martha's dress is "Seasons Change Smocked Insert Jumper and Jumpsuit for 17-18" Dolls" by Darcy A. Fechner. However, after doing some research, it appears that this book is out of print and not easy to locate. It's a cute little jumper pattern. I will post a picture of Martha in her dress when it is finished.

I told you I would give the information about the Martha Pullen Event in Ellicot City, MD. Hopefully, they still have a few places left. You can check out their website at I can't wait! I am counting down the days. If you're going to be there, please let me know!!!!

Also, I mentioned about the adorable smocking plate for a sock monkey from the latest SAGA News issue. I didn't realize it at the time because it arrived right in the middle of my podcast, but that design was created by Claire Meldrum - the incredibly talented designer who has been writing and sharing great tutorials on using Adobe Illustrator to design smocking plates. I feel like I know her -- and was so excited to see her design in SAGA News!! Congratulations Claire! If you visit the SAGA News blog, you can get a sneak peek at the darling dress!

Now, in the podcast, I asked about which way you pleat -forwards or backwards -- that means - do you sit with the needles facing you and pull it away as you turn the knob, or do you sit with the back facing you where you are watching the fabric feed into the pleater? I personally watch it being fed in so I can guide it better and make sure it doesn't get wonky. Leave a comment and let me know how you pleat!!

The Battle of the Black Fabric

My house was recently attacked by 68 yards of black fabric! I published a podcast on Monday and was prepared to update my blog accordingly. However, I got a call from our family ministries minister at church asking for some help. The next thing I knew, I had 68 yards of black fabric in my house and I was making huge panels for the stage for Family Fusion. When all was said and done, I made 7 panels -- 5 of them were 15 feet x 5 feet, and 2 of them were 15 feet x 10 feet.
I serged all the edges and then turned under the top several times to make it stronger so gromets could be set in to hang these panels. It was a lot of work, but it was a blessing to be able to do that for my church. You should have seen the pile of serger scraps.
The Family Fusion show is tomorrow night, so I will take a few pictures of what I actually made and post them. In the meantime, I will gather all the info from the latest podcast and get that up later on this evening - now that the panels are happily delivered to church!