Tuesday, August 18, 2009

maybe I'm over estimating my skills...

Exciting things that have happened:

1. My friendy friend Fran and her sweet mom brought me a bunch of fabric! Seeing as I had no fabric, this aids my dream of actually constructing something usable.

2. I took my first sewing lesson, and it was not completely disastrous. I met my friend, Ashley, at Bernina and Ann led a class of 8 non-sewers (and Ashley and I were DEFINITELY not the worst in the class). We are going to be constructing pajama pants over two more classes. My first garment! Woot!

3. I became overzealous at constructing clothing. Hancock fabrics was having a 99 cent pattern sale, so I thought "why not?" How hard can it be? Famous last words. Ashley and I chose about 5 patterns, each with the label "very easy". To me, that means exactly what it says, very easy. Apparently, that is not the case. It is "very easy" for those who can sew as I figured out when I began taking all thousand pattern pieces with what look like hieroglyphic markings crammed into that tiny envelope out. On top of that, the cat already tore into one of my patterns and chewed up the tissue paper, along with eating the thread off the sewing machine, which Jim had to pull all 32 inches of out of his stomach.

4. The tote bag straps are a disaster. I cut the fabric too skinny, as detailed in an earlier post, so now I cannot sew them together and turn them right sides out. I think I will probably find some cute ribbon straps or rope straps to try instead.

Monday, August 10, 2009

NOT a tea towel tote

I found the cutest tea towel totes on one of my new favorite blogish things. It used these kmart Martha Stewart towels with the names of various fruits in different languages. They were adorable and would make great grocery totes. Alas, to my great disappointment, they don't exist anymore.

A kind reader of this blog suggested a market bag on This turned out to be exactly what I was looking for, but the dimensions were a bit smaller then I had invisioned.
This beach bag tutorial uses tea towels, but I simply cut the fabric I had purchased to the dimensions of the towels.

Cat does not look impressed.

Learning to cut with my new ruler. Don't really know if I'm doing it right.

This is fuseable interfacing to provide a little structure for the bottom of the bag. I believe I purchased the wrong kind. This is double sided and I think I only needed single sided. The solution was to just sew the interfacing in, instead of ironing it on.

Interfacing sewn into the bottom of the inside layer of the bag.

Here's the critical error. Each main body piece should have been cut to 22". Somehow, the outside layer was cut to 21", which left a 1" overlap. How to correct? I think i'll finish the bag by folding the inside layer over the outside and topstitch in place. Somehow I have to get the straps in...

bach to school

I love back to school time. Okay, maybe not the school part, but there's something oddly fascinating and wonderful about the smell of new school supplies. Piles of wide ruled notebook paper, folders untorn and unabused, pencils with full erasers, and pens full of ink. The excitement of new things to learn, and possibilities of moving up the social ladder (most of them unsuccessful). The oh so important "first day" outfit, and plotting out the "how I spent my summer" stories. My wonderful memories of new music books for endless piano lessons. The sweaty afternoons on a parking-lot band field with cans of spraypaint for marks for the fall band show.

Those times seem a million years ago, but I can still smell the new school supplies...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

future projects

I find myself at the end of another semester of school. I have looked forward to a couple of weeks free from the enslavement of papers and tests. Through the years past, these few weeks are wasted with endless t.v. and internet surfing. This year, I have determined to begin and possibly complete a couple of projects.

I have decided on a new sewing project, a tea-towel tote. The project does not require much fabric cutting (which I am not adept at) and like my apron, is assembled inside out, so the lack of straight stitching is fairly covered up.

The second project will be a bathroom mural. My sister assisted me with a mural on my dining room wall in my previous home. Not sure what I'll paint, but I'm sure it will be messy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

project 1 underway!

I love a new project. There is some type of fascination about the excitement of producing something potentially beautiful. The fear of failure is involved in each decision. It is a cycle of elation and frustration, intertwined with meandering directions and new terminology.

The first project I chose to potentially fail at was an apron. Wal-mart so thoughtfully packaged these lovely fabrics together in a little bundle, each cut into a 18x21 piece. I chose two fabrics for the body of the reversible apron from the above choices. Two more fabrics were chosen for the reversible pockets which left one for the waistband. There were supposed to be cute buttons on the pockets, but the cat has hidden them somewhere in the house or the litter box. I left off the "rickrack" (whatever that is) and really didn't bother reading many of the directions, hence, I learned how to use a seam ripper well.

Here are some pics along the way:
A semi-straight stitching job even with a 1/2" pleat.

Showing off the body sewn together. Even the cat looks impressed. Little did I know, it would be ripped back apart!
Squares cut for reversible pockets. 6"x8"

Pockets sewn together. Minus buttons...
The seam ripper. My best friend.Strips of fabric cut for the waistband. 4.5"x21.

And all the strips sewn together.The waistband being sewn on the reverse side to hide the seams. How fancy!

The last stitch!
The final product, side one.
The final product, side two!
Since this was not a complete failure, I think the sewing will continue. Now what?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Here I come, Heidi Klum!

Yes, here it is, the official Project Runway Edition Sewing machine. I chose this one because if those nutcases on Project Runway can sew, I have a decent chance of assembling something reminiscent of clothing. I mean, how hard can it be? (famous last words!) The instructions were daunting at first, but upon further inspection they were relatively easy to follow. I got the machine threaded and the bobbin wound with little trouble. This was probably a ploy by the sewing machine company to gain confidence.

I began simple, just trying to sew a few stitches and sew them straight. What I got looked like some wound up knots.

Eventually I got them to look like this!

With my professional and oh so glamorous straight stitch on my side, Jim suggested I make a hat for the cat. It looked more like a wizard hat or a dunce cone once it was finished. I did think both would be appropriate for the animals in question.

They look so thrilled to be involved in my new hobby!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beginning of ridiculousness...

Okay, so I have been inspired by my many friends who write these really interesting, funny blogs. I thought, "I'm interesting, I'm funny," I can do that too! I began to think of what interesting things I could blog about. With all that said, I decided to name this blog, Asher's Happy Thread. This will encompass two meanings. First, I have decided to begin a new hobby, sewing. I have never turned on a sewing machine and my mother taped our clothes together, so I have no experience. The potential for funny and disastrous events is inevitable. Secondly, there may be a "thread" of funny things that happen in life that I might divulge (if you're lucky).

Here's to the future. Here's to disaster. Here's to a funny thread to follow.