Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wrap Dress Sewalong: Hosted by Vogue!

What style dress flatters all figure types?  The Wrap Dress of course.  Join Vogue Patterns for a Sewalong using your favorite wrap dress pattern.

Once upon a time, there was a Fashion Designer named, Dianne von Furstenberg.  Back in the 1970's she designed the original iconic wrap dress that became a HUGE sensation.  Why, you ask?  Because it was a time in history when ladies were coming into their own, but still wanted to maintain femininity.  The Wrap Dress was embraced by women in mass and now here we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of "The Wrap Dress".

There are so many wonderful patterns offered by a variety of pattern companies, so pick one, two or three of your favorites, choose some amazing fabric and jump in.  Here are all the deets from The McCall's Pattern Company blog announcing the Sewalong. If you're looking for some inspiration, make sure to check out the McCall's Pattern Companies "Wrap Dress Pinterest Board" too.  Mock Wraps are acceptable to work with as well for this Sewalong.

Here are a few of my favorites:

I hope you decide to jump in and join the Sewalong!

Have a Happy Creative Day!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Moving the Needle to the RIGHT!

Hi Everyone!  Yesterday, Dory, a member in the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Fans Facebook Group, posted a question asking about if the needle can be moved to the right needle position?  I went to the manual and the machine to check it out and didn't find any information regarding this.  Low and behold one of our members, Rachel had the information we all needed.  She was kind enough to share with us how to move the needle to ANY position needed.  I went to the machine immediately and tried it and it Worked!  What an Amazing Group to be sharing and learning from one another.  I quickly made a video so that all of us would have this information for the future.

I was able to find the information in the manual thanks to another member, Sonia for pointing me in the right direction.  I missed it before, but since I had the simple directions for how to move the needle, I knew what to look for this time.  It's on the bottom of page #46.

If this is new information for you as it was for me, it may be very helpful.  Especially to those that do quilt piecing to help achieve that perfect scant 1/4".  Keep in mind, that if you decide to move the needle out of the center needle position, you won't be able to use the clear plastic 1/4" foot.  This foot only has a single needle hole in the center of the foot.

This was a wonderful lesson for all of us.  I'm so happy that this group is so willing to share information and lend support to one another.  If you OWN, USE and LOVE this machine and would like to come and join us, send me a request.

 Have a Happy Creative Day!


Disclaimer:  We are happy to help with small issues or answer questions, HOWEVER: if you're having major mechanical issues with your machine and would like to join only to share your problem, this isn't the forum for you.  We are not affiliated with Singer in any way and we can't be responsible for faulty sewing machines or user errors.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

More About "Those Feet"!

Several years ago when I started blogging, I made it a personal goal for myself to explore my special sewing machine feet that I had accumulated over the years.  I own, Ahemm,  a "collection" of machines", so I have various feet from each machine that I've never explored.  I thought it would be fun to take one at a time and learn to use it and see where this journey would take me.  After all, I freely admit that I purchased the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, just to get the bonus foot collection to use on my Singer Quantum L-500.  That sort of developed into the Video Series which I continue to produce featuring the machine.

Years ago, when I first learned to sew and even on into my college years for Fashion Design and Pattern Making, I only used a few feet.  I had the basics:  A utility sewing foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot and a few others, but those were the three I really used the most.  My interests were in Couture Garment Manufacturing and you might be surprised to learn that it only requires a single needle machine for construction.  Couture sewing in fact means, Fine Sewing. These garments are usually lined which alleviates the need for an overlock machine.  Hems and finishing are always completed by hand, so no fancy machine stitches are required.

Of course though, we all like special sewing machine feet. We like to find quicker and easier ways to accomplish sewing tasks because for most of us our sewing time is limited.  So--Bring on the Specialty Sewing Machine Feet!

 Here's a list of the bonus feet that came along with the Singer 9960:

4.  Fancy Trim Foot
6.  1/4" Foot and Quilting Bar
7.  Shank/Ankle

Just recently, I started a Facebook Group for those that Own, Use and LOVE the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960.  It's been wonderful to see how people have embraced the group by sharing what they've made, helping others with issues and by offering support to one another.  One very kind member shared some information that came with her machine.  She received written instructions for the bonus feet that came with her 9960. Special Thanks to YOU Meredyth for sharing this valuable information! I didn't receive this information with my machine, so I thought I would past it along here for those of you that might be interested and not belong to our FB Group. Part of the reason for my Video Series was because there weren't any written instructions about these feet in the manual that came along with this machine. 


I hope if you were missing this information also, that you find it helpful.  If you're looking for further instructions on these specialty feet, be sure to check out my Video Series on YouTube.

Have a Happy Creative Day!



Friday, January 30, 2015

Stitch in the Ditch Foot: Video Part 16

Hi Everyone!  When I started my Video Series over a year and half ago featuring the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, I never thought I would be on my 16th video!  I'm so happy that this series has been so helpful to many of you and grateful for all the kind comments and compliments.

The next special foot I'm sharing in this video is the Stitch in the Ditch foot.  This foot is another one of the special bonus feet that came along with the machine and is used in conjunction with the plastic shank/ankle.

Here's a list of the bonus feet that came along with this machine:

3. Stitch in the Ditch Foot
4.  Fancy Trim Foot
6.  1/4" Foot and Quilting Bar
7.  Shank/Ankle

When I decided to demo this foot next in my video series, I thought, how can I make this very simple foot more interesting?  It only does one sewing operation.  Then I remembered  that The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 comes with one foot that's designated as the Stitch in the Ditch Foot, but there's actually another foot that came with the machine that does this as well!  Several months back I did a review on the Blind Hem Foot, comparing the Singer version that came with the 9960 to my older model foot that came with my White ESP. The thing that I didn't like about the newer version of the Singer Blind Hem Foot is that it's missing the little toe that rides underneath the fabric as the machine stitches.  I've always found this to be an important part of the foot because it helps hold the fabric in place while stitching.  If you'd like to read my blog review and comparison of these two feet it's here.

In the blog I detail my experience by calling Singer with my concerns about the Singer Blind Hem Foot lacking the "toe extension". When Singer first told me that their intention with this "toe less" version of my favorite blind hem foot was to make it multi-functional, I was skeptical.  They felt by removing the "toe extension" the foot would work well for applique, blind hemming, and as a stitch in the ditch foot.  Now that I've tried this foot and compared it to the Singer Stitch in the Ditch Foot that came with the 9960 bonus feet, I get it! The Stitch in the Ditch Foot is fine for doing only that one operation. There's only a single hole in the center of the foot for sewing a straight stitch. With the Singer Blind Hem Foot/Multifunctional Foot, there are more stitching options. Unlike the Singer Stitch in the Ditch Foot, this foot works in conjunction with the metal shank/ankle that came with the machine.

Here are some of the advantages to using the Singer Blind Hem Foot as a Stitch in the Ditch Foot:

Demo #1  It's possible to set the needle in the left position while using the adjustable slide set to the center/ditch position, to do perfect edge stitching.

Demo #2  It's possible to use decorative stitches with this foot. Unlike the regular Singer Stitch in the Ditch Foot which has a single needle hole, this foot has a larger sewing hole width which allows it to accommodate wider stitch patterns. I will caution you that not all deco stitches work with this foot.  Foot B is used for most of the deco stitches because it has a depression on the underside of the foot so that the foot floats above the stitches without getting hung up.  I found that since the Singer Blind Hem Foot is flat on the bottom, that deco stitches with lots of back and forth motion didn't stitch as well.

Demo #3 It's possible to use this foot with a twin needle for top stitching.  The advantage to using this foot as compared to the Singer Stitch in the Ditch Foot is that you have adjust-ability. The slide bar allows you the option of placing the stitching line exactly where you want it. 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blog and view my latest video.  I hope you'll give these feet a try and see what you can do with them.

Have a Happy Creative Day!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Braiding Foot and Guide: Video Part 15

Hi Everyone!  I'm back and with a New Video!

I just wanted to take a moment and thank all of those that joined my new FB Group, Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Fans.  Thanks for sharing your wonderful projects, interacting to help others, and encouraging each other.  If you already own the Singer 9960 or are interested in learning more about this machine, you're invited to join us!

I also want to send out special Thanks to those of you that have email and messaged me recently.  It makes me so happy to read that you've found my videos so helpful and especially that you reached out and said so!  It means a lot to me!

This is Part 15 in my ongoing Video Series featuring the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960. The Braiding Foot is another one of the specialty feet that came along with the Singer 9960 as part of the value added bonus.

Here's a list of the bonus feet that came along with this machine:

4.  Fancy Trim Foot
5.  Braiding Foot and Guide
6.  1/4" Foot and Quilting Bar
7.  Shank/Ankle

Braiding Foot, Shank and Guide

Shank Joined to the Braiding Foot and Guide Attached to the Back of the Shank

The Guide Attached to the Back of the Shank
"V" Shaped Channel on the Under Side of the Foot.

This is a brand new foot for me and my first time trying it. As with all the bonus feet, they work in conjunction with the plastic shank/ankle that came with the bonus foot collection. There's also a special guide that attaches to the back of the shank/ankle to help guide the braid or trim into the foot properly. (shown in picture #3) There is a large hole in the center front of the foot. (shown in picture #1) This large center hole is for threading the braid, cord or trim through, to hold it in place while the machine stitches it in place.  On the underside of the foot, there is a "V" shaped channel that helps guide the trim as it's stitched. (shown in picture #4) This channel also allows the foot to float easily over the trim as it's being stitched.

For my first video demo, I used black rat tail cording and stitched through the center of the trim with a contrasting color thread to make the demo more visible. Rat tail cording is a smooth rounded satin cording.  It's readily available by the yard and comes in a wide variety of shades. I used the same poly/cotton woven fabric that I use for all of my video demos, except this time, I added a fusible stabilizer to the back of the fabric. It's always a good idea to use stabilizer when adding dimensional trim. More on that later in my "tips" section.

In my second demo, I showed how to use a zigzag stitch over the rat tail cording.  You don't have to stop there, since the Singer 9960 has a wonderful assortment of decorative stitches that can be used with this foot to add trim for even more of an embellished look. For my last demo, I used stitch #24, the blanket stitch to stitch on the braiding/cording.  Make sure when using any stitch that stitches over the braiding/cording, that you secure the ends.  Otherwise, it can be pulled out of the stitches easily.

L-R   #24 Blanket Stitch, Zigzag Stitch, Straight Stitch 4.0 length

Be fearless and play with your decorative stitches. Try contrasting threads with different braids and cording. The important thing to remember is to make sure the stitch width is able to clear the trim manually and you're good to go!

Tips for adding trims:

1.  Add Interfacing or stabilizer to the area:  When adding trims to a project, it's helpful to add interfacing or stabilizer to the area.   By making the area a little firmer, the stabilizer acts as support system for the trim whether it be beads, braid, embroidery, or any other dimensional trim.

2.  Match your trim to your fabric:  It's important not to add heavy weight trim to a very light weight fabrication. This is important when working with very light weight or sheer fabrication.  This is why many times in RTW fashion, we will see seed beads sprinkled on these garments as embellishment.  You wouldn't want to add heavy beads or trims that may distort the fabric and possibly risk damaging the fabric by weighting it down.

3.  Consider your print when choosing trim:  If you have a very busy bold print, your trim should complement the fabric, not compete with it.  It's best to choose a solid colored trim or embellishment.

4.  Replace sewing machine needle:  Do yourself a favor, and put in a new sewing machine needle before you start. The size of the needle will depend on the trim being stitched.  Use a new sharp point needle so it pierces through the trim without getting hung up or caught. 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blog and view my latest video.

Have a Happy Creative Day!