Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sewing Spaces

Sewing Space

As you walk into the room, you are greeted with an open, spacious, and bright feel, but immediately realize this is a well used space for teaching, enlightening and FUN activities.

She loves her Viking SE machine and says it does everything accept pay the bills.She also relies on her Babylock 936 serger and Janome 900CPX cover stitch machine to design and fashion just the right look for her garments.

There is something pleasing to the eye in every direction of the room. These darling shadow boxes help to build an atmosphere of handmade ‘do it yourself’ creativity.
Her favorite aspect about her space is how versatile it is...everything can be moved to a different spot, but all the items have a home here.

On another wall are these very red shelves filled to the brim with fabrics. Kathleen is very organized and each section of shelves has certain types of fabrics. If you look closely, the 3 shelves out front, move along a glider exposing 4 more units of shelves!

In the middle of the room are these cubbies filled with sewing machines and items needed for classroom projects.

All of her patterns are kept neatly arranged in a closet, organized by type of patterns and company. She has several notebooks that have the pattern cover sheet and back sleeve of the patten with all the items needed for the garment.   

Kathleen teaches teens and adults in this wonderfully organized room. She has been sewing consistently for about 24 years, but actually started in junior high school. She feels she learned to sew by 'osmosis' from watching her mother.

Her favorite spot to do hand work is in the car, in the bleachers, or occasionally on the couch. 

She loves being a member of the Midnight Oil Smockers and SAGA because of the special friendships she has with other sewist and the resources available to her as a member.

Here is the latest project from her teen class. These darling lace tops are all the rage of this age group to go over t-shirts worn with tights. 

A couple of sites she uses to obtain the knit lacy fabric is and

Kathleen is working on a project of embroidery for herself. 

Hope to see the finished garment at our next show and share. 

This is one of her favorite reference books. Her goal for 2016 is to perfect her sleeve construction and ability to redraft sleeveless dresses to include a sleeve or vice versus. This is difficult as the ‘arm eye’ is different for all women. 

Kathleen shared that her favorite sewing tool is her 7inch ginger shears. She feels she get better control with them. Her favorite type of sewing is sewing ‘whatever fits and turns out perfect’. Visit her blog Saint Nolt Sews to see her smocked tunic top.

Kathleen has just been selected to be "" Member in Focus.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Proper Pressing


Received my latest issue of "threads" magazine the other day and there was an article about 'Better Pressing' by Ann Steeves that was quite interesting. The magazine is available online and in stores.

The article indicated 4 levels of equipment needed for quality results in creating hand-made garments verses the home-made look.

Level 1 - The Basics:

Iron: We all have our favorite brand, the magazine article recommends that any basic model with steam should be effective.

Ironing Board: Ms. Steeves advocates choosing an ironing board with a tapered end and using a cotton cover vs. a teflon cover.

Pressing Ham:The definition of this item...

A tailor's ham or dressmaker's ham is a tightly stuffed pillow used as a curved mold when pressing curved areas of clothing, such as darts, sleeves, cuffs, collars, or waistlines. Pressing on a curved form allows a garment better to fit body contours.

There is an excellent youtube video showing how to use a pressing ham.

The article did seem to imply that a 'Pressing Ham', which is a basic tool in the shape of a ham was different from a 'Tailor's Ham' which have various curves more like the human body curves.

Pressing Cloth:The author of this article recommends having several pressing cloths available at your pressing station and she makes hers from white silk organza.

If you are interested in making your own pressing cloth, here are just a couple of the sites I found using 'google'.

The article goes on into 'Level 2: Tools for an Improved Finish', 'Level 3: Advanced and Specialty Aids', and 'Level 4: Luxury Items'.

Once again, the Midnight Oil Smockers chapter (or it's members) does not endorse any product or business, we simply share sewing information and give credit for those resources.