Monday, 26 September 2011

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Inspired by Bella, this is one of my latest makes that has me smiling every time I look at it so I just had to share it with you. 

Inspired by Bella, how, you may think, given that she's only 2 and a half.  I had made Bella some pom pom Christmas clips and said "I'll put these Christmas clips with your others" to her to which she replied "they aren't Christmas clips Mummy they are hungry caterpillar ones", aha methinks a new line!  As you can see she loves the finished creation.  Aren't kids great!


They are now available in my etsy shop.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Zipper Foot

You guessed it by the title it's time to look at another machine foot - this time the Zipper Foot. 

Fellow blogger Caroline from Redneedle Sewing did a wonderful guest post on Free Motion Embroidery for me and has kindly agreed that I could link to her Zipper tutorial which is as good as anything I'd be writing if not better!  This is great news as it leaves me the chance to get on with the last few feet tutorials (the overlocking foot, satin stitch, walking foot and maybe even the blind hem one too)!

The link to Caroline's tutorial is here - one of the things she suggests is a continuous zipper which you buy on a roll along with a set of sliders and I can thoroughly recommend.  Zips open up a wealth of opportunities - here's a couple of things I've completed recently with one.  The dress would just not look finished without the added zip and a zip means less fabric is required when completing a cushion (when compared with an envelope cushion) which is great news for profit margins when selling!

  

Have Fun Zipping, I'll 'Zip it' now and hand over to Redneedle Sewing, thanks Caroline!

Keri

Monday, 19 September 2011

Ruffler Foot

It's that time of year when I'm busy busy sewing ready for all of those Autumn and Winter fairs so I have just a quick half hour for a tutorial and thought I'd show you the ruffler foot. 

Mine looks like this - scary hey!  Hopefully by the end of this post it won't be.
 

The basic premise is that you feed your fabric into the ruffler foot with the fabric under the foot (directly under the needle) but also under the ruffling blade!  Sounds complicated I know... I'm trying to make it as simple as possible and am hoping that between the photos and video below it might help.

SET UP
There is a great link here which tells you all about how to attach the foot and what each of the parts does - here's a drawing of the foot for reference.
 
Step 1 - Thread your needle - seems like an obvious comment but this foot is BIG and it's a real fiddle to thread your needle once the foot is on.

Step 2 - Lift your presser foot and needle to the highest position then clip the ruffler foot to the machine presser foot holder (as with other feet) making sure that the black curved clamp (mentioned above as the fork arm) is over the needle clamp screw. 

Step 3 - Make sure that you can put your needle down clearly through the hole and if you can't then there are two screws towards the back of the foot (they are the little round things on the diagram near the 'fork arm' label) which you can loosen then wiggle the foot around until the needle fits.

Step 4 - Decide how many ruffles you want and how much fabric you want to be included in the ruffle (I think the best way to do this is to have a play though if anyone knows of some technical calculation feel free to shout up.  For the dresses I have been making and my little ones pumpkin outfit I wanted a mid range of gather so moved the 'ratchet gear feed plate' to 6 (one gather every 6 stitches) 1 gives really frequent gathers and 12 wide apart gathers.  Next I adjusted the 'ruffling depth adjustment screw' to 4 in order to gather quite a bit of fabric in the ruffle.

SEWING
A couple of tips before you start to sew. 
1. If you have had to loosen the screws to fit the needle then make sure they are super tight.
2. Make sure your needle is really tightly clamped in (see my funny pic at the end of the tutorial for what happens if you don't).
3. Make sure that you have plenty of fabric ready to feed, as this foot really 'grabs' the fabric and rushes it through - hopefully the video further down will give you a view of this.

Step 1 -  Slide your fabric under the foot (in the needle area) and then between the bottom foot plate and the ruffling blade (which I called the forked prongs).  The picture below shows the forked prongs are back.  I've used a sheer fabric to help you see where it fits in relation to the foot.



Step 2 - As you sew the forked prongs begin to slide forward taking the fabric with it.


Step 3 - Very quickly the gather is pushed under the needle and hey presto a ruffle!  The first picture below shows the gather under the needle with the forked prongs forward and the second shows completed gathers (I used a heavier fabric for this as the ruffles aren't as clear on the organza).



I have also done this little video which I'm really hoping works to give you more of a feel of how it looks (and sounds - loud) in motion!

video

I hope this helps but any questions feel free to e:mail me or post in the comments section.  I'm still working with it and have just completed my first couple of projects so here's one of them!  Also as promised here is the picture of what happens if you don't make sure your needle is screwed in really tightly - how on earth it got there I honestly don't know!



And this is what I'm planning on doing next because I can't seriously believe there is £50 of frou frou in there!- http://www.angels-face.co.uk/cgi-bin/trolleyed_public.cgi?action=showprod_MAGENTA

Happy Ruffling

Keri

Big Shot, Big Fun!

I was super excited to recieve a Sizzix Big Shot starter kit from my Hubby and little girl for my birthday just over a week ago and I have to say I have been really impressed so far.  It has however started a full on ebay addiction to source dies but it's a small price to pay for this much fun!

I have created allsorts of fun Halloween and Christmas crafts with many more planned!  I have also been doing lots of testing of the dies on fabric and felt as this will be my primary use.  I have found so far that the Bigz and any of the originals dies work great but the sizzlits are patchy dependent on the type of felt and don't seem to work on the fabric I've tried so far.

Here's a quick look at some of the projects so far, many more will be on their way!

 

Happy Sewing,

Keri

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