October 27, 2014

OH, NO! I did it again!

Yes, I did it again. I broke my serger. I had recently gotten it repaired because I forced a way too thick  pile of fabric through it and paid the price to my very nice repairman, "Doc" Watson and then a few days ago I was working on some new items for my Etsy shop which involve lots of ruffles and I failed too extract a hidden pin in the three layers. BAM! A piece of metal flew into the air and all sewing ceased.  See new blades on left and obviously the old on the right.

"Doc" is out of town for awhile and I was too embarrassed anyway to admit my stupidity so I hopped over to Ken's Sewing Center (sorry Doc) and found exactly the blades I needed and they arrived today.

The manual is very vague about replacing the knives. Like many instructions, they dwell on the obvious while skimping on the tricky parts.

I read what I could find online about the process and one suggestion was to take photos before I removed anything. Great advice if you haven't already leaped into the abyss.

The first problem is that I cannot SEE the lower knife in the picture AND failed to note how it came off the machine. So I had it backwards. Luckily I prevented anymore catastrophes by making sure the serger was unplugged and I only moved the wheel SLOWLY by hand until all was in order.

The instructions also recommends adjusting the "clearance between the upper and lower knife to between 0.5mm and 1.0mm". Wah?  How? 

After about an hour I succeeded and feel very proud of myself and relieved that I won't have to face the pity and expense of "Doc" and I can get back to work before he gets back to work.

This is what I have been working on:

I decided that my Etsy shop could use some stuff for the kids and if they don't sell my granddaughter could wear them. I love doing the edged hems and gathering on the serger and the most fun is playing with all the patterns and colors in my fabric stash.

Now my next problem is how to photograph them.  Granddaughter lives an hour away and when I do  get her over here she isn't always in model mode.  For the purpose of the blog I plopped them over the neck of Francine, my adult display mannequin, which looks pretty weird.

 I also made little bags/purses out of the scraps which I think makes them more desirable.  In fact I did my second of only two craft shows that I do each year and one of these sets (not shown here) was the ONLY sale I made ALL DAY!!!*#@!*
The reasoning among all the sellers who were also bummed was that the weather turned out so great that day that everyone stayed home to rake leaves or found a more fun outdoor activity. We will never know for sure.
Its a good thing I do this for fun and not profit. I just support the habit...hopefully.

I have got to find a child size mannequin or a cooperative nearby kid.  Maybe Craigslist? Is that too creepy?

October 19, 2014

Italy and Inspiration plus Fabulous Fabric

Sorry for the reflections. This was i a store window selling ties.
Its been a few days and the jet lag has worn off so its time to post after several weeks.  Hubby and I took a trip to Italy that started in Sicily and ended in Rome.  Everything about it was great but the best was saved for our last day.  The tour did not actually include Rome so we just added it on and wandered about as we pleased. The big destination for me was a fabric store.

I had plotted out the two days as to exactly what we would do and on Monday we did St. Peter's and climbed the dome to the top. We got there early to avoid the crowds and got this shot.

 Above is the view from the dome and at left is the view descending the stairs. It was all I could do to climb let alone snap pictures on the way up. The walls lean in on you to follow the domes curve.

We did a lot of other touristy things but I was saving the visit to Bassetti Tessuti (tessuti is Italian for fabric) until late in the day so I wouldn't have to drag around a heavy bag all day.  So about 2:30 we arrived at Corso Vittrio Emanuele, 73 and found this:

THEY WERE CLOSED!  Seems they have very weird hours in that they open only late in the day on Monday.  We had been on our feet since 7:30 AM and just didn't want to wait around so we will be back on our last day of the trip.
After the Palatine Hill, the Colosseum and Piazza Navona we headed back to Bassetti Tessuti which was nearby and quick to find since it was our second time around.

The place is room after room after room.  I told a clerk I wanted knits and I think we ended up in the last room at a dead end.  It was overwhelming, especially for a short person.  Bolts and rolls to the ceiling.

Soon a clerk showed up to help and I selected a really nice red wool knit.  Then I needed something to pair with it and we headed back to the silk prints where he pulled out bolt after bolt that I rejected until suddenly he hit the nail on the head.

Here's what I walked away with.  Everything was luscious and none was cheap but the red was a relative bargain at 20 euro a metre. The silk was too hard to resist after the search so overall I remained in budget and didn't have to be weighed down with yards and yards (or metres and metres).

                           Check out the store on Facebook at Facebook.com/Bassetti.Tessuti

This is my small precious bag which was easy enough to carry that we continued on to Castel St. Angelo where we again climbed to the top for another great view of a beautiful city.

If you want to see more on the trip stop by my travel blog. I am adding the trip day by day.

Just had to include this smartly dressed woman who zoomed off on that scooter in her slim tight skirt and heels.

 The fabric was dragged around the rest of the day and smashed in my luggage for the long trip home and emerged without a wrinkle! Draped over my mannequin it almost looks like an outfit already.
Here is the extent of all of my purchases. Seven new additions to the thimble collection and a cheap scarf that might be turned into a top.

Note: There are other fabric stores in Rome but this one was located the best for me.  When I watched Project Runway this week I was thrilled to see them go to Rome and when they headed to a fabric store I was disappointed that they didn't go to "mine".  The one they chose looked really luxe and was probably much easier to film in. It was way out of the area we were in.  Maybe on my next trip :)