Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[ sewing machine tension secret ]

IF YOU sew at all, chances are you've encountered a time when your stitches aren't looking all that even. I managed to get through my pouf project with only minor problems but a new day brings a new problem...

While testing for a new project, I just keep encountering this uneven stitch problem and no matter how many times I tried rethreading, changing the needle, cleaning out the lint, nothing was helping. 

I consulted my manual and all it suggested was to adjust the tension dial on my machine...

Well, I had already tried that and to be honest over the past few projects, my dial has crept from the recommended middle mark to -5 on an ongoing basis as my stitches were slowing becoming more and more uneven. I had no where left to go.

Here's the secret!
Did you know that you can adjust the tension of your bobbin? I KNOW! This is a serious revelation for me! Having sewn since childhood, I can't believe I didn't know ~ a critical bit of information that every sewing enthusiast should know about.

Apparently over time, your bobbin spring can loosen and start causing all kinds of problems like thread loops, puckering and uneven stitches. Just doing a simple test will determine if that might be the problem {I found this trick here}. Remove your bobbin with its case...

Hold it up by the thread and quickly raise your hand ~ if it unwinds slightly and only drops about an inch or so, it has proper tension. If it doesn't budge, it's too tight ~ if it falls to the floor, it's too loose. 

My machine has a built-in bobbin case so the design was a little different but the concept was the same. See in either design how there's a little screw on the bobbin case? You can adjust that with a tiny screwdriver!

If your bobbin is too tight, turn the screw slightly to the left {counterclockwise}. If your tension is too loose, turn it slightly to the right {clockwise} to tighten it...

Mine was WAY too loose so I turned the screw slightly to the right, put it back into the machine....

And tada! A thing of beauty!

My machine hasn't made a stitch this beautiful since the day I unpacked it from its box! I'm excited to know about this since I've still got my old Singer from the 80s {my first machine} that stopped having an even stitch years ago and I had given up on it. Maybe I've saved it from the trash pile!

Now my next project will be much easier to complete! First step: piping!

27 yards of piping to be exact! Can you guess what project I'm finally tackling? 

Off to sew!


[bobbin secret pics via cool; threads magazine]

Sunday, January 26, 2014

[ amy butler gumdrop ]

AFTER finally fixing up my sofa cushions, I was left with 2 huge bags of the old stuffing. Not wanting to simply waste it and toss it out, it occurred to me that I had purchased a pattern for Amy Butler's gumdrop pouf a couple of years ago but had never gotten around to making one.

I dug through my fabric stash and found some of her fabric that I was originally going to use for a tunic top ~ {oh well... never got around to that project either!} I decided it would be a fun fabric to use for a beachy pouf...

It's an easy pattern to sew ~ the hardest part was getting all the stuffing in so that it's firm enough to sit on or rest your feet. It took almost the 2 big bags because I really crammed it in there but I love how it turned out...

I came across some other cute examples ~ there are so many variations and I love how you can totally customize it to your decor/taste...

There are 2 different sizes included in the pattern ~ I made the large size which makes a good-sized ottoman that you can actually use for extra seating. I love the fresh pop of colour and pattern it adds to the room...

If you want to give it a try, you can find the pattern at numerous Etsy shops as I did. Happy sewing!


[example poufs: via; onceuponatime; betsymakingpretty;; ajoyfulsoulfabrics; pinterest; cabbage corner;]

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

[ tackling the beast ]

SO IT wasn't too long ago that I had a rant about my lovely Laura Ashley sofa {read about it here} and I did a bit of repair to the cushions that were crushing down to nothing. Well, here we are again...

See how the back cushions are keeping their shape but those seat cushions are an embarrassing lumpy mess? Well, that's partially my fault since I took the lazy way out last time and simply shoved more filling in to plump them up. Bad idea because now I'm stuck having to fix them all over again! I swear this sofa will be the death of me!

Time to open them up again...

...and reconstruct these babies. Open the interior casing, pull out all the stuffing and pick apart the channel dividers to create one open cavity...

I still had the rest of the foam I had purchased for this project initially to cut into shape with an exacto knife. I bought some quilt batting and flattened out some of the old stuffing to create some new layers...

then wrapped it all up and trimmed the shape...

The worst part was wrestling this into the old casing and hand-sewing it back up but I eventually got it in there. Hopefully this will be more comfortable and last a while longer. I'm pretty sure this is the last time I'm doing anything to this ridiculous sofa ~ next time, to the curb!

Now what to do with all this...

So that's what I've been up to over here. Have you tackled any projects lately?


Thursday, January 16, 2014

[ only in dubai ]

I MUST say that nothing ceases to amaze me in this city of glitz and glam where people think the more over-the-top, the classier. Today while walking through the parking garage at the mall, I saw this...

So what do you think? Would you bedazzle your Range Rover to add some class?


Monday, January 13, 2014

[ antique breadboards ]

WHILE rearranging my display cabinet after all the holiday bits and bobs were put away, I realized that I hadn't shown you my little antique breadboard...

I've been on the lookout for antique breadboards and I've found that they aren't always that easy to come by. I picked up this one while roaming around the big Paris flea market...

Of course my guy just rolled his eyes in disbelief that I was going to lug around an old chunk of wood with me all day and bring it home in my suitcase. But that's me and I do those kinds of crazy things!

I just love the warmth and character they give to a space, especially a white kitchen...

For now I have it displayed with a couple of my little jugs but I'm looking forward to giving it a spot of honour in my next white kitchen.

Do you love them as much as I do?


[via; bucketsofburlap; g-style-g-style; awelltraveledwoman; detuinkamer; bucketsofburlap;; dustyluinteriors; cotedetexas; fadedcharm; countryliving]

Thursday, January 2, 2014

[ resolutions and such ]


I don't know about you, but I've pretty much done away with New Year's resolutions ~ as good as my intentions are, inevitably certain goals eventually go off the rails for one reason or another.

So instead of beating myself up about what I have or haven't stuck to, I've decided to simply adopt a few things that are much easier to adhere to: living in the moment, appreciating what's around me, being happier.

But most of all, this...

... and for me that means less time on the computer and more time creating! My projects list just seems to grow and grow {partially due to Pinterest} but I need to devote more time to being creative and completing projects and less time finding new ones! 

What about you? How do you feel about resolutions?


[via; pinterest]


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