I decided to get a new office chair for my sewing room and wanted to get something feminine. I am a girl, after all. Initially I did some searching online for something feminine and was unable to find that, then I did a search for an executive desk chair from pink leather. I found only a very few, and really no place to purchase them that was anywhere near practical.
Back to the drawing board. I then started searching for ways to make a chair more feminine, i.e. slip covers. I did find quite a bit of info regarding slip covers for office chairs.
Cool, I could take this idea and run with it. It was then that I decided if I was going to spend that much time on a chair, I would just redecorate the whole sewing room. It was, after all, pretty bland.
And since I wanted feminine and girly, and this room is only for me, I decided I would do “shabby chic”. YES!
Office chair was the first step. Great Shabby chic fabric on Ebay, here we go.
There really is no pattern for this, just made to fit based on those photos. Seat was first, then I took the arm pads off and covered those as well. That was the easy half, now for the top, a little tougher road ahead.
I think it turned out pretty good, and I added a monogramed “M” on the top part of the seat. Check back for more on the redecoration.
Years ago when I was sewing all the time for my daughter, Lindsey, I lusted for a Bernina sewing machine, but as a young mother with small children, and living from paycheck to paycheck, I could not afford one. I got along fine, though, with my Singer Creative Touch 1030.
I never was able to afford the Bernina when my children were young, but I did purchase my first Bernina, a 1008, around 2002, That model is an entry level mechanical machine.
This model doesn’t have a lot of fancy bells and whistles, but it does have that solid swiss built quality that Bernina is known for. One of the things I really wanted on a machine was the free hand system, and this model did not have it, so my next purchase was the Bernina 1260.
Both of these Bernina machines were purchaed used on Ebay. I love the 1260, it is a great machine.
I also purchased a Bernina Deco 340 Embroidery machine. This is an entry level embroidery only machine. Since I had a good sewing machine, I wanted embroidery only, and this fit the bill fine.
At that time, things were just fine, I felt like I had wonderful machines for both sewing and embroidery.
Then, my husband, Theo, decided he wanted to purchase a new Harley Davidson motorcycle. Well, tit for tat, if he gets a motorcycle, I can get something, but what? Initially I pondered a commercial embroidery machine that can embroider multiple colors at once. The pictures of this machine are deceiving. When I initially looked up this machine, it looked to me like it was about the size of a serger. Well, it is not. It is a huge machine, so I didn’t want to purchase something that big.
That left only one option, in my mind. I would get a new Bernina sewing/embroidery machine. And the one I coveted, the 830 LE, was now within my means.
And… it is now mine!
It fits into my sewing room very nicely. And it really is an amazing machine. I will be attending the VIP retreat in Chicago in December to learn about the many things that this machine is capable of.
The strawberry pincushion and the tomato pin cushion are made from the instructions at Martha Stewart’s website.
Strawberry Sharpening Pincushion
Tomato Pincushion filled with Emery for pin sharpening
I was getting married, for the third and hopefully the last time, and I had no idea what I was going to wear. I did not want to wear some big frilly poufy wedding dress, I had already done the formal wedding on the last go around.
Then I recalled I had purchased some antique linen and lace on Ebay. I didn’t have a plan for it when I purchased it, but now it fit into this plan beautifully
I wanted to make a fitted bodice and loose skirt, so I started by making a test bodice until I got the fit correct, then constructed the bodice, and lined it with some matching silk charmeuse that I purchased.
I used the laces around the neck edge and on the sleeve edge with some beading. I think the dress turned out just right, fancy but not too formal.
Pin stitching was originally done by hand. Drawn thread work is a form of counted-thread embroidery based on removing threads from the warp and/or the weft of a piece of even-weave fabric. The remaining threads are grouped or bundled together into a variety of patterns. The more elaborate styles of drawn thread work use in fact a variety of other stitches and techniques, but the drawn thread parts are their most distinctive element. It is also grouped as whitework embroidery because it was traditionally done in white thread on white fabric and is often combined with other whitework techniques. The most basic kind of drawn thread work is hemstitching. Drawn thread work is often used to decorate the trimmings of clothes or household linens. The border between hemstitching gone fancy and more elaborate styles of drawn thread work isn’t always clear.
In 1890, Karl Friedrich Gegauf set up his own business in Steckborn, Switzerland, opening an embroidery and mechanical workshop for the manufacture of his own invention, a monogram embroidery machine. Together with his brother Georg, a salesman, Karl Friedrich ran the “Gebrüer Gegauf” (Bros. Gegauf) company. Through his involvement in the textile industry, he noticed how laborious it was to produce hemstitching, which until then could only be done manually. Consequently, in 1893 Karl Friedrich Gegauf invented the world’s first hemstitch sewing machine, capable of sewing 100 stitches per minute.
In 1895 the Bros. Gegauf workshop was completely destroyed by fire, except for the prototype of the hemstitch sewing machine, which was the only thing that could be rescued. Undeterred, Karl Friedrich erected a new workshop in an old barn, where the focus was no longer on embroidery, but on the construction of the hemstitch sewing machine, which the company now also exported abroad. 70 people were employed in the serial production of the hemstitch sewing machine. The name Gegauf became so famous that from then on, the mechanical production of hemstitching, whether as embellishment for handkerchiefs, tablecloths or bedspreads, was commonly referred to as “gegaufing”.
Now some clever seamstress has developed a method to mimick hemstitching using a wing needle. The wing needle puntures holes in the fabric that look like the holes made by the drawn threadwork.
In order for hemstitching to look good, it must be done on natural fibers, such as cotton or linen. It will not work on synthetic fibers such as polyester. In addition, the fabrics should be somewhat thin, such as batiste or handkerchief linen.
Set machine stitch to pin stitch, which looks sort of like a ladder without one side, the “rungs” of the ladder should stitch over the lace heading towards the right. Machine Settings on my Bernina 1260 are Stitch width = 2.5, Stitch length = 2.5
*please note that these are the settings I used – you might have to adjust the width and length on the project you are working on.
Place a piece of Stitch ‘n Ditch paper under fabric and lace Align the needle so that the left straight stitch line will be directly above the lace heading – “rungs of ladder” will stitch into the lace *Note: I like to use a clear foot for this step, as it makes it alot easier to see where the lace meets the fabric and to keep my straight stitch directly above the lace seam line.
As you stitch you will be able to see the beautiful pin stitching! When complete, tear the Stitch ‘n Ditch paper away. Finished beautiful pin stitched edge! I do not always use the stabilizer, but you must make sure you starch the fabric very well or you won’t see the hemstitching. I also use a very find thread for this, you don’t want to fill up the decorative “holes” with thread.
The gown is finished, and I must say, it turned out beautifully, even if I do say so myself.
I am getting very close to finished with the dress itself. Just wanted to share this photo, with the sunlight streaming through the fabric you can really see the detail of the embroidery and how translucent the fabric is. Looks ethereal.
It is starting to look more like a dress now. I put gathered 1 inch lace edging along the 2 seam lines, but I am not sure about that, it may be too much, but I’ll have to wait until I get more completed to see if it overshadows the embroidery or if it looks out of place.
I decided to make the remainder of the skirt bottom out of panels divided by lace, each panel will have embroidery like the front but gradually tapering down to only embroidery at the bottom. This is one of the panels that will be attached directly behind the front panel.
It will be Teddy’s first easter this year. I think he needs something special to wear to church. I have lots of Nelona Baby Blue batiste, so I am going to make a Easter bubble for him.The first thing I set out to do was find a unique embroidery pattern that wasn’t run-of-the-mill Easter bunnies. I found this pattern and fell in love with it. It reminds me of Beatrix Potter drawings.
The embroidery in progress.
I decided to make the collars out of white handkerchief linen, they contrast well with the batiste fabric, and the embroidery shows up on them well.
The detail of the embroidery on the collars.
The finished project. Teddy will be the best dressed baby in the nursery, but then, I am prejudiced.
A little hint. If you have to stop an embroidery design in the middle of the project, there are some important steps you should take, in order to be able to finish correctly. (Ask me how I know… lol)
On my embroidery machine, and I assume on probably all embroidery machines, there is a stitch counter that displays the stitch count where you are currently in the design.
In this photo you can see the stitch count is at #11885. If I needed to stop at this point, for whatever reason, say reloading the bobbin, or to go do something else, etc., I keep a notepad and pen by my machine and I jot down that stitch count number.
Then, if while you were away, the machine gets turned off, for whatever reason, maybe the electricity blinks, somebody accidentally hits the switch or the cord, etc., then you can return to the exact spot to finish. If you fail to do this, and the machine gets turned off, the pattern will be reset to the beginning and it will be virtually impossible to find the same spot to finish that pattern. I learned this the hard way!