I have a new toy. I bought a Singer XL-400 sewing/embroidery machine. It replaces my starter embroidery machine, a Singer CE-100, which I hated. Or it hated me. I’m not sure which. Fortunately, things are working out better with the new relationship. I use the XL-400 for embroidery, and I still sew on my old metal Universal, or my Brother electronic.
I’m finding myself somewhat ambivalent about the whole machine embroidery thing. On the one hand, there’s a science to it, and getting the embroidery to come out looking neat and professional is definitely something that requires practice. On the other hand, unless you are your own digitizer, you’re really just applying designs someone else has created to your stuff. It’s nice to personalize things, like the coin purses below, and even the kitchen set had a little bit of personalization on it, but it’s not like I actually made the artwork I’m using myself, I’m just interpreting someone else’s work. I’ll come to terms eventually I suppose.
So some recent things I’ve been doing. Coin purses. Lots and lots of them. I made them for Christmas gifts for friends and family. Did I mention I made a lot of them? I based my little pouches this year on instructions at sewmehappyblog, and personalizing them with my handy-dandy embroidery machine. http://sewmehappyblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/coin-purse-tutorial.html
In the midst of making coin purses, I realized my fabric stash was a mess. If I can distract myself from the project at hand, I certainly will. I found the organizing project very liberating though and am glad I made time for it.
I started the gift-giving season with a gathering apron for my cousin, who raises chickens. This apron was made from scratch, using the instructions found Sew4Home, http://www.sew4home.com/projects/kitchen-linens/easy-half-apron-jumbo-pockets, and then I embroidered it.
A few other gifts:
Jewelry travel pouch from Instructables for a friend who makes her own beaded jewelry.
A giant foam finger required a custom Chiefs cuff and optional costume change cuff. My hubby carried it to the Chiefs v. Raiders game (we won, advancing to the AFC playoffs) on January 2nd. I created this cuff from scratch and it attaches with a velcro closure in the back. The Chiefs logos came from a licensed flag we bought specifically to cannibalize and add with Heat ‘N Bond.
A couple of pre-made cheapo aprons that I embroidered. The green one was for a friend that does ceramics, and the red one I did for myself and used on Thanksgiving Day.
This apron is a crafting tool belt apron I made several years ago. I’m not sure I remember where I got this idea from, but I’m thinking with a little modification, I could make this a little more user friendly and a cute addition to my project lineup.
I also made a purse that I love, started on a base for a costume my husband is making for Comicon, and I worked very hard on an awesome RenFest dress for me. I’ll add pics of those to another article.
And lastly, today’s project, which is the prototype for a craft show item I’m contemplating. This heart coin pouch is an “in the hoop” design from Five Star Fonts. My friend that does ceramics wants to combine talents and have a mixed media craft show display sometime in 2016, where we both sell our wares, so I’m pondering what is unique enough, cute enough, and quick enough to make in quantity to do that. And the back of this cute purse is a lovely blank space just begging for some sort of embroidered saying or appliqued initials. I’m still pondering.
The next project I have planned is a sewing only project. I stained my bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet over the holidays using General Finishes Java gel stain. Gel stain somehow migrates all over everywhere if you’re not careful, and apparently I was not. I somehow managed to stain, and ruin in my estimation, my sliding glass door curtain (also made by me) while letting the dogs out. The good news is this project is all serging straight lines, the fabric I have was a gift, and I don’t have even measure that much, because I can use the current curtain as a guide. Hopefully I can get it done quickly.
See the spot? The curtain is six years old and definitely showing wear so it’s time for a new one.
But the bathroom looks amazing.