Friday, March 29, 2013

My New Janome 1000CPX Cover Stitch Machine

YES!!!  After many frustrating phone calls to "Sleepy" at the sewing machine store where I had to order my cover stitch machine, I FINALLY decided to just go get it.  Sleepy was supposed to deliver it to the store where I ordered it which is many miles closer to my house, but...........  It seems Sleepy was out getting checks, and the only other employee who was less knowledgeable than a rock couldn't tell me anything at all about my machine or when it might arrive.  When I made my last call, the same unhelpful employee answered and told me that my machine WAS there.

I said, "Why didn't you call me?"  "I've been waiting all week for the call, and I've called over and over."

"Well, Charity isn't here right now."

And, of course, I WANTED TO SAY, "And your arm is broken and you can't lift the phone yourself, OR WHAT!!!???

I begged Jerry to come with me in case I got the urge to wake Sleepy up, and he agreed he probably should come. 

We arrived to find Sleepy and the unhelpful employee standing together with a little dog running around between their legs.  My new machine was sitting right there inside the front door, and we couldn't help but notice it. 

Jerry looked around and said to me, "Why did you buy this from here?" (referring to the fact that it was a pretty shabby looking place, and they also sell vacuum cleaners).  VERY unlike B-Sew Inn and Bernina stores where Jerry has been with me in the past.  I told him to be glad the sun was shining because if it was like their other store, it was so dark inside, you could hardly make out the machines.

As the little dog ran back and forth all over the place (I hate that!), I asked if the box on the floor was my machine.   Sleepy said, "Yes."  Jerry picked up the box, and we left.

JIC you think I hate dogs, I better clarify.  I LOVE dogs.  I had a dog all the time when I was growing up.  Just one at a time, but I had 3 dogs named Jolly.  Everything living in our house had to have a "J" name except for Mom and Dad.  I would have two dogs now if I didn't already haul two cats back and forth between our two houses.  It is the running all over the place and jumping on me by animals I don't know that I don't like.  Especially, in a place of business. 

Jerry put the box in the trunk of my car, and I actually forgot about it until late last night.  I asked Jerry to go out and bring it in, and we opened it.  Here are some pics I took -- as I always do -- of everything that came in the box.

Box opened:

Notice the manual right there on top.  One lady -- somewhere -- said her machine didn't come with a manual.  My guess is the store removed it from the box, because there is one in it.  I always photograph things like this IN CASE I have to put the stuff back inside the box and ship it somewhere.

Here is what comes with the machine:

 Here is what is inside that little platic box:

Here is the back of the machine.  NOTICE the 4 spools of thread and the machine already threaded!  I loved this, because Sleepy didn't know for sure how to thread it, and the employees didn't even know what a cover stitch machine was!
And this is the front of the machine:

The machine has two VERY HELPFUL guides, and it is a good thing it does because the manual sure doesn't have them.

I wonder what that little lever is at the bottom of the quide on the right here. 

Can anyone see a DIFFERENCE in the two drawings above the little slider bar?????  

Those two little pictures at the very bottom look EXACTLY the same to me.

Do you suppose they are related to the garment drawings at the top?  Looks like a tee shirt and a camisole.

If you know, please tell me!

This is a real nice cover EXCEPT there is no pocket in it to put the foot control or the little plastic box.  I may sew some on myself.
I made two short little videos today.  I look awful in them.  I was so anxious to try it out, I just put a hoodie on over my jammies and set up the camera.  SUCH FUN!!!  You HAVE to get one!

Here are the videos.  Please pardon the Gravel Girty look.  I was too excited to wait.

Here is video #1 showing a 3-needle coverstitch.  I sew over a BIG hump, and no skipped stitches! 

And here is video #2 showing the chain stitch with one needle:

That is it.  I will do reviews at Stitcher's Guild and Pattern Review later.  Hubby says we have to go somewhere to buy something ELSE to go with his new TV.  Will it EVER end!?

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Anything But Ordinary -- Muslin #1 Wearable!

There it is.

Louise Cutting's pattern called "Anything but Ordinary".

I finished my FIRST muslin of the top (in green) today.  Can you see on the shoulder of the green blouse -- the one on the girl -- that there is a tab?  I never noticed it.  It is a really fun part of this blouse.  It actually is about the ONLY part of the blouse that I kept.

Changes I made:

I added a Upper Round Back and Sway Back correction.  I have to do that in everything I make.  That is why I sew.  Garments that fit are so comfortable to wear.  I HATE a garment I have to fiddle with all day long to keep it where it belongs on my body.

Neckline -- Made it a "V" instead of a circle.  I don't look good in round necks according to my Mother.  Pardon this dumb pose.  I never know where to put my hands so I don't cover up the blouse.

Sleeves -- I hate big sleeves that make my arms look like sticks, so I lapped the hem and buttoned it.

Bust Dart -- Since I make the "Small" in LC's patterns, I have a lot less ease than what she likes.  Therefore, Phylly and I both always have to put bust darts in her tops.  (You can see the bust dart above.)

Hemline -- I didn't like the maternity look I always seem to get in LC's patterns, so I added 2 pleats to the front hem.
And here is the best picture I got in an attempt to show you the cute tab and button.  The shoulder opens up so you can get it on easier.

I don't know if I will start another one of this style tomorrow, or start a whole new pattern.  Louise really likes mitered corners.  I can make the side vents without mitered corners, so I think I will do them the easy way on the next one. 

OH!  Another thing I have to change is the shoulder seam.  It is way too far back on me.  Relax-a-Little was the same way.  Phylly said she had to move it forward also.

Gotta get. 

I'm running out of steam, and still have things to do before I get into my pj's and slippers and fix a cup of hot DEcaf tea.  

The tea is Phylly's fault.  I have to do everything she does, you know, and she loves tea.  Not just ANY tea.  The fancy kind you order from the internet, and it costs so much, you BETTER drink it!  

Actually, my Mother is from New England -- Boston, MA -- and she has always loved hot tea.  We had it served with many a meal in beautiful tea cups and saucers.  She would have a fit and a half if she was served a cup of tea or coffee in a mug.  As far as I'm concerned, the bigger the mug, the better!

Hugs, Joy

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dancing With The Stars

Our favorite show is back on.  Actually, this will be week 2.  We watched last week, and Jerry and I both just looked at each other with our shock faces on when we saw Wynona.

Good heavens!!!  We had no idea she was that big.  I believe she has Kirstie Alley beat in that department.  Sure hope she gets the urge to get healthy now that she is dancing.  Dancing is an AWESOME workout.  I love to dance.  I have lots of dancing-style exercise tapes at home.  Problem is they are all on those old VHS tapes, and  I don't think we own a VCR anymore.

I feel so sorry for people that put on so much extra weight.  It is really hard on their bodies.  And having just lost 10 pounds myself, I know how hard it is to lose.  Phylly used to be 30 pounds heavier.  We are both constantly on the scale to be sure it doesn't sneak back up on us.  We sure don't want to start over on a whole new wardrobe!

Let me see.  Who else did we know on DWTS?  Oh, yes.  Dorothy Hamill.  We didn't know anyone else dancing this season.  Some of the pros have changed again.  Macs is gone.  I doubt he will be missed.  He was so in love with himself, we could hardly stand to watch him.  His brother is a little odd too.  Danced in a speedo bathing suit last season.  Yuk!

In case you care, and I doubt you do, lol, I have thrown the Box Top in the garbage can in the garage.  I worked on it and worked on it, and the last thing I did was CUT a hole in it!  I figured that was the final sign that it just wasn't meant to be in my wardrobe.  Tomorrow, I will begin on Anything But Ordinary and hope I have better luck with it.

Almost 7:00.  I better get out the four TV controllers and start pushing buttons.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Notes and Box Top Blues

Yes!  It is Sunday, and Jerry and I watched our favorite preacher's son today, Matthew Hagee.  The sermon was about Abraham BELIEVING what God said.  Simple sentence, but PACKED full.  Do you BELIEVE what God has promised in His word?  Do I BELIEVE what God has promised in His word?

Actually, I MORE than believe it.  I KNOW it to be true, because it has been true in my life and in Jerry's.  We are losing our America because people not only don't BELIEVE, they don't have the slightest clue who God is or who Jesus is.  They have been taught a load of crap in grade school, high school and especially, college.  They don't know they are created by God in HIS image.  They don't know God sent his Son to die for them.  They don't know there is a Heaven and Hell.  They are so misled and lost and so are most of their parents who were also raised in a "free love", drug-drenched, Godless society.

My parents weren't perfect -- and I certainly wasn't a perfect parent either -- but we raised our kids in church and taught them at home about the Bible and about right and wrong.  I am so thankful that I was born into a Christian home, and at the time, a Christian country.

I listened to Glenn Beck talk about a test they are giving the third graders asking WHY the twin towers were bombed.  The "right" answer was:  Because America's policies are unfair to people in other countries, and they get upset.  (Not exact quote, but something very close.)

Okay.  I'm off that soap box now.  Let's talk about my Box Top.

My newly-revised Box Top is in the dryer after being washed to remove the stabilizer from the back and the stabilizer from the front that were used to nail down the applique shapes I added to it today.  I decided to cut flower and heart shapes to cover up the hole in the back.  Here are some pics, which by the way are VERY hard to take.  I had to delete most of the pictures because you couldn't see the applique at all.

Here are the shapes after I applied some SAS strips under each one and ironed them down.  They are NOT stitched yet in these pics.

Here is what it looked like while I was sewing around all of the shapes so they would look nicer; however, I'm not sure they don't look worse.  This knit DOES ravel when you sew too close to the edges of it.

Here is the inside of the garment after I had sewn around all of the applique pieces:

Here is a doctored picture to TRY to show you the finished applique, but it looks awful in this pic.  I just could not get a good picture of the applique.

The garment looks fine.  I really like it.

Here is a close-up of one of the heart-flowers.  You can see the ravelly edges, but that is okay.  It is knit, and it isn't going to get any worse than that.  At least, it sort of shows up with the ruff edges.  I did not satin stitch around these designs.  I just edge-stitched them with a loose zig-zag so they would never come off.

And here I am wearing the totally finished garment, and you cannot see the applique at all.  Oh, well.  I'm not crazy about this garment anyway.  I'm not really the "box" type.  I like my clothes more fitted so I don't look like I'm about to have a baby any moment.  I don't think I will make this again.  The sleeve is big enough to get my arm in 3 times.

I must say though that this is the FIRST garment ever that I haven't had to put a bust dart in!!!  Who would know there is even a bust in it?!

That means I have to start another pattern.  Wonder how many muslins the next one will take.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. 

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Help Needed with Shapes "Box Top"

Yes, I made what I call a "Box Top".  Louise and Linda call it the "High Five Jacket".

You would THINK it would be really easy to make, but it is not.  It isn't hard either, but there are EIGHT mitered corners, and the hem goes on forever.  Mitered corners are not hard for me, but I thought I would never quit finding another corner to miter.

I used red knit fabric that was marked "GF" in the selvage.  That means I purchased it from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I was SHOCKED to get this thing cut out and notice AFTER it was all cut out that there is a hole in the back of it.  It is a very noticeable hole, and it has to be fixed -- somehow.

Let me show you some pictures.

I realize the back looks pretty good in this picture, but when you look at the garment for real, the hole really shows.
 One button.  I love that.

And THERE IT IS!  The hole.  The knit looks pink here, but that is because I fiddled with the brightness to try to show the hole. 

It is sort of a run of little holes.  It is very noticeable on the actual garment because anything worn under it is going to show through.  Here's a close-up.

THEREFORE, I am trying to think of what to do to cover it up.  I could embroider something over it.  I could applique something over it.  I could sew a knit flower on top of it.  But all of that would look just as weird as the hole if not connected to something else. 

Maybe I could start on the front of the blouse with some kind of viney thing, and go over the shoulder and down to the hole with it.  Bumble bees?  Birds?  Butterflies?  Flower vine?  There are little flowers on the button.  Maybe I could copy those somehow.  I don't know.  Maybe I'll just put it in the Goodwill bag. 

Gotta go.  Spent hours at The Stitching Post today sewing on the Elna Cover Stitch Machine.  Decided to pass it up and buy a brand new Janome 1000 CPX.  Nobody has it, of course, so it had to be ordered.  I'm sure it will come in just as I drive out of Oklahoma City and back to my other house.  I may have to assign Phylly a new job duty of driving down to Kingston to deliver the machines that come in here and then help me test them in case they have to be returned.  Surely, her boss (who works for me) would understand that new job duty.  I could tell her that I need to Cover Stitch something for a wheelchair or hospital bed. 

For those who don't know, we own Family Medical Supply, and Phylly works at the OKC location for the General Manager, Lu.  Jerry and I have offices at the other location in Kingston where our other home is.  The stores are 150 miles apart.  Hence, Phylly and I can't get into too much trouble.  Lu doesn't sew, so it is really hard to convince her of the mega-importance of my need for Phylly to come all the way to Kingston for sewing play days. 

If you are interested, you can see the two stores here:

Hope you are having a marvelous weekend!

Hugs, Joy

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cover Stitch Machines

Goodness, this was a frustrating day.  I spent most of it on line looking up information about Cover Stitch Machines.  You really can't find EVERYTHING on line.  Companies that make sewing machines seem to be very secretive about prices.  I guess they don't want any other company beating their price, or maybe all the companies have to charge the same thing. 

And, I can hear my friends asking, "Don't you already HAVE a machine like that?"

No, I don't.  This is the kind of machine that does the hems of garments like the industry does.  You know that chain stitch that comes completely unwound if you pull one thread?  It does that.  It does the hems on knit tops like Ready-To-Wear and on jeans and on everything.  They haven't been available that many years. 

After hours of research and checking reviews, I decided I wanted a Babylock Cover Stitch Machine.  Well, wouldn't you know, it is the MOST expensive one on the market.  There is not a single one for sale anywhere in the world except from the stores.  I tried Ebay and Craigslist and just googling it.  The people who buy this machine must keep it forever.  I guess that's why the high price.

I decided to come down the ladder a bit and go for a pretty good machine called Janome 1000 CP.  I found out that there are at least 6 dealers that sell this machine in this area.  Guess how many had one????  None of them.  I asked if they had any other models.  Nope.  Did they have any coming in?  They didn't know.  I kid you NOT! 

I called a Janome dealer in Guthrie.  I asked if they had any Janome cover stitch machines. 

The girl said, "I don't know." 

I said, "Could you find out?"

She said, "What is it?"

I told her it was a cover stitch machine -- hence my saying, "Do you have a cover stitch machine?"

She said, "Can you call back later when the owner comes in?"


And the entire morning continued just like that.  Nobody had one.  I talked to a girl in one store who I later learned was the owner's daughter, and I thought she was going to fall asleep on the phone!!!  She wanted to know if she should "go look for one". 

Finally, I found a lady at another store who sounded like she was working with a full deck, and she told me she would have one brought to her store from another location so I could come try it out.  ALRIGHT!  It was about time!  It is an Elna 434 which is an EXACT COPY of the Janome 1000 CP.  What's with that?  I don't know.  I decided it was worth a look though.

It looks exactly like the one above, but someone decided to paint that ugly dark blue stripe all over the front of it!  It has that cute little extension table.  Well, it doesn't "have the table", but you can BUY the table for a mere $100 more.

Turned out her location was right next door to Johnnie's.  Johnnie's is the place Phylly and I went to eat the first day we met at the quilt shop down the street, so I called Phylly and asked if she wanted to meet me there.  Yep, she did.  So we met for lunch.  After lunch, Phylly decided to come with me into the sewing machine store to see the machine I was going to try out. 

Phylly and I saw the machine on a table in the back of the store, and we wandered back to look at it.  It looked okay except it had no thread on it, and some parts were missing.  The lady that was going to SHOW me what to do -- her name is Emma -- had never used the machine before, and she didn't know anymore than Phylly and I did.  Phylly decided it was a dead end road, and she left.  I sat down at the table and commenced to try to thread the thing.  I was there for about an hour before I gave up and left also.  Emma was very nice, and I actually knew her from American Sewing Guild years ago when I use to attend. 

As of now, I don't know what I'm going to do.  The blue-stripe machine is still there, and Emma was able to get it to sew properly late today.  She called me back to let me know I could return tomorrow to sew on it again.  She also let me know that Sleepy -- the bosses' daughter -- will be there in the morning, and she supposedly knows more about it.  I also asked if they would order me a brand new one -- but the Janome so it will be all white -- for the same price, and they agreed to do that.   

I'm sure this is totally thrilling for you all to read.  Sorry about that.  At least, I'll have a record of this for future reference.

Hugs, Joy

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vacation in the Living Room

Yep.  Our vacation site has been moved to our house.  We were downloading a map from MapQuest last night, and Jerry decided to check the weather forecast in Branson.  I had already done that last week, and I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.  He saw that it was going to be thunderstorms, rain, 41 degrees and possible snow the WHOLE time we were there!  YUK!!!

Everything you do in Branson requires walking around, and that sure isn't fun carrying an umbrella and wearing galoshes.  All I had to do was cancel the $200/night hotel, so I made the call.

Jerry is back at the store hooking up new computers, and I am on my laptop in my glider.  Actually, I am really glad I didn't have to sit in the car for six hours today.  I couldn't figure out how to get my sewing machine on the dashboard!

Better get UN-packed.

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pamela's Tee, Boatneck Style

Have any of you tried Pamela's patterns?  I have her tee patterns -- supposedly, for the "old lady" shape body -- and I have tried the boatneck style twice.  The first one was made over a year ago when I was 10 pounds heavier.  Yesterday, after lunch with Phylly, I came home and made another one.  Phylly asked me at lunch if she could borrow my Pamela DVD and the pattern, so that is how it jumped into my brain.

This is Pamela's tee pattern that I purchased.

This is the other pattern I purchased of Pamela's that has the different necklines you can apply to the above pattern, including the boatneck I am wearing.  Looks like the manniken is being choked by it also.  Maybe mine is fine.

When I made the FIRST one -  "Muslin" #1, I didn't like how high the neck was in the front, so I lowered it on the paper pattern.  That was October 5, 2011.  I didn't make "Muslin" #2 until yesterday.

This one has the lower neck in the front, and I think it still looks like it is choking me.  What do you think?

I STILL had to do a sway back correction,
a Full Bust Adjustment,
and change the shoulder a little bit for the next one so my bra straps don't show.

All-in-all, I really like this pattern though, and I will make it again.  I probably should put some waist darts in the front so it doesn't FALL straight down from my boobs.

Not sure if I should lower the front neckline.  Think I will do it real quick and see what happens.  We are leaving for a quick 4-day vacation in Branson, MO tomorrow, so all I have is a few hours this afternoon to sew.  Oh, NO!  I better hurry!

Hugs, Joy

Monday, March 18, 2013

Muslin #7 and Sermon Notes

Believe it or not, I just finished muslin #7 of My Heart's Aflutter, and it STILL is too high in the front.  I don't get that!  I did a full 1 1/4" (total allowed per LC) FBA, PLUS I added some more to the length of the front.  Crazy!  I took pictures, but I never could get one where the hem looked level and straight, so I decided to do this short video just for myself.  I'm sharing it with whoever cares, which is probably nobody, lol.

I am going to do ONE MORE MUSLIN.  I made this video for MYSELF, but you can watch it if you like.  I was trying to see if the front of this blouse was STILL pulling up on me.  It looks like it still is.  More tomorrow, or the next day.  I'm still sewing.
I had one big emergency with this version.  You can imagine after changing the paper pattern SEVEN times, it looked like it was ready for major surgery or the dump, one.  I got the not-so-brilliant idea to iron some of the cheap Hancock's Pellon interfacing to the back of the paper to stabilize it. 

Well guess what that did to my pattern?????????????????  Can you guess?

It wasn't so bad on the main pieces, but the interfacing caused the facings to shrink so much, that they could not even be applied.  I had to redraw and recut all the facings.  AARRGGHH!!!  Wish I had thunk of that!
No, I didn't forget sermon notes.  The sermon was about the Feast of Trumpets, and it was very good.  I would love for you to hear it.  Taking time to know our God is the most important thing of all. 
The sermon was about the word "rapture" not being in the Bible, and about the actual rapture of the church possibly happening any moment.
My Mother has been telling me all my life that she is going to go in the rapture.  She is 85 and refuses to buy the plot at the graveyard next to Daddy or to make any kind of arrangements.  I fought until my fought was worn out, and I gave up.  I hope she is right, and I am wrong.
Better go.  DANCING WITH THE STARS starts again tonight.  Our very favorite show!
Hugs, Joy

Friday, March 15, 2013

Biscuits, Eyes and Red MHAF

Not much going on today.  I met Phylly for lunch at Jimmie's Egg.  I was in the mood for breakfast, and so was she.  NOTHING like one buttermilk biscuit with sausage gravy on it and another with butter and jam. 

I went to see my Eye Doctor, Dr. Chase Vervak, for my annual check-up.  Next time I go see him, I am going to ask him if I can take his picture.  You would not believe how YOUNG this guy looks.  He is very likeable.

He was telling me about his live-in girlfriend today.  I restrained myself from telling him they were living in sin.  Aren't you proud of me?  Yes, I actually have done that many times in my past when advised of that living arrangement. 

He let me go on and on about what I thought he should prescribe for me.  He actually agreed with me.  He lowered the strength in one eye, and slightly increased the other.  I have 8 different strengths of contact lenses in my closet.  The company I buy them from will give me a refund if I return them, so I think I need to do that.

After my eye appointment, I went to Penney's to buy some underwear.  While I was there, I noticed a cute set of PJ's to take on our vacation to Branson next week.

I thought my husband might enjoy looking at some he hasn't already seen 10,000 times!  Let me take a pic real quick for you.

They are a lot cuter than they look.  They don't look good on blue people! 

There are some little shorts that go under the top, but since Blueberry doesn't have any legs -- like Lucy does -- I can't put the shorts on her.

If you decide to buy a dress form someday, let me caution you not to buy the cheapy style from Hancock's.  If I hadn't bought the nice one first, I guess I wouldn't know the difference.

Jerry will be back sometime tomorrow afternoon.  Phylly is coming in the morning for another play day.  YAY!  That makes two Saturdays in a row.  Unheard of!  I am going to work on the Louise Cutting overblouse in My Heart's Aflutter.  Phylly is going to work on another pattern.  We like to do the Palmer/Pletsch fitting we learned when we are together.  Impossible to do that alone, and husbands don't like to do it for some reason.  Why is it they think we should love to fish and shoot guns with them???

I think I took a picture of Muslin #3 of the blouse I have now made SEVEN of.  Yep.  #6 was a wadder.  I tried to take out the "maternity look" in it, and I took out too much.  I had the "exploding hip" look going on.  I started #7 today, and I think I am going to LOVE IT the most!  I'll take a pic when it is finished.

Here is the red one on Blueberry.  I am trying to show you the wrinkles under the topstitching in the facings.  The reason that happened is because I did not realize I needed to REDRAW the facings.  If I remove the topstitching, the wrinkles might go away.  Maybe someday when I'm desperate for something boring to do!

You can see the wrinkles here too.  Still, it is cute, and I will wear it.  As fast as I move around, nobody will be able to focus on them.

Out of SEVEN muslins, I have three keepers.  Pretty bad, huh?  Guess I'm going to have to go to fitting classes FOREVER!

I've got to clean up the house so Phylly won't think I'm a slob tomorrow. 

Plus, Jerry is coming back.  I don't want to spend my time cleaning house when he is here.  I haven't seen him for two weeks! 

I feel like we are dating.

Just heard from Jerry.  He will be here early afternoon tomorrow! 

I am so excited!!!!!  I will have someone next to me on the living room couch tomorrow night when I am watching the old TV Series "Nakita". 

How CUTE are those two marshmallow people!?

Gotta get.  

Hugs, Joy