Sunday, December 30, 2012

We got snow!

Posting up a storm. Since this just happened yesterday, took time to upload (along with my uploading other vids). In case it doesn't post, here's the link: 

Hopefully the link works. :-)


Saturday, December 29, 2012


A double greeting: :-) (background music on the actual channel).

SEW Important: Computer chat!

Hi Everyone. Happy New Year and thanks for all the support, encouragement over the year.

Preparing for more sewing this coming year. What about you?

If you're reading this, then you probably own a blog, website, or you love to post pics and/or videos.

We all read about cyber attacks, etc. but some of us may think it will never happen to us...well, it can!

There are some very nasty viruses out there that will BY-PASS the best virus protection.

If you are using your computer, laptop, I-Pad to store these files, you may be in for a pleasant surprise if your system gets hit with one of these vicious viruses.

We should always think: The questions is not IF, but WHEN.

With that said, if you don't have a back-up system SEPARATE from your hard drive, then you should!

Again, if (and you probably do) have your own site, blog, etc., then this should concern you.

Here are some practical tips as to how you can be PROACTIVE and not REACTIVE.

(I always tell myself "Take care of the potential issue on the front end, not the butt end."):-)

1) Purchase an external drive or a thumb drive. Nowadays, these are very inexpensive. You can go to a "big box" store (like Best Buy), but you might do better trying one of the following websites:

Here's a pic of my external drive. I have an external drive AND a thumb drive. I've had the external drive for nearly two years, and just got the thumb drive last month. BOTH are external drives: the larger one I use for my desktop and the thumb drive I'll be using for my new laptop.

2) Copy your files, pictures, documents, videos EVERYTHING onto your external drive. Yes, it is time consuming and there's no pressure for you to do it all in one sitting. 

3) Create folders to place items in. Dont' just have them all over the place. For instance, a sample of my folder titles: Under "Videos," I have a folder for fitness, sewing. I have a separate folder for recipes, special folder for "Sewing documents," Sewing PDF's".

4) Last tip: Get in the habit of saving your files, pictures, documents, etc. TO your external drive FROM THE JUMP. Don't allow it to just default to your default drive. Use that drop down arrow to DIRECT and CONTROL where YOU want your files to go.

Again, starting the process may save your site IF some fool decides to attack your system.


If you have any specific questions, need help,etc., I'm no expert, but I'm more than delighted to help.

Take care and Happy Sewing, Happy Blogging, and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A couple of quickies :-)

As mentioned in last post, these are the quick ones I did a couple of nights ago. :-). Really had fun with them--converting t-shirts into totes. Now days with everyone "going green," one never knows when you might need an extra bag--lest thy be charged extra $.
Taken from a large t-shirt
 Another large t-shirt
 This one came from BurdaStyle. Enjoyed and it didn't take long

 I really feel like I can do this!
Oh, the previous bags came from a Martha Stewart tutorial on one of her shows.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Misson Accomplished!

We did it! Finally! And all it took was just me ending the procrastination, getting my stuff, making adjustments, etc. Yes, it's WORK. Plus, I needed time to do it and what better way to use the two extra days off, Yea, I could have done bits and pieces over the weekends, but I like to use my weekends for R&R.

Oh, I actually completed everything two days ago (December 23) :-).

Even whipped up a couple of quick bags last night.....(stay tuned) :-).
Front view
 Corner. For now, machine is resting on a plastic bin.
 The two bags have fabric. The smaller plastic (blue) container contains a few patterns.
 Green bin: contents from a sewing expo.Bag in lower right corner: sewing DVD's

The good thing is that I know what's in everything. The clear plastic container is labeled. My goal over the next couple of months is to purchase two large plastic bins and a bookshelf for my sewing books and DVD's.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Hello! Nice sewing rooms/spaces (below) aren't they? I finally completed mine! Spent most of the day moving stuff around, shifting, etc. A few plastic bins--some with fabric, some with scraps. 
A dream below, but we gotta keep it real. :-)

 Stay tuned for next post and you'll see how we worked it out!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Getting sew organized (at least trying to!)

Well, one goal down and several to go. Got my portable table (I call it a card table) last weekend. Picked up some (not all) of my sewing stuff from my parents who were gracious enough to allow me to keep it. Still have a long way to go. I say sewing space because I'm in an apartment.

Getting rid of (or at least trying to) some stuff to make room to make room for this.

Yeah, I realize and won't wait until I can pull everything together or else....won't even get any sewing done.

It's still a work in progress. :-)
Machine, a few books (vintage), and one bin with fabric
 Cutting board, tracing paper, box (what's in it: who knows?) and G Street Fabric bag.
 One happy camper! Relieved!
 Bags with sewing books and DVD's.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Still organizing :-)

As the year comes to a close, this is and will be a good time for me to continue organizing: sewing books, DVDs, manuals, fabric, organize patterns. create a sewing corner (no sewing room). There's now enough space for me at least do this.

I also got another video camera after a 4 month absence so I can start posting some videos--probably at the end of this month at the latest.:-).

The "holiday" season isn't a big deal for me...I'm gonna enjoy the time off (when it comes) and (hopefully) use it to do all the stuff I just stated above.

Take care and happy sewing! :-).

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Official!

Two more days...but why wait? Wednesday, October 11 will mark FOUR YEARS OF BLOGGING FUN!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Almost here!

BLOGAVERSARY ALMOST HERE! Can't believe it....almost 4 years! Just a little reminiscing!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

These are MY reminders!

These are still a few of my favorite things. Can I get a witness? :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2012


All this month. Do something different, do something new, get involved (and of course, I'm speaking to yours truly). :-)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Way outta control!

Hi Everyone! Warning: I may be all over the map with this one, but that's OK. :-)

I've been in this abode for about 7 months and still slowly trying to organize, etc. My sewing books, collections, etc. is way out of control!

Sometimes I look at everything and tell myself I'll do it next weekend, then when the time comes...oh well.

I was doing a little at a time. I'm sure I'll eventually need to get a bookcase. Sure don't want to give anything away--especially since I haven't even opened most of these books.

So there you have it!
These books are stored in a walk in closet in my bedroom!
 These are sitting on a little bench!
 This is just....take a guess!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

There's hope and help if you want it!

Reminders even for experienced sewers


Learning to Sew: Peter's Top Ten Tips!Guest Columns , by Peter Lappin ShareThis I am often asked how I learned to sew and what advice I would give beginners. Since I started sewing only two years ago, it’s all very fresh in my mind!

So here, in no particular order, is my entirely subjective, highly biased top ten tips list:

1. Start off with a good machine. I can’t imagine anything more discouraging than learning to sew on a temperamental sewing machine. You may know by now that I am extremely biased toward vintage machines, straight stitchers in particular. But most people these days start with zigzaggers and that’s OK too.

Here in the USA, good used machines can be had for less than $50 on Craigslist, eBay, and at many local thrift stores. Maybe your neighbor or a family member has one in storage. Make sure you clearly ask the seller/donor whether the machine has any mechanical problems. The last thing you need is to bring home your first sewing machine and discover the bobbin winding mechanism doesn’t work or the cams are cracked (if it has embroidery cams). A manual is always helpful and if missing, can usually be downloaded online for a few dollars.

There’s nothing wrong with spending more for a high quality machine, but when you’re starting out you don’t really know which features you’ll value most. I recommend thinking of your first machine as a starter and spending the big bucks later, if at all. Doesn’t that makes sense?

2. Avoid (avoidable) complexity. The simpler the machine the less is likely to be/go wrong with it, which is why I like old straight stitch machines. If you’re interested in making clothes, you don’t need fancy embroidery stitches, which is the selling point for new machines. Nothing has changed mechanically in decades and little (if anything) has improved. I know that some people prefer a new machine and that’s fine. Just keep it simple and don’t let yourself be wowed by fancy computerized geegaws you’re unlikely ever to use.

3. Buy yourself a good beginner’s book. In my experience, there aren’t that many of these. There are countless excellent encyclopedic sewing guides, like the Readers Digest guide, and these are great to have on hand for reference, but I would not use them to get started — too much info.

My favorite beginner’s sewing book is Diana Rupp’s Sew Everything Workshop. Diana walks you through step-by-step in the gentlest, most caring way, and the book itself is beautiful to look at AND spiral bound, which is a tremendous help. It also includes many simple patterns for some basic garments and home dec items that are cute and trendy (and on real pattern paper too). They’re mainly for women, of course, but not exclusively. I made my first garment — a pair of boxer shorts — from a pattern in Diana’s book and I still wear the results!
4. Start small. If you follow Diana’s book you won’t have to think about this. It’s more fun to sew something simple and do it well than to tackle something too advanced and be disappointed with the results. You’ll learn either way, for sure, but some of us get very discouraged when our results don’t match our expectations. Whether we’re making a pencil case or an evening gown, choice of fabric and other details is going to make a huge difference in our enthusiasm and happiness with the result. It’s not what you sew but how you sew it.

5. Practice. Like any other skill, sewing takes some practice. After a while things that seemed difficult at first, like matching the edges of two separate pieces of fabric at 5/8", become second nature. When I got my first sewing machine, I just loved to sew scraps of fabric together — any fabric. It all seemed very miraculous to me at the time and still does!

6. Lower the stakes. A lot of perfectionists are drawn to sewing. I’ve sewn many dozens of garments, and some turn out better than others. I try not to make sewing a reflection of my self-worth. Sewing should be fun, even when it’s challenging. With skill you can make some fantastic things but ultimately, most of us don’t have to sew to have clothes to wear. Many of us already had bulging closets before we even picked up a needle. Sew like a child and enjoy it. You’re only going to get better with practice.

7. Make up your own rules. I am a big believer in trusting one’s intelligence. Some things you read in a sewing book or in pattern directions — how to insert a zipper, say — may sound unnecessarily complex. Don’t be afraid to try it your own way. The people who wrote those directions are just people. Maybe there’s a simpler method and YOU are the person who will have discovered it. If it doesn’t work, you’ll have learned something. You have nothing to lose provided you’re not experimenting on your nearly-finished garment made of $75/yd. silk shantung!

8. Find a sewing community. I could not have learned as fast as I have without the support and encouragement of Burdastyle and Pattern Review members. Sewing friends are tremendously valuable, not only at the beginning but all along your sewing journey. Having a community makes sewing so much more fun. A dirty little secret is that I rarely looked at sewing blogs until I started Male Pattern Boldness, but some of the blogs I enjoy most are written by people who are just starting out because I can relate to their sewing challenges — and their enthusiasm.

9. Make sewing your play and not your work. Life is stressful enough without adding even more stress. Sewing can be challenging, especially when things aren’t working out the way you’d like them to. Remember why you’re sewing in the first place. You didn’t learn to walk in a day or in a week and you’re not going to master sewing in that amount of time. But imagine how much you’ll know a year from now if you just keep plugging along, making mistakes and learning from them. Just keep going and maintain a sense of humor.

10. Make something you really like. I’ve heard a lot of stories from people who were taught — and turned off — sewing in Home Economics class where they were forced to make something they hated, like an apron or an ugly skirt. As an adult, you make the rules. It’s much more inspiring to sew something you might actually want to wear. You don’t have to pay a lot for the fabric (Pick up some old sheets!). I also think sewing for oneself, especially at the beginning, is more fun than sewing for others. You don’t have to please anyone but yourself and you know best how you want something to look or fit.


11. Take a class. Don’t take a class. A lot of people ask me if they should take a class. Some people really enjoy the social aspect of a class or the way a class organizes their week or (potentially) keeps them from making costly mistakes. I didn’t take a class though I wouldn’t rule it out for the future. I’d recommend that anybody who wants to take a class take one and anybody who wants to learn on their own do so. It’s not either/or.

I will say that given the tremendous amount of information available in books, DVDs, on YouTube videos, sites like BurdaStyle, and blogs, nobody has to take a class to get the information they need. All those “sewing secrets” have already been revealed!

So wise readers, anything to add? Anything that would be in your top ten that I haven’t included?

How did you learn to sew?


When native New Yorker Peter Lappin bought his first sewing machine two years ago to hem a pair of thrift store jeans, little did he know he was initiating a journey that would bring him fame and fortune. While awaiting his fortune he stays busy writing “the world’s most popular men’s sewing blog,” Male Pattern Boldness, and now contributing to BurdaStyle.

Here's the link for the full article (we only omitted the last few sentences).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sip & Stitch Pics

Laura giving a brief overview
What a wonderful event and a true labor of love from Bits of Thread.
Some of DC's own entrepreneurs sharing how they left the daily grind and started their own sewing/crafting/fashion businesses!

Sew what's next??

Greetings again. I was able to attend the event below this weekend: Pics to follow this post:

Next Sip and Stitch: Crafty Entrepreneurs: From Hobby to Business

Join us Friday, March 16 from 6:30-8:30pm for our next Sip and Stitch event, Crafty Entrepreneurs: From Hobby to Business. We’ll be featuring several regional artists and entrepreneurs who have taken a craft they love and made it into a full time business or a side income. If you’ve ever dreamed of doing this yourself (or are just curious!), this is a great opportunity to hear personal stories, successes, challenges, and tips from those who have been down the road before. There will be plenty of time for questions and informal discussion following the presentation. Speakers include:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

MARCH: National Craft Month

I know...we're a little past the halfway mark. You guys know I'm just getting back in the swing of things. A little tired....the job had me training away from the office all this week and I had to commute so I'm still a little burned from it.

Even though I won't be participating with a new craft this month, that won't stop me from encouraging you guys!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Not sew-related.....

Hi everyone. Just a brief blog to say hello. I recently assisted a local 4-H group with a public speaking presentation as a teacher. I really enjoyed it! Next month, I'll be what they call a contest judge for an annual sewing fashion show that they have.

What you see was a gift given to all the volunteers as a token of appreciation (pecans).

Still settling in the place so I haven't gotten around to sewing. I renewed my ASG membership a few weeks ago--another step. :-). Take care & see you soon!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow or sew?

OK. We kept our hair under wraps. Too lazy and comfortable to take them out!