Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Met my goal!

I finished 5 things off my to do list before school started.  I actually finished Sunday, but I need to take pics and post.  I made the mixer cover, noodlehead tote, zippy wristlet, in color order drawstring bag and pink penguin lunch bag.  I also made a small pouch with an exposed lace zipper.  I am trying to figure out a way to use these zippers after I saw Carla trying to figure out what to do with them!  I also cut out all of the pieces for the sew together bag.  I am a little worried about putting it together, but I should be able to do it...


Saturday, August 16, 2014

A New Sewing Machine and a To Do List Trick!

This is my new Brother 420 sewing machine and boy did I struggle with this decision!  I ordered it last Saturday from amazon and it came on Tuesday.  It is too soon to tell for sure, but I think I am in love.  Many of the super cool sewing bloggers that I follow sew on high end mechanical Jukis or super expensive computerized Janomes, Berninas, etc.  I have the means to buy what I want, but I am super practical and wanted to buy something that would not make me want to rip my hair out!  Also, sewing is a hobby for me, not my job.  Most of the sewing bloggers I follow are designers, authors or simply love to sew to supplement their income.  All of these things are admirable and fantastic, but they are also things I am never going to do.
My simple criteria - a machine that doesn't jam and have threads bunch up underneath the project, some cool stitches, a large throat area for big projects, and something without a huge learning curve. I picked this machine because I already own a brother.  The parts are interchangeable and I understand my current machine which is a brother 6000.
My 6000 was a great way to start 5 years ago, but I have put it through a beating.  It would jam and make multiple thread nests when going through thick materials.  I was hesitant because this was the same brand and not much more expensive but it had great reviews and I could always send it back if I needed to right?  I wanted to have it for over a week before I go back to school so I would have time to try it out before going back to school in the fall.  I have 6 days before I start work on Friday so I am going to play some more and I will let you know what I think then.  I have already made a Kitchenaid cover and will put pictures up soon.
This brings me to my to do list.  I have a Pinterest board of things I would like to do sooner rather than later.  I never seem to be able to finish a large to do list, there are always a couple of lone things that don't get done, which are then added to my next list.  My trick is to put more things there than I know I have time to do and set a number of things to get done from the list.  This gives me options and choices, which I need.  In other words if I have a to do list with 5 things on it I will probably finish 3 or 4 because at least 1 of those 5 things won't sound interesting to me at the moment.  BUT if I have a list of 8 or 9 things I would like to get done and set a goal of finishing 5, I will get 5 done.  It sounds stupid, but I think it is because I have a choice.  If I say I want to make a lunch bag, tote bag, wallet, car bag and cosmetic bag I won't finish because maybe I am just not in the mood to make the lunch bag, so only 4 of the five will get done.  If my list is longer I can choose 5 things that I am in the mood to make and 5 will get done.  Does anyone else have to trick themselves into getting things done, or are all of you just over achievers?
My sewing goal is to get 5 of the 9 things on the board done before the first day of school with kids on August 26th.  Do you want to know a little secret?  That goal contains not 1, but 2 tricks!
1.  I really only want to get five things done...
AND
2.  I really want to actually be done by our 1st teacher inservice day on August 22nd.

My tricks give me room to breath and actually give me a chance of reaching my goals!  My big summer goal was to deep clean my house from top to bottom and I only have 1 room left to go so that goal is going to also be easily met!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Open Wide Pouch, Lace Zipper Pouch and More Penn State Items



One of my best friends recently celebrated her birthday.  We don't normally exchange gifts, but she has had a rough year and I felt the need to do something.  I made her a Noodlehead wide open pouch, a tiny boxy pouch with an exposed lace zipper, a Noodlehead Penn State wristlet ( I didn't actually put pleats on this one) and a Penn State key fob.  I also threw in a couple tubes of Almay lip gloss that I got on sale at rite aid!

Sewing is a great stress reliever for me.  I do it at my leisure and am not really interested in doing it to make money.  I feel that making items to sell would put me on the pressure of a schedule and take some of the enjoyment out of my leisurely activity.  I spend a good bit on fabric and supplies, but I feel that it is offset by the fact that I am making gifts for a fraction of what it would take to purchase a ready made gift.  I think that people are very receptive to the items and are touched by the fact that I didn't just go out and purchase a ready made gift.
I also feel that the prices I would need to charge to be fairly compensated for my time would make the items cost prohibitive to buy.  I live in an economically depressed area of the country.  I enjoy my hobby and I want to keep it that way, so sewing for leisure it is!