Friday, July 30, 2010

July Sewing Group

Wow, for it being Summer and most everyone coming in and out on vacations, we had a good turnout. There was room for more ladies, so don't be shy reply to the evite! If you want to get evited email me your email address!

I had four students doing 3 different projects. The project for this month was this See & Sew Pattern - rats the picture didn't get the pattern number - No biggie I wouldn't recommend it to a beginning or intermediate sewer anyways.

Two of the ladies sewed my toned down version of this bag, plus they didn't like all the pockets so we condensed it to two pockets. This project added another item on my to do list, they would like me to repattern it and write easier directions. I've added it to the list ladies, can't promise how long it will be.

The bags turned out great!:

They are still a little scared of making button holes so I do those from them on my machine.

Then the creative skirt, I had done a class were we did A-line skirts with a yoke and then a couple of months ago we did a Gathered Skirt on a waistband. Well this skirt is a combination of the two. The yoke from the A-line skirt, I had her pattern in the computer from last time so I just reprinted it. Then we did the math to figure out the size of the square needed to gather into the yoke.

It turned out Great! Very Creative Portia!

Then my little sister was making a baby blanket for a baby shower. We machine embroidered the baby's name on it and she then just put the front and back together and added Satin Binding. She wasn't liking the mitered corners, but she's got it down now!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sewing Groups

I find that it's easy to finish a project when you have someone to hold you accountable to the project.

There are groups for everything - Sewing is not the exception. There is even a nation wide organization that one can join with local chapters. The American Sewing Guild. And for those that want to join a professional group there is the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals.

But what I love the most are small groups I love teaching the group I host once a month I forces me to pick a project and do it.

There are also Online groups to help keep you inspired and motivated.

This one I love:

And then there is a very unique sewing group that I've just come across during my 31DBBB adventure:

She puts out a questionnaire about a couple of items to sew and then they choose which the group will sew - then they sew and check in on her blog. I haven't had any spare time to join in. It looks like a wonderful group to jump on into!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Falling behind

Well I started out the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge ok. Then I got sick - every time either one of these little one's gets sick - I get sick - there mom doesn't - why do I!!

I have been a walking zombie since Friday. Every minute I get I go to bed even if it's just for 10 minutes. Even today I'm still walking around with head and chest congestion and not hungry at all - If you know me at all - that means I'm really really sick! My sister in law brought over some mexican bread and I didn't eat any.

I'm feeling a bit better - especially after I've just sweat to death helping my husband mow 3 yards, our front and back and my mom's back yard! That's a lot of over grown grass! It all looks much better now.

I'll get back on track with my challenge by the end of the week - I hope! The last time I posted on the SITS Blog Frog community was day 5 I think. I recall trying to work through Day 6, but it just wasn't working (my brain that is)!

I will (with everyone's help) Build a better Blog. This is a task I want to finish!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cochenille Design Retreat

Every year Cochenille Design Studio and Susan Lazear host a Design retreat. This year we will be back at the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort, wonderful place. They gave us a room rate that is almost half there usual rate.

It will be September 10th to the 12th, 2010, If you have the weekend free and will need to relax after getting the school year started again. Join Us!

Day 1 Field Trip: San Diego Area Friday, Sept. 10th
Meet at 9:30 a.m. This day will involve exploring various studios, galleries and shops to get inspiration, and to pick up goodies (if you desire) to use in your projects. We will visit an assortment of the following: • Wearable Artist Studios• Fabric and Trim stores • Yarn Store(s) • Other related and inspiring venues

We did this 4 years ago and it was great, there were about 15 ladies and we visited so many local artist and great Art places in San Diego, that I didn't even know we had in the area! I look forward to driving around town with a good group of ladies.

Day 2 Accessory Design Susan Lazear Saturday, Sept. 11th
On this day, you will learn some of the basics of designing accessory items. In the a.m., Susan will show you how to draft patterns by hand or by computer (using Garment Designer) for purses, totes, hats, non-traditional scarves etc. She will also teach you the art of draping a contoured belt on a body. After lunch, students will choose one or two accessory items, and create patterns for these to use the following day.

Susan Lazear is a Professor of Fashion at Mesa College in San Diego. She teaches fashion courses in- cluding Patternmaking, Draping, and Textiles. Susan designs wearable art, and is a computer graphic artist. In addition to her teaching she writes books and articles for creative audiences. She combines her skills in the development of a line of software for the textile arts, developed under the Cochenille Design Studio name.

I learned a lot of what I know from her wonderful classes at San Diego Mesa College. You do not need to be an expert and because Susan is teaching Design principles you can apply them to either sewing or knitting. You don't have to own our software everything she does on the computer you will show you how to do it by hand. Plus you don't have to be an expert all projects will be step by step from start to finish!

Day 3 Construct and Embellish Linda Medina Sunday, Sept. 12th
Linda Medina will teach you various methods of constructing and embel- lishing (whether knit or sewn) accessory items. You will be exposed to a variety of techniques, and may choose which ones to incorporate into your project. In addition, you will be encouraged to make samples of multiple techniques so that you can later pull from them to develop further projects.

Linda Medina is an artist and designer. She has made custom and one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories for many years,and teaches needlework, sewing and knitting. Her knitwear designs have been in all of the major knitting magazines and many books. She introduced a line of knit and crochet patterns under “Medina Originals” in 2009 and plans to add cross stitch and nee- dlepoint designs in 2010. Linda’s work is included in the International Friendship Tapestry in Iceland, private collections, and is in the permanent collection of the White House.

These two wonderful ladies are ready and willing to show you how to make some wonderful accessories and how to make them stand out.

I'm the Admin to all of this - so if you have any questions or you want to Register or just would like more information. Call me: Sonia 858-259-1698 Mon - Thurs 9:30 to 4 PST.

Past Retreat Post

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Learning to Sew

There are 5 Basic steps to learn to sew:

1. Learn your machine. The best way to do this is to read the manual that came with your machine. If you have purchased a used one you can do a search online and most major companies have PDF manuals on there websites. If you are very new to sewing it's going to feel like you are reading a foreign language, and guess what you are. Every craft or Trade has it's own jargon. Don't worry about it, just read it the first time from cover to cover, not intending on knowing it all. What will happen is that as you sew your projects you'll run into things you have to do (like sew a button hole) and you'll remember where you read it and it will make more sense when you go to use it. If there is something that really confuses you and you really want to know what it is, do a search. There are lots and lots of Free online resources that will give you the answer to anything!

Manual search results

Sewing Bias Tape search

2. Learn to read and buy a pattern. To a new sewer a commercial pattern is going to seem like Hieroglyphics and again that's because they are. A new language that you have to learn. This one is easy, because it has pictures. I believe the best way to start is with PDF patterns from self published people. Most self published patterns have more detailed directions and step by step illustrations. Unlike commercial patterns which you will soon learn never fit, Self published patterns have a higher 'good end result' because there reputation rest on your satisfaction.

Search result for Reading a Sewing pattern

search result for Buying a Sewing pattern

Etsy search result for Sewing patterns.

3. How to choose your Fabric. There are endless choices of fabrics, and not all fabrics are the best choice for you every project. Even though you really can use any fabric for any project, don't limit your creativity just because a book or a website told you that is not the fabric for that project. I've used Upholstery fabric for skirts. As you work with different fabrics you'll come to know each fabrics Pro's and Con's and only with time be able to visualize in your mind the outcome of a project sewn in a particular fabric.

Search results for choosing Fabric for Clothing

4. Learn to Cut your fabric and Pattern Pieces.. Now you are ready to cut! There is a right way and plenty of wrong ways to cut fabrics. Yet at first I would start with sewing pillowcases, Aprons, Bags, and other small projects where the cutting isn't going to make a difference. So that you have time to get comfortable with cutting fabric without it effecting your projects end result.

Search result for cutting fabric

5. Sew! Then you sew! You will want to practice sewing Straight lines, square corners and curves. (I had some handouts for this - I can't find will continue looking until I find them and post them here as PDF's.) This takes practice. Again Start with simple projects so that you don't get disappointed with your results.

Search Result for 'Sewing Corners'

Monday, July 19, 2010

31DBBB Day 1: Write an Elevator Pitch

When the wonderful Nirvana Mamma posted the questions of BlogFrog 'Does any one want to join me in doing the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook'. I thought that could really help me find me focus. Since there is no focus in my life right now.

To be honest I didn't find a focus, but I did find a better way of wording a tag line and my About Me section so that people have a clue as to what they might be getting by visiting my blog.

My new Tag line: My all over the place life, as an all over the place crafter!

This tag line has some how given me focus, and the freedom to really express how all over the place I really am. I seemed to have been holding back, because I would think that things that I was doing didn't fit in - so I wouldn't post about them.

My new About me: I am Sonia Barton I taught my self to sew at the age of 11. I then picked up on other crafts such as quilting, cross-stitch, embroidery, stamping, scrap booking, beading (I'm sure I'm forgetting a few) And I taught my self how to knit by hand and machine a few years ago. I love doing and teaching all these crafts.

I work for it's a company that produces Software for textile artists. Garment Designer for creating Sewing, Knitting or Crochet patterns. Stitch Painter a grid paint program for Knitting, Crochet, needlepoint, weaving, cross-stitch and other gridded crafts.

I have a Degree in Fashion Design with this degree came lots of dreams, I worked with a couple of High End Designers in San Diego, I then started doing Custom Bridal and Formalwear, and I have currently moved into starting a PDF pattern line for Beginning sewer's. This is some of the all over the place stuff - that consumes my all over the place Life!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hilton's Waikoloa Village

This is the last Hawaii post - I promise. While in Hawaii we stayed at Hilton's Waikoloa Village it is so large and so much stuff that if you didn't rent a car you could stay there the whole week and have a great time. This place is so large that there is a tram and a water boat system inside the Village to take you around the resort.

They have a Dolphin pool:

They have a Lagoon where you could snorkel and swim with the turtles - FYI there are eels in the Lagoon so don't go to near the rocks, one of the life guards there showed us his eel bite marks on his back.

There is lots to eat My favorite eating place was the Kirin, I love chinese food:

I had pictures of food at this place and Jackie Rey's from the previous post but I can't find them, I think I lost some pictures.

The one big thing I loved about the resort is that it is a Museum the whole thing everywhere you look there are small collections of art. It was wonderful.

And they did have golfing but none of us golf so I can't tell you anything about the golfing.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Black sand Beach

You might have guessed from my previous post - I like driving around. Actually I like driving period, anywhere anytime. I've driven from CA to Tennessee and back Twice. Loved it.

In our driving we came across Black Sand Beach, I had heard of it, but hadn't put it on our calendar of places to go visit. I'm glad we came across it. It is actually quite a sight. It is fine sand, black as black can be. It is interesting to think that the large rocks of lava could be so finely crushed to become the only sand on a large portion of the coast. Very beautiful.

I also ran into a Wal-mart. Well to be honest I hate Wal-mart and the whole big company consuming small business in every town they establish a store. But they are the Kings of Regional Merchandising! I have worked Retail since I was 16, Mervyn's, JCPenny & Macy's. I made friends with all the Department Managers I worked with, first because they were nice, but mostly because I wanted to know everything about there job and see if it was something I wanted to do. I realized I didn't. But I did learn a lot, and Regional Merchandising is done in all national chain stores. Some do it better than others.

Wal-Mart is king! You can walk into any Wal-Mart in a tourist region or near an attraction and they will have souvenirs of the local place. I walked into that Wal-Mart and you could find anything 'stereotypically' Hawaiian. We bought our souvenirs and kept wandering - I always visit the craft area, and this time I scored Big!

I found local stamps - at that point I was hoping I hadn't waited to the 2nd to the last day to go, and almost out of money! I almost wanted to skip dinner.

I didn't and I'm also so glad that I didn't skip dinner we went to Jackie Rey's in Kona it was so delicious, I had the Mahi Mahi.

(sorry, I'm missing some pictures - I hope I didn't loose a memory card!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Yay, I got to spend a whole day in the Valcanoes National Park. It was great!!! From Kona it was a 2 1/2 hour drive in the speed limit is low between 25 to 40 all the way there, and the road is really curvey. You go from sea level to around 4,000 feet.

If you visit I suggest you stop at the Visitor center - there they have maps based on how much time you want to spend in the park. We spent all day - which I thought would be enough to see everything and do a nice long hike, but it wasn't. We just had enough time to drive around to all the sites.

There was a community event at the park it was great lots of local people and crafts!!! We didn't stay long, but did get to see everything.

Then we followed our handy dandy map and went to the Sulpher Banks:

Jaggar Museum:

But because of High amounts of Sulphur dioxide gas in the air - we had to back track as half of the circular road that goes around the park was closed.

The coolest part for me was the Thurston Lava Tube! When you start driving to this area it looks like you are driving in one of the scenes of Jurasic park! My daughter kept saying it would be cool to prank someone with a life size T-Rex and I must admit that would be funny!

Once you get there you have a nice hike ahead of you and it's a bit steep. There is a good long part of the Lava Tube that is lit and has a walk way, then there is a part where you can either get out of it or keep going to a not developed part of it. We had our flashlights an were prepared so off we went Spelunking again!!! It was really really dark, we were able to get some cool pictures by shining both flashlights onto the surface we wanted to photograph.

We then got back in the car for another long drive to the 'End of The Road', This is a spot where Lava flowed over the road and consumed the whole area on it's way to the Ocean. It was wonderful a really amazing site!

On our way there we stopped at a few of the 'craters' on Craters Road but they weren't to exciting they are now filled with foliage. We had hoped to be able to hike to the Petroglyph's but it was .7 miles in and out and we were running out of Sun Light. We did see a few Petrogyph's (I know I have pictures but can't find them, sorry)

I was so glad that we didn't hike the Petroglyph's Trail - or there was no way we would have been able to see the Holei Sea Arch and enjoy it in the Dark.

That was the Day - My Day!

Warning: Come prepared! You need sturdy shoes, Long pants if you don't like funny things touching your legs, Lots of water, and Flashlights, it gets dark out there, really dark way up in the mountains with no city lights anywhere to be found!!



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