Vernon Fashion Studio’s Blog

Archive for August 2010

Earlier this month, Gwen at All My Seams (link in sidebar) posted about having gotten a neat pincushion from Susan Khalje’s website (also in Sidebar), so I had to go look. Now, I wasn’t really very interested in a pincushion but definately was interested in a few other things she had for sale.

As you can see, I did buy the red pincushion and I like it but I need to lose a few more pounds for it to fit more comfortably. I also bought samples of her Sleevehead material on the left and her Petersham ribbon on the right. They seem to be exactly what I looking for so I will place a bigger order soon.

In the middle is the black Balduc tape. This is used to mark your dressform for draping. It is a thin twill like tape, similar to a shoestring. It isn’t easy to find. Over at The Sewing Divas ( again the link is in the sidebar), Georgene’s latest post talks about looking for this tape in Paris. Not an easy thing to do there apparently. She was eventually able to find it and in Blue and Red colors. She calls it bolduc band but I don’t suppose it makes much difference whether we call it tape or band.

On Project Runway we have seen the designers using a narrow sticky tape to mark design lines on dressforms and I have found a supplier of that. Atlanta Thread has lots of sewing items available online, including things we have seen on Project Runway. I haven’t ordered from them yet so I can’t speak to their service but they are definately worth a try, if you are looking for something you can’t find in your area. I have looked for this tape in my travels with no luck so I will be ordering some tape soon.

Just an aside, also in Georgene’s post is the new Clover chalk pencil set. I have one and I love it. My students love it. It is well worth the money. You should be able to find it in any fabric store.

So coincidences happen in Blog-Land. Interesting that the trip took us from the US to Canada to France and back again. What fun!


Hi Everybody! I just got back from a weeks vacation to Billings Montana. Some of you may wonder why anyone would go to Billings for vacation and it is a fair question. And the answer is “The Grandson” of course…oh and his parents too.

The first days driving was grueling. It is 95% two lane from Vernon to Spokane. That took us about 6 hours. We stopped in Spokane Valley for about an hour doing some shopping at JoAnn’s and Krispy Kreme and gas of course. Then it was east on I-90 forever. We drove to Butte for the night. That was about 5 hours plus we lost an hour crossing into Montana from Idaho. The best thing was getting Papa John’s pizza that night for dinner. It has been years since I had it and it was as good as I remember. The next day was a quick 3 hour race across the state to Billings.

Coming back we had a shorter first day and stopped at Krispy Kreme again and at Macy’s and Nordstroms Rack at the mall in Spokane. I bought a beautiful new purse at Macy’s and a Michael Kors watch at Nordstroms Rack. Hubby got white shirts and black pants for work at NR. We got some great deals.

There was a bit of a problem with the location of our hotel in Billings. The location was  across the street from the Copper Colander. It is a fabulous kitchen store. It was so good, we went in 4 times. We spent a good bit of money there. A small portion was for the grandson but most was for us. I don’t know where I’m going to put some of it. I might need to get rid of something.

The Grandson, Gavin was so much fun!! We didn’t really know what to expect so we were very happy to be greeted by a very excited little boy. My daughter Jen arrived on Friday and his other grandparents were in town on Saturday. Gavin was beside himself with joy! By the time we read his bedtime story on Sunday night, he was ready to implode. We were the last to leave and I hope his parents have been able to ground him again. School started today. He is in Kindergarten. His 5th birthday was Monday. Life couldn’t be better for him.

We took him go-karting for his birthday. What fun that was. The two seater was a bit under-powered so I tried to make the corners as exciting as I could. He was hanging on to my arm, yelling “Go Grandma, Go!”.  Well I didn’t need any more encouragement than that!

So all in all it was the perfect vacation. Family, shopping and pretty scenery. Who can ask for more.

If anyone lives in Billings and has pets, next Sunday in Terry Park, my son will have a blessing of the animals, Methodist church service, at 10:30am followed by a potluck. You can go even if you don’t have pets. Tell him his Mom sent you! You will enjoy the service, I promise. Wish I could be there.

So now it is back to everyday stuff. I have a dress to finish in the next week or so. Then I will finish the summer jacket so I have it to wear this fall. There are some new projects on the back burners and the new grandbaby to sew for, so it should be a busy fall. Stay tuned!

A few months ago, I attended a presentation by Liz Thompson, the Janome Educator for western Canada, at the local Janome dealers store and on impulse, I bought a 350E Embroidery machine. Liz talked a lot about the wonderful things you can do with embroidery machines and I wanted to try it. So I bought the least expensive machine to try out this new way of creative expression.

Luckily, hubby was intrigued with the machine also. I think I posted about him embroidering two shirts for our grandson. Unfortunately, since then the machine has just sat there getting dusty and taking up space. We both were interested in learning more about the machine but we haven’t had the time to do much.

Findlay’s, my local Janome Dealer, hosted Liz again on Thursday, for an all day embroidery machine class! I have been so looking forward to taking this class for the last few weeks. There were probably a dozen women and one man there looking to learn more about these machines we bought. There was a good mix of 350E’s and 11000’s plus the gentleman had the MB-4.

In the morning, Liz went over the software options and how to digitize using Digitizer MB. In the afternoon we embroidered an apron:

It says “Will cook for shoes”.  The design is from Janome Canada.

For those not familiar with machine embroidery, this shoe is made with a fabric applique. First it embroiders the inside of the shoe, the peep toe and the heel. Then it sews on the fabric, using an appropriate sized scrap stitched down and then a satin stitch over the top. Between those two steps you trim away the fabric right next to the stitched line. After the satin stitch you then trim any fuzzies outside the satin line. It is very cool and the machine does most of the work while we chatted and browsed around the shop.

I ended up buying Digitizer Jr. and a pair of $16 (on sale) Janome Embroidery machine scissors that did a fantastic job of cutting away the fabric of the applique. Better than my $34 pair of Gingher embroidery scissors. 😦

Now, some instructions for applique designs have you cut out the design in the fabric first then applique it on. While that might save you from fuzzies, it is very laborious and I have better things to do with my time. I bought a kit for an appliqued quilt, not long ago, that has you cut out the pieces first. The only time you might want to do that is when you need to fussy cut to very exacting measurements. I am not sure I can be that fussy. I think that quilt gets added to my project list. I can do it concurrently with garment sewing since two different machines are involved.

I also bought a new iron for the Studio. One problem I have is students who don’t stand the iron up on its heel and scorch my board cover and/or their fabric, particularly the kids. My Rowenta that has been with me for 10 years is needing to be retired from regular use. Liz had asked Lois of Findlay’s if they carried that iron that has Auto-lift and they did and Lois showed it to her. Since I was standing nearby, I watched too and was amazed! An iron that lifts itself off the fabric when you let go of the handle! When you grasp the handle, the iron settles back down on the fabric.

It is the Oliso TG 1600. It has 1800 watts of ironing power! The kids can’t scorch things! It stays on for 30 minutes! These are all really important things to me. And we all know how important pressing is to the success of any sewing project. You need a good iron. I look forward to using it.

Guess that’s it for now. Housework awaits me. Hubby is working late tonight so it is a late dinner. Have a great weekend!

I got into the studio yesterday and had a great time. First off the temp wasn’t too bad outside so the AC was able to work well inside and keep me cool, even when the iron was on. The space I rent is one of 3 sections that share environmental controls and I am the only one renting in there now. So if I want AC I have to go over before hand and turn it on or sweat until it gets going. When it is really hot, it just doesn’t seem to work well.

Secondly, I finished my curtains for the front door of the studio.

I really liked the throw in the front cover of the current issue of Sew News, so I used it as inspiration for making a simple and quick curtain for the door of my studio. The fabric is Project Runway fabric I got off Ebay last year. I had a made a small project out of it so I didn’t have strips of 24″ left so I cut up the fabric into 8 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles and made strips. The back is more Project Runway fabric. I bought the solid fabrics from Fabricland.

Your looking at it upside down. It says “Make it work” and other similar sayings. Yep I am a Project Runway Fan and I still haven’t figured out when the new season starts here in Canada.

Gigi over at Gigi Sews shows us her incredible topstitching skills in this post. No matter how hard I concentrate, I can’t get my topstitching as perfect.

But I did better this time. This is a breast pocket on a shift dress which is my current project. I am not a big fan of breast pockets but decided to put them on this dress just for something different and the challenge. Matching the print so the pocket disappeared was a fun bit of work. Wonder Tape helped hold it in place while I topstitched.

I am very excited about taking a class on how to use my Janome 350E Embroidery Machine, on Thursday. I have had the machine for several months and haven’t done much with it. This class should get me going. We will make an apron. I will post a picture.

Facebook is an interesting way of communicating. I seldom post anything about myself on my wall but I am a Fan of Janome, Threads, Sew News and Simplicity. They post some interesting information, hints and tips and projects.

One of the things I never thought to do was call the pattern companies when there seems to be a lapse in the instructions. But apparently they have wonderful people who can help in those sticky situations when you can’t figure it out for yourself. Simplicity says, “our consumer relations staff are available by calling 1-888-588-2700 (toll-free within the U. S. and Canada) Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, EST. You can reach them via email at

I will be back in the studio this afternoon to work some more on my shift dress. I altered the pattern to be a zipper front from a button front. Today is the day to make that work.

Diet update: I have been bouncing around the 25 lbs lost mark for the last couple of weeks. Hubby has made fattening deserts the last two nights. Since I won’t be eating anymore of them, he will happily finish off the leftovers. It can be very frustrating to do all this bouncing around but I am learning to accept it as long as the trend is a general decline in my weight. I don’t have any big deadline for losing the weight just that it needs to be done. And I am not suffering from being on the diet. Infact, I rather enjoy it. And I feel better these days. My old eating habits were making me feel bad.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!