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Believer, Daughter, Wife, Mother, Sister, Aunt, Registered Nurse, Seamstress, Crafter, Housekeeper, Cook, Baker, Gardener, Reader, Keeper of the chickens, Goat Herder, Homesteader, Thrifty, Usually sane, Overworked, Mom of 3. Thanks for stopping by - I appreciate your comments! ~ Angie



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Free Earrings, Anyone?

 I'm a big fan of Today's Giveaway blog.  I've won several prizes and she also posts recipes and reviews.  Yesterday, I came across this post reviewing stud earrings from Diamond Earrings.org.  To help promote their new website, they are offering free studs - just pay postage - in return for publicly advertising Diamondearrings.org.  Check out the details here!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meet the New Girls

This summer, I picked up this little beauty at a yard sale for only $15!  I instantly admired the gold decals and ornate silver-tone plates of this old Singer portable machine.  The motor has been removed but it still functions with its hand wheel and came complete with its original case. 

The Singer website is a wonderful source for dating your Singer machines and finding free downloadable manuals.  I found that this is a Singer model 127, manufactured in 1917 in Elizabeth, NJ.  It was a very common model, 1 of 25,000, and cost $100 new.  That is over $2000 adjusted to todays dollar!  I love the Sphynx-style gold decals, one of the most common on the model 127.  It was advertised as a "modernized" sewing machine since it came with an electric motor and featured a "vibrating shuttle" bobbin system.  That one cracks me up! 

I haven't decided yet if I'll replace the motor, buy a hand crank attachment or just leave it as is.  It's just so pretty!

The second little lady I picked up at my neighbor's yard sale a few weeks ago.  I saw it, went home telling myself I don't need it, then went back later that week to see if she still had it :-)  Once you see her I think you'll understand...

She's turquoise!!!  It is a 1960's model 1315 Straight Stitch Machine.  This one was a challenge to find info about.  I ended up calling Husquavarna/White Corp. to find a downloadable manual (back at the Singer site.)  This one also has all metal gears and is a workhorse despite only having a single straight stitch.  I actually wanted it for its small table to use as an end table in my front room.  Now that she's on display I'm having trouble putting it back inside the table.  It's turquoise!

These ladies join Jan, my cheap Janome, Brother, the 1034d serger, and Fritz, the Singer Quantum XL that needs a major service on its computer (but has all the great attachments).  I think I have a weakness for sewing machines?!  Keep your eyes open at yard sales and thrift stores...you never know what you may come home with :-)


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hoodies for Fall & PDF Pattern Makers

Whew!  This week flew by in a whirlwind of activities.  I did some sewing early in the week but just now got around to taking some pictures.  I decided to try a two new PDF pattern-makers for fall hoodies.

The first one I made was from Mani-Mina, the Chic Kimono for sizes 12m-5T.  The instructions were clear and the pattern was a breeze to sew.  I used a sweatshirt fleece outer and quilting cotton lining.  Fit was roomy.  I like that this pattern includes options for omitting the lining and hood.  This would also be darling lengthened into a dress. All of Mani-Mina patterns are less than $6, so a great value. Mally is now a 4t/5t so I'm hesitant to buy patterns that will only fit this year but really wanted to try this one and am glad I did.  I wish these came in bigger sizes, too!

The second hoodie I sewed was the Urban Unisex Hoodie from Heidi & Finn Modern Wears for Kids.

This pattern was sized for 6m-5t and another great value for $5.95.  Again, instructions were clear and assembly & sewing were easy.  Instead of fully lining this one,  I only lined the hood.   I used bias tape as hem tape along the neckline to hide those seams and it turned out great!  This one fits slim, so it won't last long unfortunately. I do really like the offset front seam and buttons and is why I chose this one.

I'm impressed with the number of great PDF pattern makers now.  When I started sewing boutique for my girls 3 years ago, the number of affordable PDF patterns available was very limited.  The first ones I used - and many of my old "stand-bys" - are from Whimsy Couture  and The Handmade Dress.

Some of my other newer favorites include:
The Sweet Shop /Little Print designs;
Lil Blue Boo;
Dear My Kids EasyWear - Some patterns through age 11 and many are unisex!;
Little Lizard King.
Photo from LLK - Elizabeth Claire Dress

And recently discovered
Mama Stellato ;
Photo from Mama Stellato
Sew Sweet Patterns ;
Photo from Sew Sweet Patterns
And Owly Baby - love the Yoga Pants!  Another fabulous site for instant download PDF patterns is You Can Make This. Sellers only get 50% of the sales price at YCMT, but it's a great place to shop for ideas or if you need a pattern now. Sign up for their newsletter and get dozens of freebies and hear about specials.

I know of many more great PDF pattern-makers but these are my favorite as a frugal - AKA cheap - seamstress.  Rarely will I spend more than $8 for a pattern because there are just so many more affordable options out there.  My plea to pattern makers is this: PLEASE give us more for big girls, big boys and women!!!  If you have other favorite PDF pattern makers, please share them in the comments or send my an email.  I also love to test patterns and would be happy to review in return for a blog post or two :-)
Angie ~ Mama Lusco
 Today's Creative Blog~Get your Craft On!

Whimsy Couture

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gathered T-shirt Tutorial

While browsing Craft Gossip yesterday I came across this great gathered t-shirt tutorial from Sneezerville.  Love this look and it seems really simple.  Definitely adding this one to my 'Projects to Try' list!
Photo from Sneezerville blog

Monday, September 13, 2010

Little Lizard King ~ Reversible Vest

Photos from Little Lizard King
In my sewing frenzy last week- 5 pieces in 2 days- I also tested LLK's new Reversible Vest pattern.  This one will work for your little man or woman.  Abby was really excited to "have a vest like Hannah Montana."   LOL! 

This was a quick and easy project - less than 2 hours from printing to finished vest.  She has a unique way of crafting the buttons to make this one reversible...you'll have to buy it to learn the secret :-) Throw together a flower pin and your little girl will be rocking...Little sister is having fun with this one, too!

This vest would look great with LLK's Small Fry Neck Tie or Double Layer Bow Tie.  Find more Little Lizard King patterns here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

DMK Warm Hoodie Vest

Last week I did a pattern test for Dear My Kids - The Warm Hoodie Vest. This one was for Abby and she chose a denim outer fabric with flannel lining. We were testing the Junior Sized pattern for ages 7-11. As always, this DMK pattern was well put together and easy to follow. Karen provides great images to help the process even if you're a beginner. As a visual learner, PDF patterns have made garment sewing so much easier for me than traditional paper patterns. If you haven't tried a DMK pattern yet, now is a great time because DMK still has a 2 for $10 special happening. Karen offers several patterns in bigger Junior sizes for your growing kids.

From An Igloo is hosting a sew-along for the Stylish Kids Coat...click the button below for details.  I loved sewing this coat!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Up For Another Challenge?

Elsie Marley will be hosting another Kids Clothing Week Sept 20-26.  Get the details here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pioneer Girl Costumes

Even though I'm over 3 hours to the nearest JoAnn's, I get their mailer and have my mom buy patterns and notions when they are on sale.  Labor Day weekend JoAnn's had $1.99 McCall's patterns.  McCall's are my favorite "cheap" patterns and while browsing them online I found costumes for the girls and I for Halloween. 
Won't these be fun?!  The first one is M4547 which I bought for Mally and the lower one is M2337 for Abby and I.  The corset is a little naughty and will likely be my choice :-)  What will you be sewing for Halloween?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Who's The Man?

I am! I've been quite a handy-woman this week. We are in our 4th home and I had never helped paint outside before this week, thanks to my very handy husband. We've been working slowly at finishing a new utility/sewing room. The exterior was ready to finish, so that's been my secret project this week. I've caulked, primed and finished painting outside! It's been fun to watch my family's reaction as they come home and notice what's been done while they've been at school & work. This weekend, we hope to finish the tape & texture and get the cabinets and closet in.

I've also been busy with my garden. So far, I've canned green beans, carrots, pickled beets & dill pickles and frozen corn and peas. Everything is late this year, so I'll have more canning to come.

I'm hoping to squeeze in more sewing soon.  Mally needs another jacket and pants. She's growing up so fast!