list of additional pages, click on any one to view

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Using the Fringe Foot to embellish almost anything

The Brother Fringe Foot

I was going to use this foot to embellish a dress but I changed my mind and want to decorate ithe dress another way, but I still thought it worth while demonstrating how to use this foot as I absolutely love it. I fully intend using it to embellish a Chanel type jacket where the fringing will look fabulous.

The foot I used is the Brother FRINGE FOOT  (Ask Jaycotts for other makes)
This foot is not only perfect for embellishing pockets, lapels, table linen etc but also sews tailors tacks in a jiffy. This is fabulous for tailoring projects when I want to sew tailors tacks down all of my seams, it is much quicker than doing them by hand. Ask me if you want to know how to adjust the settings for tailors tacks.
You can see that there is a raised bar down the centre of the foot which you need to  zigzag over to form loops which are then cut into a fringe.

It is so  easy to use. Snap the foot in place, select a wide zig zag stitch and select the settings. You need a very wide stitch but make sure that the needle position is such that it does not hit the metal foot anywhere. Try the stitch very carefully to make sure it is ok.
Then you need to select a very short stitch length because you need the stitches to be very close together so set the stitch length to about 0•6  then loosen your tension to 2 or 3.
Stitch a row of stitches  - or a pattern ( heart, flower, etc) and fasten off.

Then take your normal foot and a short straight stitch and sew the fringe down close to the top.
With your sharpest scissors snip the threads on the reverse and then using your finger nail loosen the threads on the right side
The fringing can be trimmed if necessary

You can make several rows or just one, you can make a frame for an initial or emblem, above all this foot is FUN so treat yourself to one and have a play with it, it is so very easy to create eye-catching and different effects with it.

There is a video on my YouTube channel showing you exactly how to use it, the link is here The Brother fringe foot if you subscribe to my posts by email.

Whilst you are in my page do subscribe. I fully intend making a lot more video's for you to watch as I think it is always much nicer if somebody shows you how to do something.

Don't be afraid to experiment with your sewing, there are a lot of different feet available to fit most sewing machines, doing something a bit different really adds to the fun of sewing and you will be surprised at how quickly you become expert.

For details of sewing machines, feet, or indeed anything sewing related do contact Jaycotts. They are extremely knowledgeable and friendly and enjoy explaining how to use their products.

Please Contact Jaycotts here or just give them a call during opening hours on 01244 394099

Thank you for reading this post


#sewing #sewingmachine #machinefeet #fringefoot #embellishing

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The Sew Over It EVE dress.

A MCBN post for MinervaCrafts

If you are new to sewing then a wrap dress is a great place to start. This one , the EVE dress by Sew Over It has no darts, no zip and no buttons. Perfect.

It is a very pretty feminine dress with plenty of swishy movement in the skirt. The beautiful cotton Lawn fabric makes the whole thing very elegant looking .

Sew over it are vintage inspired and if that's your style this pattern is for you. Do read the whole post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network The Eve Dress

I would love your feedback and questions


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A pretty, easy to sew, new season Simplicity blouse - Plus "Found My Wagon".

This is a pretty little blouse which I made with Simplicity 8601. Just in case you do not have an overlocker, or don't want to splash out on four bobbins of overlocker thread in a colour you will not use much I'll talk about the Overedge foot too.

Simplicity 8601

You know that I like to tell a story if I can and today I have a story to tell you about a real showman's wagon which has an (in part) happy ending. You never know, you may well be the person who finds the missing pieces.

Anyway, first to our sewing project. This is a new pattern and don't you just love it.
The pattern is Simplicity 8601 which is a collection of easy to sew tops.

This pattern is suitable for all levels of sewers and I really appreciate that the back of the pattern envelope shows the finished measurements in addition to the size guide. Always take time to take your measurements , wearing the type of underwear which you are likely to be wearing underneath the top - it does make a difference

I decided to use this beautiful  Chiffon fabric which was given to me - more about that later as it is connected to the wagon I was telling you about. Chiffon is quite slippery and it frays and snags so unless you have some sewing experience with it I recommend using a lightweight cotton, cotton Lawn for example. Cotton is much easier to sew.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

The Brother Multi-Purpose Screwdriver

Introducing the Brother Multi-purpose Screwdriver

I love Machine embroidery on my Brother machine, but I have been having problems hooping my fabric and stabiliser .

This is a story about how a tiny gadget saved my sanity.

I  love machine embroidery, who doesn't, but  the results I was getting were so disappointing, all this puckering, it just doesn't look nice.

It is just spoiling the effect of my designs. All that work I put in and the results are not good. What is happening?
Have you ever experienced this?

Everything starts off fine, the fabric and stabiliser are stretched tightly across the hoop, but then after a while it all starts to look wrong.

I tried everything and in the end I asked Brother themselves what I was doing wrong.

The solution they gave me was so simple! I don't know why I didn't see it for myself!

You see, these are the tools which typically come with Brother machines. They are used to tighten screws, change needles, tighten embroidery hoops and a zillion other uses. They work fine for most people yes......
But they are so tiny! I struggle to use my hands so  I cannot grip them properly Maybe you have this problem too ? I know my friend has arthritis in her hand and I have Parkinsons, so trying to hold  such a tiny object and fiddle with tightening screws is an almost impossible task. As I have grown older my fingers are less nimble too making it doubly hard work.

It is important that the fabric to be embroidered and the stabiliser under it are secured very tightly in the hoop otherwise the fabric will move around resulting in the puckering shown in the above  pictures. The lack of grip in my hand meant I was not tightening the screw in the hoop sufficiently, giving very poor results.
 So, what is this mystery solution?

It is this utterly brilliant and simple Multi-purpose screwdriver! Who would have thought that such a tiny object would revolutionise not only my embroidery but make little jobs on my sewing machine so much easier too!
The metal screwdriver part is easily rotated to make it suitable for all your needs.

The first position shown in the picture above is so useful for jobs on all your Brother machines. Embroidery machines, overlockers and sewing machines all have screws that need to be tightened.

Take my   BROTHER Innov-is 1300    for example. Sometimes I want to remove the foot attachment and swop it for a different one.  Old screwdriver? Fiddly to hold.
Same with changing the needle, a bit fiddly too.

But with the multi purpose screwdriver set at position 1 both of these tasks are a breeze.

Sometimes there are screws in hard to reach places and I find  the little round gadget which came with the machine so hard to grip.  The result of which was that something which should have taken me seconds to remove was taking forever

But put the multi purpose tool in position 2 and it is so easy to access even the most awkward screw!

Now this is the bit I like best. Rotate the screwdriver bit untl it is inside the rounded end and you will be astounded at what it can be used for.

Just insert it into the tightening screw on your embroidery hoop and turn, keep on turning and suddenly your embroidery hoop is tight and secure and all this without struggling to use a fiddly little tool. I have the BROTHER Innov-is 800e embroidery machine from Jaycotts

Your stabiliser and fabric will now stay put because it is so very easy to tighten the screw properly - no effort required!
And that is the secret of smooth embroidery - keeping the fabric firmly in place in the
hoop without it moving at all.

No puckering around the embroidery on this little pillow! 

And perfectly flat pockets

No puckering to spoil the applique on this pillow either!

You will now be as excited as I am and be wondering how to purchase this wonder tool!
It is called The Brother Multi-purpose Purpose Screwdriver and it is available from your nearest Brother outlet priced £14:99 and worth every penny!

So go on Jaycotts website or call in store and treat yourself. Brother Multi purpose screwdriver

Any queries? Contact Jaycotts for help and advice on any of their products

Honestly, it makes life so much simpler, not only for people whose hands don't quite work as well as they once did, but for everyone.

Who would have guessed that I was struggling for so long but that there was a simple solution just waiting to be discovered

Thank you for reading this post


Saturday, 28 April 2018

Explore some different Brother Sewing Machine feet and make a fab blouse

This is a blog post

Starting to explore different machine feet.


As you know I recently started to use the Brother Innov-is 1300 .If you have not yet read my first impressions of this incredible machine then I urge you to read the blog post. Introducing the Brother Innov-is 1300

I do have rather a lot of Brother machine feet to get through so I am going to go through them all for you one or two at a time, showing them being used on a garment or other project.

The pattern I chose to make is McCalls M7657
The fabric is Plain combed cotton Lawn from MinervaCrafts
This top is tunic  style which pulls over your head. There are two sleeve options but I adapted the pattern to make the sleeves in a different style.
You will need Gutterman Sew All thread in white
You also need a new Sewing machine needle For Lawn I would choose a Fine one. This link is to a large box of machine needles which is great value but they are also sold in smaller packs.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

What it is like living with Parkinson's

People continue to be surprised that I have Parkinson's, I have written about this before ,and I hope that this new post will be useful if you either have Parkinson's or you know someone with Parkinson's

Parkinson's does not define me. It is not who I am. I love my life, I live it to the full and I am bouncing with health. 
This is purely to answer people's questions an how you can help somebody newly diagnosed

I would not have life any other way. 

First of all, what is it?

I have young onset Parkinson's YOPD which is different to the  Parkinson's we normally see in older people who shake a lot.

It is a chronic, progressive neuro-logical disorder affecting movement, speech, body language, handwriting and swallowing. Approximately 120,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s disease and around 10,000 people will be diagnosed each year.

Although the majority of those diagnosed will be aged over 60 years, one in seven will be under 50 years and one in 20 will be less than 40 years. The term ‘young-onset Parkinson’s disease’ is used to describe the development of Parkinson’s disease symptoms in individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 years.

The lack of awareness that younger people can also develop Parkinson’s disease has sometimes meant that we can experience difficulties obtaining an accurate diagnosis or finding appropriate information and support.

We can feel isolated and alone.

The loss of  dopamine results in loss of a lot of our communication skills, and has a marked effect on all aspects of my life and relationships with other people.

Difficulties with communication, loss of self-esteem and feelings of embarrassment (because of eating difficulties, walking, writing etc) makes people like me withdraw from social life, which leads to isolation and lonliness.

 Fatigue, anxiety and stress, common features of Parkinson’s disease , can also be contributing factors to feelings of depression and sadness.

Our lives have changed dramatically and not for the better.

We rely on drugs to treat the condition which must be meticulously timed. Lack of awareness about side effects and the on-off syndrome causes misunderstanding too. We can often complete a task when "on" - when medication is working -  but unable to perform the same task when "off" - medication not working or worn off.
This makes us appear difficult.

 Lack of facial expression or freezing of the facial muscles can make us appear sad or dissinterested and leads to losing friends believe me!
Having YOPD is doubly difficult because all services and support are geared towards the elderly with little for younger people.

Do please take time now to watch my YouTube video 
If you receive my blog posts by email you need to either visit my blog or go to this link     YouTube video   to find it.

If you watched the video PLEASE do! And please share it, you will know that I had a fall last week, which is common. I broke my lovely overlocker , which is now temporarily held together with sticky tape. Thank you to Brother who are repairing it for me

I also damaged my much loved Horn sewing cabinet, so thanks to Horn who are repairing it for me.

The far reaching results of random acts of kindness like these cannot be stressed. We none of us know what is around the corner, so whoever you are and whatever you are doing please stop right now  and make that phone call, send that card before it's too late. We all have the power within us to make another person happy right now.

If you have just been diagnosed or are close to somebody who has, there is life outside Parkinson's, it's not the same life, but it's a good life still.

Here is another YouTube video explaining what it is like after diagnosis 

Many blessings