Let’s Talk Sewing Machines

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I have four sewing machines. 3 Janome and one Singer. Well, actually one Janome is a felter only.

The sad part is….. I don’t use any of them. 😦

I have to make a coiled fabric item by the end of November. For our November Challenge in the Crafters’ group I belong to. Last year I made a few baskets/bowls and a couple purses. I really enjoyed it.

So, sewing machines have been on my mind.

Until recently, I had only sewn on two sewing machines. My mom’s. It was a portable Singer with a snap-on carrying case. I sewed on it constantly during my teen years. She even let me take it to college for one semester.

Then, about five years after getting married, hubby surprised me with a brand new top-of-the-line Singer. It was the Cadillac of its day.

Here it is.

Singer Touch-N-Sew. Around the 70’s. It has parts and attachments I never did learn to use. Classes were offered. None of which I bothered to attend.

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Right now it is hidden away in a spare closet. Out of sight. I want to donate it to charity. Or toss it out. But every time I mention that it needs to go, that I need the space, hubby’s mood turns sour. You see, as he tells it, he worked overtime for months to buy it. Paid cash. I understand all that, I really do. But come on!! The 70’s!!

So, if you are keeping count of the machines I own, that is Sewing Machine #1.


Here’s #2.

Janome Memory Craft 10001.

I have had this one for about four years. Got it as a retirement present. To myself. It does a lot of stuff. Most of which I am clueless.

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Number 3

I bought this little baby Janome at the same time as buying the 10001. Called Sew Petite. Just to have. I didn’t think I would ever use it but did. Once. When #2 needed bobbin winder repairs. It works fine. Nothing fancy. Sews straight, zig zags and winds bobbins.

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Number 4

Janome Xpressions, a felting machine.

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It works GREAT!! From what I saw in the store over 3 years ago. Never used it. Just took it out of the box to photograph it. I am so glad all the parts were there. A bit late to be thinking about returning it. Anyway, I have several machine felting instruction books. One day soon I am going to try it.


My desire is to be a Three Sewing Machine household.

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BUT… how do I convince hubby to let go of #1?

Barbie Fabric Bowls or Bags

Thursday, August 13

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Barbie Fabric Bowls?? Well, they started off as round bowls. But along the way to the finish line they turned into handbags. Purses. I am thinking slumber bag for the larger one and going to grandma’s for the smaller one.

I would carry the larger one even knowing it was made from Barbie fabric. It’s not that obvious. Bet you wouldn’t have guessed it, if I hadn’t told you, huh?

I have a bit of hand sewing left to do on the smaller bag. Dreading it. I can’t use a thimble, my fingers won’t hold onto one. So, I have to tape my fingers to reduce pricks and that slows me down.

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The larger one was a challenge. I wanted to put grommets on the sides so I could string the straps through but neither me nor hubby could get the darn thing to work. The two parts would NOT mash together and hubby is pretty strong!! I am returning it for a refund. I ended up using silver split rings. Looks ok to me. I reinforced the area so it is strong enough to hold the usual weight of a ladies purse. Strap can be carried doubled or long.

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The smaller bag has two 4″ Marbella rings for handles.

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It also has a pocket inside.

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It doubles as a bowl to hold all those little girl things. Just fold the top down. Oh yeah, the larger bag also doubles as a tall bowl to hold all those big girl thingys. 😀

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There’s lots more Barbie fabric left. About 6 yards. Maybe I’ll make more bowls. I have an idea for a placemat and coasters. Doll size. For playing house. Or a border for a picture frame.

Lot of ideas. Just need to sit, sew and create.

Fiesta Bowl Time

Saturday, August 8

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Whew!! Done!! This set took longer than the other fabric bowls due to the hand sewing needed to finish off the ends. Coil ends on the two bowls. And fabric “blending” on the coasters.

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I think these fabrics work well together.

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The pictures hardly do this set justice. I did my best to capture what my eyes see.

And this is what I see…..

Larger bowl, smaller bowl (coaster caddy) and 8 coasters. Colors are red, purple and green. Starting at the top of each bowl… Red fabric has tiny white hearts. Purple floral with red, green and white.  Bottom fabric is an avocado print.

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Again, I put my own spin on making these fabric bowls. I have a hard time “following”. I have to be out front leading the band.

At first I planned to use larger rings for handles (see photo below) but didn’t have enough of the purple and red floral fabric to make a huge bowl like I wanted.  (And I ended up not using the solids and lavender tiny print.)

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So… going smaller meant different rings. I like how these little 2″ round Marbella rings look. I may make another set like this in a different color combination.

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Here are more photos…

Figuring out how to wrap the rings.

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Bottoms Up!!

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Let’s peek inside.

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And one last photo.

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Go here for instructions to make your own bowl.

http://www.craftstylish.com/item/33825/how-to-sew-a-fabric-bowl

10 Tips For Making A Fabric Bowl

Sunday, August 2

OK, so I am not an expert in making these fabric bowls. Yet. But I have made five of them and think I have learned something from each one.

Tip 1. Take the time to cut fabric on the bias. Sure it will take a bit longer but the finished look will be cleaner. You can thank me later. 😀

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Tip 2. Cut strips 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ wide. Saves on wrapping time. You can cover more of the cord with wider strips and not worry about them slipping off and uncovering the cord as you work.

Tip 3. Don’t waste any fabric. Sew smaller strips together before wrapping.

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Tip 4. To save on wrapping “preparation” time, you can sew longer strips together. Wrap them around your hand to create a nice circle and secure with a paper clip or binding clip, as I have done. Unwrap when needed.

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Tip 5. Use a binding clip to hold fabric in place every 6 inches. Even if it looks tightly wound around the cord.

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Tip 6. For a different look, mix or match up the strips. Sew several rounds with the same fabric/color. Then change up and sew several rounds with a different fabric/color.

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Or sew every other strip with a different color/pattern. Change up to see how you like the outcome.

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Tip 7. Be creative when ending the coil and work it into the design so it doesn’t stand out. (Here I used a crochet flower and a button to hide the ending.)

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Tip 8. Not sure how much a clothes line costs but I have to think I am saving money by using 8mm (thick) macrame cord. I bought 100 yards on sale for $5 and this is how much is left after making 3 bowls. (Photo showing a full roll and the left over roll.)

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Tip 9. Wind 2 or 3 full bobbins before beginning to sew. You will use two for sure. It takes a lot of thread.

Tip 10. Experiment with your sewing machine’s zig zag stitch before beginning your fabric bowl. Length and width. Make a note of which setting you like best. So your stitches will be consistent. I am not positive but I believe I am saving a bit of thread by spacing the stitches farther apart. Plus I like the look rather than smaller tighter stitches.

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So… those are my 10. As you make your fabric bowl, please do come back and share yours with us.


Go here for instructions to make a fabric bowl.

http://www.craftstylish.com/item/33825/how-to-sew-a-fabric-bowl

Fabric Bowl #3, More Fall Leaves

Monday, July 27

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I really LOVE the fabric in the middle. I hope I can find more.

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It has a wine background with tan, cream and reddish orange leaves. I want to make a flat mat and some coasters with this same pattern as the bowl but I am all out of it.

This is my 3rd fabric bowl and they are getting easier to make. I shaved off an hour making this one. I tried to follow the same design as the 2nd one.

But I did make this one a bit taller AND notice the handles. Completely different from the others. I made the handle from four rounds of coils and then I hand sewed them to the sides. The buttons cover the beginning and ending of the coil.

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I REALLY like how this came out. It has a cleaner look. I cut the strips on the bias for this one and #2. I am still using macrame cord instead of clothes line. 8mm cord. I have enough left of this roll for 2 more baskets.

It takes LOTS of thread. I start off with two full bobbins wound from one spool and a 2nd spool in the machine. I end up running out of bobbin thread right about near the end. If you make one of these bowls, make sure you have plenty of thread.

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It is sooooo much prettier than these pictures show.

Measures 11 1/2″ diameter and 5″ height.


Go here for instructions to make your own fabric bowl.

http://www.craftstylish.com/item/33825/how-to-sew-a-fabric-bowl