August 14, 2017

Get Your Irons Ready - Shoulder Stand

As happens with so many of the things in my life, this one is no different.  Several years ago, the first time Carolyn came out to Seattle, she said to JB, and I quote:  You should make shoulder pressing stands.  I have one I bought and it's one of my favorite sewing tools.  Carolyn's post about her shoulder stand is here - scroll to the middle to see what she has to say about it.

Years passed - as sometimes happens - and in March, Carolyn was at the B&B for the first sew camp and she brought her shoulder stand along.  She put her head together with JB and they had a whispered conversation about sewing tools and wool.  Next - JB got online and ordered some pretty hardwoods.

JB then spent days drawing out the perfect arc.  Figuring out which tools to use to cut, then sand it all smooth.  The shoulder form itself is made from 1 5/8" oak so you have plenty of room to position your garment and press your seams.  JB used 3/4" thick hardwoods for the base and made sure that the stand was the same depth as the shoulder form.  The pieces are attached with coated decking screws so they won't rust with the application of steam.

The cover is made with 2 layers of wool batting and then 2 layers of bleached muslin.  It is tightly fitting and slides into place over the form.

Here I am using mine to help press a shoulder seam and applying a ton of steam.  This was the nicest and easiest sleeve seam I have set in a while.  No more futzing with the sleeve over my ham and finding the spot that matches the sleeve seam the best.  It just worked - and worked well.

AND - because the form is the same size as the base, I could 'roll' the base to get all the way around my sleeve without repositioning anything.

We currently have 5 shoulder forms available.  They are $40 each plus postage and will ship in a flat rate box.

This is "Form #1"  The shoulder form is oak and the base is made from honey locust.  The base measures 7" x 5 1/4".

SOLD - This is "Form #2."  This shoulder form is oak.  The base is made from flame maple and measures 6 3/4" x 5 5/8" and all of the corners are rounded.

SOLD - Form #3.  Again - the shoulder form is made from oak.  This time the base is made from mayan walnut.  This is a heavy tool.  The base measures 6" x 5 1/2" and all corners are rounded.

SOLD - Form #4 - Oak shoulder and Flame birch base.  The base on this one measures 7" x 5 1/2" with rounded corners.

 SOLD - Finally Form #5 (like my system for keeping track?).  Shoulder 5 is made with a curved oak shoulder shape and a flame birch base which measures 6 7/8" x 5 3/4".

If you are interested in purchasing any of the shoulder stands available, please either leave a comment with the stand of your choice or send me an email at:  gmariesews at gmail dot com  please make sure I have a way of contacting you.  I will send an invoice via paypal and ship the next business day.  At this point all but #1 have been sold - thank you all!!  Also, I've been advised that there is more lumber and they can be made quickly- so if you are interested, please email or comment and I'll send photos as new stands are finished.

August 9, 2017

Pony Up!

Oh my gosh!  I started writing this a week ago.  I thought I actually had a draft post here - but no, all I had was a title.  Figures.  :\

Anyway - when the Pony Tank by Chalk and Notch was released back in early June - what?!  I managed to win Pear Berry Lane's instagram give away!  Whoot whoot!!   I was so excited.  I bought that pattern and entered my code faster than anyone knew what was happening.  But then what happened?  Well - life got busy.  The B&B was non-stop from mid-June right through to the end of July.  

I had a taped together and traced pattern sitting on my cutting table, along with fabric.  I just needed time.  Well - I finally found that time.  I think I spent about 2 days cutting the top out and sewing it up - not because it took that long - but because I only have little chunks of time to sew now.  

Anyway - the fabric I used was (honestly) probably not the best for this pattern, but I don't care.  I love it.  It's a heavy cotton spandex knit and I have no idea where I got it.  There was between 1 1/2 - 2 yards and there is still a little piece left - which I'll save for when Miss Eleanor is big enough for these huge polka dots.  

I made my usual alterations to the pattern while tracing it.  Which is just to take 2 1/2" out of the back length for my incredibly short back (or sway back).  

Once I found the time to sew this up - it took no time at all.  JB didn't get a good close up of the neckband, but this baby has the prettiest v-neck that I've ever managed to accomplish. 

There is a dress length also included in the pattern, but I can't decide if I want to try it or not.  I'm getting more comfortable wearing some of my work dresses in the B&B for breakfast service but they are mostly the knit dresses and have a bit of waist definition.  But who knows - you may see a dress version of the Pony Tank pop up here in the future.  

What's your favorite thing to sew these days? 

June 30, 2017

Carriage Corner Sew Camp

Just setting up the Sewing Space/Living Room
So, when we were looking for a bed and breakfast to call our own, one thing that was really important to me was a space big enough to hold sewing retreats.  The first B&B we seriously looked at had a huge beautiful common area - but that property needed more work than we had money, so we kept looking.

As we wandered around Carriage Corner, I kept wondering where we could set up tables and create a comfortable gathering place for sewists.  I played with the idea of setting space up in the garage - I mean there was a fridge in there - but honestly - it's a goldilocks space. (either too hot or too cold!)  Carolyn came to stay for a few days just after Christmas and we wandered around the B&B looking at space.  And then because she's a friend, we hung out in our personal space and did a little bit of sewing stuff (although we rarely seem to actually turn machines on).

It was agreed that the best place to have a retreat was in my sewing space/living room.  We are very lucky with the property we found - you see, many times the Innkeepers live in a room and we have an entire 2 bedroom house - which is accessed from the office.  It's easy enough to bring the dogs in and out through the front door so they aren't around the sewing room when we do retreats.  And - there is a kitchen, powder room, and tv - I mean, what more could you want?

Because our personal space is accessed through the office AND we are able to shut ourselves away in our bedroom - YOU are able to stay up as late as you like sewing or start early.  I keep the office door open to make the space more accessible and will show all 'campers' where light switches, plug ins for irons and remotes are at the start.  We more all the 'regular' furniture out of the space and have a folding tables set up in a large square to create community.  Both the cutting table and the dining room table can be used for pattern work and cutting.

So - we hosted our first sewing retreat in March and has 3 people attend.  Click over to the B&B Blog and read my 'why' behind hosting sewing retreats.  With 5 rooms in the B&B all having queen sized beds, I figure our max attendance is 10 people.  But I'm finding that even if you are really good friends, many of you don't want to share a bed with someone.  Fair enough.  So that puts us at 5 attendees.  BUT, two of my rooms have pull out beds with really nice mattresses on them - so that gives us 2 more people or a total of 7.

We are planning our next sewing retreat for July 21 - 23.  We start by meeting at the B&B around 10:00 am if you haven't stayed the night before.  I will serve coffee cake while I'm getting organized to drive to Fabric Mart.  While we go to FabricMart - JB will stay home, bring your luggage and sewing supplies in.  Once we get back to Carriage Corner, your stuff will be set up and you can get right to sewing.  I'll prewash any fabric that you need from your purchases.  Friday evening dinner will be 'happy hour' style with appetizers. Again - click over to the B&B Blog for the full schedule of weekend events - but basically, once we get back from FabricMart - it's all sewing, all the time.  Except for eating.  I hope you'll consider coming out and sewing sewing me.  I have a block on the rooms until July 6th - so if you are interested in attending - read the details, and then give me a call to reserve your room.

*and this will be the end of me schilling for the B&B on this blog.
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