April 7th, 2013
Having had a little time on my hand during the wee hours one morning, I was curious to see if there were any apps out there for sewing related purposes. I was surprised to find these two apps that seemed useful, which I thought I’d share if you haven’t already discovered them.
Robert Kaufman’s The Quilter’s Little Helper – Essential Quilting Calculators
This free app has a these handy little quilting calculators helping you during those times when your brain just doesn’t function and you need to work out how much fabric you need for your backing and batting, how many pieces you need and much more.
Available for your iPhone and iPad.
Can’t remember what sewing patterns or fabric you have in your stash at home? This app lets you store and search your sewing patterns and fabrics. So when you’re at the store, you can quickly check what you have without purchasing something you might already have. The app is AU$5.49 in the Australian iTunes. It’s definitely one to check out if you always stop by your sewing shop on a whim and can’t remember how much fabric or notions you need for a particular pattern.
Available for your iPhone and iPad.
Have you discovered any other useful sewing related apps? or are is there one you’d wish someone would make?
February 21st, 2013
Lucky Lantern stocks Japanese sewing pattern books because I absolutely love them. They just ooze inspiration and style. And what you get for the price is fantastic. Unlike your traditional paper envelope sewing patterns where you get one or two styles of garments or accessories, they have multiple styles and some books can have up to twenty or more different ones!
A lot of people are scared to use Japanese sewing pattern books because they are all in Japanese. But you need not be intimated by them as they have great diagrams and photos. If you’ve made a few garments and accessories before, then you shouldn’t have a problem working through them. If you are new to sewing, I would recommend trying one that has been translated into English first. Hopefully Penguin who publish the English translated ones will continue to translate more titles.
Some have photographs of sewing techniques.
An English version.
A Japanese version.
The books come with full size patterns in the back. You need to trace the patterns and add the required seam allowance. Adding a seam allowance to the pattern is quite easy, especially if you have one of these nifty rulers, which comes with imperial and metric measurements. Once I’ve traced a pattern, I pop it in an envelope and label it so that all the work is done for me if I want to make another one.
If you need some help in deciphering some of the terms used in the books, check out Japanese Sewing Books and label-free. There are also loads of flickr groups showcasing items made from Japanese sewing books.
Once you’ve discovered them, you will be totally addicted! Check out Lucky Lantern’s range of books in the shop here.
February 8th, 2013
I’m in the middle of making needle books for all the different kinds of hand sewing needles I use. In this past year, I have absolutely fallen in love with embroidery – the modern kind, not your grandmaish type. And I noticed that two companies dominate the embroidery floss market – DMC and Cosmo. I have only ever really found DMC floss in shops in Australia, but I have noticed a lot of people in blogland use Cosmo.
I’m curious to find out if there is much difference between the two.
Do you have a preference when it comes to what brand of embroidery floss you use?
February 6th, 2013
This Chacopen water soluble pen is my favourite marker for sewing. It definitely earned it’s stripes when I made the baby blanket – I marked in all the lines I needed to quilt and then I simply went back and erased them all. I’ve never had any troubles with the ink not coming off – it erases without any dramas.
I’ve found water soluble markers are ideal for marking projects that aren’t going to be sitting around for a long time to be finished because if you do leave your project for ages and ages, the markings can fade. So I wouldn’t recommend it for embroidery if you’re going to be taking your time with your stitching.
Clover do make a water soluble pen without an eraser, but I love the convenience of having the eraser tip on the other end. The eraser tip makes it so easy to remove your markings without having to soak your project in water.
We stock the Clover Chacopen water soluble pen and you can find them in the shop here.
Have you got a favourite marker?