We had lots of fun reading over all the wonderful questions you all asked on our pincushion party! giveaway post! Now it's your turn to listen to all of our answers. If you have any other questions, just shoot them on over! Happy reading!
I have a question…where do you come up with your ideas for the skirts, purses and such?
Truly, we think The Lord just brings them into our minds! Some of our styles come from classic movies, a dear friend, or from other types of things we sew. Actually, it doesn't take too much to get an idea from!
My question is: How do you make yourself finish the project?
Keep sewing till that project is done and only bite off what you can finish! Be careful not too take too much onto yourself, or you'll end up "burned out"! (Believe us– that happens!)
I have a really old machine my mother-in-law gave to me. It is really neat – in its own table, but doesn't work very well. If I get it "serviced" will it work better? Or is is better to get one of the newer machines now available?
We would think it would work better after being serviced, but it would probably never be as "user-friendly" as a newer model. Our machines aren't the newest out there, but work quite well. Also, how much you have to spend is a factor. (You can read about our sewing machine recommendations here.) If you decide to get a newer machine, use your mother-in-laws as a pretty decoration!
My daughter and I have also recently sewn a two-sided, flannel baby blanket. We were thinking about adding a silky edge to the blanket. Babies seem to like that feel! Are there any concerns about mixing the two types of fabrics? We haven't worked with the silky material before. Do you recommend a particular type? We did pre-wash the flannel.
We have mixed different types of fabric before with success (for instance, vintage chenille and new cotton) and we wouldn't hesitate to use the silky binding on PRE-WASHED flannel (– as flannel is notorious for shrinking!).
Your skirts are so cute. Do you think a beginning seamstress could make one, or should I just stick with the pincoushion?
If you have made a few other things, then you shouldn't have a problem with the gracie ruffle skirt. But, if you've never sewn at all before, you might want to start with the pincushion or a simple apron.
Any pointers on putting new thread on a bobbin? (Or is that the kind of thing you'd need to show in person?)
Showing you in person is definately better and since we can't do that, we'd suggest you re-read your manual for tips or pointers.
I would really like to get a new machine, any suggestions on a good one that is not too expensive?
Try eBay for a "Janome Jem Gold". They are about $199 and are sturdy and user friendly. (More on that here.) One of our Jem Gold's has been used for about 7 years, with no trips to the sewing machine shop!
my ? is this: what age would you begin teaching young girls how to sew?
We think a young girl 5-7 years old can learn to use a needle and thread and a 6-7 year old girl on a machine (with supervision).
How do you store all of your fabric and patterns?
We had to laugh over this as storing fabric is always a trial for us. These are different ideas that have worked for us in the past (depending on how much fabric you have on hand…) —
~rubbermaid tubs labeled on the outside
~vintage suitcases found at a flea market (you can stack several on top of eachother)
~in under-bed storage boxes
~small pieces in baskets, hat boxes, etc.
~flea market dressers (of course, if you have bolts some just go on the floor!)
**Remember not to store in direct sunlight– it will fade easily! (We've learned that the hard way…)
For storing patterns—
~Office Depot boxes
~plastic containers just the width of one pattern
~cardboard boxes (made for patterns) from the fabric store
~dresser drawers (laying on their sides)
Do you have unlimited space? If so, you could try buying a real metal pattern cabinet from a fabric store. Nanny has one of these and it is simply marvelous!
I have a few questions 1) how do you find the time to sew?! When ever I have a project it becomes so time consuming and I have a hard time finishing (this could be because I don't have any formal training and I mess up a lot).2) Also, do you have any ideas of simple things I can make for my husband or son?
1) Of course, we love to sew and do it whenever we can! We set ourselves goals of other things to finish before we start sewing. Also, try working on projects that are in your skill level so it doesn't take so long to finish. Projects that take too long can be very discouraging for a beginner sewer!
2) Here are some of our ideas– quilts, blankets, pajama pants (we've made lots of those!), pillowcases, and stuffed animals.