Oh my leather…
I had never ever sewed anything that was leather. I was sure that it was going to be ‘too’ hard, so I resisted it like mad, telling those that called that I could not do it.
Then one day a lovely gal that I had sewed for before asked me to fix her husband’s chaps. She was such a sweetheart, that I thought surely I can do this. They needed new zippers, so I quietly said yes. And I didn’t die putting in the zippers. I was saved for another leather experience.
Next this young man who is a Veteran, asked me to put these patches on his vest. I said ‘sure’, this time with more certainty. I did the smaller ones first, getting my Bernina to work with me on this. They turned out very nice. It then became time to confront that big circular patch for the back.
It was about 16″ across. I tried to push a pin in at the top and bottom to steady it somewhat, but I could not puncture the leather. It was some very tough leather. I asked my 24 year old son to help me by putting 2 larger safety pins in to hold it in place, as it had to be positioned in a certain way. He had the strength.
That worked fine, though the sewing speed was probably faster than a turtle after a bad night of drinking. Very slow, but it turned out great. And the young man was a happy camper.
This past week I had the honor of replacing a zipper in a 20 year old USA jacket. This time, as a seasoned zipper-putter-inner, it worked out fairly smoothly, with only a small amount of ripping.
Leather…well, while it isn’t fast work, I now know I can do it, and can get a good result. And I am pretty sure I am much less expensive than just about anyone else around. So guess, it is all good.
I made a custom car seat cover for a Chicco car seat. This was not easy. I made a pattern out muslin, sewed it together to see if it would work. Some parts did, others did not.
When I finally was satisfied with the pattern, I cut it out of the fashion fabric. I backed it with a thin fiberfill batting as I wanted a level of softness under the baby in addition to the padding that comes on the factory cover.
Decided on the fabrics for the various pieces, made the cradle for the baby to use when it is itsy-bitsy, then made the covers for the straps & the handle.
The lovely young mother-to-be was estatic. Her momma gave it to her as surprise at a shower. I received nice thank you from the new mom-to-be as well as the grandmother.
Now, I am busy now making additional blankets, burp cloths, boppy cover–this new young baby boy is getting all set up.
I have the pleasure of creating for a gorgeous new baby boy that is on his way, due March 1st. As you know, there just aren’t things out there for boys — as most everything is designed for girls.
All the boys stuff is dull, colorless and drab. Well, this ingenious grandmother got busy on a quest to find some whimsical fabric and we have created a great upbeat tone for this new arrival.
I made taggie blankets for the first time. You ask, what is a taggie? I asked the same question. Well, you know how your babies loved the tags on their stuffed animals and when you’d look, the tag was in their mouth, because they just loved the tag.
This was the birth of what is called a taggie blanket in the marketplace. Easy to make — just requires about 1/2 yard of 2 colors of fabric — prefer washable satin as one side (as baby’s love the satin) and the other side can be your fashion fabric. Then add loops of about 6-8 different ribbons all along the sides, folded double so there are not raveling edges.
Here are some of the ones I have made.
Next, a blanket for the crib and bumper pads was made in this same whimsical fabric. Such a cute fun place now for this new baby to look at the colors, feel the various textures and just open their world up to their beautiful new journey. Hope you enjoy.
– Patience – there is often much ripping out of mistakes and doing over in sewing.
– Organization – A seamstress is surrounded by items that require organization; patterns, tools of the trade, such as bolts of fabrics, threads, measuring equipment, books, etc . . .
– Accounting knowledge – the individual seamstress might have to keep her own financial records. A seamstress also has to be good at math to perform the precise meauring tasks involved and to avoid waste of material when positioning and cutting out patterns.
– People skills – working in an intimate manner with others, as a seamstress is often required to do, requires tact, diplomacy, courtesy and ability to communicate with skill.
– Attention to detail – A seamstress might even have to possess perfectionist tendencies, the need for attention to every minute detail is so extensively required.
– Reliability – An individual who aspires to be a professional seamstress must be able to fulfill promises and meet deadlines.
– Vision – Being able to visualize a finished product requires imagination and creativity.
Lisa Fible of Brady is a referral from a local client, and we have never met face-to-face. Lisa was pleased with my work on Anna Rocha’s prom dress and asked me to create a jacket for her to wear to her son’s wedding July 14th.
The pattern — well, there wasn’t one. She brought me a new jacket she had purchased at Macy’s that she liked and wanted me to create one for her just like it. Lisa and her best friend, Shirley Rocha, would then find the fabric and have it shipped to my home.
I made the pattern, created a muslin and we determined that it was fitting fine, and then the fashion fabric arrived. It was this lovely gray silk organza with these beautiful silver baubles sprinkled all over it.
Immediately I knew that it was going to be difficult to sew, as my Bernina would jump when it hit some of these baubles. Persistance won and this lovely jacket is debuted.
To say that Lisa is thrilled would be probably an understatement, but since her best friend Shirley Rocha and I have been instrumental in orchestrating this project for Lisa, due to her physical distance away, I think we have a winner.
Wedding is July 14th, and I am sure I will see the lovely Lisa Fible in this beautiful jacket, making quite the perfect statement at her son’s wedding.
Another wonderful, wonderful experience. I get to work with ‘the’ most wonderful people. It is such a pleasure moment in my life.
Thank you Shirley Rocha and Lisa Fible.
What do you do when your wedding is just around the corner and your dress is too small?
5-6 inches too small. Yikes! What now? There isn’t a way to say ‘presto’ and all of a sudden create more fabric to put in there, so that it will now zip up.
Here is the success for Julie Milligan.
She brought her dress to me a couple of weeks ago. She had gotten the dress off Craigslist for a good price, but it was too small. It still had the David’s Bridal tags, because I first told her to just take it back. But they do not take returns under any circumstances, even with tags still on. So somehow, someway, I had to pull magic out of my hat to help her with this beautiful gown.
To say Julie was in a panic when she arrived and was very stressed would be a huge understatement.
The only solution was to put in an inset, IF she could find fabric that would match. So I sent her off with a sample of fabric, the right color, and good fortune was on our side as she was able to find a perfect match and exactly the right weight of fabric to work in this situation.
I carefully made a pattern, added 1″ seams as there was going to be under stress as it was a strapless gown and it should fit snug.
I called her to come try it on, fingers crossed that it would fit and she’d be happy.
When she tried it on and it fit perfectly. Bust is now a perfect fit, and she is one happy girl now, knowing that she all set for her vow renewal wedding on July 7th.
Miracles still do happen. We made one occur in my sewing room.
Gary Schulte modeling his jacket. See the smile?
My latest alteration project: This Extreme Sports jacket for motorcycle riding.
Velcro kidney belts were all worn out. I took them out, replaced them with new 6″ velcro and then put them all back together. Fun, unusual project, but saved this young man $270 which is the cost of a new jacket.
He was very happy to not have to trash the jacket simply because these belts were worn out. Appreciation factor: Priceless
Here is what Gary posted on Google Business Listing:
Kay does stellar work, quickly, and at a reasonable price. I have brought some challenging projects to her–alterations and repairs to synthetic and leather motorcycle gear. Not only does her work look as good or better than the original, but it has proven durable through a variety of extreme conditions. The first time I met Kay, I had to have some cordura/ballistic nylon pants altered before a trip out of the country. She did the work the same day and did a fantastic job. I am glad to have found her and will certainly continue to bring her business.
Here’s a link to that to read for yourself: Click here
I made this dance costume for this lovely young lady, Joslyn. She is part of a dance troupe of 7 young ladies, and after I made her costume, I made another one for one of her dance buddies, Campbell.
Here is what Kristen’s mom had to say:
You are one skillful seamstress. It has made this process more fun and less stressful than I ever imagined. ~Kirsten Boyer
It was my honor to help Anna Rocha get her beautiful dress ready for the Hutto High School prom held this past Saturday night. When she and her mom, Shirley, arrived the previous weekend, the dress needed some help. The bodice was not fitting right, just too snug over the bust, and the fact that it was a strapless gown, it was not working at all.
The entire bodice had to be ripped apart, changes were made and put back together. A new invisible zipper was put down the back that matched perfectly, and it all began to come together. The fit was right and Anna was beginning to do the happy dance as it was now coming together as she had envisioned.
I made a custom slip to match the dress opening for the right leg. The slip made the dress hang better and gave a more natural flow to the entire gown.
And the pièce de résistance , was to find out that she was crowned the Prom Queen. Anna is a beautiful girl, inside and out, and I can see why the student body all voted for her. She is such a precious young woman.