Saturday, February 18, 2012

HAPPY SATURDAY!!!!  Today I am launching my newest Etsy shop - BeesHotPads!  Hot pads or hot mats are FABULOUS!  They allow you to take your baking dish straight from the oven and set it right on the hot mat!  You can use hot mats on your dining table!  The heat resistant batting deflects the heat away from your surface.  You can use hot mats for your flat iron and other hot hair tools!  You can even iron on hot mats!  I have made several custom counter-top sized ironing hot mats for people who just didn't have the room for an ironing board.

Cool, right?  I do ALL my ironing on a hot mat.  Seriously, I do - and I have quite a bit of pressing to do!  In fact, I made Hot Mats because I really do not like ironing boards.  They are so CLUMSY!!  Or maybe I am...

Bee's Hot Pads also offers ... fabric placemats!  Very pretty, really useful too.  Rectangular and round placemats and table runners too, sets of 2, sets of 4 and custom orders of course.  I will be adding more of everything as time goes by!

On another note, remember that leopard fur from last week?  Well, my mistake, it's actually called OCELOT!  Even more intriguing, isn't it?  Well, you know I am going to line that fur vest -- and today, the lining arrived!  I am SO stoked!  What's so special about the lining??  I'll tell's 100% Silk and super nice!

Have a fantastic Saturday everybody :D

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Good Morning!  I have been busy with so many things, I like it that way too!  SO, back to our mongolian camel fur vest!!!  We are about to trim (with scissors!) some fur from around the armhole edge....

Here is our armhole.  We have to clean this up!!


Once again, use the wide tooth comb to straighten out the fur. 
THEN, carefully comb some fur to the outside edge, try to get about 1/4".  Be patient, this takes a little time.
Enter the SCISSORS!  We will carefully trim away the fur on the outside edge.  Leave a little fluff, we want it to look nice once it's turned over.
Here's what the armhole will look like after trimming the fur.  Follow this step for both armholes.

We can put those scissors away now!

Once the entire edge is trimmed, turn the vest so the wrong side is facing OUT.  Turn over the hem and pin it in place!
 Carefully stitch the hem, smoothing out any fur beneath as you go.
Turn the vest right side out - OH NO!  We can see our stitching!  That's OK!  We can take care of that!

Using a long needle or common pin, gently lift several strands of the fur (from the outside of the stitching line) and pull them through the stitching.

Continue to do this all around the armhole edge.  Go around again if you think there should be a little more fur out from under the stitch.

The key here is - just take a little fur at a time, and work gently and slowly.

The finished armhole will look like this!  No stitching in sight!

Repeat this step for the other armhole.

We will perform these very steps to hem the front openings also, so go ahead and get started!

Working with fur can be time-consuming, but not too difficult and, it's WORTH IT!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

And now for something COMPLETELY DIFFEREN

This young couple from Boston is starting out in the music business.  Both are qualified musicians and are quite talented.  Take a listen...

Encore Dyad - Lauren Remmers and Kenny Kominic 

Like them on Facebook

If you are in the BOSTON area and are looking for performers for your coffee house, wedding or  get-together, give Encore Dyad's booking agent a call at 617-444-9305.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Saturday Afternoon everyone!  It's SO cold and windy outside today, luckily I have plenty to do inside!  Well, let's get back to our Mongolian Camel fur vest!!  We are about to put the side seams together.

These are our front and back side seams.  We need to do something about the fur - it's in the way!
Here we go, not as silly as you may think!  Using a wide tooth comb (which can be found locally for a dollar or two) comb the fur away from the edge.  Do this on both the front and back seam edges.  This fur was very cooperative!
Much neater!  Combing the fur doesn't take very long, and works very, very well.

Now both sides have been smoothed out with the comb.  Time to put them together.  Match the front side seam to the back of the vest at the underarm first, and then match up the rest of the seam right down to the hemline.
Lay the entire side seam out straight.  You might have to tuck the fur inside as you go along.  You might not!
Pin the edges together, like so!  YAY!  We're ready to baste our side seams together!

Start stitching at the armhole and work your way down the side of the vest, removing the pins as you pass by them.  After the basting is finished, it's time to run a machine stitch to the outside of the basting.

If you choose, there are several ways to finish the seam - I used my overlock machine to finish the edges off.  No worries if you don't have an overlock machine, once you've stitched it on your regular machine, the seam will stay nicely put.
Here is the outside of the side seam, with the armhole showing at the right.  Can you see our seam?  Neither can I!!  Success!

At this point the vest is in one piece and can be tried on, always FUN!

This vest just happens to fit ME!  So, I put it on and checked it out and showed it off to whomever was in the house!  Everyone liked it!

Okay, we're getting there!  Next we're going to turn the armholes to the inside of the vest and stitch them down.  We'll do the same for the front edges and the hemline.  Then, we'll add the collar!  We are also going to break our first rule of sewing fur - we are going to use the scissors!  Can't wait!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I am so excited!  Today we are going to begin on our faux fur vests!  They are all the rage these days you know.  SO, whether you can make your own pattern or use a purchased pattern, here is a FAB tip for you - just lay your pattern onto your fabric and don't pin it, keep it in place with -- weights!  I use everyday objects, scissors, pin cushion, empty jars or coffee cups.  You can, of course, purchase small weights made especially for this purpose.

First, one must understand that we cut fur on the fabric side, not the fur side.  And, never use scissors!!  Use a utility knife, box cutter, something of that nature.  It's super important to only cut the fabric, not the fur!

Here's our Mongolian Camel Fur!  It is pretty long fur and I thought that might make it difficult to work with, but so far I see that the long fur makes it easier to work with.  Bonus - it doesn't shed much either!  This particular fur is really soft, reminds me of a pretty kitty we call Fluffy.
Here are both sides of the fur.  You always want to cut on the fabric side, not the fur side.  Why?  Because cutting the fur will make your finished product look like it has a bad haircut...
Here's a tool for cutting your fur.  This is a simple utility knife available most anywhere.  This Mongolian fur backing was a breeze to cut, even curves!

Okay, so we have our pieces cut out, now what?  Well, decide first if you are going to line your vest...I have decided not to line this Mongolian fur because the fabric side is softer than you can imagine and looks pretty good too.   

Whether you are lining your vest or not, you can go ahead and attach the front to the back at the shoulder seams.

Smooth the fur down as flat as possible.  Because this Mongolian fur is so long, that was easy.  If you're working with shorter fur, you may need to poke it down with your finger as you pin along the seam line.

So, here it is!  Do this for both of your shoulder seams, then, get stitching!  I think I might hand stitch this vest.  I mean, only  hand stitch -  no machine!!  Therefore, when I am 'basting' my seams, I am going to make all of my stitches close together and finished, just in case.  Otherwise, you don't need to be so precise with your basting stitches.  The point of basting everything before you sew on your machine is to keep the fur from slipping out of place (and it will)!

Remember that awesome Leopard fur I mentioned earlier, well, here it is with it's shoulder seams done:

Great stuff isn't it?  This leopard fur is much shorter than the Mongolian, so I kept poking the fur into the seam while I pinned it together, and again if I needed to while I stitched it.  I really didn't need to do it that much.
Nice and neat, even I was impressed.  If you want to, you can get a good bit of your basting out of the way all at once.  I did.  Might as well, right?  You're sitting there with the needle and thread anyway so what the heck! 
Here's the outside of this leopard fur with it's shoulder seam together.  I think it looks pretty nice.  If you are going to line your vest, and I am lining this one, here's where you stop!  Next step for this vest is to sew the shoulder seams on the lining, then put it all together! I really can't wait for that!

Later I am going to put the side seams together on the mongolian fur vest!  I'll keep you posted!  Oh, and a super important note:  CLEAN YOUR SEWING MACHINE, especially after sewing fur!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Good Morning and welcome to my blog!!  Bee's Quality Garments has been up and running on Etsy for ten months now!  YAY!  I started the shop with a variety of hand sewn items such as Stash BagsAprons, cute little Baby Bibs and my near world famous Hot Mats!  Bee's has evolved over time to include more women's clothing and accessories such as Infinity Scarves, Leg Warmers, Jumpers and Outerwear

SO, with that in mind, Bee's is becoming an actual Women's Clothing Shop!!  Don't worry though, we will still offer our Hot Mats in our new, soon to open shop BeesHotPads! This new shop is scheduled to open in another week or 10 days (that's quite a schedule,isn't it).  At this shop, along with the hot mats, I will also have placemats!  I can't wait to get it going!!!

I also plan on opening another shop - if you can believe that!  YES! Bee's Bags!  I love making those drawstring bags, pajama bags, wine bags, holiday gift bags and handbags!  Woo Hoo!

Right now I'm working on faux fur vests!  Slightly messy but worth it!  I'll post a few photos when the sun comes up!