Thursday, October 29, 2009

Changing a needle while pleating

Debbi, you must be reading my mind! :-) I had already taken all the photos to explain how to change a needle when I read your comment.

Okay lets get to the instructions...............You are happily pleating a way when you hear the most dreaded of sounds to a smocker..........Crunch! :-(

Of course the broken or bent needle is usually in the middle of your pleating project. Before I would remove everything from the pleater and start over.

That was until I learned how to replace a needle in the middle of my pleating from Judith Adams at a SAGA convention a few years back. Yeah Judith!

The first thing to do after you hear the crunch is to clear the pleats off the ends of the needles. Okay just to be honest, the first thing I do after I hear a needle break is to talk to my pleater. I'll let you fill in the words..........

Elevate the front of the pleater with a spool of thread or a book.

Carefully remove the front roller bar from your pleater.

Without pulling all of the pleater needles off the pleater, carefully work the broken or bent needles out of the fabric.

If the needle broke in to pieces, make sure you find all the pieces.

As a matter of habit, I always knot one end of my pleating threads when I am threading my needles.

Slowly pull the unknotted end of the thread through the previous pleats. If you do not knot your threads then carefully pull only one strand of the thread through.

Remove the broken or bent needle and dispose of properly. I use an old medicine bottle with a Janet....... I mean child proof lid.

Re thread the pleater thread with a new needle.

Look closely at the needle holes left in the fabric. They will be important in getting the new needle in place.

Take your new threaded needle and weave it through the needle holes on the last pleat. Take note at the direction of the curves on the needle.

Push the tip of the needle into the needle slot and then lay the needle down into the corresponding grove.

The needle is resting on top of the rest of the pleats.

Here is another view.

Double check that the other needles have not come out of their needle groves. Place the roller bar back onto the pleater and secure it. It will be a tight fit. That is okay, just don't force it.

Take your pleater off the spool of thread now.

Slowly turn the handle of your pleater and continue pleating.

When your pleated fabric comes off the pleater there will be a few missed pleats where you changed the needle. That is okay. The pleating row above and below can show you where the pleats are. You could also back smock the area of missed pleats if you want.

Front of fabric

Back of fabric

I hope this helps the next time you have a broken needle.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Changing a needle on your pleater.

The post is being written for Kelly, who is having trouble changing a needle on her pleater.

I decided to share all the pictures I was taking for her because if she was having a problem then maybe someone else was also.

I am using a Salley Stanley pleater so there may be some slight differences with your pleater.

  • The first step is to tilt the front of your pleater backwards. You can use a book or as shown here, a spool of thread.

  • Next you will need to loosen the screws and turn the tab that holds the front bar. You do not need to remove the screws. If your pleater has pins then you can just remove the pins and place them somewhere where you can remember.

  • Next remove the front bar.

  • Your pleater is still tilted . If not your needles will all fall out. Been there done that. Don't want to do it again! :-)

  • This is what the pleater looks like with out the front bar.

  • Another close up.

  • To remove the needle, hold the pleater needle by the end and lift up and out. If you are removing a broken needle you will need to find the broken tip of the needle and remove it also.

  • Note the direction of the curve of the pleater needle.

  • You must use a pleater needle that has been designed for your brand of pleater.

  • While holding the end of the pleater needle, place the tip of the needle into the needle grove. Do not push or use force. Then lay the pleater needle down into the needle grove.

  • Repeat the process until you have place all your pleater needle where you want them to be.

  • After you are done, place the top roller bar back on. Check to see you have it going the right direction. The bar should roll back into place.

  • Tighten the screws or replace the pin. Double check that everything moves freely by turning the wheel of your pleater. You should be able to turn the wheel with one finger.

    You can also find information on customizing your pleater under the archives.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sew Beautiful #127

I just received my copy of the newest Sew Beautiful. Issue # 127.

As usual it is a wonderful issue just packed with eye candy. The cover is a embroidered needle case from Wendy Schoen.

I just took a 2 day class with Wendy at the SAGA convention. She told me she was thrilled that she made the cover. She deserves it!

There is also a pictorial by Maja Clayton of Maja's Heirlooms. And my friend Helen Lively has three dresses in this issue. Each one is just gorgeous!

In this issue I have a light weight denim jumper with a shaped smocked window. Inside the shaped window is my picture smocked "Cowboy Santa". The smocking plate can be found on page 63 of this issue.

The Jumper is a Martha Pullen A-line in a size 5.

Here are some construction photos I took while working on the outfit.

The jumper has a double ruffle. The lining was lengthened by 1 1/2 inches. One ruffle was sew to the jumper and another ruffle to the lining.

A dress with a hole in the middle of it.

Post script: I realized after posting this picture of the Cowboy Santa that this was the first version of what was in Santa's bag. I originally had a puppy looking out of the bag. I decided later that there were too many eyes looking at me. I replaced the puppy with wrapped gifts. Sorry for the confusion. ~j

I was so excited when Kathy B. told me they photographed the little model sitting on Santa's lap. Thanks Kathy! :-)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Halloween 2007

So now we come to Halloween 2007.

She is getting into the swing of things now. She was a witch that year.

Her dress BSY was from a royal blue bridal satin. She has a dress overlay of that sheer sparkly stuff at JoAnn Fabric.

The overlay was made from the same pattern. I also made a hood in the back of the dress overlay. But she would not put the hood up except at home. She also had a royal blue witch hat but she wouldn't wear that either.

But the dress had a twirl factor which is important. :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween 2006

After my daughter's first Halloween, we avoided Trick or Treating for several years. She was terrified of masks! We were dealing with enough stuff with night terrors, we did not want to push it.

It also did not help that stores seem to go more for the ghoulish decorations or that her school would put on a fall festival each year hosted by the 8th graders. It would never fail that someone in the 8th grade class would bring the Black Lipstick! :-(

Snow White with black lipstick is not appealing to a 4 year old. And they wonder why they didn't make much money.

The icing on the cake was when we had gone to a place that we love to eat at in the fall. It was the weekend before Halloween. All of the wait staff was dressed up in costumes. There was Raggedy Ann, and a princess or two and even someone dressed as a cat.

Who did we get as a waiter?................ The Dead Guy!

The waiter had his face all white with black eyes and again Black Lipstick. Needless to say my daughter spent the entire meal under the table. It would not have help to move to another table because she had already seen him!

The owner of the restaurant apologised and took her meal off the bill and we drove through McDonald's for her on the way home.

That was several years ago. We went to that restaurant again this week end. She had to check the calender first before she would get into the car.

Well back to the story...... This is a picture of her as a cat again 5 years later. I made the costume out of Polar Fleece. I was worried about her getting too warm but a Cold Front came through and the temperatures dropped into the 30's that night.

I had some extra fabric and made her a scarf. I turned up the ends to make pockets. She loved it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween 2001

I am working on a Halloween costume this week.

One think my kids figured out quickly was if they can dream it, I can make it! I have done Dragons and Power Rangers and almost every character in Star Wars.

I have even done some Quidditch robes for my nephew.

I'll have to dig out some old photos to share later.

This was my daughter's first Halloween costume. She was 18 months. She was so thrilled to have a tail! :-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Corn Maze

Last week I took my Girl Scout troop to a Corn Maze at a local farm.

The corn maze covered 15 acres. It took us about an hour and a half to go through it.

The family that has this Corn Maze donates all the money to their church. They said it is a lot of fun to go through at night with just a flash light!

I had always wondered how they make a corn maze. They said they draw the design for that year onto graph paper. They sowed the entire 15 acres in field corn.

When the corn was about 3 inches tall they would go through the corn field with a mower and cut the design into the field. They would repeat the mowing 3 or 4 more times over the next month or two until the walking paths were clear.

We were very appreciative that they also went through the maze with a grader and made the paths smooth.

This is a picture of two of my assistance Toni and Ida. I also have a Co-leader Tracy. She was blazing the trail at the beginning of the group.

After a while we discovered the secret to a corn maze. You let everyone else go first. Then when they are back tracking because a dead end you know not to go that way! :-)

Everyone thinks Toni and I are sisters. She is exactly 13 days older than me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Convention Raffle baskets

First off , these pictures do not do these Raffle baskets justice!

There were about 80 baskets at the convention this year. Everything from a sewing machine, to a hand made quilt, to sewing accessories. Each basket was just unbelievable.

These baskets are donated by different smocking guilds and smocking groups like the Delphi ladies. All the money that was collected goes to SAGA to help fund different programs.

These tables circle the entire room displaying different baskets.

The only thing bad about this is I have yet to win a basket..........Maybe next year! :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Home from the Convention

I am home from the Convention. Now the hard task of putting my sewing room back together.

I want to show you some of the pictures I took at the convention. The first thing is all of the Wee Care gowns!

There were over 1000 garments donated at the convention.

These booties, bonnets, day gowns and bishops were donated to a local hospital in Indianapolis.

Every item was just precious!

To be continued..................

Friday, October 2, 2009

3rd day Smocking Convention

Well Today is the 3rd day of the SAGA convention. We are in Indianapolis, IN.

I made it through the Design Show. I was awarded a Judge's Choice for my little boy's romper "Duck, Duck, Goose".

Today I have been in Tess Ellenwood's class "Little Bittty Bunnies". It was a very sweet design for an doll dress or for baby clothes.

This afternoon is one of the highlights of the entire convention.......Market! There are 20 vender's setting up in the ballroom right now. The doors will open in about 30 minutes so everyone is pacing the hallway. :-)

I always start out the same saying I only need to buy one or two things. I end up with shopping bags full of goodies.

Well, I better end now and go join the mob that is forming in front of the doors. It is sort of like the day after Thanksgiving shopping but it is all Heirloom and Smocking supplies! :-)~janet