August 21, 2017

Pressing Matters

One of the other things that Miss Carolyn suggested that JB make is the multi-point pressing tool with attached clapper.  I'm sure there is a different 'real' name for this - but that's what I'm calling it.  The tool at the top has many uses - to get into corners - I can't wait to use this to press tiny little collars on sweet dresses for Miss E.  Plus there's the matter of my Fall wardrobe being filled with buttondown shirts - it will happen.

While perfecting the shape of the tool, JB created an interesting point.  It's curved from the widest spot of the piece to the point.  This allows it to be stronger and get into tight spots.  The top of the tool measures roughly 3/4" wide.

Along that top edge you can press a sleeve seam or any seam really.  The wood on all the tools is unfinished and has been sanded smooth so it won't catch on any fabric you happen to be using.  And that tiny little curve on the back end - well you can press curves over it too.

The arc for your hand varies in height from 2" to 2 1/2" depending on the stock he had to work with for the multi-point handle.  But, I haven't felt one that is 'tight' for my giant hands.  The tool fits comfortable in your hand, allowing you to use the handle to apply pressure when using the clapper.

We've already sold a few since this photo was taken, but aren't the colors in the various woods beautiful?  I've put up individual photos on the Pressing Matters tab (up top).  All of the tools sell for $40 and ship in a medium flat rate box.   We have been including a little bonus tool in the box as well.  We are willing to ship anywhere in the world.  If you are interested - click over to the Pressing Matters tab, leave a comment with the number of the tool you would like and a way to get in touch with you.   I'll reply to your comment and send an invoice via paypal.

If you would like a coordinating set with shoulder curve and multi-point let me know.  The shoulders will all be oak, but the base can match either the 'handle' or the clapper portion of your multi-point tool.

August 14, 2017

Get Your Irons Ready - Shoulder Stand

As happens with so many of the things in my life, this one is no different.  Several years ago, the first time Carolyn came out to Seattle, she said to JB, and I quote:  You should make shoulder pressing stands.  I have one I bought and it's one of my favorite sewing tools.  Carolyn's post about her shoulder stand is here - scroll to the middle to see what she has to say about it.

Years passed - as sometimes happens - and in March, Carolyn was at the B&B for the first sew camp and she brought her shoulder stand along.  She put her head together with JB and they had a whispered conversation about sewing tools and wool.  Next - JB got online and ordered some pretty hardwoods.

JB then spent days drawing out the perfect arc.  Figuring out which tools to use to cut, then sand it all smooth.  The shoulder form itself is made from 1 5/8" oak so you have plenty of room to position your garment and press your seams.  JB used 3/4" thick hardwoods for the base and made sure that the stand was the same depth as the shoulder form.  The pieces are attached with coated decking screws so they won't rust with the application of steam.

The cover is made with 2 layers of wool batting and then 2 layers of bleached muslin.  It is tightly fitting and slides into place over the form.

Here I am using mine to help press a shoulder seam and applying a ton of steam.  This was the nicest and easiest sleeve seam I have set in a while.  No more futzing with the sleeve over my ham and finding the spot that matches the sleeve seam the best.  It just worked - and worked well.

AND - because the form is the same size as the base, I could 'roll' the base to get all the way around my sleeve without repositioning anything.

We currently have 5 shoulder forms available.  They are $40 each plus postage and will ship in a flat rate box.

SOLD - This is "Form #1"  The shoulder form is oak and the base is made from honey locust.  The base measures 7" x 5 1/4".

SOLD - This is "Form #2."  This shoulder form is oak.  The base is made from flame maple and measures 6 3/4" x 5 5/8" and all of the corners are rounded.

SOLD - Form #3.  Again - the shoulder form is made from oak.  This time the base is made from mayan walnut.  This is a heavy tool.  The base measures 6" x 5 1/2" and all corners are rounded.

SOLD - Form #4 - Oak shoulder and Flame birch base.  The base on this one measures 7" x 5 1/2" with rounded corners.

 SOLD - Finally Form #5 (like my system for keeping track?).  Shoulder 5 is made with a curved oak shoulder shape and a flame birch base which measures 6 7/8" x 5 3/4".

If you are interested in purchasing any of the shoulder stands available, please either leave a comment with the stand of your choice or send me an email at:  gmariesews at gmail dot com  please make sure I have a way of contacting you.  I will send an invoice via paypal and ship the next business day.  All of the shoulders stands have been sold.  There is lumber on the way to make more.  If you are interested, please leave a comment on this post or on the Pressing Matters Page and I'll email and reply when new stock becomes available.

August 9, 2017

Pony Up!

Oh my gosh!  I started writing this a week ago.  I thought I actually had a draft post here - but no, all I had was a title.  Figures.  :\

Anyway - when the Pony Tank by Chalk and Notch was released back in early June - what?!  I managed to win Pear Berry Lane's instagram give away!  Whoot whoot!!   I was so excited.  I bought that pattern and entered my code faster than anyone knew what was happening.  But then what happened?  Well - life got busy.  The B&B was non-stop from mid-June right through to the end of July.  

I had a taped together and traced pattern sitting on my cutting table, along with fabric.  I just needed time.  Well - I finally found that time.  I think I spent about 2 days cutting the top out and sewing it up - not because it took that long - but because I only have little chunks of time to sew now.  

Anyway - the fabric I used was (honestly) probably not the best for this pattern, but I don't care.  I love it.  It's a heavy cotton spandex knit and I have no idea where I got it.  There was between 1 1/2 - 2 yards and there is still a little piece left - which I'll save for when Miss Eleanor is big enough for these huge polka dots.  

I made my usual alterations to the pattern while tracing it.  Which is just to take 2 1/2" out of the back length for my incredibly short back (or sway back).  

Once I found the time to sew this up - it took no time at all.  JB didn't get a good close up of the neckband, but this baby has the prettiest v-neck that I've ever managed to accomplish. 

There is a dress length also included in the pattern, but I can't decide if I want to try it or not.  I'm getting more comfortable wearing some of my work dresses in the B&B for breakfast service but they are mostly the knit dresses and have a bit of waist definition.  But who knows - you may see a dress version of the Pony Tank pop up here in the future.  

What's your favorite thing to sew these days? 

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