Friday, September 21, 2007

A Lock!

It's been forever since a Favorite Things Friday but I'm here to redeem myself - a day late and a dollar short, as my grandmother always said.

I've wanted a serger for a while but I also know that if/when I get one, I want to get something that's going to do what I need for it to do - not one that I'm going to grow out of in a year. The good news is that after pouring over a ton of websites, talking with friends and reading a great article in a back issue of Threads magazine, I know what I want: a five thread serger (preferably the Janome, Pfaff, or Bernina). The bad news: as you can probably guess based on those names, the price of a five thread serger - even a used one - is pretty hefty.

So, I'm saving for that perfect serger but, in the interim, I decided to get the next best thing and bought an overlock foot for my sewing machine. I finally decided to take on the scary looking foot and give it a shot last month while preparing for the East Atlanta Strut.

The verdict? It's definitely no serger but at about a quarter of the price, it's a great little tool.

There are a few tricks to learn - positioning the fabric correctly, ensuring there's enough fabric under the cutter, and sewing at a slower speed (which is probably the most difficult part for a speed demon like me!) - but after getting the hang of it, I wondered how I ever lived without this foot.

An overlock foot isn't for everyone - you need to have a sewing machine that is capable of doing an overlock stitch (although the foot instructions list a zig-zag stitch as another option, I can't see it working as well), you need a machine with interchangeable feet and, of course, you have to be sure that your manufacturer makes an overlock foot that fits your machine. But, assuming it's an option and you, like me, aren't quite ready to shell out the cash on a serger, an overlock foot is a great investment.

What are you waiting for?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Finally Able to Exhale

It's one of those perfect mornings. Every window in the house is open and the only thing I hear is the rustle of the trees in the wind and an occasional dog bark or train whistle. The dog is curled up on the couch next to me and I'm savoring the scent of the coffee brewing in the kitchen. It finally feels like fall - a slight bit of chill in the air and a significant drop in humidity. An ideal day to do what I'd planned: relax.

The past few weeks have been a blur. So many events, surprises and tests of my strength (tests that, I must admit, I didn't always pass with flying colors.)

Of all of the events, yesterday marked the one that's kept me the busiest, the one that had me in tears into the early, early hours of Saturday morning: the East Atlanta Strut.

Remember when I'd sworn off craft shows? I did it again - at 9 pm Friday night. And again at 11 pm. And again at midnight. And, again, complete with crying fit, at 2 am. Even after spending every spare minute of the past month locked in my sewing room, half of the items I'd hoped to finish were scattered throughout the room unfinished. I didn't have time to update my website or make a banner - although not necessities, things I hoped I would have done by 2 am the day of the show.

Nevertheless, I woke just a few hours later, packed up what little inventory (or, as my husband likes to call it, 'product') I had, and went to the show. I also packed up and put away my perfectionistic nature and made myself promise to do the one thing I'd entered this show to do: have fun.

And, guess what?

I did it.

For 10 hours yesterday, my friend Paige and I chatted while thousands and thousands of people admired our goods. The organizer told me it was the largest crowd they've ever had: the police estimated around 15,000 people in total.

Some of the nicest 15,000 people I've ever encountered. It was a beautiful day - mild temperatures, bright sun and a certain excitement in the air that's hard to describe.

It was an experience I will remember forever and, around 3 pm that afternoon, I'd taken back my decision to swear off craft shows forever. By 8 pm, as the sun began to set and we packed up the booth, I couldn't sign up for the next show fast enough.

Thanks to all of you who made it such a great experience - for my mom who helped with some of the sewing, for my booth-mate Paige and my friend Larry for making it such a fun day, for every single person who stopped by - a girl could get a big head if she listened to all of the comments, and finally to my husband who from the very beginning has been one of my biggest supporters. The list of what he did is endless: time spent researching displays, errands run for me, set-up dry runs, and an eager willingness to tend to everything around the house so I could sew.

I can't wait to do it again.