Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nursing Cape - a quick easy baby gift.

Barb's granddaughter Kendra was born on September 30, 2009.  Her daughter had borrowed one of these nursing capes, so Barb copied the measurements so we could sew them.  We made six capes from one sheet at Stitch n Bitch last Wednesday.  It is so simple to make and functional.  The boning allows mum to watch baby feed in public and keep her modesty.
27" X 37" piece of cotton or polycotton fabric (we used an old sheet)
14" of 1/4 inch boning (the stuff we put in strapless dresses and corsets)
4" X 27" strip of cotton or polycotton fabric (we used the same sheet)

Sewing directions:
Hem the edges of the 27" x 37" by folding over 1/2 inch twice or serge all the edges and fold over 1/2 inch then hem.  You can be fancy and miter your corners but I did not.  Heck, I used the original wide hem (from my sheet) on one edge.

Fold the long side of your rectangle in half and mark the centre with a pin or marker.  On the wrong side sew the boning (curve towards the right side of the fabric) on the hem starting seven inches from your centre mark.

Fold the short side of  the  4" by 27" strip in half so it is two inches by 27 inches.  With right sides together sew one side shut and along the side to make a strap.  Turn your strap and press.  Here again, you can be fancy and put some top-stitching on your strap.  Take the finished end and sew over top of the boning on the wrong side of the fabric to cover the boning raw edge.  Try it on and adjust your length now.  Tuck in the raw edges on the cut end and sew it on top of the other end of the boning to cover the raw edges.
Sorry, I was the only model available and I took the photo!  Talk about multi-tasking sheesh!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Necchi Lelia 513

I collect sewing machines.  More often than not I get extra treasures included in drawers of cabinets or accessory boxes.    Lelia Model 513 was manufactured in Italy between 1963 - 1971.
There were three packages of needles priced at 29 cents per package as well as three little oil cans.  I find the oil cans especially interesting because when I got this machine it would only straight stitch in one needle position and the feed-dogs would not drop.  The needle bar and feed-dogs were bone dry.
I scanned and uploaded the manual to google docs.   Feel free to download it and enjoy.  Would you please leave a comment here, so I know this was helpful.
Please visit Colorado Lady's blog for more vintage treasures.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff with Your Family by Richard Charlson, Ph.D.

Below is a chapter from Richard's book:

Never miss the opportunity to say "I Love You."

In my lifetime I’ve heard many people complain that their parents (or spouses) either never or seldom said (or say) "I love you." On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve never heard a single person complain that his or her parents, or anyone else, said these words too often.

I can't imagine anything easier than saying the words "I love you." However, for whatever reasons, many people simply don't do so. Perhaps we don't believe that our loved ones need to hear it. That they don't want to, or they won't believe it. Or perhaps we're too stubborn or too shy. Whatever the reason, it's not good enough. There are simply too many important reasons to tell the people in your life that you love them.

Whether you heard these words enough in your own life or not is not the issue. At issue here is the fact that saying, "I love you" makes people feel good. It reminds them that they are not alone and that you care. It raises their self-esteem -- and makes you feel good too! Undoubtedly, in my family, we do many things wrong. One thing we do right, however, is tell each other how much we love each other. It's simple, painless, and free. It's one of the most powerful sentences in the world. People who know they are loved (because they have been told) are able to offer the world their love in return. They have a quiet confidence and a sense of inner peace.

One of my firmest beliefs is that when you have what you want (in an emotional sense), your natural inclination is to give back to others. So, by saying "I love you" to a single person, you are, indirectly, helping the world at large. There is perhaps no way to guarantee that someone will feel loved and appreciated. But certainly the way to increase the odds is to tell him or her so, frequently. Genuinely saying the words "I love you" can erase many mistakes in the eyes of your loved ones. I know, for example, that when I’ve had difficult times with my kids, remembering to tell them I love them has helped us to forgive one another and move on.

On a more selfish note, saying "I love you" has personal benefits as well. It feels good.  Since giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin, saying the words "I love you" more than makes up for not hearing them enough throughout your lifetime. It's absolutely true that giving is its own reward. And saying these loving words is one of the most basic and simple forms of giving.

There are so many opportune times to express your love in this manner -- when you enter the house, right before you leave, before bed, and first thing in the morning. In our family, we have developed the habit of saying "I love you" before hanging up the telephone when we're talking to one another, as well as before we begin eating a family meal. Your opportunities are unlimited. This will be one of the easiest things you ever do --and, when all is said and done, one the most important.