Thursday, January 11, 2007

Out with the Old, In with the New

Time to do some trading out in the sewing room.

First, Ye Olde Red Pin Cushion Tomato:

At Joann's last night this green tomato pin cushion caught my eye. How perfect for a green sewing room, right? And so much more fun and whimsical than the Ye Olde Red One.

Next up, sewing mats:

Before, and …


Yes, it's going to need a day or so to flatten out.

I grabbed some stacks of sewing books from the nearby bookcase to help it along.

I'm tired of running off the edges of my mis-matched mats so I hope I like this new one. It's not self-healing and has a completely different feel to it, but it seems sturdy after a few trial cuts of nothing. My green Olfa mat has seen better days. The edges are chipped (not really chipped but I don't know how else to describe it) and there are a number of rough spots. The smaller gray mat was my first (sigh) and was more geared toward fitting on my cutting table when I had to store it closed at the other house. I bought the green mat because I was tired of sliding the gray one all around the place. The've done their job and have done it well, but it's time to spread out to the full width of the table now that I've got a real sewing room.

While at Joann's, of course I couldn't help but wander around the fabric department.

1. Crosshatched non-stretch denim, 5+ yds (remainder of bolt). This pic shows the denim lighter than the indigo it really is, more like in the pic below. There's enough here for jeans for me and jeans or shorts for DS. When I get to whatever is made for DS, I won't tell him that we're the Bobsy Twins.

2. Brown rayon blend doubleknit, 3+ yds and, again, the last of the bolt.

3. Green rayon blend doubleknit, 3+ yds and yes, the end of the bolt again. So someone besides me is buying Joann's good stuff. I hope they're paying attention. I'm thinking Yoga-type pants for both of these knits.

4. Brown RPL (rayon/poly/Lycra) woven, 3 yds and I left some on the bolt this time. I'll see how this launders before I decide if I like it or if it will be muslining stock.

All were $5/yd and under, plus my 10% ASG discount card, plus a 40% off coupon and the 10% ASG discount on the mat. I think I did OK. I would've done even worse but it was getting on 9 PM and they were starting to shoo us out the door.

On a semi-related note, I kept running into a cute teenage girl walking around with her pattern (and her mom), picking out fabric, notions, etc. She seemed to know exactly what she was doing and it made me smile to see a sewer in the making.

I also picked up one of the upcoming class brochures. It was full-color glossy, which makes it more expensive than the newsprint brochures I've seen in the past, which means Joann's is spending more to promote its classes. A Good Thing. But even better, is that their garment sewing classes are on the front cover. Not knitting, not quilting, but *garment* sewing.

Two classes in particular caught my eye. The first is really part of a series of 3, starting with very basic beginner. But the third set in this series is for what they're calling a wardrobe (jacket and skirt or pants) and includes more advanced skills (zippers, buttonholes, etc.). Usually, Joann's teaches making a pillow or pull-on PJ pants. That kind of thing. This series looks like it is actually building some skills and ending with something a bit more stylish than their usual fare and which someone might actually want to wear out of the house.

The other is a class for planning and sewing your own prom dress. How fun and what a great way to entice those teenagers. I should make a note of the class days and time and go spy on them. I bet that would be fun to see, and I mean that in a good way.

Now I don't know who the teachers are or how well they teach, but it does seem like Joann's is starting to listen. First with all the better fabrics I'm finding there lately and also by appealing to the younger set. Yes, the fleece was still in abundance, but at the store I frequent, the whole department has been rearranged and the fleece is not front and center in your face anymore. Instead, it's all on shelving in its own section and you don't even see it until you're deep into the other fabrics.

I was obviously more tired than I realized when I wrote yesterday's entry. I'm *not* going to meet up with my mom today. That's tomorrow. Sheesh. I knew that. So, maybe I'll get some time to start on my jacket muslin today. Around paying bills and sorting paperwork and meeting with our business attorney this afternoon.


  1. Hey great mat. I've been eyeballing it for a while. Let us know how you end up liking it. Hey check out my new blog.

  2. Nice mat! 'tis on my wishlist. I remember when I started art school and we had exacto knives growing from our fingers. Those mats were like gold. I bought a smallish one for $45 dollars. And nice scores from Joanns. It's so nice to hear they're offering a make your prom dress class. Makes me want to go to prom again ;)

  3. I have the exact same mat setup as your old one. Mine are starting to shed crumbs, I need to upgrade too. That green tomato is wonderful.

    I have found some rayon blends at JoAnn's recently, haven't sewn them up to see how they will wear yet. I am seeing some trends that younger gals are taking up garment sewing. Good news.

  4. my green mat is a mess. Somehow it was laid on top of something and now refuses to lie completely flat. I've tried stacking dictionaries on top of it for days, but nothing works.

    I really want a cutting table (I'm nearly 38, I deserve to not cut on the floor anymore!) and maybe getting a big cutting mat will push me towards that!

    What's the name of the mat? I'd like to look it up.

    (and the green tomato is super cute!)

  5. You are *so* going to love having a full-size cutting mat, Debbie. I gush about mine nearly every day and I've had it over a year!

  6. Love the new mat! That would be such fun to find out about high schoolers sewing, and they aren't socially shunned either (they have a date, or at least they are going to the prom) like my high school did for ppl who dared to sew. I often thought if I wore something I made I would have lied first than admit to it being home made, as the kids would have hassled me endlessly and critiqued it loudly every time I passed.

  7. You are going to LOVE that mat. I have two of them, end to end and I I'm in heaven. I didn't miss the self healing mat at all when I got the big ones.

  8. Hey, Debbie, I have one of those green tomatoes - and a PINK one too. Isn't it awesome when you can color coordinate and accesorize a real sewing room? (I have pics of mine on my new blog: I'm going to have to get a mat like that someday - when I get a real cutting table. Hee hee. Enjoy!

  9. Love the new cutting space.
    LOL, First thing I thought of when I saw your tomatoes: OMG she's going to be frying them soon!

  10. You'll love your big mat! I have a green pincushion too, but a celadon green one with the little oriental boys holding on around the edge. My Mom had one like it for years, but red.

  11. Love the mat & the t'mater :D

    LOVE the beach piccies!!! The kiddos & I went to Siesta Key spring break 2005 for a week. We loved it. Very peaceful, no "spring breakers" to deal with. Close enough to Mickey et al to visit for a day, and then leave LOL. It's a nice "hidden gem" I think, as far as family vacation spots. Of course, being Yankee fans, we caught a game in Tampa too while there. We're planning a trip back this spring/summer!

  12. If that is a DRITZ mat, I will die of envy right away.....I can't find another DRITZ anywhere online. The lines on my Quilters Rule mat are not permanent as touted and there is fabric fuzz in the grooves!!!!!
    I had a massive hard composite mat a few years back, it was wonderful but I couldn't take it in a move as it wouldn't re-fold.


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

To help keep spam comments under control, any comments to blog posts that are more than 30 days old are moderated and will not show up immediately.