Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Selling the Sizzle

That's a phrase I learned long ago and for the life of me, I can't remember whether it was in a high school class or college. I can't seem to place it with an actual class that would have been that practical. Doesn't matter really and it still holds true today. For every skein of yarn, yard of fabric, pattern, ounce of roving etc. we're buying the sizzle!
In our minds we have a vision of what we can do with IT. The reality maybe less or more than we imagined at the time, but it is surely the sizzle that brought us belly up to the counter.

I've got some weaving sizzle going on, although the picture is terrible. It is not what I imagined when I set the loom up and bought the yarns, but it is a happy and very pretty surprise.

This one needs to come off the loom and be in a certain setting for the camera to do it's job. I can hardly wait to put this scarf on that's for sure!

Then there is pattern sizzle.

Now I KNOW I ain't ever going to look like any of the pictures or drawings on the front no matter how good my sewing (or knitting for that matter) skills are, but I liked these patterns and between them I should be able to find a good working fly front/jean pattern that is flattering.

Of course, once in a while the sizzle pans out just like you imagined. So it was with this blouse. It was fiddly with pin tucks and gathers and flounces made all more difficult by a fabric, that while beautiful, was challenging to work with.

Working with double gauze is like working with two layers of cheese cloth, it has no body, likes to stick to itself and makes it hard to align for good seaming. It frays and stretches and likes a good fresh new sharp needle. It does not like the seam ripper so each stitch has to be removed very carefully should you make a mistake, of which I did. But for all that, I saw this fabric (which had to be cut out as single pieces due to the border like pattern/color lay out) looking perfect for this shirt pattern and it was sizzle synchronicity!

Now today is going to be a day filled with sizzle, I just know it. It's my birthday and my dear and silly husband has scattered cards and such all over the house, places I stagger to in the morning as I get the dogs all set.

Please note, the "stamps" are the best parts.

He does this with all his cards and no matter what's inside, the stamp makes it for me.

But wait, we're not done because not only do we have some sizzle, I have a gift that is just smokin' hot. My parents and Gene got together and sent me this, a sewing machine with embroidery capabilities.

I have wanted to monogram and embroider hand wovens for some time. Imagine being able to give a lovely pair of linen towels for a wedding complete with a monogram, or pillow cases or a blanket with just that added something. Sizzle sizzle sizzle! And this machine ( Brother LB6800) doesn't disappoint.

Okay, I cheated, I opened it early, I used it on the last few garments and while it's not as powerful as the Bernina, it has amazing stitches and the embroidery unit is amazing. This baby purrs along and does a better job with many many things than the Bernina. There I said it. My expensive Swedish machine is a work horse, and will probably be around many more years than this Brother, but the price difference is astounding. Talk about sizzle and delivering. My Bernina cost $1400 in 1998, this Brother runs around $400, does all the same stitches plus a few more and has the embroidery unit. I priced Bernina's last year and I couldn't come near their 3k plus price tags for an entry level embroidery machine. Thank you Mom, Dad and Gene. I love it, it's perfect!

Parting Shot: The Breakfast Crowd, or maybe Wolves at the Door!
I really need to scrap those glass panes. Maybe by next birthday....;)


  1. Theresa! We share a birthday! Happy birthday to you. :)

    I know exactly what you mean about the sizzle, though I have to disagree that your loom photo is bad; it looks All That, to me! Quite arty. :)

    Oh - and those cards, and those stamps! That gent of yours is a keeper, to fill the house with such lovely things. Thanks to you and Gene for bringing a smile to my birthday - and to those pups of yours, too. Bless them.

  2. A Very Happy Birthday! Wow - what a gift and those stamps (and the models) are the best!

  3. Oh, happy happy birthday! Celebrating with you from afar; sounds like your guy and parents have made it wonderful already. Hope you get some chocolates from that local shop you mentioned! Mmm, chocolates; might have to visit MY local shop....

  4. Hope you have a great Birthday!!! Love the "parting shot"!!! Priceless!!!

  5. Happy Birthday!!
    I think the blouse looks wonderful I love the polkadots.
    With a crew like that waiting to greet you at the door what a grand day it will be.
    Susan x

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I love the embroidery machine talk about sizzle, woohooo!! The evelopes are adorable.

  7. Happy Birthday Theresa!

    I would say it louder but I have pneumonia.

    Looking forward to seeing that sizzling loom creation and some cool pants too. I once tried to make a pair of Calvin Klein jeans from a pattern with Brooke on the package. Never going there again. But it was not the fly front that gave me fits it was the flat felled seams.

  8. A very Happy Birthday to you!!! You just gotta love polka dots....they are a favorite of mine, too! And, those little faces at the window...priceless!!!!

  9. Happy Birthday!! Oh gosh...there's so many cool things in this post, to comment appropriately would be the length of a blog post!!

    Very cool weaving, blouse, birthday cards with stamps, and new machine. And the breakfast club waiting to give you your birthday love.

  10. Happy Birthday Theresa - I hope you had a great day - have fun with your new machine - they sure are fun!

  11. Your sizzle almost got trumped by Gene's card. Those are magnificent. You had a lot of sizzle in this post, and I do love the way you used the fabric in your top. The extra effort was worth it!

    Interesting about the cost of sewing machines. You certainly put thoughts in this sewer's head. I'm so glad you had a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing it~

  12. You definitely had a sizzling birthday! Boy, that Gene is great with the cards & stamps!

  13. Happy Birthday! Fancy you and Alison turning out to be twins...

    I love those cards and their gorgeous stamps. Hope you had a lovely day.

  14. Alison,
    Happy belated birthday to you too! And nice to see you over here! Cally, same to you, I'm always surprised when you pop in and comment.
    Thank you ALL for the birthday wishes and compliments on my special postal delivery stamps. I'm glad you found them as delightful as I do, silly as they often are.
    LOTL, PLEASE take care of yourself. Get better fast. I'll be sure to let the world in on my fly front pant making experiments and the loom news too.
    Valerie, the Breakfast Club is double daily event. Around 2 pm everyone gets thrown out while I prepare their dinner and then of course, bedtime biscuits bring the waters at the windows during the days final potty out.
    LA and Miss Maddie, thank you and nice to know there are other polka dot lovers out there.
    DEOTL, yes, I'm pretty jazzed about the embroidery aspect of the machine, although it is a nice little sewer too.
    Dawn, Thanks for stopping by and the birthday wishes! Your runners are looking fab!!!
    Cindie, it did sizzle, although I tuckered out long before I made it to every place on my list. They'll all be there later in the week.

  15. Happy Birthday! (One day late). Love the cards. You have a delightfully clever husband! Love, love, love the blouse. It's gorgeous. Love the past photo too. Such sweet faces I didn't even notice the window! LOL

  16. Happy Happy Birthday! Wow you are a lucky girl to have such a fun hubby. And what a great gift can't wait to see all you make with it!

    Love love the dots so cute!

  17. Happy Birthday! I love the stamps!

  18. Happy Birthday to you!!!

    It sounds like you had a fabulous day, with your fun new sewing machine to try out. What a nice gift and one that you will enjoy for years to come.

    I love the cards and stamps that your husband created for you. He is a creative, caring guy, isn't he?

    Here's wishing you all the best.

  19. Happy Birthday, Theresa! Gene is a good guy, with the cards and the machine. I love your interpretation of that pattern!

  20. Happy Birthday! Sorry to miss the day but wish you a wonderful year until the next rolls around! I think the wolves at the door are wiling to compromise for a treat!
    That Gene...one clever fellow.eroqu