Sunday, February 8, 2015

Odyssey's new cover ! It's sparkly, a little...

Hmpft. Kinda got socked early today, when I went looking for tips on how to convert Crock Pot / Slow Cooker recipes to regular ole stove top / oven ones, and the first site I found opined that not having a Crock Pot was ‘just sad’. Another direct quote, “You’re a weirdo. Ha, just kidding…sorta. :) ” . Yet she’s the one who admits to loading hers up in the morning and forgetting to plug it in or turn it on. Sure, I can get a $20. appliance, and there’s a good chance I’ll use it. I’m still amazed how much play that electric griddle gets. I love that thing ! I figured our toaster oven would gather dust once we had a working oven, but it’s still quite active. But a slow cooker, even if I do use it frequently, will still take up space, and the past times I attempted to use one resulted in dismal, barely edible failures. I know my family and our lifestyle well enough to know I can attend our recipe of choice, so we don’t really need another one-trick appliance. Yet in her opinion, I’m worthy of pity and mentally unbalanced. (sigh) Sometimes I hate the internet… Wonder if she did machine embroidery back in ‘09.

Anyway, I shook it off because I really like what I made yesterday – Odyssey’s new cover ! I decided to make one like KJ’s, a real amateur effort, but it’s worked these many years, and didn’t require a pattern or even a lot of work. Brody’s however, I made a paper-and-tape cover (because the one pattern I could buy that would include the embroidery platform was $20., ridiculous for something I’d sew maybe twice), then took it apart and used the pieces as a pattern, and it’s worked out well, too. There’s something uniquely satisfying about sewing a cover for your sewing machine.

It was fun from the get-go. The fabric I wanted to use I didn’t have enough of, but there was no way I could justify a shopping run with the parsecs of textiles I got sitting around here. Plus, it was already after 9pm before I got started. Took a few measurements, located a nice print that would coordinate, and allow me to use the first fabric for the sides and maybe an accent piece on the front. What kind of accent ? Hmm… well, maybe a machine embroidery applique, I’ve not had a lot of luck with those in the past, but I could try again with what I’ve learned since…

I knew which design I wanted to use. Years ago, several sites did ‘free design every 8 minutes’ rotations, and there were a couple I really wanted but always just missed. I took down numbers and checked occasionally until it was about time for them to come around again. Took a couple weeks – and I snagged several others in the process – but with no way to buy them, I had to be patient. My hunting / gathering skills paid off… and I never used the designs. The one I most wanted was an applique heart with a ring around it, like a Venusian Saturn. I could make the heart with scraps of the first fabric, and use the Sulky Holoshimmer iridescent ‘thread’ for the ring. Sure, there were only three colors, and I already selected the silver Holo for one, but it still took me a while to choose the other two ! I’m second-guessing m’self (as usual), but if I were to stitch it again, I’d probably go with a nice orange instead of pink.

Decided I wanted to embroider before I sewed, so I cut and ironed the fabrics, did a pin test for fit, and shuffled sewing machines around. Ironically, I used two machines to make the cover, neither of which was the machine I was making the cover for ! And yes, my hooping is improving, but I didn’t get the applique fabric centered correctly on the first try. That error got buried under the second effort, which went much better. Thank Everything I can repeat any steps I need to ! Had a few breaks in the Holo thread – typical, but I think I’ve come up with a way to slack the tension a bit more next time I use the stuff – but I was very pleased with the end result.

So pleased, in fact, that I intended to leave the actual cover crafting ‘til today, but I liked the applique so much, I couldn’t wait to see how it looked on the finished item ! Cheap-serged all the raw edges – something I really should have done with KJ’s cover, sewn over a decade ago – emptied and replaced a spool of thread, and voila ! Odyssey has a cover that I didn’t buy fabric or an embroidery design for, and I’m very happy with it. And proud of me ! It may be hard to see in the photo, but it’s not a camouflage fabric, they’re actually shades of green stars with a touch of gold trim outlining them. Probably Christmas fabric, but I liked it, and I have enough for a small doll dress or a larger doll separate. And a small doll only piece from the bits left of that most-wanted fabric, which was just dark green cotton broadcloth.

Rest of the day was tidying up, making plans, plotting and deciding what’s next on the cutting boards. I’ve got an idea for pants…

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