Why Should Children Sew & Embroider?

Today a customer left me with a thought that “sewing is therapeutic.”  When she leaves the hospital time after time, she returns home to her “true therapy,” which is sewing and embroidery.  With such healing, calming, relieving and relaxing effects on the physical body and mind, why not nurture these skills from childhood, so that we may derive all the beneficial effects of sewing and embroidery from a young age?

The art of sewing and embroidery are particularly beneficial for children.  Both skills require copious amounts of focus and concentration.  In addition, children gain the opportunity of acquiring problem-solving skills, hand/eye coordination, manual dexterity and fine motor skills.  They learn about color theory, design and planning, originality, money management, and work ethic as well.  Sewing and embroidery develops childrens’ perseverance, self-control (in the operation of a sewing machine), patience, and discipline in a world of instant gratification.  It imparts a profound respect for personal property and for the effort of the production of property.  Children will learn to appreciate the time and labor of constructing items and will become savvy in managing their time wisely.

Furthermore, sewing and embroidery will foster childrens’ creativity and ingenuity in a positive manner, and allow them to express their individuality through the conceptualization and creation of objects which are physical manifestations of their imaginations and abstract ideas.  This will challenge their left-brain thinking, but also engage children in the ability to follow instructions by navigating through a pattern, and cutting, and constructing a completed product.  Studies have consistently substantiated that children who can focus, are more likely to possess a higher degree of self-control, which directly impacts their future success.  They achieve a sense of accomplishment in the completion of a finished product, thus amplifying their self-esteem and confidence.  Children utilize mathematical knowledge, also when executing measurements, using fractions, calculating perimeters and areas of objects and shapes.

In this modern technological era, where people communicate via electronic devices and seldom is anything personal anymore, why not indulge our creative souls and make something personal, with our own hands, for ourselves or for someone else?  And the common thread between sewists of all ages is that, in doing so, we are honoring and upholding the centuries’ old tradition and legacy of our ancestors and predecessors.

AAA Sewing & Fabric is elated to announce our Youth Summer Sewing Camp.  There will be two upcoming sessions:

                     SESSION 1:  JULY 16th – 18th &                                                           SESSION 2:  AUGUST 13th – 17th

Please visit the store or call us at (310) 257-1744 to inquire more information about the Kids’ Camp.

 

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Bernina Academy 2018

A description of this event.

Thank you to all those who graduated from Bernina Academy with Bernina Instructor Sandra Swick!  (Please see the picture on our Facebook page – AAA Sewing and Fabric.)  Everyone contributed greatly to making the event an immense success!  We learned the correct tricks and techniques for masterfully sewing on such challenging fabrics as leather, fur, chiffon, cork, knit, vinyl, oilcloth, organza, tulle, double gauze, denim, burlap, spandex, velvet, terry cloth, minkee, and more.  Sandra was extremely knowledgeable, and the sewists were all able to learn new techniques for sewing, despite their varying levels of experience.  The quality of the fabric kits were exceptional, as well as that of the workbooks.  The books are well organized and the instructions are clear and concise.  All materials were provided to the students; the presentation and bonus projects were included as well as a collectible Bernina USB stick that contained a lot of bonus content.

Furthermore, the instructor led the students on a journey through which we explored the various feet and features of the Bernina B790 machines, and the newest machines – the B590.  These machines make sewing on the challenging fabrics a breeze!

The event was an abundant source of information for all levels of sewists, and all different machine owners, not just Bernina owners.  There were numerous raffle drawings and prizes awarded to the students, and lunch and snacks were provided on both days.  Special discounts were given on Bernina merchandise, feet and accessories, as well as machines.  After the event, students expressed that they now “fear no fabric!”  All of the students left with a completed reference book on sewing techniques that they may refer to in the future.

Currently, we are offering the 1st Annual AAA Sewing Academy, which will be held on May 16th, from 10 am to 1 pm.  This is designed for people that would like to learn how to sew.  We will continue our exploration of modern fabrics and teach you techniques to help you take the fear out of sewing!  The fee of $20 includes use of our machines and fabric kits.  Please visit our store if you are interested in this beginning sewing event.

Thank you to Sandra Swick and thank you again to all those who attended, as well as all of the AAA Sewing & Fabric staff!  We look forward to hosting many more events in the future – please refer to our website, www.aaasewingandfabric.com or come to the store to inquire about new events and opportunities for learning and enjoyment!

New Year’s Resolution – Getting Your Sewing Room Organized!

During my experience here at AAA Sewing & Fabric, I am constantly asked by customers, who express that their sewing rooms are in states of chaos and clutter, how to organize them.  Many of these customers sew for pleasure, but also for revenue.  In these cases in particular, and for everyone, it is imperative that they be organized and systematized in order to possess a functional and enjoyable working environment.  This will thus cultivate the peace of mind and tranquility to foster their creativity.

In any typical sewing room or space, there are three main components:  furniture, storage compartments, and the items which require storage.  The furniture utilized in your sewing rooms may drastically affect one’s space and can render its appearance either organized and neat, or cluttered and congested.  Furniture includes cabinets, chairs, cutting and ironing tables, artistic presses, desks, tables, shelves, etc. – these items which contribute to the productivity of your sewing spaces immensely.  Sewing tables and cabinets are specifically designed for sewists and can be custom made per his/her wishes.  There are electric (air lift) cabinets or manual lift cabinets.  There are ones that have sections that fold away when not in use, folding tables (that are totally collapsible) and cabinets that can be utilized for multiple different machines.  Notions trays are available for each drawer in one’s cabinet.  Even chairs are available with storage compartments for maximization of space.

Storage of items in a consistent manner in clear drawers that pullout or stackable, transparent boxes and bins are a fantastic solution to maintaining a tidy, organized sewing area.  When we utilize smart storage, we are able to maximize every inch of accessible space.  For example, thread may be sorted in boxes specifically designed for them.  Stackable caddies may be utilized for projects that are ongoing.  There are even clear, hanging organizers that conserve space because they can be hung, rather than stacked.  In addition, one can make and use wall buckets for storing items, thus futher conserving space.  I have seen ironing boards attached to the tops of shelves (in which items are stored), and have discerned, as well, that folding your fabrics in certain ways will ameliorate your ability to store large amounts of them.  It is absolutely crucial, in my opinion, to label each container in a concise manner, especially with certain items, such as machine feet.  They may be placed in containers with dividers and lids, so that they are in one specific place, rather than everywhere.

The staff at AAA Sewing and Fabric are always available to assist you in organizing your sewing areas.  We have sewing cabinets, tables, chairs and storage containers for all your sewing needs.  Let us help you to start the New Year right!

Sewingly Yours,

Salima

BEACH CITIES ANNUAL RETREAT

The first Annual Beach Cities Retreat was a huge success!  Thank you so very much to each and every person who participated and contributed immensely to its success.  Thank you to the AAA Sewing Staff for all your help!  Thank you for bringing us cherished memories that will endure forever.

The retreat brought all levels of sewists together in the spirit of enjoyment, camaraderie and fun!  There were new techniques introduced, and projects comprising of sewing a handbag, top of the line machine embroidery, serging an apron and 10-needle embroidery.  All projects were able to be completed in class and the pictures have been posted on our Facebook page – AAA Sewing & Fabric.

Everything was furnished for this memorable event.  Top of the line machines were provided for the retreatees to utilize.  The guest hosts, Debi Kuennen-Baker, R. Larry Touchette, who are Baby Lock Educators, were present to teach classes, answer questions, give advice and provide excellent assistance for the attendees.  Not only were the hosts hilarious and delightful, but also thoroughly knowledgeable.

Kits and all necessary supplies were also provided.  Delicious, hot meals were catered from Hot N’ Tot Restaurant for breakfast, Olive Garden and Panda Express for the lunches.  The dining area was constructed in an elegant tent and meals were served buffet style.  There was a plethora of incredible door prizes and giveaways, including 4 Baby Lock BL9 machines!  Among the excitement, there was a multitude of new products in the vendor store, a trunk show from Lunch Box Quilts and numerous demos on the new Baby Lock Triumph serger and the latest version of Brother’s Scan N’ Cut 650 WX.  On Tuesday, at 5:00 pm, the retreatees attended a reception in the dining area, where refreshments and fresh hors d’oeuvres were served.

The sewists were in high spirits during the retreat and smiles were abound.  Their feedback and comments were extremely positive and all were in anticipation for next year’s retreat.  (You may view their comments on our Facebook page – AAA Sewing & Fabric.)  Again, a VERY special thank you to all those who participated in this event and undoubtedly, next year’s retreat will by far surpass this one!

Why is Good Thread So Important?

According to Carol Laflin Ahles in the article “Thread Essentials,” “aside from fabric, thread is perhaps the most essential component of sewing…”  She urges sewers to “always check its [the threads’] quality; inferior threads can leave a residue in your machine or clog it with lint.”

How many of you have taken your machine in to be serviced, only to be told that you are utilizing inferior quality threads?  Not only here at AAA Sewing & Fabric, but reputable dealers and technicians worldwide undoubtedly proclaim that we should use the Mettler brand of thread.  This is because Mettler will not be exceedingly linty, unlike the lesser quality brands such as those mentioned above.  These will invariably damage the tension disks as well as other components of your machines. The thread will then break easily, thus eventually making it difficult to maintain an even tension as you sew.  There will also be a vast disparity in the appearance of the stitches on the fabric, and thus your project.  Over time, the substandard thread will ravage your machine and perhaps coerce you to bring it in to be serviced well before it is time.  Furthermore, poor quality thread will result in weak seams and loose stitches.

Lint is the eternal enemy for almost any machine, (not just sewing machines and sergers).  Think, for example, of a dryer.  Lint is visible around the feed dogs of your sewing machines, the bobbin cases, and above the needles.  But there is also lint that accumulates in areas not visible to your eyes, deep inside the crevices and parts of your machines that affect its performance.  Selecting a high quality thread for your machines will reduce lint drastically, and with regular servicing, your machine will perform with increased effectiveness.  Lint will also absorb any oils, which will cause unnecessary wear on your machine, as well as other issues.

To conclude, you get what you pay for.  If you invest in excellent quality thread, you will likewise achieve excellent quality results and will have a more enjoyable sewing experience.  Similarly, poor quality thread renders poor results.  Thread is merely a small fraction of the cost of your project, but is vital to the construction and seams.  You may ask yourself, “is it really worth it?”

Sewingly Yours,

Salima

Uncorking Your Creativity!

With the advent of the holidays in such proximity, we are all contemplating innovative gift ideas.  Why not unleash your creative juices on a unique approach to sewing, utilizing the versatile, durable, flexible and lightweight Cork Fabric?  Cork provides a fresh approach to mundane projects.

Cork Fabric is ideal for  so many reasons.  One can cut it, sew it, and wash it with ease.  No special needles are required and it can be sewn with a standard sewing machine.  It is hypoallergenic, water resistant, stain resistant, mold resistant, immune to micro-organisms (i.e. mites), dust, dirt and grease repellent, eco-friendly, and as durable as leather.  In addition, it does not rip or pull apart easily and can be cleaned with a damp, warm towel.

The cork may be dyed with regular fabric dye, as well as printed on and embroidered on.  Furthermore, as in the picture above of the green memo pad cover, the fabric can be cut using a Scan N’ Cut machine.  It can also be stamped on , after creating a stamp on the Scan N’ Cut – as in the picture above.  The fabric does not crack.

For the fashionistas, the cork fabric is currently trending.  The fabric is superb for adding accents or straps to bags and wallets.  It is perfect for tablet sleeves, notebook covers, cardholders, laptop cases, shoes, and phone cases.  Furthermore, cork fabric is excellent for gifts, particularly for men.  It is ideal for watch wristbands, belts, pouches, storage containers, journal/book covers, basket containers and trays, placemats, ornaments, upholstery, bookmarks, labels, bulletin boards, box linings…virtually anything.

As New York Times writer Kate Singleton states, “the appeal of cork…is the marriage of aesthetics and performance.”  The new year brings in fresh and new perspectives…why not try something new?  Cork fabric is the perfect contemporary twist to our favorite patterns.

Sewingly Yours,

Salima

Why Decorative Stitches?

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Decorative stitches, according to Liz Johnson, editor at http://www.Sew4Home.com, “are tiny pieces of thread art.”  Although loved and adored by many, they are often forgotten and overlooked, due to the focus that we place on the seams of a project’s construction.  Just a few decorative stitches add so much to any project.  One may experiment with different colors and types of thread (i.e., polyester, variegated, rayon, metallic, neon), spacing of stitches and stitch widths, which will produce various textural effects.  The possibilities of what to embellish with decorative stitches are endless.  For example, aprons, matching bed sheets and pillowcases, pillows, purses/bags, bath and tea towels, appliqués, garments, wall hangings, heirloom sewing, basically anything!  Whatever the project, decorative stitches will enhance their aesthetic value immensely.

Other creative ways to use these stitches are when quilting.  One may utilize decorative stitches when stitching in the ditch or when sewing down bindings, to embellish ribbons or when sewing strips of fabric together (border stitch).  Outline stitches are used for outlining your design.  Detached stitches fill in open areas of designs and filling stitches can create shading or fill.

Decorative stitches add texture and will take one’s project from the ordinary to extraordinary.  One is only limited by the scope of one’s imagination.

Sewingly Yours,

Salima