Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On Your Mark...Part 2

                     More Marks

     This is a continuation of marking utensils.  Ina previous post, I went over chalk, wax, tracing wheel/paper, etc.  Today I am going to add a couple of more marking options.

     To start with today, I am going to go with the very basic pencil.  I am showing 2 different pencils here (although they are both mechanical) - one is a regular size lead pencil (blue) and the other looks like a 1st grade pencil (chubby), but it is still a mechanical pencil and it has a thick lead.
     If I am tracing an embroidery design that needs to be done in pencil and with a fine lead, then I use the standard mechanical pencil.  Another option if I need it to be more noticeable is the thick lead option.  I also use this when I am redrawing pattern lines.  

     The best fine tip water soluble (erasable) on the market, and it is made by Clover.  The fine tip really is a fine tip and better yet, these markers last for years, as long as you keep the lid on.  Mine usually last for a couple of years before they wear out.  The other erasable markers that I use dry out in a couple of months, but these last for ever.  Clover also makes a regular tip water soluble marker - looks just like this except the cap is blue like the pen.

     While not technically a pen, it looks like a pen and works on the water soluble markings.  It is a Mist-It pen - sprays a fine mist of steam to make the ink disappear.  Just remember that just because you don;t see the ink, does not mean it is still not there.  You have to actually get the fabric soaking wet in PLAIN water - no detergent!  Rinse and the ink will disappear.  This is also great on water soluble interfacing and thread, if you are trying to make them disappear.

     This brings me to rulers!  When I am drawing pattern lines, I like these C-Thru rulers, for several reasons! 
     First and foremost, is that they are thin and flexible.  I can actually stand them on their side and curve them to measure.  
     Also, because they are thin, I can put the point of my pen right next the the ruler and get and accurate line.  Quilting rulers are much thicker and are made to be used with rotary cutters.  It is harder to get your point right next to the edge, which makes for a less accurate line.
     These rulers come in a variety of sizes, so I have exactly what I need.  I have these in 1" x 6", 1" x 12", 2" x 12", 2" x 18' and 2" x 24".  Depending on what I am doing and where I am going, I can take them along with me, as they are very light and easy to travel with.


      Another thing I love about these rulers is that they are marked in 1/8 inch increments and are very easy to read.  You can see above that I have measured my mini post-it notes and it measures 1.5" (or 1 4/8") on the height.  Since most of the sewing measurements in the US is measured in inches, and eighths of an inch at that, these rulers are perfect!

     While we are on measuring................. this is a nifty little measuring tool that has every small sewing measurement imaginable - 8 measurements in all.  Handy dandy!

     This is a metal ruler with a slide marker - not bendable like the seam gauge. It has the conversions for changing inches to decimals, which comes in handy of you are re-sizing a pattern.

As you can see, there are many tools of the trade!  If they make your life easier, then use them! Besides liking gadgets and notions, if I find something that makes my sewing life easier, faster, or more accurate, then it will find its way into my sewing caddy!

More later, and 
Happy Stitching!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Vaune's May Newsletter is Posted

Happy Spring, May Day, and Mother's Day to you all!
     Better late than never - my May Newsletter is now posted!.  I will making more posts soon - all I can say is that it has been a VERY busy few months!
You can click here to see it:
***Please pass along this info - I have been having problems when sending out my newsletters.  I use a service, so that it does not appear as SPAM, but for the  last 2 newsletters that I have sent out, about 40% of them were marked as spam.  I am trying to find and fix the problem, but I the meantime, I will let you know through my blog when I post a newsletter.  You can always go to my website (www.vaune.com ) and click on the newsletter link at the top. If you follow my blog, you will get the link. 
     May newsletter includes several specials, some info and pix on Madeira Embroidery, and the dates for our June Sew-in in Santa Barbara.  No teachers at this event - just a weekend + of getting away, relaxing, and sewing!  If you are interested, please give me a call (805-529-5005) or email me (vaune@vaune.com).  We can arrive Friday afternoon, (June 26) and we can actually stay through Tuesday.  The base fee for your room and meals for Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon is $185.  If you want to stay Monday or Tuesday, it is an extra $60 / night for your room and meals.
     I have been doing some tidying up of my files - I am including several pictures of different pieces of Madeira embroidery and white work that I have found.  Just a little eye candy for you!

See you soon!

Happy Stitching,

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Santa Barbara Here We Come!

          Welcome to 'A Classic Confection'

 Our Brochure for our Santa Barbara Retreat is posted and registration opens on April 15th.

     Join us for our last event at St. Mary’s in Santa Barbara, CA, A California Confection - a sewist’s version of a kid in a candy store!  Over the course of 18 hours, you will start by learning several Delectable Design Choices, both hand and machine:  Petit Pintucks, Ambrosial Applique’, Exquisite Embroidery, Scrumptious Sleeves, and Confectionary Collars!  Next, you will Design your own decadent dress, choosing the elements that tempt you most!  Finally, you will create a California Confection of your very own using Swiss Lawn and Swiss voile.

Pre-Day Class is a Sweet White Sweater, Sprinkled with Embellishments.

  Optional Mon & Tues stay over available.  Registration opens April 15, 2015

For more information, you can email me at vaune@vaune.com     Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Smocking from Oscar de La Renta!

It is soo nice to see smocking in the clothes from high end designers.  Oscar de La Renta has a beautiful smocked dress in his children's wear collection! 

      This sleeveless dress is smocked from the shoulder to the high yoke.  The pleats are then released, but smocked again at the waist.  A beautiful dress for any young lady!

     There is also a few traditional outfit for little boys.  They are not smocked, but still cute as can be!

     It is so nice to see little boys looking like little boys!  Reminds me of when mine were little.  They lived in John John suits and OshKosh overalls.  Hard to believe how quickly the time has gone by.

     I am getting ready to head out to the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA.  If you are attending, please be sure to stop by my booth to say hi (#632).  If you are going to the SAGA Retreat in Vegas (same weekend), have fun!  I wish I could be in 2 places at the same time.

     I will try to post some pictures next week - lots of things to do and see.  I will be posting the information on the Santa Barbara weekend in August (with Cindy Foose and myself).  They are closing the retreat center where we hold it, so I am not sure what will be happening in 2014!

    I will talk to you soon,
Happy Stitching,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A-Z is back, but Beware!

    December  Newsletter is Posted!
Just click here!

     I am so sorry it has been a while since I have posted - I have subbed for the last 6 weeks in Transitional Kidnergarten.  I had a lot of fun with 23 4-5 year olds, but have realized that there is a reason I had my kids when I was young!

     Great news! 3 of the A-Z books from Country Bumpkin are being reprinted and are in stock now, retailing for $20!  (See newsletter for sale).  They have different covers than the original publications, and one has a new title, so be aware of that - NONE of these are new books.

     The first reprint is A-Z of Embroidery.  This is a GREAT reference book if you do any embroidery!  The inside is the same - step by step pictures for each stitch.

                                       New Edition

 Old Edition 

     The new edition has the same pictures, the same layout, etc. as the old edition - just a different cover.

     Next is the A-Z of Bullions, now known as A-Z of Embroidered Motifs

                                             New Edition

                                                                   Old Edition

And finally, A-Z of Stumpwork

                                                               New Edition

                                                                        Old Edition

     The one to watch out for is the A-Z of Embroidered Motifs, as the title has changed. I had several calls from stitchers thinking that a new book had come out, but only a reprint!  Great for all of you who do not already have this book in your library!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, with your friends and family.

Happy Stitching,


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 2014 Newsletter and Christmas in July Sale is posted!

Just a Quick Note!
July 2014 Newsletter is Posted!

You can find it at 

Just click on the Newsletter link at the top of the page to see ALL of my Newsletters, or follow the link below.

I am having a Christmas in July Sale through the end of the month!  


All fabric is 20% off, all DOVO scissors are 15% off, and all Newsletter items are 20%off as well.  This includes the Stella lamps, including the new PINK Stella Table Top model!


Happy Stitching, 

P.S.  Will post more on my sewing tools soon!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

On Your Mark...........

   Marking your fabric...Why, What, How

   When sewing or stitching, you are at some point going to have to mark your fabric.  Different fabrics and end results determine what you use and how you make your marks.  Fortunately, there is a wide variety of notions available to accommodate all types if fabric!

     To start with is my tracing tool.  If I want to transfer marks from a pattern to my fabric, I can place some type (see below) of tracing material on top of of the fabric and run the tracing wheel over the marks.  This makes very clean, exact lines on the fabric.  The tracing wheel above has a 'comfortable' handle, but they come in several different versions.

     This model I got in the LA garment district - and it means business!  The spikes are longer and sharper and can be used on heaver fabric, as well as tag paper.  I DON'T use this on fine fabric!

     If you are in the beginning stages of creating a garment and need to make a muslin (a practice garment to adjust for size), waxed tracing paper works very well. 
**Please note: Waxed tracing paper is hard to remove! **

 This is a good example of knowing what you need and using the right tool.  When making a muslin, you will be working with the fabric pattern pieces and making marks on them for fit.  You will probably even use the marked fabric as pattern pieces.  Because of this, you need to be able to mark it so that the marks do not brush away or disappear with heat or water.  This is a staple in a dressmaker's tool box!  You can usually find it in 4 different colors.  Keep it rolled up and in a plastic bag so that it doesn't get all over anything.

     Here are 2 colors of marking wax - and yes, they are wax so they are not going to come off!  They come with one side honed to a fine edge (the left side here) and the 2nd side (the right side) is a bit thicker.

     If you want to do a lot of marking and need it to be able to be removed, then you want to use unwaxed tracing paper.

      This comes in 4 colors as well.  It is a chalk-based substance (instead of wax-based, as above), so that it can be wiped off with a damp cloth or brushed off.  Because it can be brushed off, think about how it will be handled.  If you are marking cut lines to simply cut it out, this will work well.  If you have to handle and manipulate the fabric over and over again, then chances are that the markings may fade or get brushed away while you still need to see them, so take this into consideration.

     There are several chalk type pencil marking tools that can be used as well as the tracing paper.


      These chalk wheels have a screw bottom that you can take off to refill the pen.  At the opposite end, there is a tiny slot with a slim metal wheel.  When you run the wheel over the fabric, a fine line shows up.  You can get different colors of chalk - white, red, yellow, blue.  This chalk brushes off fairly easily, so keep that in mind.

     This is a chalk pencil from Bohin - it has a fairly fine lead (.9mm).  The lead also comes in several colors, which is helpful.

     This white chalk pencil also has a lead that is on the fine side.  I picked this up when I was in the garment district in NYC.  I will note that I have several different white marking tools.  I don't use white that often, as most of the sewing that I do is not on dark fabrics.   However, when I DO need a to mark in white, I like to have choices.  Sometimes one works better than the other, and I want to make sure that I have something that will work.

      A washable Dixon marking pencil can also be used, and can be washed out.  The lead is a bit thicker, so not the best choice for fine line tracing.

     As you can see, there are many, many choices for all different situations.  Sometimes one works better than the other - it is always good to have options to make sure you can make an accurate marking.

That is all for today - we will continue in the next post, as there is still more to go!

Happy Stitching,