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Custom Collars For Saturday

5 Jul

Yea, we have electricity back! 

And dang, with the lights back on, it’s really obvious how messy and dirty our house got over the past week.  Eeek! 

But I am going to try and struggle through as much mess as I can, so I can get some of the customer orders ready for pick up this Saturday at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market. 

No promises, but I’ll do my best to get those done tonight and tomorrow night.

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March – A Mid Week Update

29 Mar

I didn’t realize how much of a handicap not having an iron would be, but it sure did make me change gears a few times while I was working last night.  I had to put the produce bags, cat toys and dog scarves totally on hold.  Those all require ironing at some point in their creation or they will be sloppy and not up to acceptable standards.  Luckily I had some other items that were alreayd past the ironing phase I could work on. 

For those that have been asking, we will have a lot of small collars very soon.  I apparently forgot to order one of the pieces of hardware for them so that has put them on hold again.  I have ordered it now though and should have it sometime next week.  These will be made out of BioThane AND in the nylon and cotton printed style that we carry.  We should have them ready for the summer market opening next weekend on April 7th, fingers crossed.

Rich and  I and I worked on the BioThane collars, which luckily do not need any ironing, and will have a nice selection of colors in Large and XL this weekend.  I am pretty happy with how they are coming out.    So happy that I took some pictures of some of them last night to share.

BioThane Speed Bump

27 Mar

I started to work with BioThane this Saturday.  It’s a whole new beast on a whole new machine.  A bit of a challenge, but I really like the material and am really enthusiastic to be moving into it.  I followed the added instructions given for sewing BioThane and gave it a whirl on some test pieces.

At first I had a lot of success and was thrilled.  I made two collars and was feeling pretty steady about it.  So I started to go into production mode and started working on them batch style.  This means I get a couple dozen going at the same time, completing one step in the process on all of the collars at one time, before moving onto the next step.  Sewing batch style speeds up the process, and it also helps regulate and provide more ease of consistency.

A little while into the process the bobbin ran out so I rewound and replaced it, which also requires a full rethread of the machine.  I also changed out the needle while I was at it.

Sounds easy right?  I sure thought so.  Having worked with sewing machines for over 20 years, I didn’t bat an eye.

Boy was I wrong.  The thread was no longer knotting.  I spent the next three hours rethreading, rewinding, and trouble shooting in general before I called it a loss for the night and went to bed.

Sunday I got up, positive outlook and all, and spent three more hours repeating the same steps over and over trying to figure out where I was going wrong.  I eventually picked up the phone and called Neely’s Saddlery and left a message for help.  Then my ego limped along with me to the couch where I spent some time sulking.

At 8:30 that night, Ryan, the owner of Neely’s, called me back and spent about 30minutes walking me through the whole process until I was successfully stitching again.  Then we discussed ways to improve my machines performance when working with BioThane.

It turns out I was making two very minor errors in the set up in regards to the particular thread weight I was working with, but as most sewers know, even the tiniest error can throw the whole sha-bang off.  I am very much looking forward to hopping back into the driver’s seat tonight and getting the batch back under way.

I am also proud that I purchased this particular second hand machine, that originally came from a family owned independent American owned company, that prides itself in such outstanding customer service.  I could not expect a one on one walk through over the phone late on a Sunday night if I had purchased a machine from a big corporation.   I will certainly be a returning customer and will be purchasing some different needles, thread and a specific BioThane friendly oil and pot from Neely’s in the very near future.

Bottom line, the BioThane project hit a learning curve, but we took it head on and are back up and running.

The first collar

Waiting on my Porch

23 Mar

I found this exciting box waiting for me on the porch when I got home today.  Can’t wait to get up to my sewing room this weekend!

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