Apr 24 2012

Working with Mokuba


We have been prepping for our upcoming class with the American Sewing Guild – Sacramento and wanted to share some of that with you. We are making scarves using Mokuba free lace. Mokuba free lace is a water soluble stabilizer that allows you to create beautiful lace projects. You get two sheets: one sheet is sticky, one not. For this class, we are concentrating on gussying up scarves. We have been using thrift store scarves as well as lengths of fabric (which we also found in thrift stores – it’s amazing what you can find in thrift stores! More on that in another blog entry). Here’s a rundown of how we go from scarf to, um, another scarf? It looks better than it sounds:

The materials

First we selected a fabric/scarf and then picked out thread, ribbon, and yarns we thought would look nice with it. We then had to make the initial cut. On one scarf we just cut across and added the lace to the bottom. On another we angled the cut, then made a curved cut on yet another another scarf, all to illustrate there are many ways to configure the resulting scarf.

Drill with hook

Drill in motion

Since we wanted to introduce interesting texture to the piece, we decided to make cord. This is usually pretty simple with a cord maker, but since we have now broken our cord maker for the second time (and our IT person can’t fix it), we decided to go heavy duty by using a ceiling hook as a drill bit – works pretty well!

Front side

Back side

To actually make the Mokuba free lace, you place the sticky sheet down, sticky side up and start laying out whatever you want on it. We’ve used ribbon, cord, threads, and other fabric. Once you have the look you want, you cover the whole thing with the other sheet, which will stick to the other sheet. Then you sew it all down. We’ve been using a grid pattern a lot because it makes the process of making sure you have everything sewn down pretty easy. The fun part is rinsing out the Mokuba in water. The stuff turns into a slimy-like substance that you just push off the fabric. It takes a bit of washing and squishing to get all the Mokuba free lace out, but the results are really neat.

Finished scarf

Scarf detail

Mokuba free lace is great to work with. It doesn’t mess up your needle, is easy to sew through, and keeps the fabric, um, stable. We are planning to incorporate Mokuba free lace into some of our clothing projects once we get a few hours to play. Stay tuned!


Aug 19 2011

Organizing Patterns with Photoshop Elements


At the American Sewing Guild’s national conference in Los Angeles, we gave a short presentation about organizing your patterns with Adobe® Photoshop® Elements.  The Organizer portion of Elements is a great way to catalog photos, videos, music, and yes, even sewing patterns.   If you want to use the tags we created for patterns, save the file PatternTags.xml by right-clicking on the link and then clicking on “Save Target As…” (or “Save Link As…”).  Remember where you save the file, because you’ll need to find it again. (Tip!  Deb saves the file on her desktop and then trashes it once it’s installed.  Kris, on the other hand, tends to agonize over where best to save it and then forgets where she put it, but she’ll never admit Deb is right!)

Open Organizer and look for the Green Plus Sign icon.* Click on “From File….”  Navigate to PatternTags.xml, then click Open.  The Category Patterns with all its attendant Sub-Categories and Keyword Tags will appear in your panel.  Now you can delete the file, so your desktop doesn’t get all messy like Deb’s!

*It’s the first icon in the Keyword Tags panel.  If you don’t see the Keyword Tags panel, Click on Window > Show Task Pane from the Menu bar.


Aug 5 2011

Join Us at the ASG National Conference!


We’re packing our bags for the American Sewing Guild’s national conference in Los Angeles August 19-21.  (OK, that’s not really true. We’re actually running around getting all of our teaching materials ready, but that doesn’t sound like the organized Pixeladies we always claim to be.) Despite this small confession, we really hope you can join us there. We’ll be giving three 2-hour presentations: Furoshiki – Fun with Fabric Folding (bring your empty wine bottles – full, if you want to bribe the teachers), Organize Your Patterns with Photoshop Elements, and Design Fabric with Photoshop Elements.

Cactus Flower to Border Print


If you want to learn how we got from the cactus flower to border print,  sign up for the Design Fabric class. We’ll also be in the fashion show on Friday night.   Watch with amazement (or embarrassment) as we attempt to do a quick change on the runway.  It should be fun.

BTW, make sure to look us up for evening partying. We’re members of that Placerville/Gold Country chapter that has a reputation for getting the party started! Bananagrams, anyone?

Bananagrams, anyone?