Patterns are expensive... around $20, sometimes, for the Big Four ones. I understand why they cost a lot: a ton of work goes into making a decent sewing pattern! But I am glad of that work and want to support the people who do it.
I also like to scrounge through the second- or third-hand patterns at a thrift store and find cool patterns to try! I find patterns I might not spend $20 on (because I would save that amount for a truly unique or special pattern), but patterns that nonetheless are fun to sew and often become favorites. My thrift store experience is broad: I grew up with the Salvation Army thrift store and local church and charity shops, and as an adult, I now frequent Goodwill thrift stores, which are plentiful in my area. So if you want to buy second-hand patterns, here are a few tips.
For the cost of two dollars and ten minutes, I have made a set of clip-on stirrups to keep my pant legs in my boots. This will make my winter easier! Here goes:
In the picture below, my left leg does not have the stirrup, and the pant leg is riding up, not staying in the boot. Bad pant leg! Down! My right leg is in its stirrup, and the pant leg stays tucked.
When I saw an indigo-dyed cotton at the Mill End Store, I liked it a lot. This fabric is an ikat (say "EEE-kat"), which is a textile art I find fascinating. The basic design is as follows: the warp threads are arranged in stripes of solid color (black or deep indigo) and stripes of resist-dyed yarns. (Or maybe they're dip-dyed; I can't know for sure how they dyed them.) The dyed threads are dark blue and pale gray, and the gray spots alternate. The weft threads are both a solid color and a smaller diameter than the warp threads, so the warp-pattern really pops.
So what'll I do with it? I decide to make another shirt for my brother! I mean, the one I just made him won't fill the box for shipping, so I might as well make another and fill the box! I wouldn't want to waste my shipping money! ;)
Today, I want to talk about ikat fabric, because I find it fascinating. Ikat (say "EEE-kat") is a yarn-dyed fabric where the yarns are selectively resist dyed before weaving, and the pattern emerges once woven. Some pictures in this post are from Wikimedia Commons (click to see their sourcepages). The ones that don't go to Wikimedia Commons are my own pictures.
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