Previously, my stash was organized by color. But as I have recently been digging in there for projects, I realize that color doesn't cut it. So now I have re-organized.
Finally, there are two overflow bins: one for fur (faux and real), and the other for upholstery stuff that I like using for historical looks. It was good to sort the stuff: I have fabric I'd forgotten, and I am excited to work through it in my quarantine downtime.
NOTE: This project involves non-medical use of isopropyl alcohol. I did this in February, before the spread of Covid 19. Now I have time to blog about it, but now I am also saving my alcohol for potentially vital uses! May people be sensible and God be merciful--may we soon see a decline in Coronavirus cases worldwide! Only then will I indulge in further play with alcohol as a solvent.
After having so much fun dyeing and doodling on my silk habutai scarf (September of last year), I decided to make a bunch more, and see if they're salable. I had money in my business account from the custom sewing and alterations I did the last few years, so why not use it for prototypes? I ordered the following scarves from Dharma Trading Company:
12 Silk Satin, 12 mm, 17"x17"
12 Silk Charmeuse, 19.5 mm, 22"x22"
12 Crepe de Chine, 12 mm, 25"x25"
12 Flat Crepe, 8 mm, 22"x22"
How did I decide which ones to order? I went for the ones that were discounted. I figured why shell out when I don't yet know what I like? I also got a quart of Synthrapol, a detergent that gets excess ink out of scarves after dyeing. My total for this order was $271.12.
This blog has been quiet lately, as I have not had much time for either sewing or writing in a while. Plus, winter always gets me down, and I find it hard to get excited about things when all I want to do is sleep. But, today my life took a detour: my job is closing its doors for the next few weeks to help curtail Coronavirus spread, which means the next few weeks are a vast vista of unscheduled time for me! Wow.
I am determined not to let this time go to waste. I have unfinished sewing projects, blogging ideas, a garden I'm putting in, letters unwritten, et cetera. Oh, and while I'm unemployed, I need to find new income sources. So here's my tentative schedule for all the time that's opening in front of me:
MORNING: Gardening, while it's still cool and quiet outside. Use that time to talk a little to God. Try to listen more than I speak.
MORNING: Important phone calls, because if I don't make them, I'll procrastinate them.
AFTERNOON: Sewing/art -- no computer
EVENING: computer stuff: blogging, research, et cetera
I do not promise regular posting, but you will certainly see an uptick in posts while I am "sheltering in place"!
I bought a vintage slip and knickers in July 2018, for less than $8! Quite a bargain, when I consider that the silk jacquard they are made of is probably worth $30/yard! And when I examined the seams, I found that the things were constructed with a mix of very tiny machine stitches, and equally tiny hand stitches. The front and back panels were machine stitched, then hand embroidered. The side seams were hand stitched in French seams, then the bottom hem hand-embroidered. I believe this would have been called "hand-finished" back in the day. (Perhaps by French nuns?) As I gushed to the shopkeeper (she knows me as a regular at that shop, since it's enticingly close to my bus stop), I realized that she didn't know how I could tell that it was hand-sewn, and I thought I should post some pictures to show the difference between hand stitching and machine stitching.
If your pattern calls for "gabardine" fabric, what is it, exactly, that you need? When we talk about fabrics, we usually describe them by fiber, fabrication (weave, knit, felt?), and finish. We don't always use these in a predictable order, though. For example:
sueded silk charmeuse (FINISH/FIBER/WEAVE)
wool flannel (FIBER/FINISH)
cotton twill (FIBER/WEAVE)
cotton/spandex jersey (FIBER/FIBER/KNIT)
polyester crinkle chiffon (FIBER/FINISH/WEAVE)
The term "gabardine" is a little slippery, though, since it can encompass both fiber and fabrication.
All my travails with fitting the sleeve/armscye of the Red Fox Vintage dress make me realize I need to understand better how these things are supposed to work. I can't use the Red Fox Vintage bodice as a sloper if the armscye is screwy, can I? So, after over five years of sewing clothes, hacking patterns, and altering things, I am ready to make my own sloper so I can make patterns that are right from the start.
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