Tag Archives: fabrics

textile tuesday❣️

Joining Wild Daffodil’s Monthly photo challenge.

Never realised this blouse had such vibrant colour until I looked at it in decent light.

This is rayon, my favourite fabric!

Happy New Year, everyone, and thank you Sandra for continuing the series❣️

in search of …

Over on the left is a photo of a much loved, 10+ year-old tunic (nightshirt? minidress?) I’d love to re-create. It’s never piled, feels absolutely wonderful, but has developed holes along strain areas—elbows and sleeve head, etc.

Last year I tried shortening the sleeves and adding a remnant, but the fabric just didn’t work. I couldn’t face making a new version, but I kept the original.

After resurrecting it again during Autumn’s Wardrobe Review & Grand Purge I thought again about recreating it. If only I could find a similar fabric. So the search began.

There’s no fashion fabric store nearby, so online is my only option. After searching a few sites, I got to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, just outside Chicago.

After finding an option or three and procrastinating for weeks as we do, just to be sure, I finally tried to order swatches. Paypal seems to be permanently blocked, or their system can’t handle my having used two different emails over the years, so I called the store a couple of days later.

In talking with the office I realised they sell past copies of their seasonally-curated collections—$3 for over 40 swatches, some of which would be out of stock, but not the ones I wanted. And they also had a swatch card of all their combed cotton-Lycra knits (17 swatches for $5).

The downside was waiting a week before these were mailed, and 3 more days before receipt; however, no postage fee. If memory serves, they didn’t list a faster service unless I wanted to fly to Chicago & pick up in-store. Not!

What else is new? Two full bags of donations waiting for a few more additions before being dropped off at Goodwill… Finished another great Louise Penny book and am in the middle of her A Rule Against Murder… A nice holiday on Thursday followed by a long holiday weekend, lots of wonderful fabrics to be grateful for and continue sewing, and some of the nicest sewing friends all over the world.

🍂 🦃 Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates this week, and Happy Week to those who don’t! 🦃 🍂

denim: 🥰 or ☹️ ???

Do you love denim?

Guess you could say I love the colour, but not the heavy fabric itself.

I’m all into soft and flowy fabrics. Perhaps part of my non-appreciation of denim is due to not seeing good quality denim fabric, but a lot of it is sheer ignorance. You can find anything on the web, but you gotta know what to look for, right?

So curiosity, and knowing I would get solid facts presented intelligently by women that know their fabrics had me listening to Love to Sew’s latest podcast on denim.

And I got all the info and links anticipated, plus a lovely surprise that had me looking at denim fabric, just out of curiosity, you understand… . . 😉

How long have I been a fan of Helen and Caroline, the hosts of Love to Sew? Probably not that long, considering they’ve been presenting a podcast a week for two years. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ! ! ! 🥂 💐 But I’ve done a lot of listening to older podcasts, and have recommended some to friends, too.

The photo (she said we could use it) is Helen wearing a dress she refashioned in 2016 from three pairs of her partner’s old jeans. Her blog post details how she did it. Definitely a woman who knows her way around some denim!

But the best news for denim lovers is Caroline (who owns Blackbird Fabrics in Vancouver) is doing a Denim Drop tomorrow. Yep. FRIDAY! (Now you know why I went browsing. hehehehee!)

Earlier this summer I ordered a bit of non-denim lusciousness from Blackbird but am caught in August’s intense heat so haven’t made it up yet. Blackbird’s U.S. shipping is good, and all you lovelies in U.K. and beyond should check their rates before automatically turning away.

Blackbird is a Canadian shop, and they know how to make it all happen for sewers around the world. Their packaging is well thought out and recyclable.

See you Lovelies tomorrow at the sale?!

Edited Friday noon: Just checked out Blackbird and don’t see any label of major sale or new denim as yet… but there’s a 100% viscose that looks drapey interesting…

macro monday

Happy Holiday to those having one!

Thought I’d give you a close up view of this holiday’s watching telly project. (I took out all the seams.)

Just the last bit of fabric from small kitchen curtains from California days—15+ years ago.

Ya can’t keep a good piece of cotton forever in The Collection. Sometimes it just has to come out!

The other piece of this became a market bag gifted to a neighbour.

Below is the entire piece, so you get a better idea of pattern. The small white square marks the enlargement for the above photo. I don’t see any hint of fading, and still love all the bright colours.

Hope your Monday is full of bright, lovely moments. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

tuesday’s tee

I am bound and determined to get this “muslin” tee shirt D.O.N.E.

The pattern is one brought from California, which means it’s older than dirt. And never made up till last week when I got out the camisole pieces and started measuring tissue fitting.

But my knit fabric is a bit younger… from several years ago when that last fabric store chain was closing. Sad day that.

Don’t know the fabric content of this knit, and seems like either side could be considered the right one.

I can never remember, do you? Does the knit curl to the right side, or the wrong?

Not gonna make any difference with this tee. As you can see, the piece on the left is now the wrong side.

Shorts to come, using my tnt Butterick 5432 pattern.

So what else is going on? I’ve been clearing off the cutting table.

Keeping me occupied whilst dealing with those piles of fabric was an Australian novel, The Dry, recommended by a friend. Not for the faint of heart is this one, chronicling a very small town way out somewhere in Queensland. I’ll pick up the second novel this week.

We’ve got a three day weekend coming up, so I’m getting ready. 😉

A good contrast is another Mitford novel, also on cd… 16 of them!… is To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon.

And the lovely translation of The Little Prince. Such a sweet story with plenty for adults to consider.

All for now, Lovelies! I have a boa constrictor to draw. . . .

rayon, rayon everywhere (aka, viscose)

Last week I was musing over this Butterick pattern, B5655. I got it out to confirm there are two complete items here, a dress or tunic and duster, sewn together. Both duster and dress use separate front and back pattern pieces.

For me, on a very hot and humid summer day, this is a big deal. If/when I make this up I’ve a feeling there won’t be double layers both front and back. If there are, they will not be sewn together, and one – probably the duster – will have longish and loose sleeves. 😉

Also under scrutiny last week was this cocoon dress from Vogue, V1496. Whilst talking with Vogue Fabrics to locate elastic lace for those half slips, I saw an interesting rayon/viscose fabric that might work well for this Vogue dress. Eager to have it in my hot little hands, I hoped it would arrive on the weekend. It didn’t. 😟

Wednesday the package appeared. I like the fabric very much. It’s very light in weight but not transparent, and it washed and dried in cool temps with nary a wrinkle. However, this is a fuzzy fabric. Fuzzy does not feel good in heat and humidity.

So I’m back to the planning stage for this fabric. But as you see below, there are some interesting color combinations in the offing. More thinking . . . which at some point makes my brain begin to feel a bit like Pooh’s, but we’ll get to that later.

About those other fabrics – The solid teal rayon (left) I’ve planned for trousers; the green and black pattern (another rayon) is already both blouse and skirt. The dark brick, right, (rayon again – are we noticing a trend?) was earmarked for a half slip, and the cinnamony arrows (cotton lawn) is a dead match for those tiny butterflies… another blouse?

I’m thinking the fuzzy rayon might make a blouse that can also be worn as a second layer atop another blouse, leaving the solid teal for trousers, and do the arrows cotton lawn as another blouse.

What do you think? Have I totally lost you? 🤪

books

It’s been a while, but you know I haven’t stopped reading! The local town library has opened again after renovations, so I collected a little pile… and just finished Becoming (Michelle Obama), loaned graciously by Jen of Let the Sewing Begin after I mentioned there were over 1,000 on the waiting list.

It was an absorbing book for two reasons: First, it is extremely well written and paced, and is very conversational in style. Secondly, it felt personal. I was living in Chicago and walked home from a late work session the night of Obama’s first election and could easily hear the crowd’s roar a couple of blocks over in Grant Park. The whole city felt lite up that night, proud and honored that one of our own was going to the White House.

The night of Obama’s re-election I could hear the crowds over on Michigan Avenue roaring every time cars flew past, hoping it was Obama on the way from his home, south of me, up to his campaign headquarters further north.

On the weekend I listened almost non-stop to the audio version of The Music Shop because the first paragraph grabbed me and I couldn’t stop listening. At two in the morning, exhaustion demanded a pause for sleep.

No, I never read the whole Winnie the Pooh and thought it was time. The stories are well suited for any age reader. The contrast between them and headlines is a stark but needed reminder of what I prefer to consider normal: gentleness, kindness, consideration, and lots of humor.

The unreadable title underneath it is Sayers’ Strong Poison. Haven’t started this one yet… And I couldn’t resist picking up Clinton Kelly’s book, Oh No She Didn’t, for a quick review of What Not to Wear. Remember that program?

Crochet One-Skein Wonders is interesting to look through but I’m not planning anything from it just now. It’s just because it was there and I thought it would be interesting to look through. (We’ll have to wait and see how that works out. 😉)

Yikes! This is marathony! Best stop, say many, maaany thanks to anyone still reading, and wish everyone . . .

May your sewing machine always be oiled, your needle sharp, and your bobbin full!

remember these two rayons?

They’ve been sitting here quietly, waiting for me to locate some stretch lace for their waistbands.

I looked at Vogue Fabrics (Chicago) on-line first, but didn’t find any. So I looked a few more places, browsing other fabrics along the way, as we do. . .

Spent a weekend thinking how to proceed further. Finally thought I could at least call Vogue’s 800 number and ask if they had anything in the store, and they did.

Alleluia!

Turns out they had lots of elastic lace in different colours and widths and percentages of stretch.

We emailed and called over a day or two, and whilst doing that, I had a look at Vogue’s fabrics, as we do. 😉

Despite our winter weather I’d fixated on a summer pattern acquired last year, V1496.

With that on the mental back burner Vogue’s latest laser print linens and pontes were tempting me, until a rayon caught me eye.

The rest, as they say, is history and both the elastic lace and the rayon are winging their way to moi.

Hopeless, aren’t I?

🥴

❤️ ❤️ Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️ ❤️

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ Hope all you LovelyReaders have a wonderful day today ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

This is another remnant from my Chicago fabric collection. It was found at Vogue Fabrics and added shortly after what’s now my recent skirt.

I’m leaving the piccies huge so you can see the details. I think that embroidery is upside down. Just realised the embroidered shape, if it were more pronounced, might be a bit of a prob, or am I being paranoid?

This is one yard of medium weight unknown fibre, 60 inches wide with 30% stretch.

Never considered it for anything except a bottom something er other, due to weight and inside texture. (I hate having to line things. Much easier to make a slip.)

Which I’ve been planning on doing with both these pieces (below).

And delving amidst the collection, thinking about slips and such, these two pieces of rayon came to mind. After searching for threads, came up with some make-do’s.