Tag Archives: rayon

thread chicken & pockets

For those who don’t know what the heck the title means, let me explain.

Among sewing. knitting and crocheting enthusiasts, playing thread chicken involves wondering whether you’ve enough thread to complete a specific task or project.

In the case of the above, it was a pocket. Or two…

There appears to be a difference between the colour of the pockets and the shorts in the second photo, which is an error I couldn’t sort out with the lighting. (More about those shorts here.)

The pockets really are the same fabric as the shorts – a heavy stretch denim fabric from my Chicago Collection (a.k.a., Vogue Fabrics). It’s the lining in the first photo that’s different – a lightweight rayon that in it’s former life was the top of a well-loved rayon denim dress (DKNY V1236) that might become a skirt, but the jury’s still out on that.

Speaking of pockets, I ran into some interesting history whilst reading one of Lizzie’s (The Vintage Traveler) blog posts. In the pockets article she lists The Wall Street Journal had this to say:

“Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege, and not just in evening wear. In her 2017 doctoral dissertation, “The Gendered Pocket: Fashion and Patriarchal Anxieties about the Female Consumer in Select Victorian Literature,” Samantha Fitch made the case that a sexist history of oppression is behind the dearth of pockets. Without pockets, women were traditionally dependent on men for essentials—like money. Ms. Fitch wrote, “Women’s pockets, in general, are smaller than men’s pockets, less numerous, or simply non-existent. Possibly worst of all, many times women find that their pockets are actually faux pockets.”

Think about it for a minute: “Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege…”

Might that have had something to do with my adding pockets to this pair of shorts, something I’d been procrastinating doing for months . . . . .



stashed mystery rayon

I’ve had some dark green rayon that’s been stashed since my golden age of California fabrics in the late 90’s.  Why?  It’s crinkled. Really crinkled.

So much crinkled that if I ironed the 40ish-inch width, it would easily be 45.  I didn’t feel that was quite the thing to do, couldn’t decide on a pattern, nor how to lay it out & account for that crinkle.  So . . .  the great green sat in stash.

Enter yesterday’s chocolate silk, tagged silk yoryu.  When ordering it I’d asked Brooke, the wonderful manager at The Fabric Store, what yoryu meant. She told me it was crinkled, and great for travelling because it doesn’t wrinkle so badly.

A-ha!, I thought to myself, maybe that’s what that green rayon is.  Let’s see when the chocolate arrives…

just a reminder, in black & white, so you can really see the yoryu in the chocolate silk
just a reminder, in black & white, so you can really see the yoryu in the chocolate silk

Another call to Brooke yesterday, after silk’s arrival & laundering, confirmed it, and she gave me some suggestions for how to lay out patterns.  Thank you again, Brooke!

Yoryu is a term that indicates a lengthwise, permanent crinkle woven into a fabric.

Thus, another of Life’s little mysteries is solved, and I’m closer to actually USING this green rayon.


gathered instrument skirt

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Have been drooling over this rayon remnant since adding it to stash well over a year ago. Finally decided to sit down and just sew it up this past weekend, and give myself a treat.

The piccies should show how it was done – a simple gathered skirt with a slight change, because the fabric has such an attractive-to-me selvage.

I must add a bit about the flexible bodkin I’ve owned for donkey’s years.  It made inserting elastic a breeze – I spent more time making photos than inserting the elastic. A quick internet search shows an updated form available at various sewing places. Search for ‘flexible bodkin.’

I decided to sew the one side seam to the outside, and realized when I started sewing the casing for the elastic that I couldn’t leave the side seam flapping around loose. So I sewed it down flat, which made completing the casing easy-peasy.

To make the casing I folded the top of the skirt down about 1 inch and sewed all round, leaving about an inch not sewn. That’s where I inserted the 1/4 inch elastic. If you don’t leave that opening, which can be sewn closed after elastic’s inserted, how are you going to get that elastic inside?!

Being truly lazy, I also decided I liked the wee fringe at the bottom of the skirt, and made a narrow zigzag around to secure thread from raveling.  That was the “hem.” Then I threw it in the wash* and waited to see if the hem raveled.  It did.  I may go back and do a rolled hem edge with the serger, and cut off the little fringe. We’ll see.


* note I ALWAYS prewash fabric; if it goes into stash it’s liable to get looked at, laid out & looked at, and washed several more times before finally getting sewn