Tag Archives: resources

textiles to the moon & beyond

TEXT’ILE, adjective [Latin textilis.] Woven, or capable of being woven.
TEXT’ILE, noun That which is or may be woven.

My favourite dictionary has these two definitions for textiles. The later reminded me of something I discovered whilst researching on Cornell’s HEARTH* web site: Style Engineers.

Style Engineers is a fully developed and free short-course for girls and young women who like fashion and fabric, and might also be interested in a career in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

There’s a companion section to train prospective leaders (teachers).

If you’ve wondered what textiles are used in space, here’s your chance to have a peek behind the helmet. Scroll down this page for these short videos:

  • We are engineers!
  • Movement Improvement
  • Marvelous Materials
  • Smart Clothing
  • Patternmaking Tools & Tech

Your mission, should you wish to accept it, is consult your local guild or club or WI and see if there’s any interest in this course.  Good luck!

Partnering with Wild Daffodil for Textile Tuesday.

(*HEARTH led to my series on fitting, which I mentioned in last week’s post.)

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! 🦃 🍂

what i didn’t do on my summer vacation

A couple of days into my impromptu Labor Day Week of vacation somebody decided it was time to pay a visit. Perhaps you’ve heard? A little thing called Dorian.

This is one dangerous, dithery dame. Definitely not to be taken lightly. Certainly not a dame to be invited into a sewing circle. So I had to drop a few plans to start prepping.

Thus, vacation is being “extended” until she decides to “make that turn” away from the coastline and hopefully into the total oblivion she so richly deserves.

My ickle sewing spot is positioned far enough off the coast to avoid a direct visit, if she makes that turn. Everybody cross your extremities, pleeze!

So. What have I planned to keep me occupied Thursday and Friday?

Those thoughtful Canadians, Caroline & Helen of Love to Sew had a great podcast last week about planning your dream wardrobe. If anybody needs that, I do.

A HUGE Thank You to you both!

As the eagle-eyed amongst you may observe, there’s also a PDF in that piccie, ready to be assembled and tried out. You know, in case one should have nothing to do.

🤣 L.O.L.!!! 🤣

Fingers & tootsies crossed, will be back with you shortly with a wardrobe report. Meanwhile, be safe, Lovely Ones. 😘 ❣️ 😘

PS/Mystery lovers, did you see this article? I can vouch for Tey as being extremely enjoyable… 😁

PPS/(My thanks to she-knows-who for printing. 😉)

old magazines & sanity

my poor photo from my Victoria magazine: Original photo by Toshi Otsuki for Victoria magazine, October 1992.

Periodically I go through my piles of magazines and weed some out. In looking through my old Victoria magazines I decided again to keep the oldest ones, because to me they’re timeless.

I quickly tossed the few copies of the newer version I’d tried to like, after quick thumb-throughs. Then I opened a 1992 issue and was, yet again, totally captured by the prose, the layout, the photography.

That’s just my point of view. Curiously, the older versions of Victoria are still for sale in varying places on-line. Maybe I’m not alone. 😉

My early years were spent in the ambiance of up-state New York—the Peekskill and the Catskill Mountains, the Hudson River, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle country.

That’s what I opened to in the October 1992 issue—an article on John Burroughs, with photos taken at the John Burroughs Sanctuary in up-state New York.

The photos are superb, taken by Toshi Otsuki, who had a magician’s skill in bringing just the right light to so much of Victoria.

That’s my idea of Autumn!

After sitting through televised news, it’s been wonderful to immerse myself in another world where the colours sooth my spirit, and the words are soulful. Burroughs wrote and spoke of nature as “the primal sanity.”

Hudson River Views
“Our matchless October day—the ripest best fruit of the weather system of our clime . . . The early frosts are over, and the fall heats are past, and the day is like a full-orbed mellow apple just clinging to the bough.”
Burrough’s Journal, October 1883

This charming 8+ minute silent film is “From the American Museum of Natural History Library, Special Collections. Recorded in 1919, this film documents a day in the life of great naturalist John Burroughs, during which he receives three young visitors. Recorded in prizma color.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further references ~

pleasant double needle seam ripping

an offending 3/4-length sleeve (right side)

Impossible? That’s what I thought, Lovelies, and why I kept putting off the task. Probably the rest of you know already, but its a discovery for me.

Yesterday I had a nothing-matches-these-trousers crisis.

“Oh, yeah,” I thought. “There’s that RTW tan 3/4-length sleeve tee that I never wear (face of shame) because I hate the sleeve length.”

the bobbin side (wrong side)

Immediate crisis averted by my orange renfrew, I decided to let down those sleeves. Not a pleasant prospect. Grimly, I went for it.

Collecting my seam ripper & short nippers (see reference at end), and after downloading a recent BBC Women’s Hour podcast to sweeten the task, the ripping began.

After inserting the ripper on the right side of the double stitches I saw how much the pressure to cut the threads tightened the threads on either side, making it more difficult to get the ripper into the next stitches.   Hm.

i clipped both top & bottom rows simultaneously even though the bottom row doesn’t look as clipped as the top

As I had my thread nippers I tried them. Perfect. I was quickly round the first sleeve, nipping every other set of stitches.

 

couldn’t hold the camera & the nippers at the same time so had to put the nippers down to take the piccie

On the criss-crossed (bobbin) side,  remembering a recent, seemingly endless battle with a seam ripper, I decided to keep going with the nippers.

Again, they worked beautifully. I cut down the centre of the criss-crossed bobbin threads.

Then the fun part: Pulling out all those short threads. Apart from static cling, everything went quickly.

one done!

Success and one sleeve done!

A quick break for a cuppa, and the second sleeve was done before the podcast ended.

As this is an old tee I don’t mind the un-hemmed look, and am chuffed to have it done.

PS/Did I mention that Vogue’s having a sale? Maybe I shouldn’t… forget I mentioned it.

😄    😄   😄

click to go to Vogue Fabrics’ listing for the top thread clippers – only $1.49 and they’re all metal!

musing on fashion & identity

cotton & silk awaiting a decision on which pattern to use

! ! ! FLASH ! ! !

Over the weekend the Washington Post had an interesting article about a couple of new on-line companies catering to everyone in the real world who isn’t size 000S to 12.

Which, as Tim Gunn pointed out in an editorial in the same newspaper is the majority of consumers. He further commented, “Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up… Done right, our clothing can create an optical illusion that helps us look taller and slimmer…”

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

When one isn’t sewing, one tends to think about sewing. At least this one does.

And thinking about sewing reminded me of several things I’ve been reading lately, all of which may influence what gets sewn next. The first is a book:  Fashion on the Ration by Julie Summers.

Before deciding whether to purchase or wait eternally for a library copy from out-of-state, I went on-line and read some reviews. Which is how I discovered, “Looking good was a metaphor for Not Giving In, Not Giving Up…”   The Telegraph.

“Keep up the morale of the Home Front by preserving a neat appearance.   The Board of Trade, 1940”

“… a determined effort to bring as much cheer and charm into our life as possible. This, we are convinced, is the best contribution we can make to national defence. This was the attitude, widely celebrated after the end of the war, that came to be known as the Blitz spirit…”   from Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War, by Julie Summers, (pp. 1 and 18). Profile Books. Kindle Edition.

A-ha! So fashion was considered important enough for governments to get involved during World War 2.  Hmm. I downloaded a copy, which I hate doing as I’m a tactile book lover. However, its fascinating and I highly recommend it.

At some point I did my monthly look at Marcy Tilton’s blog and saw this about a Georgia O’Keefe exhibit she’d seen:

     “Clothes carry an energy of the maker and wearer… O’Keefe was always aware of current fashion, adapting it, simplifying and minimizing and paring it down to fit her own sensibilities and style. Her aesthetic remained constant and cultivated throughout her life with a dedication to simplicity, naturalness and sparseness in her art, her clothes and her home.”
“In later years O’Keefe had clothes made by dressmakers and purchased ready to wear. She was clearly aware of American fashion trends, was always of her time but in her own style. When she liked an outfit or garment she would have it replicated by a dressmaker, and in some cases would take it apart to make a pattern.”

This month Lizzie (The Vintage Traveler) did a double-post review of the same exhibit, now in North Carolina. Then I came across some interesting tidbits on ageism over at Style Crone.

This Autumn I’ve got a whole stew of ideas simmering slowly on the back burner. . .  However, one thing’s certain: Those cooler weather clothes I got out lately won’t be needed over the next couple weeks … high 80’s are forecast.   😮  Aw, rats!

long sleeves & long skirts will hang around until (if?) Autumn temps finally arrive

happy spring!

1″ creme & brown rayon petersham ribbons

The Petersham ribbon arrived Friday. It’s rayon and feels lovely – thank you to Chicago’s Vogue Fabrics!

(What petersham ribbon? I hear you ask… See previous post…)

Vogue has a variety of colours and widths, as the link above should indicate.

There’s also Britex in San Francisco (more choices). Now to sit down and sew & steam mine into place…

Got into warm weather hat making earlier in the solid week of 80’s, as I’ve been wanting a denim hat for years.

folkwear’s metropolitan hat is only 3 pieces & a snip to sew up! https://www.folkwear.com/products/269-metropolitan-hat

Using the never-ending denim (also used for that Morris blazer) it’s been sitting on the sewing table for a bit. Not saying how long a bit. 😳 But it finally came to the head of a pile one night and got mostly sewed up.

Then I discovered I really reeeally wanted some wire for the brim. And something to cover up the wire and finish off the brim nicely. Guess where I discovered just the thing. . . Yep. Vogue Fabrics, with the Petersham already in the post.

And all sewn to procrastinate on starting to fit & cut out a new pattern.

Don’cha just love  excuses.

😄  Happy Weekend, Lovelies! 🐇

hope everyone on both sides o’ the equator has a lovely weekend

Updated: sf’s britex in negotiations to stay

Huge Thank You to Tanya Maile, who was at Britex last week and commented below.

Seems there are negotiations going on. This article, dated 5 days ago, gives more specifics.

Perhaps we really don’t know what’s actually happening, and will just need to watch the news… and the Britex web site. . . .

My apologies for not searching multiple google pages for more recent articles.

click to go directly to their site
click to go directly to their site (logo courtesy of Britex’ site)

Again, a huge Thank You to Lizzie of The Vintage Traveler for alerting us to the situation.

Here’s an additional article I located. Between the 2 there are great photos of the store.

I’ve been to Britex a few times, whilst living in the Bay Area, and was always overwhelmed. But I never failed to lust after what I couldn’t afford (Liberty cottons and English wools) and found exactly what I needed.

If you’ve got an independent fabric store in your area of the U.S., puh-lease let them know how much you appreciate their existence.

Sales have started online at Britex.

details of a zest for sewing hands across the sea…

IMG_8588
is it chocolate, deep and dark, rich and round enough to go without sweetening?

In addition to a love of chocolate ~ deep and dark, rich and round enough to go without sweetening ~ I have a zest for getting kindred spirits together.  And that’s what I’m doing today.

Sewing and crafting people all over the world seem to recognize each other in the friendliest manner, sharing a super glue of fabric, thread, and creativity.

I was talking with a delightful store owner in England (they have the best fabrics) and after we’d transacted our business and were chatting, I discovered they follow a store over here, and not just somewhere in the U.S. but in my state, less than 100 miles away. How coincidental is that!

As we both puzzled over how to pronounce the name of the small town where the U.S. store was located, I said I’d give them a call and find out. After locating and reading through their web site, I did just that.

And spoke to another warm and friendly person who answered all my questions, and was surprised to hear about the follower in England. We did a bit of information exchange, with hopes that both store owners would get in touch with each other.

As my new friend said, maybe they can give each other ideas, and talk about what they offer that the other one doesn’t, and share ideas that way.

Now it’s time for me to get outta the middle, give a brief sigh of satisfaction, and enjoy both stores.

What are the stores? Can’t say just now, but will post complete information soonest. 😉 😉

about that slice of 4-layer fudge cake . . .

You might see how little was eaten. And that was only because I was trying to decide what it was that made it so…. unappealing. Too sugary? Yes, but something more… Too artificial?? Definitely, but something else niggled. . .

Then it hit me like a dope slap: It did not taste like chocolate.

NOT TASTE LIKE CHOCOLATE, I hear you ask.  How could that be-e-e-e-e-e ? ? ?

So I looked at the ingredients… he-he-hee . . . and there were 2 listings for cocoa, definitely not as any main ingredient, from what I could tell. Well, I told meself, you kept tellin’ yourself you weren’t gonna like it, and you were right. How I wish I wasn’t.

😳

Edits: Need to re-do that ingredients piccie so you can see there’s no cocoa in that top line – sorry!

Here’s 2 others, from top to middle.

IMG_8590
didn’t know the ingredient list would be so important, or would have opened more carefully. i think the top line reads: “Contents: Cake (sugar, enriched flour, “

 

IMG_8589
then the next line picks up what’s in that enriched flour with “(wheat flour, niacin, etc.

Submitted with seconds to space for this week’s WordPress Challenge, Ailsa’s Travel Challenge, & the fab four’s 52 Week Challenge.

symbols of independence

SYM”BOL, n. [L. symbolum; Gr. with, and to throw; to compare.] … An emblem or representation of something else.

i remember how thrilled i was to purchase this used machine years ago ~ it gave me the freedom to sew knit fabrics & rolled hem edges & it was sheer bliss!
i remember how thrilled i was to purchase this used machine years ago ~ it gave me the freedom to sew knit fabrics & rolled hem edges & it was sheer bliss!

 

 

 

detail feet
additional feet give me more flexibility in what can be accomplished with less effort… when i learn how to use ’em!
ad
this vintage ad is reprinted inside my early 20th century book of pattern instructions by Mary Brooks Picken.

 

another great tool for independence ~ and understanding more about how your machine(s) function! used it on my former machine & saved $ on trips to the repair shop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More on Mary Brooks Picken’s The One Hour Dress booklet here.

 

WordPress Weekly Challenge

Ailsa’s travel theme, independence