Member Since: 11/25/2010
It has taken 1 year of intensive work and study to become comfortable drafting and fitting patterns (I am retired). But now I can either draft a pattern or completely refit a printed pattern without fear. My favorite drafting and copying paper is "exam table" paper. It holds up well, is easy to manipulate , semi-transparent, and best of all is cheap. It can be bought buy the case on the internet.
I hate searching for sewing machine needles and sewing needles. I now store my sewing machine needles in a plastic business card book. The needle packets slide easily into each card holder and are easy to identify. Each page is tabbed with type of needle. Now I just flip the pages to find the right needle and know when I need to stock up. For my hand sewing needles I made a book of stiff interfacing bound with ribbon. I got real fancy and used my monogram program to identify each type and size of needle. The needles are pinned on each page and are easy to remove and put back . No more buying extra needles for a job when I can't find the right one. Wow! did I have tons of needles.
I also made a pin cushion with velcro tabs to keep track of pins on my sewing machine, but I stuffed one side with steel wool and the other with wool scraps. Helps keep needles and pins clean and sharp. I was told not to put magnets on my computer machine.
My best 'find' was a oriental floral silk dress found in a thrift store in St. Croix USVI while on vacation. Made a beautiful "China Girl" costume for my granddaughter. I also find wonderful fabrics for special doll clothing. Like a elegant vinyl leopard rain coat for a 23" fashion doll.
Wow! What an amazing idea. I have always used starch but do not like the mess it leaves on my iron. Is the solution being poured on a plant? Great idea, very nourishing.
Threads is the most important magazine I subscribe to. A very good teaching tool. I was talking to a clothing conservator at a university costume museum about techniques she used. She asked if I subscribed to Threads, referring to a technique she used. I was proud to say "Yes."
Although I first learned how to sew by stitching doll clothing from fabric scraps my mother left while sewing our clothing, I learned fine sewing and tailoring skills from my high school home economics teacher. Her favorite saying was " rip it out, sew it again". From this teacher I learned to have no fear and always search for new skills and "toys". But the most important influence were two instructors at a Sewing Expo who taught fitting techniques. My fitting frustrations were finally over and I became obsessed with making sure everything I made fit perfectly. I now make historically authentic clothing for reenactors and work with individuals who, because of fitting problems, cannot buy "off the rack" clothing. Hooray for retirement!!
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