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Profile for Thimblefingers - Threads

Thimblefingers

Edmonton, AB, CA
member

Mom sewed my sister and me clothing from used clothes. She taught us to sew by hand and embroider before we were schoolage. I sewed my first dress when I was 10. It was a navy cotton shift with big yellow daisies with pink centres. I made a matching triangle hat and purse. By the time I was in Grade 7 and started taking Home Ec in school, I was a pretty accomplished sewer. I had great Home Ec teachers! I took Clothing and Textiles in High School. Again, I had a wonderful teacher. When I attended College, I sewed for extra money. Several years later I studied Tailoring at NAIT. I worked for a seamstress for a while, then got a job as a wardrobe seamstress for a professional theatre. Awesome job and I sure learned a lot!! While I raised my family, I sewed at home and taught many sewing classes. Eventually, I opened my own shop. (More later...)

craft interests: embroidery, fashion, gifts, restyle, sewing, design

Member Since: 12/31/2008

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Beaded Embroidered Silk Ensemble

I made this jacket and dress ensemble out of embroidered beaded silk and matching plain silk purchased at Estee's Fabrics in Edmonton.  I designed both pieces.  On thenbspbeaded...


recent comments

Re: Pattern Giveaway: Simplicity SewStylish 1542

I like View A - it's a dressy look with interesting detail - and I have some awesome buttons just asking to be shown off. This would be the perfect backdrop for them. Also love that the pattern comes in size 6. So many of the Sew Stylish patterns start at size 8 and I can't use them. :( Size 4-12!

Re: Book Giveaway: "Costume and Fashion: A Concise History"

I would love to learn more about the clothing of the 1700's. I love the detail and the extravagance as well as the rich fabrics.

Re: DVD GIVEAWAY: Industry Insider Techniques with Louise Cutting Volumes 1-4

I have sewn for years but there is always something new to learn. Would love to have this set of DVDs and discover more about sewing.

Re: McCall's and Kwik Sew join forces

I am so excited! There's only one place here where Kwik Sew patterns are available and they don't have a good selection - and the store is hard to get to for me. My list is ready to order and I'll be doing that this weekend!

Re: Rose's gallery #3

Your garments are stunningly beautiful! Very professional! You are amazing!

Re: Book Giveaway: Seventeenth-Century Women's Dress Patterns

I would love to own a copy of this book. I used to work in a professional theatre and we made historcially accurate costumes. This book would be such a pleasure to add to my experiences.

Re: What sewing book do you turn to most often?

My sewing library fills an entire bookcase with the extension to the ceiling (PLUS almost all issues of Threads and all issues of Vogue Patterns from 1975). When I was young and learning to sew, I used the Vogue Sewing Book and Reader's Digest Sewing Book often. Now that I am older, with many years of sewing behind me, I don't use them often but highly recommend them to inexperienced sewers. It seems that each of my many books has strong points that the others don't so what book I use really depends on what I'm sewing. I also have the Singer Sewing Reference Library and it is not only a beautiful series, it is excellently written and easy to understand. It is well-used. I even have the pictured book. I purchased it from a used book store. I love it's introduction and often read it in my sewing classes - how the act of sewing has changed over the years! It also has drawings with wonderful creative ideas that I still peruse when I hit a creative block.

Re: How have you organized your stash?

As soon as I purchase fabric, I serge it and throw it in the laundry for pre-washing if it needs pre-shrinking. That way I know it's always ready for me to work on when I want it. I have many large Rubbermaid bins (about 45), labelled and numbered according to type of fabric (ie: Bottom Weights, Top Weights, Laces, Linings, etc.). I choose which bin it is to go in, cut a swatch and glue it on the page in my folder for that bin. I write the length and width as well as any other comments that I may need to know later such as fibre content, flaws, border print, etc. Then the bins get piled in the basement out of the way. My fabrics are easy to find when I need them. My silks are rolled onto several tubes in layers according to colour so they aren't folded. My laces, ribbons, and trims are in small bins and arranged and labelled according to width, colour, and style. I don't have them catalogued but keep them on shelves above my cutting table so they're handy. I purchased a pattern cabinet from a store going out of business and am in the process of putting the patterns in plastic zip lock bags and arranging them by number. I will punch the envelopes and put them in a binder. The pattern cabinet is also in the basement out of the way and it saves space in my small sewing room. I can relax with a cup of tea and shop my stash without going anywhere or making a big mess!

Re: How have you organized your stash?

As soon as I purchase fabric, I serge it and throw it in the laundry for pre-washing if it needs pre-shrinking. That way I know it's always ready for me to work on when I want it. I have many large Rubbermaid bins (about 45), labelled and numbered according to type of fabric (ie: Bottom Weights, Top Weights, Laces, Linings, etc.). I choose which bin it is to go in, cut a swatch and glue it on the page in my folder for that bin. I write the length and width as well as any other comments that I may need to know later such as fibre content, flaws, border print, etc. Then the bins get piled in the basement out of the way. My fabrics are easy to find when I need them. My silks are rolled onto several tubes in layers according to colour so they aren't folded. My laces, ribbons, and trims are in small bins and arranged and labelled according to width, colour, and style. I don't have them catalogued but keep them on shelves above my cutting table so they're handy. I purchased a pattern cabinet from a store going out of business and am in the process of putting the patterns in plastic zip lock bags and arranging them by number. I will punch the envelopes and put them in a binder. The pattern cabinet is also in the basement out of the way and it saves space in my small sewing room. I can relax with a cup of tea and shop my stash without going anywhere or making a big mess!

Re: What's your dream sewing project?

My dream project would be that nice (really nice!) navy suit that I need. I have a beautiful dark navy Italian wool that I purchased at $98.00/metre. By education, I am a Tailor; however, I do all types of women's wear, so I have the ability and training. I just haven't had the time to do all the intricate details that I want to put into it to do a perfect hand-tailored work of art.

Re: What's your worst sewing disaster? How did you resolve it?

My worst sewing disaster ended in a better design than the one I had planned. I was making myself a black dress for a Christmas party. One of the features was black lace sleeves that were fitted. I put invisible zippers up the sleeve almost to the darted elbow to make them as narrow as possible and sewed covered buttons up the side of the zipper. Alas, it was time to leave for the party and I still didn't have the hem sewn. I had to find something else to wear. After the party, I decided that I would finish the dress right away so that next year, my dress would be ready to go. The next Christmas came and I was excited about finally wearing my beautiful dress. The day before the party, I gave it a quick try-on and discovered that I could not even get my arms into the sleeves, let alone zip them! That was when I realized that the weight-lifting I had taken up since the last Christmas had really made a difference in the size of my arms! I spent all night painstakingly ripping out the tiny double stitched seams I had used to sew the invisible zippers into the chiffon-backed lace. (I backed the lace on the sleeves and yokes with chiffon as I am always cold in the winter.) I made several graded circular ruffles out of chiffon and inserted them into the slash which I had extended and sewed the covered buttons back along the seam. I have since had many compliments on the sleeves (as well as the dress) and I really do like it better. I would never have come up with the unique sleeve if I hadn't had the disaster!

Re: How do you store your thread and other sewing notions?

I took a big thick piece of plywood and hammered measured rows of 3 inch nails with tiny heads into it, then painted it to match my sewing room. It holds about 180 spools which I arrange in colour groups. I hung it on the wall when I had my own home, and when I lived in an apartment, I just propped it against the wall on my counter. Because I have moved often, I had a cabinet maker build a set of cupboards 8 feet long. It's divided into 4 2-foot sections with 1 drawer and 2 doors with 1 shlef inside, which screw together. The "lid" or counter is one piece that fits on top and screws down onto the cupboard section. Moves like a charm and each section can be handled by one person if the shelf and the drawer are removed. My zippers are sorted into colors and styles on shower curtain hooks (the cheap ones that close) and then I hang them on a belt hanger. I hang them on a hook somewhere or in the closet depending on where I'm living at the time. Some notions, like fancy threads, sewing machine needles and things I use often are sorted into the drawers of those plastic cabinets with wheels and I roll them under my sewing table handy for use. Other notions end up in the drawers or shelves of my cupboards. I used to get the long used fabric rolls from Fabricland and rolled my laces and trims on them. I had large garage-type hooks in the walls and I had the rolls lined up the walls in the hooks. I've moved since then and couldn't put hooks in the walls but maybe again sometime. It was handy and I could see at a glance what I had.

Re: Giveaway: Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

I checked out this tool when it came up on the Simplicity site. I was so excited about it that I shared the video with one of my co-workers who is also an avid seamstress. I would love to own one of these - it would save me hours of work.