Member Since: 02/08/2010
The greatest thing about my sewing space is that I had the opportunity to buy a property with a barn that has one finished room 12 x 32, and another, more 'garage-like' room, but still wallboarded and painted, 20 x 32. The long skinny room fits my Nolting longarm as tho it was designed for me and the other room contains storage and woodworking areas but approx. 2/3rds of the space has a sewing center, 3 knitting machines, large cutting table, 6 ft. worktable, tv/disc player, 24" loom, ironer, ironing board w/another iron, and one wall with shelves from floor to ceiling that is 10 ft high and 32 ft long....i could just LIVE there. A friend told me she was selling her place and I made the deal within a couple of hours and have not regretted it one bit.
Based on what i buy, i would have to say silk. i can spot a silk remnant from a dozen paces and have bought pretty much every one i ever saw. when i was working i would make silk tanks to go under my suits and each side of the tank might be made from a different piece of silk...i always left my jacket on so i could double my wardrobe of 'little silk tops' pretty easily. it is slippery and therefore hard to cut, and needs it's own pins to avoid holes and requires twice the time to sew up because of it's likelihood of moving while you are trying to get from here to there on a seam....but what can i say? I treasure every moment i get to wear it and it is not possible to buy silk tops for someone as tall as i am so... i have no choice... love that silk!
Turning a collar point? I use one of the threaded needles that I keep in my pincushion next to my serger/sewing machine. After stitching the collar in your favorite method, turn the corner right side out as 'tenderly' as you can. (I don't like to pull the corner out of shape) Then pick up your threaded (but UN-Knotted) needle. Now slip the needle through ONE side of the collar point as far into the point as you can stitch. I do the ACROSS the pointed end, not into the point. Pull the needle all the way through but stop when halfway down the length of thread. Now hold both ends of the thread and tug gently. Another bit of the point will come 'out' of the folds. When you think you have all you can, let loose of the thread and pull the needle all the way through. Turn the collar over and repeat on the other side. Repeat this action 3 or 4 times (it all takes maybe 1 minute), you will get a little less fabric each time and soon the point will be sharper than have ever done before.
This sounds like a wonderful book! I love the history of sewing, quilting and weaving...their background is, in so many ways, a history of women. I love the books with letters from our foremothers describing their latest needle projects to their families, back east, and more likely than not, asking for pins or needles to be slipped into their answering letters. I am sure the history provided in this book will yield some of the same interesting little 'nuggets.'
I was born in 1945, so many of these styles will be what I grew up with. I have been making my own clothing, (a result of a 5'10" frame at the age of 12), since the summer between 7th and 8th grades, so I'm sure these backward glances might look a bit familiar. The difficulty in finding clothing to fit and the solution I used to help myself, is one of the reasons I fell in love with Threads Magazine 26 years ago...I have recently purchased the DVD collection and am still oohing and aahing at each new thing I think to look up. Perhaps I can find some of those styles to reproduce now (with appropriate fitting changes) that were popular before I learned to sew.
Thank you so much for supplying us with the latest information regarding new publications. Winning a copy of this would be great, but even being aware of it so I can place on my Wish List would be nice. Thanks, again, deemail, Eagar, AZ
I agree with several of the previous comments about the judges being in love with gretchen for no good reason. Michael Kors wanted the print manipulated, but after all, she designed it and it's scale, she should have used it appropriately. the full skirt mentioned by another member here would have been the right scale for the print as it existed. the top had no style, period. It didn't fit at the bust, something they blast everyone else for, why not gretchen? the print was a very small percentage of the total outfit, that was the point of the challenge, right? and mondo keeps winning the top or near top positions because his color sense and cutting and fitting are superior to most of the other designers. Andy has done some wonderful stuff, but where is his confidence, and his competitiveness? the good work of other designers, like mondo and michael c. should be sparking him on, just as his last fabulous high fashion look should have set them on a creative spree. working with other artists is usually a road to new, better product for everyone. work at it andy, keep going mondo, and michael, quit whining about the other designers loving or hating you...show them with the clothes. michael kors was wrong about this week's outfit. the faux lapels, tie and quasi-cumberbund were imaginitative and done well. the print was what it was, subtle and trimmed beautifully. the shoes...too matchy-matchy? when heidi starts to dress herself, we'll worry about her opinion. her clothes are free and they are styled by someone else. Why don't we invite them to be a judge?
for Joaniesjosh....I know this is a month old but if you have not finished this dress or would like to make another like it...the zipper should be finished BEFORE the dress is assembled.
1. put all darts and waist seams (if applicable) in dress back
2. put same seams in lining back
3. sew back dress neck to back lining neck
4. baste zipper in dress back
5. fold lining back over (right side to right side) and sew thru back, zipper and lining all at once
6. assemble dress front and lining front in a similar way, leaving side seams and shoulder seams till last...
7. now sew shoulder seams from dress front/back all the way thru lining front/back...armhole will be raw
8. sew side seams the same way, dress to dress, lining to lining
9. face armholes with more lining fabric
10. hem dress and lining separately, attaching at side seams with thread 'leashes'
every edge should be finished at this point
I have learned so much from David Page Coffin. There is just the tiniest little difficulty in admitting that a man is my favorite sewing author. After all, this is one field about which we women usually know best.
One of my favorite things about sewing is to sit down to one of my treadles and make a quilt block or repair a pair of jeans (nothing sews 4-6 layers of denim better than a hundred year old treadle) and to feel that I am continuing a tradition that many other women took part in during the last century. To imagine what the first owner made or created and then to whom she left the machine. I love to consider what that woman learned at her mother's knee and then what she passed on to her daughters. None of my antique machines (I have 22) came from my family so these women only have sewing in common with me.
I also love quilting and part of that love is the history involved...women's history! But yet, here is this really interesting article about collars...and collar stays, and how to make them lay perfectly. The seaming, grading, pressing, topstitching, cutting interesting layouts for stripes and plaids, and they are all being detailed by a man!
I bought the whole book on shirtmaking the second I first saw it and it has never failed to teach me something new. Every time I get it out to refresh my memory about one thing, I will find another detail that I hadn't noticed before. I love all my Taunton Threads books, the ones on Jackets, Serging, Trims, etc., but the one I have referred to the most often is Shirtmaking, by David Page Coffin.
uh, oh.....i answered the question and then read the other comments....now i have more dream projects.....
One, beautifully fitted, completely lined, JACKET! something with tailored welt pockets or buttonholes, softly turned collar and lapels, sleeve heads, interfacing, underlining, weighted hem....ahhhhhhhh...from the perfect tweedy multi-colored (so I could wear it with lots of things) 'doesn't wrinkle easily' fabric and the MOST beautiful buttons.....the kind of thing I have made for customers a dozen times but never myself...
Like many others, I find it difficult to single out one thing that makes my sewing life rewarding. I think I would have to cite the family of women that preceded me. Blessed with several female relatives who made whatever they needed and whatever they could imagine, it never occurred to me that I couldn't make whatever I wanted. After all, some person made everything in the local store, and if some person made THAT ITEM, then I could reproduce it for myself with a much better-fitting product. The obvious extrapolation from this are those that have come after me. Those that asked and sat patiently while I explained and demonstrated some little jewel of information that someone else had taught me. It makes me happy to know that the skills I have learned and even developed (here and there) are going onward. Right now, I belong to a small group of quilters via the internet that includes a 20 yr old, a 38 yr old (approx) and a 64 yr old and I think I can state absolutely, that each of us has learned from the others. In one way or another, the women in my life have passed on knowledge, provided support, and been most instrumental in one of my greatest creative joys, that of sewing.
Thank you for making me think about this.
In 1985, I had a 10 yr old and a 15 yr old. Both boys wore a lot of faux OP shorts, but I can't remember if it was that late...my local Valueland Fabric store always had cordouroy remnants in a playpen in the middle of the floor. If there was 3/4 yd, I could get a whole pair. If there was only a 1/2 yrd, I had to look for another matching piece or a coordinating pc for the pockets and waistband....and then there was the neverending stream of T-shirts. I used to pull my fabrics, cut till I couldn't stand it anymore and then sew across one shoulder, the second shoulder, one sleeve edge per/sleeve, the neckband, and both shirt sleeve bands (if used on that shirt) and then sort into stacks to fit each boy. that way, the shirt was started and no pieces got lost if I didn't finish immediately. Then when i had a few minutes, I would clip the connecting threads, and finish off one or two shirts that needed the same color thread. I have no idea how many T-shirts I made in the space of 20 years for the two of them, my husband and myself. It was always rewarding as my husband was very tall and couldn't buy shirts to fit and the amount of money saved really covered most of the boys' other clothes besides fitting better and lasting longer.
My cabin is approx 960 sq. ft...my barn/sewing room is 1024 sq. ft....I have one room 12 x 32 that is the perfect shape for my longarm and the other room is 20 x 32 with a 12? ft square in the center. Sewing machines, serger, loom, knitting machines, ironing board and work table all line the square with my work chair rolling from machine to machine when appropriate. The work table has other chairs to accomodate my friends when they come to sew with me (every Thursday). My cutting table is behind the square, a step away but not IN the way. The long wall, 32 x 10 ft high is lined floor to ceiling with shelves for fabric, yarn, and bankers' boxes filled with supplies and notions....I love the space, and the storage and I also love that my tiny cabin is not required to have any sewing 'mess' in it. I can have a project in a bag or in my lap and everything just gets carried back to my studio in the morning. I am very appreciative of the space I have and am trying to tidy and re-arrange all the time as I get new ideas of how to use it. Currently, styrofoam boards are going up on walls to provide design wall convenience.
I embroidered first, I still have a set of tiny tea towels that I did at 4 with a long filled running stitch, then I learned to sew, crotchet, knit, weave, upholster, beaded jewelry now and then, machine knit, machine embroider, and machine quilt. I am still trying to learn how to spin...love it all...
I have officially become addicted...I just received my 21st machine this weekend when one of step-sisters passed along my mother's Featherweight. I have 3 other Featherweights, (1 beige, and now 3 black), 1 Featherlite, 1 Babylock 3-thread serger, 1 Elna 4-thread serger, 2 White cabinet model converted treadles with the big wheels, that almost match, (so I use them for bedside tables in my bedroom), 1 Singer 99, 2 Singer treadles, (1 from the 1860s, one from the 1890s), 4 wooden coffin tops, (my favorite is the knee control portable), a Pfaff 1450, a New Home from 1964 (my high school graduation gift given in April before I graduated so I could make my prom dress on it), my mother's 80 year old toy Singer, that actually sews, a Kenmore metal portable model in which the cover becomes the worktable, 2 Singer utility machines from the 70s, 1 Nolting 24" Longarm, right down to my father's hand-operated mending awl from his Navy service...I'm sure there are a couple I forgot so that makes more than 21...they're apparently multiplying on their own. Some were gifts, some were purchased, I traded in only one machine in my life, my Pfaff 1222 which I had simply worn out and could not use any more. All the machines, except the Featherlite, work and each get 'exercised' regularly, (there's nothing better for mending jeans like a well-oiled treadle), I love to quilt on the treadles and the Featherweights because the straight stitch machines make the prettiest stitches. General dressmaking is all for the Pfaff, I love it's speed and flexibility and quiet voice. The 3-thread serger is for overcasting, the 4-thread serger is gaining on construction and quilting as I learn more, and the New Home is set up in the corner just for hemming. Others just get hauled out, cleaned, oiled and sewn on just to keep them going. And my baby, Miss Kitty, (she was used and came from Dodge City), the Nolting Longarm (TV reference for all those old enough to remember Gunsmoke)...I use her three or four days a week and love every minute of time I spend on her. I bought her 4 years ago and she was 9 then...a teenager now, but pretty well behaved and can do anything I can imagine. They are tools, furniture, decorator items, even paperweights, and I love them all (well, to be honest, those 70s plastic utility machines are pretty awful) but the best part of the antiques for me is imagining what all the women before me sewed for themselves and their families on them. And, in turn, I can imagine their next owners as they enjoy thinking about what all of us did before them. It's not a contest, we all love each of our machines.
My favorite version of this is about 30+ years old. I remember it only because it was such a simple, yet striking idea, then and now. The singer/actress, Edie Adams, (wife of comedian, Ernie Kovacs) wore a white fur version that had the armholes offset and it could be worn both ways. One way produced a nice turn-down collar and the other way, produced a big enough 'collar' that she could pull it up to use as a hood. The circle was much larger, producing a 3/4 length white fur wrap! It was gorgeous and, of course, 3/4 is such a useful length. Better to be 3/4 length with a full length gown than to have those awkward inches showing under a 'not quite long enough coat,' and it is also a great length with pants. I am enthused all over again. How about quilting two pieces of fabric with batting for warmth before cutting the circle? If I draw the circle on the top layer, I can make the quilting follow the shape!
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