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Conversational Threads

Informal survey–What are you making?

karen_morris_ | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I thought it might be interesting to share what we’re all making at the moment. You know, just to see what we have in common, and to inspire each other. Maybe the more ambitious of you would be willing to post photos here of things you’re working on or have finished….

I’ll start with a few projects I have in the works. I’m nearly finished with a basic bra for myself, made of nylon/lycra satin in violet with black details; just waiting to get the back hook closure and underwires in my size. I’m beading a little peyote-stitch vessel, 2 1/2 inches high. I love this kind of work, but I’ve gotten bored with it and stopped working on it lately; it’s about 3/4 finished. Someday. For my 15-year-old daughter, I’m making a corset from a vintage pattern. It’s white cotton twill with black Ultrasuede piping and stitching. In truth, it’s not even cut out yet, but I did wash the fabric to get ready, and need to trace off the pattern.

So, what are you making?


  1. Sue_M_Wilson | | #1

    Well, inspired by reading some articles on wardrobe building in the spring (hey, a topic perhaps Threads should cover???) I am continuing along that vein. So my colours for fall are (more or less) black, red, white, charcoal grey, and plum. First 3 garments are a one-seam pant (from an old Issey Miyake pattern 1618) a white shirt from a white stretch moleskin that has a laser-cut border (leftover project from spring sewing!!) and the new Issey Miyake blouse pattern in a stretch poplin. Then some charcoal pants (New Donna Karan pattern) and some interesting shirts to co-ordinate from OOP Byron Lars patterns. And a winter coat, another Issey Miyake. And a shirt for my husband a special request after he's seen me with the "Shirtmaking" book. Hopefully I will have time to sew a couple of pajamas and nighties and a robe, too. Phew!

    I'm trying something different, sewing in a 'module' of 3 garments so I do all fabric prep, alterations, cutting together. I have to sew each separately although because they are different colours. Wish me luck!!

    1. karen_morris_ | | #2

      *Gosh, Sue, I'm very impressed with both your organization and your ambition! this sounds really good. i like the idea of working on 3 garments at a time.In the past, we've goofed around with the topic of wardrobe building, and we have had an article or two on the subject (i can't quote book and pages at the moment...)

      1. karen_morris_ | | #3

        *I LOVE the sound of the white stretch laser-cut moleskin!!

        1. Ghillie_C | | #4

          *For the record I am waiting for some Gore Tex to arrive from Canada to make a rain coat from a Neue Mode pattern. I want to trim it with a contrasting Gore Tex and make a matching rain hat(Vogue pattern). I have already made the lining and a practice hat.I am also tailoring a 'summer' jacket for my husband which I am trying to make following the instructions in Cabrera's book. (Difficult. Does he really leave the pocket bags between the outer fabric and the canvas?) This may be ready for next summer. I am wondering whether to cut out a couple of simple cotton tee-shirt tops from Liberty remnants that I have, using my own pattern which I developed specially to make best use of short lengths of fabric and to sit nicely and un-fussily under suit jackets. Maybe the Gore Tex will arrive and catch me with too many projects.Cheers,Ghillie

          1. Shannon_Gifford | | #5

            *I'm doing a fall "cleanout" wardrobe. "Cleanout" because it is intended to shorten the piles in my stash. I started by grouping all the browns, golds, olives, and rusts together and culling out the ones that didn't blend at all. The remaining fall stash was about 3 feet high. I then organized the fabric by using the ring/card system on http://www.patternshowcase.com (look under Tips and Techniques and go to the very bottom). Once I knew how much of each fabric was actually available, I could make pattern choices. Many of my patterns were already purchased; I supplemented by taking the ring of swatches to the store and finding appropriate patterns, closures, etc.In the month or so since starting this, I have completed several items: a Peggy Sagers' jacket in olive silk matka with rouleau and bead trim, a Chopin shirt (Sewing Workshop) in "old gold" rayon jacquard with lattice smocking on the collar and cuffs, a dark olive wool crepe jacket with detachable fake fur collar, plus about six other pieces. I still have about 10 pieces of fabric in the "fall stash", many of them knits. However, the next piece on the list is the Nikko jacket, to be done out of a lightweight upholstery fabric and antique Bakelite buttons for a closure. Since I am a sewing instructor, my garments have to generate comment. No minimalism here! But I want my garments to be wearable...not just attention grabbing. So I look for tasteful embellishment, usually tone-on-tone, which will look good for many years. This takes time, but most of the time is taken in finding inspiration for the garment and figuring out in my head what I want to do. I also have a love for novelty fabric, so many of my groupings were made using the novelty fabrics as a base. There is a piece of cross-dyed linen/acetate in bronze and red that I used for a lightweight coat; it shimmers when I walk and it makes me happy! As a bonus, there is enough of this fabric left to make another major piece...yippee!!

          2. Sue_M_Wilson | | #6

            *Karen, can we post pics on this forum? I can then put up pics of finished projects. Shannon, I would love to see some of your garments!!! (on this or ahem, other forums. (I'm in Canada)Sue

          3. silkscape_ | | #7

            *Mostly what I am making is a big mess! I have lots of piles, fabrics here, patterns there, ideas on scraps stuck to the bulletin board. I did manage to finish my red noil blouse (and have been quite happy to spread that news all over the world...that I FINISHED something!)Seriously, I seem to only be able to manage something for me about once a month. and at that point it has to be fast. And, Shannon, if I tried to make a wardrobe out of what i have in my stash they'd lock me up for sure. However, I do have a tan faux suede skirt with drawstring hem (with a slit too!) made (August), and the blouse (September). Waiting in piles are corduroy pants in mink brown and one-seams in faux suede black. plus DD's Cleopatra costume, and perhaps a "Cruella DeVil" costume for Seven, our black lab. Think she'd be insulted?

          4. karen_morris_ | | #8

            *Yes, we are able to post pix here! You use the areas labeled "attachments" and "browse", located beneath the box that we write messages in. You can browse your harddrive or a disk to find the photo you want, and attach it to your message.So why not post a few pix of some of these interesting garments you guys are making? I'd love to see Shannon's irridescent bronze coat, and Dawn's red noil blouse. Oh, and Sue's white laser-cut moleskin blouse. Ghillie, what color is your Gore-Tex?

          5. Ghillie_C | | #9

            *The Gore Tex is 'graphite' a greenish grey and also a beige for trimmings. Not exactly gaudy, but I want a raincoat I can wear over lots of different clothes. One of the problems with Gore Tex shopping is the very bright colours it is usually available in. Fine for the ski slopes, but not so suitable for street wear. I have never tried Gore Tex before.Cheers,Ghillie

          6. Sue_M_Wilson | | #10

            *Here's my test posting. This is a picture of the new Marcy Tilton jacket pattern from Vogue. It is made from double sided Malden Mills fleece/berber combo. Easy to make, no facings, raw seams and edges. I pinked the seams to show the berber side better and made the front center panels shorter than the rest of the jacket, which is a little different than the pattern. (OK, I admit it, a mistake, but I like it anyway!!) Sue

          7. karen_morris_ | | #11

            *Hey, Sue, it worked!! Thank you for launching the "virgin voyage" for photos posted on Gatherings (as far as I know). Your jacket is great. I love the pinked edges....the second color showing at the edges gives the effect of piping, creating details and emphasizing all the design lines, but without the hassle and stiffness of added piping. Very nice.I think the front panel looks cool a little shorter...and I love people who admit that they made a mistake and turn it into a success. Now, that's REAL sewing, in my opinion.Ghillie, your grey-green sounds like a good choice. I know what you mean about the bright colors of outerwear fabrics....not always what you want to wear every day. Not only is such a color more sporty, but it tends to dominate the outfit. I haven't sewn with Gore-Tex either, but I've read about it quite a bit in Threads, for example in Rochelle Harper's articles. I remember that you want to seal the seams to make them waterproof. Good luck! Rochelle has written a book with TP on sewing outerwear, which may be helpful. Maybe you'll send us a picture when you're done?

          8. Sarah_Kayla | | #12

            *Dear Sue -I love the jacket. The short front panels also probably make sitting more comfortable. The colors are terrific too.Aside from my work sewing, I have been working on thinning out my stash. I just made a leopard printed short velvet skirt ( a burda magazine pattern). I edged the top with black fake kidskin rather than making a lining. It will be part of my winter uniform with a black t, tights and clogs. I also made an orange shantung skirt using the same pattern. I have a celery green chinese brocade with taupe & golden dragons that I have been obsessing about for the past few months. I have to get my client work done before I start on that one.Karen - thank you for being such a gracious host here on Gatherings. you are adding new life to this site.Sarah

          9. karen_morris_ | | #13

            *Thanks, Sarah. I'm enjoying the discussions. When I was a full-time editor, I didn't feel that I had time or energy to hang out here. But now I find it very nourishing.I need a little leopard-print velvet skirt! I was thrilled last winter to find leopard-print silk long johns for sale at TJ Maxx....i haven't worn them yet, but just enjoy seeing them on the shelf. Your celadon dragon brocade sounds delicious. (you and i must have the same coloring.) Last year, Chris Timmons (the out-going editor of Threads) was making these little chinese tops with the side closure, from a Folkwear pattern; a very flattering, tummy-skimming style. i can see your fabric in this shape, maybe with polka-dot piping to keep it from being too 'serious'. Or maybe some kind of ceremonial jacket? Let us know what you decide to do with it....

          10. Sarah_Kayla | | #14

            *The thing I have been thinking about making with the brocade is what I think of as a Mom dress. I was a little kid in the early sixties when all self respecting Moms wore sheaths. I have spent most of my adult life wearing variations on long flowy hippy shmattas. Somehow this summmer Mom dresses are looking mighty attractive. I have been wearing a dress I remember my mother buying when I was five. It is a turquoise on blue Jonathan Logan floral sheath made out of a heavy cotton. It is really comfortable (except for the impossibly high arm pits). When my mother bought it I thought it was the most beautiful dresss in the world.It was a really hot summer here so I wore it several times a week. Whenever I wear it I wear really red lipstick because that's what my mother wore in 1966. Sometimes I go all the way and wear the dress with pumps. It is my joke for myself. Anyway, I want the brocade dress to by my dressed up version of the Mom dress. I'm planning to make a simple kimono style jacket to wear over it out of that great sheer metallic Indian silk organza (in a pale gold). The stuff is easy to sew and looks like magic. Yes, it is slightly over the top. I have no idea when I will wear this creation, but I could always make up an occasion.

          11. Katydid_ | | #15

            *I just finished making a custom horse show jacket. I started it last night at 8:30 p.m. and finished it this afternoon at 4:15 just in time for the FedEx truck to pick it up. The whole jacket is made of Plonge' leather, the body is black leather with cutout shapes of tan leather which are outlined with red leather. This jacket is loaded up with about 2,000 gold nailheads and 1,000 crystals. It has a hidden zipper down the front and a high collar, the length is just below the waist and the jacket is fully lined. It is a size 8 and will be sold in Ohio for $675. The jacket took 17 hours to make.And tomorrow I am making...

          12. Shannon_Gifford | | #16

            *Wow, Katydid. I'm going to go hide all my stuff in shame!LOL I'd love to see that jacket.....I'm doing UFOs right now....like the shirt I promised ds for Easter last year....and the pants that are 2/3 done (for me).....and the Milano shirt that I cut out last fall.....

          13. karen_morris_ | | #17

            *Sarah, the sheath sounds like a great choice for that brocade fabric; very sleek. i remember my mom always wearing those dresses, too. even the name Jonathan Logan conjures up fond memories for me. but i guess i've never felt enough like a grown up to wear a sheath. and now that my waistline is disappearing, it may never happen....do you also remember that coral lipstick that they wore??? no wonder we wouldn't go near oranges for another 25 years. my mom looked good in the coral because of her peachy skin, but she also wore a VERY bright red, and her lips were a little dry (oh, the things we can't forget).sorry it took me so long to answer you. i wrote you a long reply late one night, but the TP site crashed before i could send it (it was probably time for their 3am website updates). that's what i get for staying up so late.

          14. karen_morris_ | | #18

            *Good grief, Katydid. i guess we're going to need to hear from you every day, just to keep up with you. this jacket sounds fabulous. i don't suppose you took a pic of it before Fedex arrived?? we'd love to see it. how did you attach all those thousand crystals?

          15. Ghillie_C | | #19

            *The Gore Tex raincoat is now finished, all I need is some rain to try it out. Sewing this fabric was a little challenging, especially as I wanted to include some 'couture' features. No fusibles no basting and no unpicking allowed as it would damage the membrane, but I managed false bindings on collar and pocket flaps, double welt pockets and welted buttonholes. I used the liquid seam sealant as the sealing tape I bought was too stiff. A walking foot was essential, and pieces of paper under the fabric when it was rubbery side down helped a lot.Sorry I have no picture as I have no camera, which is strange considering that my husband makes digital images for a living. A case of the cobbler's children being the worst shod I am afraid.Cheers,Ghillie

          16. Juliann_Schwab | | #20

            *Hi!Well right now my little projects are pretty ho-hum. I'm shortening sleeves, lengthening sleeves, shortening 5 shirts, hemming 3 pairs of pants and tapering 2 pairs of pants. Oh and making a winter lining for a pea coat. However, last week I did finish a civil war costume, a little red riding hood and little bo peep. They were fun. Now I hate to sound selfish but....MY TURN!!!!! The posts have inspired me. Thanks! Have a great day!Juliann

          17. karen_morris_ | | #21

            *Juliann, I am impressed with your altering focus. I reluctantly admit that I sometimes wear pjs for months with the sleeves turned up (when it would only take 15 minutes to hem them right....) And I have a beautiful pair of wool/lycra pants from Banana Republic, purchased last spring, that I haven't even hemmed yet. Ouch.

          18. Brenda_Ching | | #22

            *I wish I had more time to sew clothing; haven't had anything new in my closet in a long time. I'm sewing handbags out of cloth I discharge painted, a Sunbrella cover for a cutting machine, and a windsurfing sail.

  2. Gita_Levin | | #23

    I love to sew, knit and crochet but I never have enough time to sew as fast as I can dream up an outfit. That problem is probably shared by all of us that love to create things. Now I'm making a vest with a straight bottom and slits on the side. It buttons up the front and is a longer length than the others that I've made. The sweater that I'm knitting has a white back and crayons on the sleeves and the front. I think that I'll make it zip up the front with a hood. I already did the back and now I'm knitting the sleeves. I think that my gift list will have a pleater for hand smocking on it. I'd love to hear from people who use them. Gita

    1. karen_morris_ | | #24

      *Brenda, it sounds like you need a large sewing area....i'd really have to 'clear the decks' to sew sails in my little sewing room/computer room/studio.Maureen, when you describe your daughter's vest, i picture something like a fishing vest, with the leopard print edging all the pockets. i like it on her (in my mind's eye).Ghillie, sometime i'd be great to see your Goretex raincoat. it sounds beautiful. would your husband be willing to take a digital image of you and stick it here on Gatherings?Gita, i love front zippers; they have a clean, futuristic look. i've been knitting again lately (it goes in spurts, but fall always makes me feel like knitting). i just finished a spider-webby mohair/silk lace scarf for my 15 y.o. daughter, in the palest ethereal aqua; the yarn was like sewing thread, but it has lots of holes, so didn't take forever. and i'm starting a sweater for my son, a very simple pullover shape in black cotton chenille yarn that i've had in my stash for years. when you knit it tightly, it's like a firm, silky carpet. he's excited about it.

      1. karen_morris_ | | #25

        *Oh, Gita, p.s. At one time we did have a smocking pleater at Threads. we all chipped in and bought one to play with. it was great--i tried pleating polartec, then put it in boiling water, so the pleats became permanent! we also pleated up thin silks and cottons, tied them very tightly, then dropped them into dye; the squished areas made beautiful designs. it's a fun toy.

        1. Sarah_Kayla | | #26

          *OK- This is what is really on my plate these days. 1 - I'm preparing materials I'm using for a workshop I'm doing with a multigenerational group this afternoon.2 - I'm attempting to applique more lettering on a family piece that is due in two weeks - the piece is in the shape of a crown - the crown is surrounded by a quote from the talmud that essentially says that "the crown of old fols is their grandchildren, the adornment of the young is their elders". four generations worth of names need to be appliqued on. I'm using hand woven Indian handwoven silk for that one.It will look terrific if it ever gets finished.3- I have to paint 3 more tallitot before Thanksgiving when my client shows up to choose the one she wants.4 - I have to get going on a tallit bag with quotes from Isiah calligraphed on vintage irish linen.5 -I have to make a batch of my stock challacovers/matza covers before my next show, Dec 2.6 - I need to get going on a custom challa cover made out of antique Hungarian lace & embroidery.7 - I have to get slides made so I can enter a fancy show with the best customers. 8 - I have to find something dressy to wear for today's workshop that won't show sweaty armpits. The workshop is being videotaped and the head of the agency hated what I wore for part 1 of the workshop. ( I wore a white T, it is unphotogenic and in her opinion not professional enough. I am not allowed to wear black either. Just a minor aggravation) Unfortunately, my basic uniform is a fitted white t & black pants. GRRR!Thankd for letting me vent...sarah

  3. Sue_M_Wilson | | #27

    Well, here is my latest project. The new Issey Miyake blouse pattern from Vogue. Made from stretch poplin. The great fun is that I got to wear it to a Gala Tribute to Issey Miyake held in Toronto this week! I'm pleased with the results. Too bad you can't see the buttons. They are very special and cost a fortune from Tender Buttons in NYC. They are dyed abalone that is etched with a very tiny cross-hatch.

  4. karen_morris_ | | #28

    Sue, your blouse is beautiful. Thanks for the pic. I wish I could see a close-up of the buttons....I love Tender Buttons.

    Lucky Sarah lives in NYC and can go there whenever she wants. Although you sound tooo busy, Sarah! Lots on your plate! Your talk about appliqued lettering makes me think of an article I edited years ago with a Boston-area quilter; i can't think of her name right now, but i'll go search for it.

    Yes, it's Beatriz Grayson, "Quilts with Something to Say", in issue 65, pp. 57 - 61. She does such beautiful work. Do you know this article? She does applique, piecing, collage, and other methods. I love the intricate "p" that's sandwiched between two layers of mesh so it doesn't get distorted.

    And you're from Quincy. Do you ever come back to this area to visit? Maybe we can meet for coffee sometime. We can wear sheath dresses. Your work sounds wonderful. I know what you mean about dressing for video--white glares, black is a 'black hole', red goes off-color, blue doesn't show up at all (at least in some formats). I end up wearing chartreuse or persimmon, when I would usually wear black or grey.

    Anyway, your to-do list makes me tired....

    1. Colleen_Writt | | #29

      *I have been sewing for myself for a change, getting ready for a ballroom dancing weekend at a big hotel in upstate New York. So far I have a black chineseprint satin sheath with a deep v neck and diagonal hem, banded with turquoise chinese print satin at thehem and piping at neck and sleeves.Fully lined, with a side zipper. I used a New Look pattern, 6039, and love the way the long curved darts make it fit.Very slimming. Next I have a navy stretch mesh dress, open back with crossed straps, with a diagonal hemline and wide circular flounce. The top of the dress is lined in navy stretch satin, the sheer flounce is rubber stamped in a gold rose and ivy pattern. Very swirly.Then comes my black lace jacket, circular flounce at the hem and sleeves. This goes over a slim sheath dress, above the knee,black lace over beige satin for that nearly nude look. My husband liked that one but commented it would be great in red! Today is tuesday, if I buy some more fabric today before work, maybe I can get the machine sewing done before we leave on fridaythen I can finish hand sewing the hems and bias facings on the 6 hr drive to New York.My regular work is designing and making mascot costumes for sports and advertising. Lots of fake fur. This week I tailor a jacket, shirt and tie for a dog characterwho looks a lot like Jake and Elwood, the Blues Brothers. Believe me, this does not take human form.Evey part is an invention. Thursday I will spend decorating a set for the winter pledge drive at a public T.V. station. Festive but not Christmasy, since pledge starts before Thanksgiving and runs to New Years! I find it hard to get around the Christmas thing since that is all I find right now in the stores.have fun Colleen

      1. karen_morris_ | | #30

        *Wow, Colleen. I'd love to come and watch you dance, in these clothes! The black lace over beige sounds beautiful. I'll bet you're dancing tonight....

        1. Hilary_Slaughter | | #31

          *Hilary Slaughter: 3:30 PM November 18. I knit, crochet and quilt and have been running a restaurant for the past 5 years and now am free from it! So all kinds of projects are cooking including just teaching 3 sisters how to knit which has inspired me to knit again. Probably a hat and scarf for starters. I want to felt them. Saw some beautiful felted hats at a festival in Ocean Springs, Ms. a couple of weeks age. Anyway, the talk of Oriental things made me want to tell you something I saw in Hilo, Hawaii last month: In a fabulous Japanese fabric shop, with some Indonesian batiks, Japanese handpainted panels, etc. there was a rack of Japanese kimonas on consignment! They ranged from simple peasant style and texture to the finest silk kimonas. The prices were $12.00 to $99.00 ! I was a little saddened to think that perhaps these were here because the Japanese women in Hawaii no longer have the opportunity to wear their native dress. Maybe that makes them happy? While in Hawaii I went crazy over fabric and bought some of that retro-looking thick cotton big printed banana leaves and blossoms in greens, reds, yellows, and a more delicate flower print for a bathrobe. Also, FYI there is a quilt shop near me in SW Louisiana that carries the same gorgeous Indonesian hand painted batik fabric for $9.95 a yard, racks of it. If anyone is interested I will get her web address.

          1. Colleen_Writt | | #32

            *We had a great weekend! Just got back last night, after nearly threedays of nonstop dancing, eating and carrying on. I finished the red dress in the car(he drove) and managed to wear almost all the dresseswhile we were there. The only one I didnt wear was the beige one but I'll save that for the dance this weekend, closer to home.I especially love wearing the black lace jacket, which goes great with skirts I brought along too.Now I have in mind to make one in another color as soon as I find more lace I like. I go back to finish the TV station job tomorrow, lots of evergreens, gold snowflakes, burgundy poinsettias, and candles,also some great fake roses for the floral arrangements.When that is done, its back to work on the dog costume, his head, feet, hands and body are nearly done, what remains is the shirt, tie, and jacket, probably a weeks work, except for Thanksgiving.That is a day off, Right?

          2. Sarah_Kayla | | #33

            *Dear Folks -I just wanted to let folks know how I'm doing on my impossible to do list.The huge crown thing was done after a few nights up until 3:00am. My client was trhilled as was the rest of the family. The tallitot all got done. The workshop went great and they want me back! (yay! the money is good too!) I even got stuff made for the craft show, not as much as i would have liked, but enough so that I'm not ashamed to show my face. A bunch of stuff will just have to wait until next week. I'm going on no sleep, in bed after midnight and up at 5:30am. So tonight I will turn in early and work like a busy beaver in between getting everyone off to school, lunches made, kitchen shoveled out, a meeting about son #1, bus pick-up, making suppery'know the usual. In getting my box of work ready for this weekend I found an old piece from 7 or eight years ago. It is nice to see how far I have come. I have learned so much from random bits of advice given so freely here. Thanks for serving as a community.Wish me luck this weekend - I hope wallets open freely despite 9-11.Sarah

          3. karen_morris_ | | #34

            *Sarah, i think the wallets will open. After something like 9-11, i think people are looking to buy something lasting, something of quality, that they can't get anywhere else. And that sounds exactly like your work. Your love and focus and hours of work give the item meaning for them.Let us know how the show goes for you.

          4. marsha_barone | | #35

            *does anyone have tips on working on waterproof canvas or naugahyde? need to make an L shaped wagon cover, with sharp corners. also anyone know where these two materials can be gotten wholesale... and possibly a light weight canvas?

          5. Denise_ | | #36

            *I have sewn naugahyde and pleather some. I haven't made anything very elaborate, but I used a roller foot and a leather needle. I also did ok with a 100/16 denim needle when I couldn't get to the store for a leather needle.For me, the roller foot made it harder to view my stitches, but I generally use a transparent foot. I actually loved the way it felt to handle the items. I made some aprons and smocks for my son's preschool class. I also made some Pilgrims hats for the school. For our home I made slippers and bibs for my son. If you have sewn box pillows or other upholstery type things, I would think you would have the skills needed. I guess that just doing a search for wholesale distributors would be one way to find a source.I wish I could be more help, but....Denise

          6. Sarah_Kayla | | #37

            *Dear Folks - The show was decent but not amazing. I had raised my prices quite a bit after realizing that I had forgotten to include the price of fabric in many of my pieces. I sold fewer pieces but sold about the same dollar amount. Many, many people wanted to have custom work done - so I have been meeting with clients all week. It will be a busy next few months. (Yay!) One of the client meetings was with an odious bat-mitzvah girl. Mostly meeting with these 12 or thirteen year old girls is a pleasure. There is a real element of both play and mind expansion both on my part and on theirs. They love the process of learning about what a tallit is and then being a part of the process of making it all come together. This girl had a sweetie pie little girl voice but was downright nasty to both her mother and to me. It was quite something. I give her one more chance. (it makes me really appreciate my kids who would never talk that way to me - let alone to another adult)Anyway you just know this girl will grow into the kind of woman who terrorizes her husband into being a limp rag. I'm just grateful I'm not making something for her wedding. That would be more awful than I could imagine. The other folks I have been meeting with have been wonderful enough to make up for little Miss Nasty. A friend of mine who was a contractor told me that when you do client work you need to watch out for the pain in the a** client. He told me that for them, you need to double your prices to cover for the pain in the a** factor. He warned me that even this is not enough to cover the amount of aggravation these clients cause. Unfortunately, he is right. Do any of you have clients who make you want to bang your head against the floor??? Care to share those tales of woe???Sarah

          7. Martha_Lewis | | #38

            *Hi. I'm an avid sewer (though after reading about all these fabulous projects, I'm definitely in the dilletante category...), and a graphic designer by profession. We invoke the PIA charge quite often here. Yes, the "Pain in the Ass" surcharge. It's not a set percentage or fee, but a general mood that strikes when a client has been particularly "painful" that inspires me to jack up the price some. I think it's an industry term too. I keep my sewing personal and just for me, I'd hate to charge what I actually spend on making my clothes. But being in a creative field, I get to wear whatever I like, so it's a great outlet for me.Happy sewing! Martha

          8. karen_morris_ | | #39

            *YEEEESS....these folks should definitely pay more....

          9. sanderson | | #40

            *I love it. I always learn something on this forum. Hope you don't mind me sharing the PIA note with my employer; we're currently setting up new boiler plate catering contracts and we could sure use this!As for works in progress I have a pair of prairie star quilts for for son 3 on the worktable. I also had a dream shirt (really simple Miake type ) with applicayed points...white shirt yellow design...that I think I have to make. It is important to fully receive these gifts, right? On the way back burner I'm toying with the idea of dyeing a bunch of one dollar bills and then attaching them to a shirt. This idea was from watching the tip jar fill at my first bartending job last weekend...I couldn't stop staring at the money.

          10. karen_morris_ | | #41

            *Aren't dollar bills actually made from fabric, rather than paper? They should take well to the dyeing and stitching process. Let us know how this interesting shirt turns out (and whether you get bigger tips when you wear it....)

          11. sanderson | | #42

            *You don't think I'll end up in jail for messing with our precious money do you? Maybe someone over at Cooks Talk would bake me a loaf of bread with a file in it to break out. I was just thinking that a dollar bill is roughly the same proportion as a gum wrapper. Maybe I could fold a chain to use for the bias edging...

          12. Sarah_Kayla | | #43

            *I think that you may need that loaf of bread from Cooks talk along with the file from the woodworkers. A few years ago I did a community phototransfer project about charity and one of the participants photocopied bills. I think it is problematic - even using the photocopies. Perhaps one of us is a lawyer and could help us out on this one. I know it is ok to use the shredded bills - the unshredded ones may be a problem.The idea is quite fabulous though - if you don't go to jail for it. There is an artist whose name I forget who has been jailed for making drawings of fake money that he then trades for goods and services. the Treasury department has not taken kindly to him. There was a terrific article about him in the New Yorker a few years ago. He sees his work as performance art. He never tries to pass off his drawings as legal tender yet he offers to exchange his work for food, or other services. the whole thing is fascinating calling into question what is is the thing we call money. Anyway, the treasurey department is not amused. They don't have much of a sense of humor and by cast a cranky eye to your project.Sarah

          13. sanderson | | #44

            *Sarah...your thoughts give me pause. I'm sorry I didn't think of this when I was a rebellious art student in the seventies. Still, the power of the all mighty dollar is at times enough to gag a maggot. I'll do some checking into the legal ins and outs of messing with the cash. Maybe if the stuff doesn't get changed to where it couldn't be reused it would be okay. I remember the New Yorker article about the artist. I love bartering and that's such a fine example of doing what you do best.

          14. Sarah_Kayla | | #45

            *I do really love the idea of gum wrapper chain made out of bills though. Aside from being conceptually interesting it will be very beautiful. How do you play this just this side of legal... Does anyone out there know???Sarah

          15. karen_morris_ | | #46

            *Well, if it's okay to use the bills if they're shredded, maybe you can use them to make fringe? Slice them crosswise, almost through the upper edge, and stitch along that edge....I have no idea about the legality issue. Let us know what you find out.

          16. Martha_Lewis | | #47

            *another aside from the graphics department....crane actually manufactures a paper made from recycled paper currency, called "Old Money". As expected, its grey-green and kinda rough. It's really expensive to use unless you order tons of it. Apparently the federal reserve shreds 13 million pounds of currency each year, so they put it to good use. Crane makes the paper for new currency too. They also make a line of paper called Denim Blues, made with, can you guess, recycled 100% cotton denim fibers from Levi Strauss & Co. Pretty cool, huh?I remember buying paper underwear for travelling, back in the mid-seventies. Maybe I was wearing 1,000's of dollars under my calvins!happy sewing, Martha

          17. karen_morris_ | | #48

            *I'm pleased with a repair project I'm working on right now, and thought I'd share it. Several years ago, I made a darted, zip-front jacket from a beautiful piece of black silk matelasse, with a diamond pattern of little woven 'pillows'. The silk seemed a little too thin for a jacket, so I underlined it with cotton flannelette. Well, the finished jacket fit okay, but the silk tended to stretch, especially on the cross grain, and didn't lay smoothly on the flannel; it bagged just a bit, especially around the waist darts in back. So I never wore it much, and was disappointed in it. (Basically, I wished I'd never cut into that gorgeous piece of silk; it would've been safer in my stash).Recently, I got a brilliant idea, which grew from a package of assorted brightly colored silk threads that I got at a sewing show. I pinned the layers together all over the jacket, so there's no bagging. I threaded up a needle with one of the bright silk threads, and started handsewing a running stitch along a diagonal line (following the weave of the silk). That looked cool, so I did another one in the opposite direction, and added another line several inches away. Now I've covered most of one front, using all different colors of thread (I think I'll use 7 colors in all). The effect is of a very subtle plaid sewed in small running stitches, with a little sheen and just a little bit of color, and it looks really neat! And no more bagging of the silk fabric. I haven't done the back yet, but I think it's gonna work. I'll let you know.Another benefit--the jacket will be less boring! Maybe I'll even wear it.

          18. Shannon_Gifford | | #49

            *Karen, I love it! You need to post a photo somewhere....I've been practicing stash reduction for the last several months. I have a habit of keeping remnants of 1/4 yard or more, and had quite a pile, so I did Revisions Java Jacket from the "black, tan, and burnt orange" pile. Turned out right nice, too! All that remains is to figure out how I want to attach the detachable sleeves. I think buttons or snaps would be inappropriate for these fabrics (rayons for the sleeves), so I'm thinking of using a separating zipper...I'll keep you posted, if you like.There's also a pile of bridesmaids gowns to be done next week. Pea green dupioni...you can bet I'll be saving those scraps to play with!

          19. karen_morris_ | | #50

            *Actually, I don't think the plaid would show up in a photo! From here (~3 feet away), it just looks like a black jacket. Very subtle. Yes, the pea-green dupioni sounds like it'll make wonderful scraps. About your removable sleeves--the zipper sounds like a good choice. Or I wonder if you could use small hooks and eyes? They'd take awhile to sew on, but might give a softer, more invisible result. The Java jacket sounds great. Yes, let us know what you decide. It's stimulating to everyone making similar decisions....

          20. Judy_Williment | | #51

            *I've just discovered this site, and loved reading what everyone is making. The fabrics sound too gorgeous. I live in New Zealand, which has a fairly small population, and consequently less specialized stores - very frustrating to hear about all this stuff I can't get!I've just finished a satin and organza wedding dress for a friend of my sister - pale gold with paua shell and same coloured beads detailing the bodice, and a sun detail on the back hem. (Paua shells are blue and green and pink - very beautiful). I laughed at all the people talking about stash reduction - in my experience the only reason anyonre reduces their stash is to make room for more! I have a big stash, but mostly stuff suitable for clothing for my 3 children. Does anyone have ideas for boys clothes which are a bit different, but not too fussy? I could use the inspiration for my two boys (they're 8 and 11 months).

          21. karen_morris_ | | #52

            *Judy, the pale gold wedding dress sounds beautiful. About our choice of fabrics--is it possible for you to order fabrics from the U.S. by mail? I guess it would take longer and the shipping cost would be higher, but it might be worth it for something special that you want. Many of us purchase our best fabrics by mail.My son is nearly 14, and I don't sew for him much anymore. But I remember some of the things I made for him that he loved, like baggy shorts with lots of cargo pockets, made from soft washed red denim; privacy curtains for his red bunkbed made from cream cotton printed with photo-realistic apples, and the curtains velcroed on and off (very helpful for putting on plays); anything made from camouflage fabric (we found some great camo print cotton pique knit); a big soft color-block sweatshirt made from jade and chartreuse waffle-knitted cotton, with a half-zip in front; Polartec sweatshirts and mittens. I usually looked at things he liked in ready-to-wear, and just copied the idea and details. Right now i'm knitting him a black cotton chenille pullover sweater (I think I mentioned that somewhere above--it's more than half done). Since age 5, he's enjoyed sewing occasionally, but I haven't taught him to use patterns yet, for some reason.Somewhere here we talked about our ideas for making clothes for babies. I like using velour and other cotton knits for babies and toddlers, making coordinating things that look like Biobottoms, Hanna Andersson, Garnet Hill, etc.

          22. Judy_Williment | | #53

            *Hi Karen, thanks for the ideas! My 8 year old son is pretty fussy about his clothes, but completely unpredictable - he'll love a pair of pants because they have an inset pleat of his favourite colour, and for no other reason. He does love camouflage fabric, so would probably love anything I made out of that. I get a kick out of him proudly telling his friends that I made his clothes. He has no interest in learning to sew himself, sadly.I've just started looking at US based websites (I have to say, the Threads website got me started!) for fabrics and things, but shipping costs are generally enormous - a simflex buttonhole gauge (which I HAVE to have since seeing one in Threads!) would cost me US$20 just for shipping! I did find it on an Australian website, from where the shipping charges are much lower. I'm tempted by fabric though - I'd get stuff no one else has! How do you find ordering by mail? I'd be rather nervous that something would take ages to get here, cost a fortune and not be right. Do you get swatch samples first? Where would you recommend for fabric? I love the internet as a source for ideas at least. Even if I can't get exactly what I'd like from here, its a great exercise in creative thinking to come up with something which conveys the idea I liked in the first place.

          23. Judy_Williment | | #54

            *I just had another thought - my younger sister is getting married in 10 months (guess who gets to design and make her dress!) and it might be well worth the extra trouble and expense to get something stunning for her dress. She's tricky to sew for - never knows what she wants, only what she doesn't want, after I suggest it. She likes the idea of silver/grey (which would really suit her). I'm thinking of perhaps a bias cut, body skimming sheath with a slight flare to the hem. The trick is going to be finding the perfect fabric for her. Silk satin would be gorgeous, or a drapey lace. Can you recommend a source for bridal fabrics by mail or online? She lives in London, so this is going to be designed by email and posted drawings/fabric swatches anyway, so why not get them from half a world away! Suggestions or recommendations from anyone would be gratefully received.

          24. Ghillie_C | | #55

            *Hi Judy,Could your sister be trusted to shop for fabric in London? perhaps picking up samples and sending them to you?Here are three sources of gorgeous silk fabrics, who would all provide swatches:Joel's Church Street (off Edgeware Road)Broadwick Silks, Broadwick Street (off Berwick Street , in Soho)and of course Liberty's (off Oxford Street, not very far frm Broadwick Street). A shadow of its former self but still worth a visit.There are innumerable websites for fabric shopping in the U.S. but for silks Hong Kong might suit you better. Angus International (I will dig out the address if you need it) is a well known source and will supply samples. If you know anyone who is flying through Hong Kong they will arrange for them to pick up fabric. Or try Silk Xpress http://www.silkxpress.com/ Most people seem to have good experiences buying fabric over the internet - but the amount of customs duty you have to pay is a lottery. It is normal to pay by credit card - either Visa or Mastercard. Currency conversions are not a problem.Good hunting!Ghillie

          25. Judy_Williment | | #56

            *Thanks Ghillie - the thought of my sister shopping for her own fabric is frightening - she's likely to give up in disgust and get married in jeans! Well, maybe not, but shopping isn't her favourite pasttime. I'll pass those addresses on to her. If she only has a couple to go to it won't be so overwhelming, and she might even find something she likes. (Much more likely than here in New Zealand anyway.)

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