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Newbies please say hello

Char9 | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

Hi everyone!  I’m new to the forum but I’ve already posted a few times.  I live in Palmyra, NJ right across the bridge from Philadelphia where I grew up.  And I’m about 20 minutes away from Philly’s historic Fabric Row.  I know, I’m very lucky.

Mostly, I sew Home Dec but when I was younger I made darn near everything I wore except underwear.  I remember when pants were just becoming acceptable for women to wear but I’m tall and have long legs so I had to make all my pants and slacks.  Oh, wow, did I just date myself!

When the weather is nice I do some small woodworking projects.  Last year I decided my thread situation had gotten waaaaay out of hand.  Drawers of thread, boxes of thread, thread everywhere!  So I made myself a thread cabinet.  Its 48″ wide by 36″ tall and 4″ deep, filled with shelves just high enough to hold thread spools.  I put a small lip on the shelves so the thread wouldn’t fall off.  I put double doors on it with peg board on the front of the doors.  Now all my scissors, rotary cutters, rulers and other sewing tools hang on the door fronts.  And my sewing desk actually has room for my machine.  I only had one problem.  My hubby isn’t handy at all so I had to hire someone to help me hang the dang thing!  LOL!


  1. user-262611 | | #1

    Hi, I'm new, and pretty new to sewing too! I sewed at school, but haven't done much since and want to get back into it. Hence finding taunton and this forum!I live in Australia. Most of my projects to date have been very simple, and finding the time to sew isn't too easy at the moment with two young children! But I love it!Anyway, nice to meet you, this is my first post as I generally don't have much to offer, but I do like to read what everyone else is doing. I guess I'm a lurker!Cheers,Leah

    1. MaryinColorado | | #4

      Welcome!  There seems to be quite a few posters from down there!  Don't be shy about joining in!  Mary

    2. User avater
      VKStitcher | | #6

      Hi Leah!  I don't post often (I mostly lurk too!), but I do learn a lot from reading all the posts.  There are so many talented people here!  Good luck with all your projects.

    3. Cherrypops | | #16

      Hi Leah,

      Welcome to gatherings. You will love it here. So many new ideas and mates.

      Have a great time.

      CherryPops (sydney Australia)

  2. spicegirl | | #2

    Welcome to the forum.  Your comment about slacks not being acceptable, reminded me of one of my Jr. High (1955) projects - shorty pjs.  All went well until we had to model our sewing projects in front of the PTA.  I can still hear the gasps from the audience.  My teacher just gave me a smile of encouragement and I mustered up enough bravery to complete the walk......a major accomplish for me, the shyest kid in school.  The boys thought my pjs were cool, even if their mothers didn't.......

    1. Char9 | | #17

      That's a funny story!  Thank goodness my High School project was my prom dress and velvet evening coat.  No shorty pj's in a Catholic school!  No boys either.  Of course since I had been sewing since I was 6, the nun had me putting zippers in for all the other students in the class.  Then she had me doing french seams on the nun's habits.  My own sewing I did at home. 

      Edited 4/18/2007 4:49 am ET by Char9

      Edited 4/18/2007 4:50 am ET by Char9

      1. user-262611 | | #18

        Thanks CherryPops. I have to say this is the most friendly and polite forum I have seen! (Not that I have experienced many, only one or two.) I really appreciate the warm welcome I have received here.Please let me know when you find out about receiving your Red Carpet Ready copy already. I am still waiting for mine (and trying to be very patient).Cheers,Leah

        1. Cherrypops | | #19

          Magazine delivery aside, Where-abouts in Australia are you? CherryPops

          1. user-262611 | | #20

            I'm in mid-eastern Victoria, about two hours east of Melbourne. There isn't all that much out here, especially when you are a city girl (I grew up in suburban areas of most of the capital cities in Australia as my father was in the air force).It is nice and quiet, and lots of lovely reasons to live here, but I get tired of not being able to get things, especially when it comes to fabric! There is a very small spotlight and that is it really. As far as I have found, anyway.And you're in NSW? Do you know if there are many Aussies on this forum? I wish there were some Australian resources like this!

            Edited 4/18/2007 6:20 am ET by Leah.

          2. Cherrypops | | #21

            Hi Leah,

            Yes, I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches, been 10yrs now. born and bred in Brisbane Queensland.

            There are other Aussies here in Gatherings. This topic ended up becoming an aussie thread. We welcome other members too. but it does give you a who's who in oz.


            I would love you to add your input.

            I agree there isn't much in the way of Aussie Sewing Forums. I haven't connected with any of the ones I have found on my google searches.

            If you need help getting around the forum let me know and ill see if i can help you out.



          3. user-262611 | | #22

            Thanks CherryPops. I'll post over there.Cheers,Leah

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    Wow!  You are so talented!  I have a small dresser next to my machine tables for the same purpose!  It really does keep the rest of the room organized.  Mary

    1. Char9 | | #9

      Thanks, Mary.  But I don't think talent had as much to do with it as desperation.  Thread was all over the place!  When I finally got it all organized, I think I had 16 spools of red thread alone! 

      1. MaryinColorado | | #10

        Ha ha!  That sounds familiar!  Well, maybe the red will come in handy for holidays like Christmas and Valentines Day and 4th of July!!! 

  4. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #5

    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    I live near Raleigh, NC.  I've been sewing a long time too, and have made almost everything, including underwear! We made panties in Home Ec class way back when.

    My husband lived in Marlton before we were married, and he still keeps in touch with friends there.  We usually go up to Philly every fall when he runs the Philadelphia Distance Run.  I've never heard about historic Fabric Row, and was wondering if you could tell me where it's located?  Are there any shops that are your favorites?  I'd love to check it out when we go up for the race in September.

    1. Char9 | | #7

      Hi VKStitcher!

      Sure, I know where Marlton is.  About 20 or so minutes from where I live in Palmyra.  If you know where the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge is, then you know where I am.  So just a spit accross the river is Philly.

      Philly's Fabric Row is at 4th and Bainbridge.  Take the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge into Philly, left onto Torresdale Ave.  Follow the signs onto I95 South, exit at Center City/Callowhill St.  Go straight, you will be on 2nd St.  Go to Walnut St. and make a right.  Go 2 blocks to 4th St. and make a left.  Follow 4th to Bainbridge.  Famous 4th St. Deli will be on your far right corner. 

      There are some fabric stores on 4th before you get to Bainbridge but most of them are after.  Two or three blocks past the Deli is Jack B's which is my all time favorite (tell them Charleen sent you.  Really.).  They have the all time best Hom Dec selection, including chenille and tapestry.  Kincus Fabrics, right next to Jack B's, is best for dress fabrics.  There's another store right next to Kincus that has an unbelievable selection of quilting cottons but I forget the name of it.  A couple stores later is Marmelstein's Trimmings.  Let's just say that when you walk into Marmelstein's you'll have to pick your jaw up off the floor!  Trims, braids, fringe.  And those tassles!  Oh, my!

      Make a whole day of it when you go.  And, for goodness sakes, have lunch at Famous Deli!  I LOVE their corned beef special but all of their sandwiches are so big you have to jump on them a few times to make them fit in your mouth!  LOL!

      Try not to go on a weekend, it gets so crouded, specially in Jack B's, sometimes I feel like I'm getting intimate with the other shoppers.

      1. emme | | #12

        I grew up in Phila. and have enjoyed shopping in the 4th St. fabric stores in the 70's and early 80's.  Talk about dating yourself.  I went to 4th St. for tailoring notions and threads and was dissapointed with the majority of home dec stores.  They seem so dated.  There were no current fabrics.  I was not comfortable brousing the stores.  It seemed everyone wanted to "help' you.  It was as if you had to know exactly what you wanted without the option of brousing and I rarely have a project in mind, just the love and need of fabric.  I'm glad it is good for you.  Any other recommendations for fabric stores in Phila. or N.J.

        1. Char9 | | #14

          Sorry it didn't work for you, emme.  I guess the shop owners and employees can come on a little strong if you're not used to it.  But I'm a bit gregarious myself so I guess I balance them out.  LOL! 

          My mon used to take me there when I was just a little girl for her yearly fabric buying and now, as an adult, I have been going for too many years to count.  I know that some of the stores are so packed with fabrics that when a sales person asks if you need help they are really asking if you need directions to the part of the store that has the type of fabric that you may be looking for, i.e. fashion, home dec, tapestry, etc.  Also, if they don't carry the type of fabric you may be looking for, they will direct you to another shop on the street.

          Two weeks ago I took a friend to 4th and B who had never been there before.  She shyly walked around in almost a daze with her mouth open.  She didn't quite know what to make of it so I kind of held her hand during what was obviously culture shock.  We did go home that day with some nice sized samples. 

          Last week I took her back again so she could purchase her fabric and this time she was a pro.  Didn't need my help at all.  Later we laughed about her transition and she did admit to being slightly intimidated during her first visit but now loves it and finds the sales people to be very well informed about their products, and since they are all obviously sewers themselves, helpful with answers to her questions.

    2. Char9 | | #8

      VKStitcher, its me again.  My husband runs in the Philadelphia Distance Run also.  In fact, today he's up in Boston running the Boston Marathon with his brother.  This is his brother's first marathon but Keith has been running marathons for years now.  He's a member of the Pine Barrons Running Club.  I keep telling him that if his legs get any skinier, they're going to snap in half, run up his a__ and chock him to death! LOL!

      1. User avater
        VKStitcher | | #11

        Wow Charleen!  I've practically been to Fabric Row and didn't even know it!  We usually stay at a hotel in Center City, and often walk down to South Street for cheesesteaks at Jim's Steaks, which is just a block away!

        How did your husband & brother-in-law do in Boston yesterday?  My hat's off to them for their endurance.  Tim only does half-marathons, he says it takes too much time to train for the full.  He's been running since high school, and is a dedicated and consistant runner.  He usually finishes a half-marathon in about 1:35.

        Thanks again for all the good information about the shops on Fabric Row.  The 4th Street Deli sounds like a great place too.  I'll definitely plan to check them out in September.

        1. Char9 | | #13

          Hey Vickie!  That's so funny!  You've been so near to Fabric Row and didn't even know it. 

          I love South St.  When my girlfriends from California came out to visit (during our single days) I took them to South St. for one of our excursions and they couldn't believe it.  The later the night got, the more people were out on the street.  And they had never seen mounted police.  They posed and took pics with the horse.  South Street Souvlaki is one of my favorite restaurants on the street.

          Keith and his brother both finished the race.  I knew Keith would but I had my doubts about Dave since this was his first marathon.  Keith's time was 4 hours, 20 minutes and Dave's was 4 hours, 26 minutes.  Pretty darn good for a beginner!

          Edited 4/18/2007 1:41 am ET by Char9

  5. Cherrypops | | #15

    Hi again!

    Nice to read more about you. Keep up the good work.


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