How to Buy Fabric by the Pound… Minh’s Approach

Yesterday, I wrote asking about how to buy fabric by the pound as was the system at the Loft of Michael Levine’s in the LA Fashion District. By chance, I got to go there today as the day’s plans made by others got changed. Here was my strategy.

The place was a bunch of bins of whatever in whatever sizes there were, just as Guild member Kathleen had emailed me. If you were lucky, you’d be there on the days of or soon after designers dump off their discards and you might get some really wild, exotic and probably expensive fabrics.

I don’t think I was lucky. Everything was everywhere. Lots of big boxes you can’t realistically expect to see the bottom half of contents unless you were to do some serious digging and displacement of fabrics for every box. Lots of interesting stuff, but not much too wild.

The thought that came to my mind right away was go for sheer and lace. There was enough of it by the yard, as well as by air holes in the fabrics to make it “light” and good length for the value, lol.

Unfortunately, not too much interested me. Still, to be honest, what’s there are all pretty much bargains. It’s just a matter of how much of a bargain you’re getting.

The only pieces I ended up getting were about a yard each. A little piece of black sheer with deep green roses on it (shown below in double layer so the roses could be seen but pretty translucent). That was all of 0.05 lbs. Then a piece of deep red velvet (far richer in colour than the tablet photo below would betray).

What will they be used for? Well, let’s just say slightly scandalous garments… though not for me!!! lol

Minh in LA

Fixing Zippers 101

by Faye Morrison

Ever been at your wits end when you discover your zipper no longer works on an otherwise perfectly good jacket, dress, purse, etc?

I discovered a great new video about a product called FixnZip this morning on YouTube but haven’t tried it out yet; but I’m definitely going to try and lay my hands on one.

Fixing jackets are the absolute worst!

Foam Toe Separators to Store Bobbins

I just saw this idea on Pinterest.

foam toe separators bobbins foam toe separators bobbins2

You can get the details here and here. Seems pretty easy and practical to me. I don’t give myself pedicures so I don’t have one of these handy to know how they work but perhaps someone in the Guild does.

I should go buy some to try, if nothing else just to see the person’s look at a guy buying these things, lol.

 

Ruffle Necktie T-Shirt Tutorial

ruffletee2I thought this was a delightful idea, especially for you ladies with male significant others who have boring ties they no longer wore. This would be even better if they had interesting ties they no longer wore… or maybe never wore in the first place because they were not conservative enough! 🙂

From the McKell’s Closet blog.

Make Your Own Pressing Tool

Courtesy of Guild Member, Kathleen

If you would like to follow in the footsteps of our “Pressing Maven”, Sheila MacDonald (and who in their right minds would not want to emulate her?) by focusing the steaming of your seaming, this video should help:


It is a quick video of how to make your very own dauber.
For more information, click on this link to the Threads Magazine page.
Thanks, Kathleen!

That Medical Paper for Pattern Tracing

I’m in the middle of creating a ton of patterns for dress shirts with different yokes for my new wardrobe. I’m doing so using that medical tracing paper Miss Nancy occasionally gets for us in bulk at no cost to her. It’s doing wonders for my work and I just thought I’d take a moment to give her a shout out and send some love for it!

I canNOT imagine where I’d be without it! Nor would I want to!

It’s by far the best thing I spend money on for sewing when it comes down to a per dollar value at $4 a roll that could support a wardrobe. The serger is gonna take a lifetime to at least match that! Or at least half a dozen wardrobe makeovers, the first of which I’m just starting on now.

Thanks, Miss Nancy! Keep on showing us good new stuff. It might be a bit of a lottery which ones will have a huge impact, but if you don’t play, you can’t win, right?

Now, this new wardrobe thing had better work well, or else, the yoke will be on me!

Boooooooooooooooooooooo…. 😦

How to Draft Your Own Custom Victorian Corset Pattern

As some club members know, Ms Nancy and I are taking a corset making class at NSCAD Extended Studies. We spent the first couple of weeks drafting our own custom Victorian corset patterns, with me using a friend as a model cause there ain’t much to squish on me… not that it’d squish much, anyway.

The pattern drafting was from scratch. Blank piece of paper. Take a bunch of measurements and do what seemed like a gazillion calculations, drawing lines, squaring off at right angles, squaring off more at distances from line intersections, drawing points left and right of them to the millimetre, joining other points using straight lines or curves, etc. I believe we marked about 60 points that had meaning to the pattern!

Then we identified which of the shapes were pieces on our corset, and which were throwaway space before cutting it out.

Now, that’s not really helpful for helping you draft your own custom Victorian corset pattern. And definitely not worthy of the “How to” in the title. So why did I put that there? Because I found pretty much the same technique online, brilliantly shared in all its glorious detail via a 54 page print out PDF you can download and try yourself!

Foundations Revealed Custom Victorian Corset Pattern Drafting Instructions

The link is to page 3 of the full post too long on one page, but most of the key info is there, anyway. The download is near the bottom of this page. They even have two versions, one printer friendly and one colour coded that will make life a fair bit easier for you to understand.

I highly recommend you try this, or just even look at it, just to see what’s involved compared to your regular pattern drafting or alteration of patterns. The art of the art is amazing! They promise you can ask them questions until you get a satisfactory answer! The rest of the corset making involves some other skills not covered, but Ms Nancy and I can answer some of those after our class is over if you want to ask. You can’t badger us relentlessly till you get a satisfactory answer, though! 🙂

Our class is over the night before the December meeting. If things go well, we may have something interesting for Sew and Tell! Well, at least that’s what I’m calling it! 😛

May not be too interesting for me because first time around, it’s hard to design given some things might need to be done between certain steps. Until one has the insight into all the steps, one could easily miss out on when one needed to put in something, or do it only to have it get in the way of the rest of the process. But I’ll guarantee you there’ll be at least a second corset coming after this first one, fully designed, after I get to know all the steps!

In the meanwhile, if you want to see some corsets, there are many on Pinterest (just search for “corset”). I have my own Corset Board if you want to see my tastes in corsets, and also some more resources on my Corset Making board.

The Stewed Tomato Cutting Board

Submitted by Norma

I have been sewing more than a garment a month and the floor has become unacceptable as the cutting table. I tried our small round dining table with a cardboard cutting mat on top – The table wasn’t big enough to provide support to the end of the cardboard mat and it was too low 😦

Our buffet was the perfect height but too narrow 😦

Solution the “stewed tomato cutting board” 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans stewed or diced tomatoes (or apple juice if you prefer)
  • 1 cardboard cutting mat
  • 1 side board or buffet

Combine as shown in photo below

Stewed Tomato Cutting Board (click to enlarge)
Stewed Tomato Cutting Board (click to enlarge)

 

Thanks to Norma for this post submission! She emailed me the title, text and photo (many is fine). That’s all YOU have to do if you’d like to submit posts for our Guild site, if you are a Guild Member. I hope many more will follow in Norma’s example and show the world your beautiful and innovative creations, share your knowledge, or just otherwise entertain and enlighten us and our readers out there, in the Guild or not! 🙂

Minh