Friday, August 2, 2013

Belated Thank Yous, Stashoholism Confessional, and Q&A

Y'all.  I can no longer hide from my sins.

First, the sin of insufficient gratitude!  I have been blessed with an abundance of gifts and I have not properly thanked the givers.  Please forgive my terrible manners!!!

Gift from Melissa, 4-2013

When Melissa came to Baltimore we met up for a fabulous dinner *and* she came bearing gifts.  How much do I love this silk cotton?  The colors and print are so incredibly me.

 I was thinking about for McCall 6507, but I don't know how the bias top will look with the directional print.   It could be too weird.  Any pattern ideas or suggestions?

Elastic July 2013

Ms. McCall of Brown Paper Patterns is doing some preeeetttty awesome lingerie sewing these days.  I fantasize about sewing a bra, yet do nothing about it (I do make all my knickers these days, if that counts for anything).  She picked up a big load of plush elastic and did a giveaway.  Well, not only did she send me plush elastic, but also some narrower picot elastic (and you know how much I love picot elastic for finish real clothes in addition to panties--you can see a closeup of the elastics here), and she threw some tricot and some powernet into the package.   So sweet!

From Diane 07-2013

Finally, Diane Drexel sent me an awesome care package with *two* sewing magazines, two thread snips, a measuring tape (can never have enough of those), some shoulder padding thingies for bag straps, and some genuine Vilene bias strips!

A La Moda (Spanish Language Pattern Magazine)

The magazines are an Ottobre Woman (yes!) and one called A La Mode, which is a Spanish language magazine.  It seems that it is pattern and fabric catalog, which is an interesting concept.  They show the garments made up and then give you a selection of fabrics that will work for them.  Like Marfy, it includes some of the patterns shown.  Very fun!

To pass along the love, I am doing a giveaway!  When I was making my striped retro bikini, I didn't have any swimwear elastic.  Not having time for the 2 hour round trip (by public transit) to G Street, I ordered some from Amazon.  They had small packages and a 100 yard roll, and by the time I put enough small packages in my cart for the swimsuit sewing I have planned the price difference to the roll was minuscule.  So I am the proud owner of 100 yards (well, less now!) of swimsuit elastic.

So that you do not have to order 100 yards of elastic, I am giving away TWO sets of 7 yards of 3/8" Stretch Rite natural colored swimsuit elastic.  As always, the only criterion for entry is that you have commented on my blog in the past 6 months.  I will ship internationally.  In your comment, please let me know you are entering.  If your username doesn't give me a way to contact you through your blog, please leave some sort of contact information (e.g., your email address in a non-scrapeable format, like "e x a m p l e at hot.mail"). 


And then, there is the sin of gluttony.  I participated in the Stash Contest in June and July.  Fabrics had to have been purchased before the beginning of the year to be eligible, which isn't *that* much of a restriction but it is something.  I limited myself to eligible fabrics during those two months, and despite being at the beach for two weekends I managed to sew up over 17 yards of stashed fabric.

I could feel virtuous, if I hadn't decimated that number in purchases.  But, for the most part, they really were needed purchases.  Except for the Fabric Mart one.  Oops.  Also, this is all my purchases for the past 5 months.  That makes it not so bad, right?  (What makes it bad is that I keep wanting to buy a whole bunch of cotton voile for no real reason.)

Lycra4Sale 6-2013

After making two swimsuits with unsuitable fabric, I decided it was okay to order some real swimsuit fabric.  These are from Lycra4Sale, an eBay seller.  The fabrics are listed in random lengths, but you can do custom orders of the lengths you want by sending a message.  The prices on the fabric are good; shipping is *not* a bargain.  I am not entirely sure how much I paid per yard, because my final invoice didn't break out the yardage and shipping cost.  I think I was charged about $20 in shipping.

The leopard print is for a Bombshell, and the Liberty-ish paisley-ish print is for another retro bikini.  The fabrics are thick and have great recovery.  Very good quality, especially for the price.  The mesh linings, which are like a lightweight powernet, are a great value.  I recommend the seller, just resign yourself to the shipping costs.

Martha Pullen 6-2013

Martha Pullen had a crazy sale on silk/cotton, $4/yd!  I have been desperate for a nice light-colored slippery  lining fabric after using up the 10 yards of rayon satin I got from a couple years ago.  I do not care for Ambience/Bemberg.  I know others love it, but it is too stiff and rustley for my taste.  But silk/cotton?   Yes please!  I ordered 20 yards of the white, which should last me another couple years.  I couldn't help myself and indulged in turquoise and moss green as well.

Fabric Mart, July 2013

Fabric Mart.  I caved.  They had a discount code and a free bundle (although apparently the free bundle didn't actually start until the next day, but they sent me one anyway).  They had the adorable cotton print on the left on sale for $1.99/yd.  I bought 4 yards; it's supposed to be a quilting cotton but whatevs.   I will make some sort of vintage-y fabric hog out of it.  They had leopard voile for a nightie.  And they had that FABulous orange print in a sturdy cotton-lycra twill (about the same weight as a light denim) for a great sheath.

The red knits I'm less thrilled with.  Why is it IMPOSSIBLE to find red knit?  Just regular, American (or Canadian or British or French) flag true red.  My red ponte skirt is trashed at this point, so pilled that it is unwearable--this is the downside of ponte!  It desperately needs replacing.  Fabric Mart described the ponte as "crimson," which apparently means a dark, rich red.  At least it's a rich blue-red, but it won't coordinate with any of my tops that have a lot of true red in them (like this one or this one or this one.  True red dye obviously exists; why can't it be used for solids????).  The athletic knit is a fairly gross color.  It was described as "apple red," but it's more like a pallid maroon.  I don't even like maroon that much in the first place as a solid, but this one is worse than usual.  Blah.  I'm going to try some iDye Poly on it in red eventually.

Fabric Mart Free Bundle 07-2013

My free bundle wasn't bad.  The modal at first looked gray (yes!) but really it is a brown, which I don't wear, but it looks ok with black and it will make a really lovely lightweight cardigan.  Might end up dyeing that as well.  The knit in the middle is a pale blue and appears to be a mix of cotton and rayon; is that such a thing?  It will also be dyed a deeper blue and will make a nice nightgown.  The purple quilted faux suede is SO not my thing, but then I realized that I bet my mom will like it.  I plan to make her a tote bag.

G Street 7-2013

Technically, these G Street purchases aren't needed purchases either, except that I bought a Living Social deal, where you pay $25 for a $50 credit at the store and the deal was expiring.  I couldn't just leave money on the table, now could I?  The knit print is because I am a sucker for anything vaguely peacock.  The fabric that's not part of the border print is huge abstract shapes in turquoise (my color!) and purple.  The orange is to accent the Liberty-ish swimsuit print from Lycra4Sale.  Piping in a lycra fabric will be a challenge, but I think it will add a lot to the look.

Athletic Fabric 05-2013

Last but not least.  Cidell picked up some more Under Armour fabrics for me at her secret source in Baltimore.  Awesome!  The photo is terrible, but it's heat gear in black and in navy, and cold gear in a sage.  These are such great fabrics.  I've used the navy to make a pair of shorts to go under my skirts when I bike and it is a thousand times cooler than padded bike shorts; I don't need the padding for my short commute and was just wearing them for convenience.  Seriously, it made a huge difference in my comfort.


And a couple Q&As:

Judith Stansky asked on my Vogue 8631 post whether the kimono sleeves could be raised by scooping through the underarm.  Yes, this can definitely be done and was my plan if I didn't like the sleeves.  Just transfer the underam curve as drafted to a little higher up.

Susan asked on my Schmetz Needle post:

"Just wondering - my fabric shop can't seem to tell me the difference between a stretch needle and a ballpoint one (and the one marked jersey). It would be interesting to hear why you prefer one over the other for different kinds of fabrics, one of these days, if you have time!"

My answer is not scientific, it is just anecdotal based on my experience:  I have found that on some slippery knits, the very smooth and slightly shiny polyester ones, stretch needles are the ONLY ones that will leave a stitch.  All other needles, including ballpoint, will pick up maybe one stitch in five.  I have never encountered any downside to using a stretch needle instead of a ballpoint, except that they are harder to find, so I find it easier to use stretch needles most of the time.

That said, my anecdata appears to be based in fact, as the Schmetz Needle Guide says of a stretch needle, that it has a "medium ball point, specially designed eye and scarf prevent skipped stitches."  Schmetz has an abundance of information about needles on their website, including a downloadable PDF of the Needle Guide.


Polish and Stitches said...

*sigh* Such lovely fabrics...I only have Joann's and Hobby Lobby in my area. The fabrics aren't horrible, but they're not fantastic, and not worth the regular price per yard.
Oh and please enter me in the contest!

annie said...

I loved your seersucker social dress for 2012. And oddly enough, the link to that post is just on the right of today's post. Your FehrTrade would look lovely in that pattern.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Thanks for the fabric p*rn! Since I've sworn off fabric purchases it's nice to share in someone else's fabric joy. You've got some pretty pieces!

Vicki said...

Wow, now that is a bit of fabric buying! Those cotton silks look really nice. One needs to buy fabric to sew....

Faye Lewis said...

Love your stash.

Ellen said...

I love reading about your sewing adventures on your blog, You explain things well, and it's inspiring that you sew so much. You are one of the reasons that I've gotten up the courage to try sewing again. Anyway, I bought some swimsuit fabric on clearance, and would love to win some elastic to help my try sewing my first-ever swimsuit. Thanks for doing the give-away!

Mary said...

Beautiful bounty!! I love, and am envious of, all your goodies. I've been on a fast and trying to sew through some stashed fabric. Yesterday, however, I went to an upscale fabric store out of town, and bought fabric for 3 winter jackets. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your fabric pics and sharing sources. I do hope that you find some good ponte. I seem to like the ponte from Spandex World because there isn't any poly, has nice weight, no pilling so far. It has about the same content as the ponte from L a n d * E ** rtw

Meigan said...

That is a lot of fabric! Those darn sales and coupons really suck you in don't they?

Anyway, as an avid swimwear sewist, I would love to enter your elastic giveaway! Thanks for having it :)

Trumbelina said...

Ahhh... cotton-silk. I'm sewing with it right now. I love everything about it.
I'll throw my name into the give away!

Luch said...

Nice fabrics! I would love to win the swimsuit elastic...I sewing a suit or two for my 6 year old...she's got my long torso, and at this age, suits start looking (I'n my oppinion) innapropriate...triangle tops for little girls? Not for me thank you! I'd rather sew my own...tankini or sporty looking one piece. Love the dress in your lasts post...hadn't seen that pattern before and it looks awesome!

Ann said...

I would love to be entered in the elastic giveaway. I'm slowly gathering materials to try a swimsuit this summer (or maybe the fall at this point...I'm slow!) I'm just not sure if I've commented in the last 6 months as I admit to being kind of a lurker, so if I'm not eligible, take me out of the running. In any case, all your work is so inspiring, especially your bikeable outfits. Thanks! argarg27 at hotmail dot com

Vivienne said...

Hey, did you see this lovely red ponte at Emma One Sock?


The Sewphist said...

I love the peacockesque fabric. Love Love Love it!

Ms. McCall said...

I'm horribly behind on my blog reading and commenting, but thanks so much for the shout out! Hoping that it gets put to good use soon!

Ms. McCall said...

I'm so so far behind on my blog reading and commenting that I'm only seeing this now! Thanks for the shout out!