Thursday, August 5, 2010
Book Review, Stashoholism Confessional, & Sewing Injuries
I found Bag Bazaar by Megan Avery in the DC Library catalog and put it on hold. Their sewing holdings are sparse and I like to check out the books so they know there is some demand out there.
I do not give a high rating to this book. The biggest issue is that I don't think the author spent much time thinking about who the audience would be. It seems aimed at beginners and includes fairly good introductory information on basic techniques, if sparse (particularly for a welted zipper). But the instructions for the actual projects are almost entirely written, and contain very few diagrams, as illustrated on the left. No matter how good your technical writing is, it is difficult to convey sewing instructions without copious illustrations. So I think beginners would find the instructions difficult to understand and follow. Also in the graphics area, there are drawings of each completed project, but no photographs. This makes me suspect, rightly or wrongly, that you can't make a really cute, professional-looking piece using the instructions.
There is only one pattern included in the book (which must be massively enlarged on a copy machine). The other projects are self-drafted rectangles. An intermediate sewist who would be able to follow the instructions wouldn't really need a book to tell him or her how to combine rectangles to make purses.
I also didn't like the patternmaking technique, which involved cutting your rectangles out of interfacing and then fusing the interfacing to the fashion fabric and cutting out the fused interfacing from the fashion fabric. Placing the interfacing on grain on the fabric and then fusing it perfectly would be annoying for an intermediate sewist and incomprehensible for a beginner.
Somebody on PR pointed out that Fabric Mart had Gore-Tex for $9.99/yd. I have gotten into biking lately (again)--I rode to Mt. Vernon last Friday (blog post here)--and may go on a biking vacation next year and I thought it would be nice to make my own bike rain pants rather than buy the very expensive products available. I watched the stock and prices, hoping the price would move, but when they sold out of the navy I decided to make my move.
I bought the silk organza because, hey, silk organza for $3.99/yd. Actually, I loved the colors and thought it might make a good pleated full skirt for bike-riding. I like to wear a skirt (with bike shorts underneath) so people understand that I am not an athlete, I'm just out for a ride, and seriously you should just pass me, I really won't mind. Fabric Mart described it as having a crisp, pebbly texture. It is crisp but I found it to have the standard smooth hand of organza. I washed in the wash machine to remove as much stiffness as possible (I want a skirt, not a tutu). It remained quite crisp, so it would be good for underlining. I think I'll still make the skirt...you know, eventually.
I couldn't resist the swiss dot with its red, white, and blue print. I am always looking for cottons in my stash and not finding them, so I indulged.
But now, I really really need to stop buying fabric!
I have been sewing like crazy, including several projects from >Drape Drape 2, but I am in Rhode Island for a few days visiting a friend at her parents' beach cottage. Good for relaxing, bad for blogging!
IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH STOP READING.
I gave myself the GROSSEST sewing injury over the weekend. Ew ew ew. I was pinning the hem into a top and kept putting it back on and adjusting and refining. My full length mirror is in my bedroom, so rather than keeping going back into the sewing room I decided to sit down on my bed to re-pin. I set the shirt down and then went to sit with one knee on the bed and managed to kneel directly down onto a pin that went so far into my knee it bent at the end and I had to pull it out with a fair amount of force. So gross. It didn't bleed even though I tried to make it to (I learned in Girl Scouts first aid to make puncture wounds bleed).
My knee was pretty tender for a few days. In the gym we did hamstring curls, where you are one one knee and stick the other leg out straight and then bend at the knee, as demonstrated here. I couldn't put any pressure on my left knee, so I did the right leg hamstring curls from a one-legged plank position. Actually, I felt pretty bad-ass so maybe the most disgusting sewing injury ever was a blessing in disguise.
What is your most disgusting sewing injury?