Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Six Hundred And Fifty Dollar Thread

My studio is a mess. Normally when I leave on a trip, the studio is tidy so I come back to possibilities not cleaning. I guess this mess is a reminder of why BUT... I wouldn't have had coffee with my friend otherwise and friends are better than cleaning up messes.

LOL - and so are grandbabies. I'm glad I didn't delay leaving for cleaning. It's hard to capture a smile but I managed to get a few just so you can see who has Grandma wrapped around his little finger. Oh... there she is... that lady who entertains me. Grandma... over here... Grandma... pick me up. I missed the smiles and giggles this morning and even so it's nice to be in my own home.

On the way back, I stopped for breakfast in Banff. It's a little further off the highway than my typical stop of Canmore and has grown considerably since the last time I was there. At eight in the morning, the many... many... many... shops were not open yet but the clicking cameras were still out in full force.

Banff is a tourist town. There are shops and restaurants and street side cafes and while I wouldn't have minded spending an hour or so looking at a limited selection of stores - say at the details on some high end clothing - I am so not a wandering shopper any more or one for large crowds. LOL - I can see how one becomes more fuddy dudddy as they age. The mountain views are more beautiful in Canmore so next time, back to having breakfast there ! ! !

Kyle and Howard looked at me like I was crazy when - as I was showing them what I bought - I said I liked fabric. Oh? Really? LOL.

I also like searching for a good deal. On Saturday, Jodie (a blog reader) and I met at one Fabricland, shopped, went for lunch, and then went to another Fabricland for more shopping. It was a wonderful day and I came home with some good finds. Above is a heavier check knit in denim and black - $4.00 a meter. It would make a lovely Vogue 1312 dress or Vogue 8712 pant as it has nice weight and drape.

This is a polyester satin. When I picked it, I thought it was $4.00 per meter and once it was cut, realized it was $5.00. Oh well. Still okay but not as great. My intention was a nightgown or some pajama pants. I need to upgrade my nightwear as it's getting a bit grungy and worn out BUT... it would also make a lovely version of Marcy's Vogue 8876 dress similar to one of the views.

There was just over two meters of this denim-ish colored linen for $2.00 per meter. It has a rougher feel that I thought might have been wool only it didn't smell like wool when wet and it's heavier, like upholstery grade. It washed up nicely and with a lining would make a fabulous coat - say a shorter version of the Vogue 8346 that I sewed in June. View A takes 2.30 meters so I may just have enough.

This is a mesh knit... in the bargain center... for $4.00 per meter... which is amazing for such an "in" fabric. I bought three meters although I intend to give some to two friends who are working on t-shirts.

I only sew for other people when I want to and only for people who are very special to me. My daughter lost sixty pounds over her pregnancy so none of her before the baby clothes fit her and she's having a difficult time finding clothing. Her wardrobe makes mine look substantial and - if you remember - it isn't so I'm going to fine tune some patterns for her, sew a selection of garments, and give her the adapted patterns so she can sew for herself.

A few years ago when I started back into sewing fashions, I had a week at home alone that I wanted to maximize making myself some clothes. My serger had just been in for a tune-up because the thread kept snapping and breaking. I was excited about my week only when I sat down to sew, I serged a few inches, the thread snapped, it broke, and I stood up, went to the store, and bought a new serger. 

While I was in Oregon, I left the old serger at the shop to see what was wrong with it. They sewed on it for the week and when I returned, they said nothing was wrong and encouraged me to try stitching right there and then. I did. The thread did not snap. The serger sewed great. As I finished experimenting, one of the sales women reached across, cut off the thread, and said she needed it and for some reason that "clicked" with me. At that time, I had been using old thread - thread that was in the range of 15-20 years since that was how long it had been since I'd sewn any amount of clothing - and perhaps my problem had been old thread. If so, that was six hundred and fifty dollar thread - VBG. I sewed on the old serger for two weeks prior to going to my daughters with no snapping thread so...

... I took the new one with me to give to her. It has differential feed and the older one doesn't and it seemed she should start out with the better machine. If she doesn't like it or use it, she'll return it but hopefully, a new sewing machine, a slightly used serger, and a set of good tools along with some adapted to fit you patterns will help her get into sewing. It'll certainly lower the frustration levels and she's very capable. The romper she sewed for her son is near to perfect and that's without sewing in the past twelve years SO... I'm viewing this from the "teach a woman to fish" perspective.

When I talked to her yesterday, she said she doesn't want "normal" t-shirts. She wants details. I went through my pattern collection to see what I have in her size. I'll start with New Look 6735 which is my T & T pattern to get a basic t-shirt I can adjust the fit from. That's essential for moving forward and can be morphed quite easily into a version of Vogue 8390. I came home with a list of measurements so whatever we start with is going to fit way better than RTW. This is good.

I'm debating Vogue 8817 - both versions - because it's incredibly flattering on me and we have similar figure types and Vogue 8691 without the ruffle for the same reason. Vogue 8856 is also a possibility. If she likes these three. Our sizes are in the same package so I'm going to order Vogue 8906 and Vogue 8651 which I think have potential for both of us.

Do you ever wonder about how things would have turned out if you'd taken a different path? We can't. Life's not like that and if we had, there are many good things on our own path that we would have missed... BUT... one of the things I often think about is how much decisions impact my children's lives. I'm excited that my daughter is talking about sewing. If she decides to sew, I think she'll be amazing. I wonder how sewing will change the way she views clothes and dressing. Right now, it's a struggle to find flattering clothes in her size and she tends to give up and make do. What if she learns to sew clothes that fit and flatter?

Clothes have such an impact on how we feel about ourselves and on how others see us. How would my daughter's life have been different, if I'd sewn for her all along instead of detouring into textile art and how could her life be different if she takes this "sewing" path? These are questions that can't be answered and I find them fascinating none-the-less.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - yesterday, seven of the windows along the back of our house were replaced due to broken seals. The street noise is noticeably less, more like what we expected when we moved in. YES YES!


  1. I read many of your posts but seldom take time to comment, Myrna. I couldn't resist this post title LOL. How gratifying it must be for you to find yourself sharing sewing more and more with your daughter! I've moved away from sewing my own clothing but if anything can get me motivated again, it would be your blog. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    1. LOL - I hope I do encourage you back to clothing. I've only been sewing fashions full time for since early 2010 and I certainly circled around and back through a few issues but recently I feel like I've (mostly) figured out the fitting issues and can focus on the fun, flatter, and design ones. And I'm really glad to have reached that point when my daughter is showing some interest in sewing. Our figures are very similar so I'll be able to incorporate that learning into starting her out much further in the process. YES YES!!

  2. Oh, you never know....my mother's mother (whom I never met) sewed. My mother sewed a bit, way before I was born, and then once I was in college and she was retired. I was introduced to it in 9th grade and took to it. My sister also was introduced to it in home ec and HATED it. Genetics? Personality quirks? Luck of the draw? Who can say....

    At any rate, your daughter is lucky that you are there to guide her!

    1. I will continue to wish. She's obviously picked up the how-to from osmosis because she said top stitching was just sewing a line around the edge and what's the big deal with a zipper, you just sew it in. Yes. Go ahead.

  3. I too came home from our day "out" and shared my "pile" with my family. My boys (husband and son) were less than inspired but my Mom (a sewist) was excited. Such fun! We'll have to do it again some time. I think that with your help and support your daughter will have some big successes - which is always nice when you are starting something new (or returning to it after some time apart). I'm at the point where I won't buy something that doesn't fit - but I'm lucky that I'm a confident enough sewer AND a relatively easy fit that it's not too much of a struggle. Have fun on the journey with her!

    1. Good that your Mom was there to be enthused. I'll sometimes say think of it as ____ with ___ being something they love.

      And sometimes there's nothing to buy. My daughter wears a G-cup. Try to find something flattering in that. Hopefully, it's Mom to the rescue although today has been trial and error.

  4. Myrna - I washed up that black and white mesh and it's sooo soft.....I can't wait to play with it! I've the last of my bridesmaid fittings today and plan to clear out some last "have to" projects and then sew for me!


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.