Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sewing Lessons

My daughter wasn't sure about actually sitting down at the machine and sewing. She didn't trust the needle and speed. So I decided the best way to get her accustomed to controlling the speed was to start with following lines on paper without the needle threaded. This is probably one of the best ways to get accustomed to using the foot pedal and understanding a bit about the feed dogs.

She was surprised initially by the fact the paper would move without her forcing it. Now as to following the lines that was another matter. At first she just let the machine do all the work but then realized she needed to do a bit of guiding.

Then it became a challenge to keep the speed consistent. If you have never used a foot pedal of any sort this can be a little tricky at first. I personally like sewing in my bare feet so thus this is what she was trying. Which meant she wasn't getting a consistent pressure at first. But eventually she started getting the feel of it. Next time I will get her to try it with some shoes on and see if there is a difference. 

After a few sheets she was feeling much more confident that the machine doesn't bite. I know part of her fear is the fact that I have had a few sewing mishaps over the years that she is aware of. I strongly recommend not sewing when you are tired even if you are on a deadline for an order. And definitely pay complete attention when using the rotary cuter when slicing a felted wool sweater for stuffing. 

Or you can end up with a finger like this for a while. This happened when she was 7 and I am sure she will remember it always and it will probably take a lot of coaxing for her to ever use a rotary cuter.

Tho she also remembers this... 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Vintage Fashion Postcards

At a recent visit to Archie McPhee's - a place I would strongly recommend if you are ever in the Seattle area - I picked up some postcards. Vintage fashion advertisements always catch my eye. These cards are ads for Berkshire Hosiery, Lilion, and Label 4 Jrs.

So of course I had to do a google search on each, which of course led me down the rabbit hole aka slippery slope. Berkshire hosiery is an American company which is still going, not a lot about the history of the company on their site. They are based in North Carolina and it sounds like they make a great effort to keep their product Made in USA. It was not a company I was familiar with before picking up this card, but I think I may have to try a pair of their opaque tights. It did bring on a discussion about Leggs stockings with my daughter. Remember their egg packaging. 
I distinctly remember asking neighbours to save these for me when I was a child. I found so many uses for them.

For the Lilion postcard I didn't really find anything at all beyond a couple of other images/pc's being sold on ebay. I will have to dig a bit deeper and see if I can unearth anything else about the company at a future date.

The Label 4 Jrs was mostly other images also. But when researching them I also started looking up info about Antron a nylon fabric created by Dupont. This brought on more research as where I grew up many people worked at the local Dupont plant. Often I forget how fabrics such as Antron are trademarked. During the late 50's,60's and into the 70's nylon fabrics were considered wonder fabrics and often used in clothing. I also associate these nylon fabrics as hot, smelly and uncomfortable, definitely not something to wear on a humid day. This also was a time when every piece of clothing no longer needed to be ironed - Yeaahh. Many of the fabrics during this time period were also wonderfully vibrant and of a more simple structure. Now most bathing suits are blends with such fabrics as lycra/spandex but suits including Antron will definitely dry quicker. Today Antron is more commonly associated with carpets and its water repellent nature then its use in garments.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Oddmall Emporium

Oddmall Emporium of the Weird in Everett, Washington. This past weekend we decided to check this event out, I had come across it when researching shows in the area. It is definitely a show I would normally be applying to be a vendor at. About 95% of the vendors were the creators of the work they had available for sale. Looks like this year is a big year for them as they are adding shows to their roster.  https://oddmall.co/


 Oddmall was introduced to the Seattle area in 2013 with the assistance of Andy Hopp who started Oddmall in Akron Ohio in 2009. The basis behind the show is to provide a venue for local makers, artists, musicians and performers to show their stuff off to the public. It is a family friendly event and there is something for everyone. We got to see the Seattle band Geppetto's Retribution on Sunday afternoon just after we arrived. We did this during a little break between checking out the vendors.

Of course we had to purchase a few things ;0)
Munchkin got herself a hand drawn map created by Forgotten Times something she has wanted since seeing them at Mythic Worlds a few months ago. She also got a Chooseomatic book called Time Travel Dinosaur by Matt Youngmark which she is enjoying immensely.

I picked out a book from Broken Eye Books called by Faerie light which is an anthology of alternative fairy tales. The cool little moustached guy is a sticker from Normiehead, I have a thing for stickers and my filing cabinet is well decorated. Last but not least I bought a light from Spark Plug Industries. It just kinda called my name tho it was a bit of a decision between this and another one with a spider for the on/off switch. This one won, it suits the living room and what's even better is the french doors have close to a matching doorknob.

All in all a nice way to spend a Sunday.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Measure of A Man

This is a book that is coming up on the Colette Patterns Book Club roster.  https://blog.colettehq.com/colette-book-club/welcome-to-the-colette-book-club 
I lucked out at the local library, got it within a week of requesting it. Wasn't sure if I was going to like the book as the reviews stressed that it was about his strained relationship with his father. It definitely is, but JJ Lee is a very talented writer and did a marvelous job of combining the history of suits, along with the story of a father, a son and a suit as stated in the title. Tailoring and the fact that it is quickly becoming a lost art is something I have been researching quite a bit lately. I enjoyed the book so much that I may have to actually buy a copy for myself. There are lots of snippits of info that I am sure I would use as reference.
Apparently there was also a documentary made about the tailoring shop he apprenticed at in Vancouver, but no luck so far in finding a copy to view :0(

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

MMMay 16 Personal end results

One of the things I challenged myself to accomplish over May during the MMMay 16 was to tackle the basement storage. This is a picture of the room that then leads to furnace room. As you can see it's kinda full and well you could get to the furnace room as long as you watched where you were going.


After digging through every bin I managed to eliminate 7 of them. My daughter acquired some new to her tops (she is very pleased with my talent for thrift store shopping - her words). I also gave numerous bags of clothing to the Goodwill. Decided I should pass on some of my previous finds as it looks like my production of recreated clothing has drastically reduced since moving to Seattle. (That's what happens when you have limbo status in a country) 

Another wonderful thing was I found the bin that had my denim :0). Of course it was in one of the last ones I went through. But it is now all washed and sitting with the three options of patterns(all independent designers). Next step is self measuring to see which pattern to attempt first and how much modification I am sure all will need. 

My daughter's introduction to sewing with a machine is moving along slowly. She has practised threading the machine, filling and loading a bobbin, how to do basic cleaning and how to change a needle. But no actual sewing as of yet. She keeps saying she's going to sew her fingers instead of the fabric. Not an irrational or rational fear, but something which I will have to work on overcoming. Definitely need to set the machine at it's slowest speed for her. I will probably have to show her the difference in speeds the machine is capable of. She is accustomed to me using my machines at the highest speed they are capable of - which is probably why I am guilty of burning out a couple of motors :0).

MMMay 16 challenge of wearing something Made By Me every day was achieved. There was only a couple of days over the month that I had to change what I first put on to something else to achieve it. Being conscious of only wearing Made By Me clothing for a month helped me realize what types of clothing I don't make as readily. The main area being activewear so I will have to remedy that and try out a few yoga pant styles in the near future.