Sunday, August 1, 2010

Post Two

Ok, so I really did just take a picture of my flannel into which I am making pajamas, but my room is such a huge disaster that I can't find the connecty cord thingy that goes into the computer. So a picture will just have to wait.

[eta pictures!]

So. I fell in love yesterday.

With cotton lawn by Alexander Henry to be precise. I really LOVE this print. I am going to buy some. As soon as I can justify to myself 4 yards or so of $13+ per yard fabric, since I don't actually have a specific pattern in mind (well, I kind of do, but, you know.) Do you know how delicious this fabric is? Incredibly delicious. Really, really, really delicious. Like, have an entire wardrobe of blouses and dresses delicious. YUM.

Since I don't want to be really crazy with fabric buying (at least not as crazy as I am with yarn), I bought $225 worth of classes and scissors instead!

I know, right?


The scissors were completely necessary. I already know about and appreciate having good tools to work with. If you are making something, whether it's cutting wood, hammering nails, painting a wall, chopping vegetables, knitting yarn, or cutting fabric, a good tool will really help you out. The scissors I had purchased for cutting fabric were really crap. Like, total crap. Big, clunky, hard to maneuver, the blade too long for my hand, the handle totally uncomfortable, not balanced or weighted well - overall they just fucking sucked and made cutting fabric a living hell. Since I relaxed into sewing yesterday and decided that I actually liked it, this whole process of fiddly bits, I decided to make the investment in a good pair of scissors.

I spent probably an hour cutting up lengths of scrap fabric at the counter. I was introduced to some Wolff scissors, and I really liked the handle, it was quite lightweight and fit my hand well, but I just wasn't quite satisfied with the blade. It was not quite sharp, precise, long enough for me. I tried the Ginghers out too, but the handle was uncomfortable (that classic all-metal design), and after the comfort of the Wolff, I really didn't want to give that up, but god how I loved the cutting action of the Ginghers. So slick. So sharp, so precise, so nicely weighted. Really great scissors. But I'm a bit of a weenie when it comes to extra weight and discomfort. Why be uncomfortable if I don't need to be? So I tried out a pair of Kai scissors, and I finally went with them. It was a close call between them and the Ginghers, but the ergonomic handle finally got me. If the shop had had the ergonomically handled Ginghers, I probably would have gone with them, but as it is, I'm happy with my Kais.

I bought the 8" pair. (Model N5210). My handle is green for whatever reason. It is a very awesome pair of scissors, and I have apparently inherited (or learned) the gene from my mother that is VERY protective of fabric scissors. (NO ONE BUT ME SHALL TOUCH THESE AND YOU SHALL DIE IF YOU EVEN THINK OF CUTTING PAPER WITH THEM!!!!)
Yeah, that gene.

I am very happy with them. They're beautiful and precise and I can imagine happily and precisely cutting many a pattern with them. I heard something from the woman at the store who sold them to me - she told me I should wipe them clean after a day of cutting. She said that the fuzz that is left on them can dull the scissors. I don't know if that's true, but I'll go ahead and remember to do it. Why not. Make it fun.

So. Me. A pair of fabric scissors.

I also spent an hour or so looking at patterns. I asked my teacher if I repeated her class, if I could please make a skirt that wasn't on the suggested pattern list. For the love of Gawd, Kwik Sew patterns are just fucking ugly and hopelessly out of fashion. I mean, for pity's sake - if I am going to spend 15 hours in a class, $140 on the class time itself, and money on a pattern AND fabric - I had damned well better want to wear whatever the hell it is I'm making. Kwik Sew does not cut it (ha ha.)

I found this beautiful pattern from Vogue and almost had a heart attack - sticker shock. $22 for a pattern?! Shit! I could buy a dress for that! Thank god for Jo Ann fabrics and online and so on and so forth. And then we get into the whole hand-made versus ready-made discussion of longevity, quality of materials, and so forth. Go see Needled. She ruminates well and at length.

Anyhow. Patterns. So - my teach said I could make this pattern in her next class if I so desired. I was like - really?! It's lined and everything. But I think it'd be really cool to do. I tend to love to plunge into things and just take it on and do it, you know? I think I learn best that way - to have a challenge, and rise to meet it. And I would say that generally, I do pretty spectacularly in that department. Since I have 2 months before I start the next class (the soonest one was already full, darn it) at least that will give me time to save my pennies for nice fabric and fabric for lining the dress. Oy. And a petticoat. Ha. Even if I don't make this dress right away, I would like to do so at some point in the future, because I think it'd be a really great thing to make. I actually already have a dress very similar to it that I bought at a vintage shop. Fits me like a dream. I really need a petticoat for it. It's cute without, but it would be just amazing with one. I've worn it out to a nice restaurant once, so I know it's a dress that would actually get wear. And how fun would it be to be the crazy med rec clerk in hawt vintage? Hee hee. Though I'll have to make sure to make a dress that actually lets me move my arms around - the dress I've got doesn't allow for much arm movement.

Ok. So I started and then stopped this entry like two hours ago.

Let's see if I can sum up.

This Saturday I cut out my fabric pieces. I learned how to make sure that the fabric was folded on grain, I learned how to lay down my pattern on the fabric and make sure it would be laid and cut on grain. I sewed a little bit - I sewed the inseams of the fronts to the backs. I trimmed up the fabric next to the second line of sewing on one of the inseams, then I overcast the edge with a zig zag stitch. Next Saturday I shall start by overcasting the other inseam, and then I guess I'll sew up the next thing. No idea what that is though. My teach is bypassing the directions which she says are unneccesarily comlicated and out of order. I spent a lot of time ironing and learning about the whole grain thing. All in all I enjoyed the session this time, and I really relaxed when I finally started sewing. Ah! Went my little brain. This is what it's all about! So I should get to have a little more of that next week, which shall be nice.

I also signed up for a "learn to make a pattern from your ready-to-wear" for Labor Day. I'm really excited for this workshop. It's six hours and at the end of it you go home with a muslin sample, not just a pattern, which is really cool. This is what I've really wanted to learn how to do! Re-create!

Anyhow, that's the summary for this weekend, I've got to go to bed and get some sleep.

Ciao ciao my fellow stitchers.

1 comment:

  1. oh yes--the scissors gene. have that one in spades-scissors for the following:embrodiery, fabric, paper, kitchen,garden, & Craft-work. never shall they mingle!!! mmm--lovely fabrics-stripe as well as print. once i signed up for the jo-anns flyer i had a better idea of when patterns are on sale. so i make a list, keep it in my wallet, & when the appropriate brand is on sale, i pick it up. i also like 'burda' magazine. all patterns in all size included in the mag.--although you will best be served by making a copy of the pattern instead of using the original.