Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Finally!  A Real Fabric Shopping Trip!

For the last 4 or more months, my husband and I have stayed at home most of the time.  Of course, we have made the usual trips to medical appointments that people of our age make and have picked up groceries after ordering them online.  All of this has been done to try to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Today we decide to take a drive to break the monotony.  I suggested we drive to Richland, home of Fabrications.  I knew Fabrications had a 25% Off Sale starting today through August 22.  We wanted to enjoy our drive, so we avoided the expressway.  We took Divine Highway to M66 to Lacy Road west to Cobb Road and then M89 to Gull Road.  It was a beautiful drive with very little traffic. 

Late last year, Fabrications moved the fabric store from 32nd Street to 8709 Gull Road, Suite B.  They moved the yarn to 8719 Gull Rd.  I had not been able to visit their new locations until today.  I made a quick stop at “The Yarn Cottage”, where the yarn is sold and said hello to Dick.  Then I went around the corner to Fabrications’ “Fabric Warehouse”.  It is located directly in back of the State Farm office.  It is small, but is filled with lots of wonderful fabrics and sewing supplies, including thread, buttons, books, and notions.  Janet uses all her floor space very efficiently.  She even has a separate area for teaching classes. 

Janet was teaching a one-on-one class when we arrived.  We were greeted by her daughter who made my husband and I both feel welcome.  We were the only ones in the store except for Janet, her daughter, and one student in another room.  Dave returned to the car to read while I browsed the shop.  It felt so good to be able to touch all the fashion fabrics and envision what I could make from them.  That is why I don’t like to buy fabric online.  I need to touch it to know whether I like it or not.  I know I should be able to determine that by the name of the fabric, but I am not there yet.  I still need to touch it! 

After Janet’s class was over, she helped me find some fabric to make some fall/winter slacks.  I also purchased shirting to make two shirts for Dave and one for me.   When I noticed the Palmer Pletsch book, Complete Guide to Fitting, I knew I had to have it.  Even though I already have several books on fitting, I seem to have an obsession with buying more.  I think I am looking for something that will magically make patterns fit me.  I know getting a good fit is possible, but it requires hard work to get it done regardless of the method you use.  I am just making sure I have the resources on hand to try whatever method I choose at the moment.

When I finished shopping, Dave was patiently waiting in the car me.  We chose a different path to go home, but it was still back roads with no expressways.  We had another beautiful drive!

If you are bored with staying home, you might choose to go for a drive and include a trip to Fabrications.  It is well worth the drive.  And if you go before August 22, you will get 25% off almost anything you purchase.  If you knit, remember to stop and see Dick at the Yarn Cottage.  Merchandise in the Yarn Cottage is included in the 25% off sale.  Masks are required.

Have fun and stay safe.


Monday, July 20, 2020

How to Keep Your Favorite Patterns in Good Shape

Do you get tired of trying to refold your patterns and get them to fit back into a pattern envelope?  I do.  Also, after I make several articles from the pattern, the pieces become wrinkled, tattered, and distorted.  To avoid these things, I take my favorite patterns (those I know fit me) and transfer them to tag board.

I do not like to waste a pattern, so I always transfer it to medical paper before using it the first time.  Medical paper is the paper your doctor uses on the examining table.  I usually need to alter any pattern I make, so this paper is a good choice because it is inexpensive and is easy to see through for tracing.  Once I have the pattern made, I will cut the fabric and make a trial garment.  After I get it to fit the way I want, then I transfer the pattern to tag board.  I cut all the pieces out, label them, attach them to a pattern hook and place them in a spare closet or on a clothes rack.  No folding needed.  They are ready for me the next time I want to make that garment. 

The following is a list of supplies you need to transfer your pattern to tag board:

tag board
tracing wheel with sharp spikes
hole punch
pattern hanger 

Tag board is sometimes called oak tag.  It is similar to the paper used to make manila file folders.  I purchased my tag board from in a large roll that is 58 inches wide, but I do not recommend you do that unless you don’t mind paying a large freight bill and getting a life time supply.    Amazon and other companies sell large sheets of tag board in varying quantities and if you have Prime membership, it may ship for free.  Even sells sheets of tag board.  Just make sure the sheets are large enough to trace the individual pieces of your pattern. 

I use a notcher to mark the notches on the pattern.  The notcher is also handy to use to mark the beginning of darts and other things such as pleats of tucks.  I use a tracing wheel with sharp spikes to transfer markings such as darts.  Then I can see the small indentations on the tag board and can mark the dart with a pen or pencil.   I also use an awl to mark things like the bust point.

Most people trace the pattern pieces onto the tag board with no seam allowances.  That way, when you trace the pattern onto your fabric you have the precise sewing lines and then you add the seam allowances before cutting the fabric.  I have not been doing that.  Instead, I trace the pattern with the seam allowance included before I transfer it to the tag board.  The next pattern I trace onto tag board, I intend to do it without the seam allowance and see how I like that method.   You can use a fabric marker or a chalk marker to trace the tag board pattern piece onto the fabric.  I prefer to use the chalk marker. 

After your tag board pattern pieces are cut out, punch a hole in the top of each piece and place all of them onto a pattern hook.  The pattern hooks can be purchased at Amazon or other online companies.  Now your favorite pattern is ready for the next garment without trying to unfold and press it to get it ready to be used.

There are lots of different kinds of paper or other material that can be used to trace patterns.  I am just sharing with you the method I like for keeping my favorite patterns.  If I don’t plan to make more than a couple of garments from a pattern, I don’t transfer it to tag board.

Good luck with all your sewing projects!