Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Happiest Time of the Year

One of my favorite places in my hometown is the Pacific Fabrics Northgate store

I would not be the Ernie I am today without their able asssistance. 

And it is right around the corner (less than 101 feet from)


The gargoyle was an example of things they could make/get for you, and was for sale for some years, and is just not as terrifying as he once was. The wings still open, but the head no longer turns from side to side
Back in his prime, from website photo credit Stacy Mertes
They carry the usual costumes and supplies (wigs, hats, makeup, some shoes, fog machines). A very nice mix of cheap to professional grade (the best real felt top hat in town, with a price to match)

They also have a large selection of  fabrics and trims, glues and paints, hat buckram, boas, feathers, netting, stretch material, tiaras and all the fake furs you could want. Not to mention themed aisles of party supplies and tiki torches. 

This is your sequin headquarters (no offence, PacFab Galleria Garth) and a great source for custom swords. They really do have most of everything. 

This last weekend before Halloween, I urge you to stop by your local fabric shop, or costume supply place, and just enjoy the fury and the wonder of the Black Friday of the fabric world.

Because it truly IS the most wonderful time of the year.
Even if I couldn't talk myself into buying one of these this year.
I am just not going to sew this.

 I mean, he's got a five foot long tail!
Just inflate him and stick him in the corner.....

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sprout Tester

images from Spoonflower website

This is not the first 'cut and sew' trial Spoonflower has done. It's just the first one they've taken to market. 

And like so many things in life, follow the damn directions.

See, it's all there.

If you are a chronic designer on Spoonflower, you probably have a deep inventory of designs you've come up with, but haven't make a swatch to proof them so you can sell them. Like the free swatch days, I pile the test designs on the tester items, get some more bang for my buck.

The downside of this beta was: the early access to the process was not free. It was discounted, but I paid for this.
And it is just as prone to having to wait for printing to catch up with a big influx of orders as any other busy time for Spoonflower. Order went in on October 3rd, and I don't have it yet (although I should soon, according to my order records).

Spoonflower is many things, but one thing supreme: their customer service is redonkulously great. I knew there was a mixup when I emailed a question and did not get a response within the day (I misentered my email! d'oh!).

I've almost bought the Sidekick sling bag pattern on several occasions, I've co-taught a workshop on making it, so it figured that this was finally the time to put words into actions. I honestly think it's too big, but I can trim it down.

Plus it has three potential design choices. Theme Bag!

See those yellow squares around the fabric images? That means you've selected those. This is where I just could not figure out how to select them.
This is what a beta is. People like me stumble over the dumb stuff.

The big difference between this and previous cut and sew trials is the ability to move the design within the pattern template. Example One above.

And Example Two

Or I can make sure that the big red moon does not end up the headlight position.

You do get preprogrammed choices for fabrics, but a nice range and nothing that wouldn't work for the design.

When the pattern/bag arrives, I'll post again on how it turns out.
In the meantime, more Craftyhoppingblogfun

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

CraftyPod Blog Hop: Football Coasters

It's that time.  Crafty Football!

I need some coasters, at least one, for my boss. Something football, waterfast, that won't skid, that you can see on a busy desk.

A red plastic lid is a good target, and has a good edge to make it a sturdy object.

Measure twice, make up once?

Find some potential images from photos, edit to fit a circle. Print them out on inkjet fabric sheets.

You can buy the sheets at most sewing and craft shops. You can also make your own by temporarily adhering a thin sheet of white cotton to a piece of freezer paper; this link (pardon the ads) has a lot of handy information on making your own

Yes, I am using online images, but since this object is not for sale or reproduction, I feel I'm within fair use rights.

Printed out, cut out, I'm heat setting so it won't dissolve when a wet glass hits it.

I've got a chunk of rubbery neoprene to use for a backing. Has some traction and some squish.
You could also layer up 'slipper tread' and polyester batting.


Cutting the center of the lid works best with a shortbladed scissor, like cuticle scissors.

And it fits

Peel and Stick Fabric fuse is very good for this sort of job. It won't lose it's stick, it will stick to the fabric, the neoprene, the lid, YOU.  It's better to cut the strip, stick it down, trim if necessary and THEN remove the paper backing. It is unforgiving but durable.

I knew there would be a gap...

Which I am going to fill with 3D fabric paint (the puffy kind)

This stuff always comes out with a glob at the beginning. The key to using it is squeeze a little out onto a scrap of heavier paper, back off the squeeze a little, then draw a short and steady line. Again, squeeze out a little, back off, draw another linking line just next to the end of the first line, and repeat.  

Fabric paint takes almost 24 hours to dry, so just leave it alone that long. 
Do not be tempted to touch it and then pick up your phone to take a photo. 
Just don't.

And there it is!
With a wink and a smile for our Patriots compatriots, and hoping all our teams prevail!
Thanks to Diane Gilleland for putting this together!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"Miss Petite, under 5'4" without shoes"

I'm trying to figure out what I should/would like to be wearing as I wander between sizes.

I don't care for leggings, I think the lagenlook is aping little girls (skirts over pants?), but what the hell, it looks comfortable and camouflage-y. A tunic, a statement necklace (that doesn't make noise when I move), some leggings, Birkenstocks with socks...

I live in a family of thin men, and they shop vintage in person and Uniqlo online for skinny stuff.

God bless 'em for putting real measurements of clothes up on the web, but according to this

Uniqlo size chart - they do a separate chart for each clothing item

my 43" backside is too big for XXL.

Now I know my brands: I wear a ladies XL in t shirts from American Apparel, a L from District, and so forth.

But I was wondering how these numbers stacked up in sewing pattern numbers.

There is, generally, way more ease in sewing patterns today.

Had to dig down past searching the website for "size chart". Who writes this site's code anyway? The Microsoft /Apple help desk teams?* Make this site searchable, dangit.

Roll credits

It's there. Needed a better data shovel. My top is a 14, my bottom is a 20. Usually I only span adjacent sizes.

We've yapped about sizes, sizism, and marketing a lot on the sewingnets, and as much as I dislike a vast conspiracy (no one is that organized), there is a great desire for standardization across the shopping globe. Americans are bigger than Europeans (check the Ted Baker US/UK size ranges - my spouse is a "1", which does not exist in the American range) and certainly bigger than the Japanese size range. So the Uniqlo range makes sense.
Unlike the American Apparel range.

I am trying to compare apples to apples here. Note there is no hip measurement on this chart. It's the same on the jeans chart. It's a case if "if you have to ask, it's not for you".

I had a friend who sewed for AA, and she joked that none of the sewists could possibly fit into the clothes they sewed (being average lady people).

I had an email exchange with an OLD and VENERABLE workwear company about posting the measurements for their ladies jeans, and their response was: Why? We use a standard size.

Whose standard?

Now THAT's a curvy chart! I'm actually within the 0 size range, waist AND hip! Let's go shopping!
(ed: I did. Those are the leggings. In the jeans, I'm still too big in the waist. SAD)

from the very very fine NewVintageLady website. Go read this article!

Styles change, so do sizes. It's worth reading about. Hey, you're already on the 'net!

*It's now official: in the inhouse Windows/Apple style wars, I hate them both.