Sunday, September 21, 2008

More from the BMGM Sweatshop

Iris needed longer shorts for play. As long as the serger was threaded with light grey thread and I had the Kwik-Sew (discontinued) pants pattern out, I made her two pairs. And then this puckered cotton/lycra stretch-woven looked greyish; the serger was all threaded up and ready to go. I got out my favorite woven T-shirt pattern, Burda 8998, and discovered that there wasn't enough for the short-sleeved top after all. I pieced together some bias strips to bind the neckline and armholes. The high armhole works perfectly as a shell.
This is the way I would wear it at work, with taupe slacks and a grey-green Eileen Fisher jacket. Ever notice the EF offers only solid-colored clothing? This shell adds a bit of pattern and the color matches amazingly well.
I store my most frequently-used patterns in sleeves in a binder above the sewing machine.
The pressing station. Notice the hammer in the right bin, under the sleeve board? I pound the daylights out of jeans hems at the seams to weaken the fibers enough so I can sew through 8-12 layers of denim.
With so much sewing this weekend, I ran out of waistband elastic and distilled water for the iron. Mark mentioned that he was walking to the library to pick up a DVD being held for him. Perfect! I gave him a snippet of the type of elastic I needed and instructions to buy 5 yards.

He walked to Starbucks for a coffee, then to the Cotton Shop for the elastic. He crossed the street to pick up the DVD at the library and then walked another block to Albertson's for the distilled water. Then he walked the 200 yards home. We can walk to an outrageous number of useful places from our house. We miss some aspects of chi-chi neighborhoods we have lived in the past, but no place is as convenient. (Our home's walkscore is 88, just shy of "Walkers' Paradise".

Mark reports that the Cotton Shop was packed. He had plenty of time to sip his coffee while waiting. We are both very glad that business is brisk there, lest they close like the two other independent fabric stores in the South Bay.


All fabrics I used this weekend came from SAS Fabrics and most of the notions came from the Cotton Shop. The Cotton Shop apparently also shops SAS. Remember the large-scale rick-rack trim from the last post? When I went back to SAS for more, they had sold out of all the large ones. They had only the tiny ones left. The Cotton Shop, however, had rolls of the large rick-rack, on the same spools as at SAS, for about 10 times more. At least I got a second chance to buy them. What a difference 5 miles makes in Las Angeles.

The photos above show that the sewing/craft room is crammed with stuff. My father in law was a tailor who used to run his own shop. Before that, he used to be the head of alterations for a chain of department stores in Southern California. Before that, he used to be a senior tailor at a European suit factory. When he retired, he was so happy to send his supplies to a good home where they would be used.

Additionally, the South Bay Quilters' Guild has a swap area at the entrance to the meeting hall. At the end of the meeting, all the stuff that didn't find takers is sent to charity. There is so much good stuff there. I have to restrain myself to take only stuff I will actually use. At the last meeting, I managed to take home two magazines (issues of Threads and Quilting Arts) that I already owned.

I need a bigger studio. And I need to wash that filthy ironing board cover.

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