Swatch Stash

I’m still educating myself on fabrics. It’s one thing to read the back of a pattern and see a list of patterns, but it’s another to go to the fabric store and actually buy one of the suggested fabrics that you like without knowing what they are. You could encounter five different fabrics made of cotton, but they could all have a different weight, different drape, and a different feel. Then you have to determine how it’s going behave with the pattern you want to use it for: will it hang nicely? Will it flow? Will it hold a pleat? Will it become charged with static electricity that it causes skirts to cling to your legs? :)

The best way I’ve found to educate myself is by collecting swatches, even from the scraps I’ve already used so I can remember NOT to use quilt weight Kona cotton for a shirt (too stiff for my taste). But buying swatches from online fabric stores also lets you get to experience a fabric before you commit to buying two-and-a-half yards for a garment, and then realizing it’s not what you were expecting.

So I’ve been collecting swatches, and finally realized that I need to organize them so I don’t have to dig through my stash of fabric each time I need to re-educate myself. Here’s what I did:

Swatch stash

Swatch stash

Most swatches are the size of a notecard, which makes it easy to staple it to a notecard. Online retailers will post a bunch of information about the fabrics they sell, so I wrote them on the notecards. Any information I can find about it, even suggested usages, suggested needles, washing instructions, et cetera.

My notecard holder is pretty stuffed right now, so I think I”ll have to go get another one soon!

(And I’m totally going to make a dress out of that blue eyelet in the picture)

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My New Cube Buddy

This little guy is going to be my new cube buddy at work, next to the owl a friend made me.

Amigurumi dragon

Amigurumi dragon

I found the pattern for this little guy on Pinterest, but here’s the direct link to the pattern. Whenever I find awesome crochet or knitted items, I usually send them to my mom. I think she takes it as a way of me subtly asking her to make the item for me, since I don’t know how to crochet or knit :) So when I sent her the pattern for this amigurumi dragon, she spend a weekend making it with a bunch of leftover materials she had laying around.

I might have to finally learn crochet so I can make an army of amigurumi dragons!

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There’s a Reason to Make Your Own Clothes

I was feeling particularly bored, and thought about shopping for fabric. Unfortunately, my conscience wouldn’t let me buy more fabric (or attempt to convince my husband that I should buy some more) until I finish the projects in queue that had fabric, pattern, and notions ready to go.

I reached into my project queue drawer, and the next iteration of Butterick 5495 is what I drew out. I wasn’t too happy about that, since I didn’t quite like this pattern. But the fabric was bought, laundered, and ready to go, so I might as well get it over with!

After I finished my first round of Butterick 5495, I was disappointed with how low the neckline was cut. I wouldn’t be able to wear this shirt modestly without a camisole underneath. Not that it’s a problem, but there’s a reason to making your own clothes: making them so they fit! Not only fit your measurements that might not line up exactly the same in all areas of your body given an off-the-rack size, but also to fit for areas like narrow shoulders, or being particularly well-endowed (or not so much in my case). So, in that case, I should have taken the time to see how the neckline would look on my front before I cut the fabric.

Well, I learned my lesson. I had bought enough fabric to make that pattern again, in another style. So when I went to cut out the front again, I made sure to adjust the neckline a whole 4″ up. I also altered the pattern (and had JUST enough fabric to do so) in the fact that I wanted the long sleeve design, not the half-sleeve design. But the long sleeve design was a much longer tunic, and I already felt the length of the shorter design was long enough. Anyhow, that wasn’t a difficult change, just needed to cut the length of the shirt at a different line.

Front view

Front view

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