Manda from Tree Fall talked with the folks at Sew, Mama, Sew about choosing the correct sewing machine needle for your project. Ball point needles for knits, sharp points and universal points are discussed at length, along with the standard sizes and how to match your needle size to your project’s fabric. She also points out the invaluable and difficult lesson that one should always replace a dull or damaged needle straight away, as they can be responsible for skipped stitches and damaged fabric. Yikes!
At long last, we can announce our international spats contest winner. These exceedingly fabulous and butchly spats (or ‘spaterdashes), were a collaborative effort between Autumn of Dark Garden: Unique Corsetry and Couture Clothing and her beau, Daniel. We are particularly enamored with the combination of back lacing and buckles. They have made another pair in gray wool and deep red patent leather, which M. Du Jour has complete drooling zombie lust for! Now, on to making rubber spats with chrome snaps…….
Candy corn lovers unite! Mochimochi Land brings you miniature humanoid knit candy corn….sprinkle them around in a Halloween tableau, make them into jewelry, or decorate a favorite sweater or pair of socks. And Don brings us a recipe to cook your own kitchen-fresh candy corn.
Kari and Jessica from Britex Fabrics created these spooky soft sculpture skulls and pumpkin heads for All Hallows Eve or Dia dos Mortos clips. They can be worn jauntily as a tiny hat or hair clip, or as a debonair boutonnière. The hat veiling adds a stylish and mysterious touch. These are available on the 3rd floor of Britex Fabrics. Please email M. Du Jour at Britex Fabrics, or stop by the store if you want to buy one of these fabulous adornments!
Owl-lover, Catherine, from Boutique.Chouettalors has a lovely handful of les grilles gratuities on her website, including simple, easy-to-make cross-stitched silhouettes of owls, squirrels, mushrooms and reindeer. These would be tender and sweet embroidered upon coasters, potholders, cards or bed linens. I’d like to drink English Breakfast tea while snuggled in a set of cream cotton sateen sheets with nut red squirrels standing in an obedient line upon my pillowcase’s edging. Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.
We are wild for these quick and easy to make wool potholders. They would make a lovely and practical gift for anyone with a kitchen….and might even entice the recipient to back a creamy and rich chocolate ganache tart to share with you on a dank and rainy night! Wool felt can be found in squares on Britex’s 3rd floor, and by the yard on Britex’s 4th floor. If you wish to buy wool felt by mail, contact us through our fabric mail order department for detailed mail order assistance.
Marjorie Taylor and Dr. Karen Norberg are textile artists, writers and academics that make amazingly beautiful textile art, including art that features that magnificent organ, the brain. Inspired by scientific research, their stunning work is automatically correct, and includes techniques such as rug hooking, quilting, appliqué, embroidery, beadwork, knitting, and crocheting. Materials include fabric, yarn, metallic threads, electronic components such as magnetic core memory, and wire, zippers, and beads. I am practically enamored with Ms. Taylor’s piece, “Velvet Cortex” (2006). The soft folds of the midnight blue velvet holds incredible and mysterious depths. Their work is featured in The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art.
Sharon Rose posted this free pattern for knitted knee-high socks on the notoriously amazing Knitty.com. We love the ribs and diamonds that traverse the shins, and the heavily cabled cuff that folds over to hide garters. These hose will also remain up on their own. She made them specifically to don with kilts, so that both the pattern and wearer’s gams could shine. They are sized for men’s shoe size 11.5, and calf 15” circumference, and she has included notes to modify them to fit other sizes. We predict that there be an influx of strutting kilt-wearers lusting for this snappy and glamorous hosiery!
Natalie at Craftzine has posted beautiful instructions on how to make a hand-sewn hem. In her example, she mends a skirt whose hem has come partially unraveled, but you could also use this technique to shorten or lengthen sleeves, pants, dresses, or skirts. If the hem edge isn’t neatened up with a zig-zag finish or folded under, then you will need to prevent unsightly fraying by folding it under a very small amount prior to pinning.
Sewing garments and home articles can be a creative, thrifty, and productive skill. Are you thinking of taking up sewing, and need to buy a basic sewing machine? Or perhaps you want to upgrade to a new sewing machine with more whistles and bells (like an automatic buttonholer!), or maybe it is time to add a serger to your tool collection. Folks from around the world have reviewed sewing machines in the PatternReview.com forums. There are over 3,000 personal reviews from beginning sewers and professional sewers. The reviews are conveniently organized by machine brand. Another great resource is your local library. Many public libraries grant free online access to back issues of consumer review buying journals including Consumer Reports magazine; the Consumer Reports March 2009 issue rates several mechanical, electronics and embroidery sewing machines. Buy a sewing machine and before you know it you’ll be making cherry-adorned tea cozies, vintage-look skirts, and rustically glamorous linen drapes.