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Apr 12, 2012

Sewing and Eating



Readers, do you eat to sew or sew to eat?  I'm definitely in the former camp, mainly because the latter makes no sense whatsoever, unless you're being held captive in a sweatshop or something.  Let's change the subject.

Remember how yesterday I asked you to help me magnetize a cheap salmon pink polyester moire?  Well I went to the fabric store yesterday and look:



OK, it's not moire and it's not polyester, but it's arguably even better (especially for my maternity project, which isn't, after all, evening wear).  Readers, I bought ten (10!) yards of this cotton sateen with just a touch of lycra in it for -- are you sitting down? -- 99 cents a yard.

I found it at the fabric store I love to hate, Nahir, at 242 West 39th St.  I've seen cotton just like this elsewhere in other colors for four times as much, so why it was in among the bargain bolts is anybody's guess; an oversight isn't out of the question, given the store.  They normally sell it for $1.99, but if you buy ten yards, the price is half that, i.e., if I'd bought five yards it would have cost exactly the same amount, so basically I got the five yards I needed for nothing.  Do you follow my math?

This happens to be one of my favorite colors -- you might call it dusty rose -- and it is also extremely flattering to my cousin.  And I have so much of it!  You don't really know what ten yards look like till you try to fold it lengthwise across your apartment and you have to exit the front door to do so.





Having just whipped up Simplicity 3216 the previous day in what I believe will now be my lining fabric, I was able to make a version in this new fabric pretty quickly.  Here you see the two fabrics as they will appear in the opera coat.  I hope this isn't too masculine.



I thought about making this reversible, but the fabrics are two very different weights -- one rather heavy, one very light -- and I worry about the hem, i.e., what if one fabric stretches and the other doesn't?  No, I think I'll insert it as a lining and leave the two bottom edges finished, but separate.  Does that sound right?

I had only one small contretemps yesterday, while ironing the back section of my yet-to-be-fully-assembled coat.  I wanted to turn the steam off and I inadvertently switched on the Clean setting, and my iron started spitting mineral deposits all over my garment.  Has this ever happened to you?



Apparently these mineral stains are removable with the aid of vinegar, borox, or lemon juice; I just cut a new piece entirely -- the beauty of having ten yards of 99 cents fabric.  The timing was bad but it certainly could have been worse -- what if my garment had been all finished, or I didn't have extra yardage?  I'd have spit minerals myself.

I subsequently tried to clean my iron (maybe the third time in as many years) but it didn't seem to work very well.  My iron, a Black & Decker Digital Advantage that has served me well since I started sewing, has been acting up for many months now and I keep putting off replacing it because 1) it still works, more or less; and 2) the price online is nearly double what I originally paid.  How do you know when it really is time to say good-bye?

In closing, I feel very, very fortunate to have found this fabric and I hope to complete this coat in the next few days so we can do our photo shoot on Saturday.  Today I want to play with some collar ideas. I'm pretty certain I don't want the little Peter Pan collar the pattern calls for, but rather something like this:



Or this...



Apropos of today's throwaway post heading, anything you usually eat when you sew? Which reminds me, must buy some pickles for Cathy.

Happy Thursday, everybody!

34 comments:

  1. OK, haven't even read this whole post but I have to say the first para made me laugh! As did that pic of you surrounded by pink fabric. And, I find that sewing and eating are a bad combo, in general. When I sew I am irritated by eating. When I'm eating, I don't have time to sew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sewing and drinking on the other hand... ;)

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    2. Haha--yes! Sewing and drinking is okay. A little wine never hurts, as long as I can still make a straight seam. Eating and sewing, on the other hand, is a no-go for me. I'm clumsy, and I usually spill food on myself or on the floor at least once a day. I spilled my meal all down my front on my wedding day, for crying out loud!

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  2. Peter! You're post made me laugh as well!!
    BTW, I wanted to say I'm thinking of getting a treadle. A Singer 201K, maybe, if I can find it. So, I watched your video and absolutely fell in love with you. You are completely charming. More videos, please:)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pammie (blush). I plan to do a hand crank video shortly, so stay tuned!

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  3. That picture of you in the center of the fabric made me giggle! It looks like one of those baby pictures where they are in the center of a flower...

    Anyway, I think I have a similar iron to yours - I had problems with mineral deposits and clogging after only one use. I put vinegar in the tank and steamed it out on some muslin for almost 2-3 tanks - it was STINKY and took a long time, but it worked. Keep it next to an open window, if you can. I also scrubbed the bottom with vinegar and a sponge. Now I have to buy distilled water at the grocery store to use in my iron - it costs extra but I have almost no spatter incidents and I never clean it. Not to mention that I get a better amount of steam and no flying pieces of rock salt attacking my projects!

    Oh... and I never eat while I am sewing. Food near fabric is asking for problems.

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    Replies
    1. I had the same thought on the face in the fabric....like some kind of bizzaro baby picture. Loved it.

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  4. I forget to eat when I'm sewing!! A good thing!

    I LOVE your pink fabric, and it IS perfecter than the poly moire you thought you wanted. But did you have to buy TEN yards?? I'm sure you'll find something to do with the extra.

    Oh, and it's perfect with your lining. The stars are really lining up for Cathy on this project! :)

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  5. M&Ms are my go to sewing "food" - keeps me sugared up for a long time so I can stay up until the wee hours to finish a project. Not so good for the waistline, though. Have you thought about replacing your iron with a Rowenta? Just a thought. The pink is gorgeous and the flowered fabric is the perfect lining.

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  6. Love my heavy duty Rowenta steam/steamer iron...was a real investment, but worth every penny! It spoils you for garden variety irons. Watch for sales or coupons. BTW, I paid about half the amount in this post.

    http://www.google.com/aclk?sa=L&ai=C4wbhRfaGT8rIEem3iAKrrdz6Cd-n_ZgDt76r91fXjoCylQEIAhAGIMmYogsoBlDK1d6WBWDJtoaHzKPAF8gBB6oEH0_QJyIjNm5zsQ295LqOBHsuQ9JGdlC0fNtKEMeAklCABZBOwAUFoAYm&sig=AOD64_0O967xBNK8cUgxqvyjeASSHXLQBw&ctype=5&ved=0CDYQ8w4&adurl=http://1h0l1wd0ob.williams-sonoma.com/138/%3F35938207%26bnrid%3D3120901%26cm_ven%3DGoogle_PLA%26cm_cat%3DHomekeeping%26cm_pla%3DIrons_Laundry_Care%26cm_ite%3DRowenta_Pressure_Iron_Steamer%26adtype%3Dpla&rct=j&q=Rowenta+steam+irons

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have a discount coupon for Bed, Bath, & Beyond!

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  7. I gave up eating and sewing when trying to make a very irritating pair of jeans that refused to co-operate and I found myself trying to topstitch through not only several layers of denim but also a chocolate-covered raisin. They didn't fit, in the end...

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  8. You are SO right about the collar. Either option beats the little girl sweetness of the peter pan collar. I do think that the stand up collar is more sophisticated, but the simple band with the bow is adorable and calls a pregnant Lucille Ball to mind.

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  9. I wish I were kidding about this: My parents' house, until recently, had deep-salmon padded moiré walls in the foyer. No joke.

    When the realtor showed them the house 20-odd years ago, it had had some water damage and the carpets were torn out of the first floor, leaving bare concrete. My dad commented that, "It has dirt floors and padded walls--it's perfect!"

    Anyway, I don't recommend the use of salmon polyester moiré for anything. Not clothing, not walls, not anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salmon walls were popular in the early sixties. I look at old family photos and shudder -- but that was the mode. Padded walls though ...

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  10. Sewing and drinking? Yes! Wine (white) for early evening...coffee for late nights, like I have had this week.

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  11. Peter, you truly are the center of the sewing universe. You will something to appear and it does – and at practically no cost. Perhaps one day you will share your secrets of manifestation with your followers!

    I usually forget to eat while sewing – but make up for it later.

    My Black & Decker has been spitting for quite some time, but then so have I.

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    Replies
    1. I thought Peter would be contacted by a generous other, only to find they live directly above him, and a dangling tape measure would deliver the yardage a fingertips reach outside his window.

      Maybe that's in an upcoming episode.

      Sign me, amazed and in awe.

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  12. Peter, I would love to know where you went to school, because your writing style, your spelling, sentence construction, paragraph lead-ins and vocabulary are a pleasure. The language flows in your hands. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Your writing style is delightful.

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  13. I think I hate you.

    It's fabric envy--because that is the exact color I need right now.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sewing and eating: a BAD combo. Unless one (eating) takes place AWAY from the other(sewing) and hands are WASHED afterwards. Polyester picks up grease like a magnet; I hope you are aware..it was made from oil so anything oily on your hands (or left lying on the table and ending up under your fabric, as in "crumbs") leaves MARKS that can only be removed by the direct application of detergent (Dawn is good)and a thorough laundering. Reeses Pieces or M&Ms can leave DYE marks! Best to prepare food, leave it in the kitchen and eat it THERE when you get hungry! Ask me how I know...

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  15. I recommend citric acid descaling tablets for sorting out the iron! I tried the vinegar method and it smells awful, takes ages, and still leaves a whole load of minerals behind. Then I bought a citric acid tablet, which sorted it out in one go with no smells.

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  16. The beginning and end of your article brings up old memories of Mom trying to teach me how to sew. I practiced on Barbie Doll clothes and Mom rewarded me with a piece of homemade lemon meringue pie when I made the outfit correctly. I still have the dolls and outfits.
    The collar and hat with the red outfit would look nice on Cathy. And perhaps a matching purse (like in the photo)since you have plenty of material.
    How big is the stained piece? That can be used for the purse with perhaps a little bit of embroidery over the damaged part, or perhaps an applique.

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  17. Stop putting water in the iron and get a spritz bottle at the dollar store.
    Keep a piece of muslin and wool pinned to the ironing board. Wet either for the appropriate placement of steam or spritz the fabric directly if it dictates.
    Didn't Threads just do an article on fancy press cloths? Why yes they did http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/18346/guide-to-press-cloths/page/all

    I'd bet the stains in cotton sateen would come out blotting with a dampened wash cloth and air drying.

    Nothing beats the math of justification. The excess yardage will be well worth it to muslin a future project.
    May we now call you Uncle Peter?

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  18. Eating and sewing-no. Drinking pink champagne-yes! One goes first class while sewing with my 3 gal pals.

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  19. Cotton sateen is my favourite fabric in the world - ever. I love it and I wish I could buy it for 99c a yard! The last lot I bought was $12 a metre!! I try not to eat while I sew as I am sloppy. If there is food to be spilled, I will spill it. Like Beca, though, I do often sip champagne on Saturday afternoons during the last stage of a full day of sewing.

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  20. I like the red Barbie coat. The little bow in front is darling.

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  21. Just let me put in my 2 cents. A sewing machine is a power tool! We don't drink alcohol when using a power tool!!! Otherwise, keep the food away from the sewing table and eat hearty. That pie looks so good. My daughter makes a slammin' lemon pie!
    Love the pink with the flowered lining. Leaving the hems separate is the way to go. And the straight grain collar would be much more attractive. Can't wait to see it on Cathy.

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  22. I do not eat when I sew. Fear of stains, may be. But I drink sparkling water... By the way I do prefer the collar of the black coat.
    Someone made a comment on your writing style. I should say I love to read you too, because as a French, I'm always learning something new (speaking of language). Today it was "dust speak". Thanks!

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  23. I usually forget to eat when I'm sewing.

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  24. I suggest two irons, one a dry one, the other for "wet" work, just like sewing machines, each for a different job?

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