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May 24, 2014

Flea Market Finds + New Fabric, New Friends, New Pattern!

Do you use a chalk wheel, readers?  I never have but I've always been curious about them.  I found this red one at the flea market today in a pile of old sewing notions and now it's mine.  I'm very excited to try it.

I also bought this kitschy Indian beaded necklace (and wore it home).  As a child in the Seventies I beaded quite a bit (I was a crafty kid in a crafty era).  Did you?

Meanwhile, I've met not one, but two MPB readers the last couple of days.  Coincidentally, they're both from Seattle.  Yesterday I had lunch with Michael (and husband Ron) in the Garment District, and today, coffee and quick tour of the flea market with Elias.  By the way, the 4th Annual MPB Day will take place on Saturday, August 9th, so please mark your calendars and book those cheap flights now.  (I'll be making a more formal announcement later on.)

Elias and I today at the outdoor flea market

I have new fabric to show you.  Michael liked my cotton shawl-collar sweater so much, he wants one of his own.  His is going to be made with the same type fabric, only in a beige/oatmeal palette.

On the same trip, I picked up this pants-weight blue cotton in a fine herringbone twill.  For some reason I've been buying a lot of solid blue fabric lately.   I think it's my preferred neutral even though I may look better in gray (Michael thinks so).

I have a new pattern to show you, fresh out of the mailbox.  It's Butterick 4362, a vintage Seventies men's jacket and pants pattern (below).  You probably know by now that the Seventies is my favorite men's pattern decade and Butterick is my favorite pattern company from that period -- very stylish, well-drafted patterns.

I think the jacket will look terrific in a lightweight denim or linen.  I may make it this coming month -- or sooner!

Now onto a few other things I saw at the flea market today:

Vintage Forties Girl Scout (or troop leader?) uniforms!

Sewing machines!

Bag of invisible zippers (with Kwik Sew pattern)!

Trunk full of vintage polyester!  (I seriously considered buying the light blue but after touching it realized I'd never wear anything I made out of it.)

And that's it!  As usual, my plate is full with sewing projects and don't even ask about the state of my living room.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I have 3 of those chalk wheels that I purchased at the ASG conference in Dallas a number of years ago. I LOVE them; used today, in fact. They are definitely my favorite markers. Enjoy yours!

  2. Seattle might just be your spiritual home. Just saying.

    1. We don't have a place to get five buttonholes done for $5 here in Seattle. Field trip?

  3. Wow - that second uniform looks less Girl Scouts and more Women-in-Prison movie! Presumably less so when accessorized with sash and saddleshoes.

    And thanks for reminding me of too childhood things probably not thought of since then - playing with my grandmother's chalk wheel and all the beading I did 'round about '72-'74. I wonder what happened to all those Christmas-gift bookmarks, bracelets, and headbands?

  4. Marking my calendar for MPB Day 2014. Always a great day!

  5. I have a chalk wheel but have never used it. It looks like candy. Speaking of food, the picture of the Elna looks like it's swallowing Manhattan. 'Godzilla vs. Elna'?

  6. Yes, I love my chalk wheels. I have a white chakoner and a yellow chalk wheel pen from clover. I like that you can make nice fine lines without moving the fabric at all. MPB day sounds tempting. I've been waiting for an excuse to get to NY for some shopping ever since arriving here in March. I just need Frozen to hit Broadway around the same time...

  7. I didn't like my chalk wheel and couldn't get it to work until I discovered there was a plastic protector/cover inside which needed removing. Oooops

  8. I bought the blue chakoner at MPB Day last year (I also bought the white and red ones on etsy for 3x as much the day before) and I love them for wovens. They don't really work on knits. It makes a line so fine that you can sew on it. Plus it makes a zippy sound while using it. :)

    On Janet Pray's "Sew Faster, Sew Better" Craftsy class, she warns against regular chalk wheels and praises the chakoner, so I've never tried a regular chalk wheel.

  9. Yes; I love chalk wheels and use them all the time. I probably like the Chakoner best, although I also have some from Clover that are also very fine.

  10. I love my chalk wheel! Although it tends not to wash out so easily. I have some garments that it never washed out of!
    And I'm so sad, I'll be missing MPB day! I'll have just gotten into Boston's airport from a trip with my family. What good is it living near New York if I keep missing all the shindigs?

  11. I found my chalk wheel great. I did, however, find that the re-fills are expensive and also that marks brushed off rather easily. You do get a really precise line though, brilliant if you're following a ruler. I have to say though that I have pretty much moved on to erasable fabric markers.

  12. Would love to know the details about the flea market - place, times…etc. I might try and combine it with my MPB day. :)

  13. Is it weird that the sight of vintage sewing machines always makes my heart flip?

  14. I tried a chalk wheel but found it to bee to fiddly for my taste. Now for really fine lines I use a serrated wheel and tracing paper that iis chalk or wax coated depending on the fabric. For quick marking I like a Prismacolor charcoal pencil from an art supply store. It works great and it can be sharpened with a makeup pencil sharpener, which makes a shorter point than a regular pencil sharpener and it doesn't break off. Charcoal art pencils are also inexpensive, just a buck or so.

  15. I like my chalk wheel but agree it doesn't work as well on knits (too grabby).
    SO EXCITED for MPB Day this Summer! This year I'll follow Kyle's lead and make a list!

  16. Once I remembered to take the cover off the chalk refill, I love them. I usually run they right next to a ruler or just make short marks when using them on a knit. The chalk pencils and chunks of chalk still have their use when I don't need a really accurate line or for marking right/wrong side of fabric

  17. I love my chalk wheel, and have never had a problem removing the marks. Turns out I have 4 of them cos I kept replacing it when I couldn't find one. I even shaved up my solid chalk triangle to refill it as I find the wheel much more reliable for fine lines.

  18. I like using my chalk wheel on dark colored fabrics when I need a precise line. As for 70's Butterick men's patterns, agreed, they were and are the best. So, how about making those flared pants too? After this era of tight pants comes to a close, the bell bottom pants trend will emerge. With those Butterick pants, you will lead the trend setters!

  19. I don't think I could live without my 'Chacoliner' chalk wheel pens. A word to the wise: the yellow chalk is really hard to get out of fabric so only use it on the wrong side. The white one is perfect for just about everything. Also,you can refill them!

  20. No chalk wheel but every summer we used to go down to the gift store on the reserve. After buying bracelets and necklaces we finally bought a bead loom. I still have it, about 45 years old now.


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