. . . . . . A place to contribute, exchange tips and ideas and find further info on the LDC group on Meetup.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Goldhawk Road fabric shopping

A good dozen or so of us went fabric shopping today on Goldhawk Road in Shepherds Bush.  And a lot of shopping was being done!  There seemed to be almost too much fabric to make an informed choice - there certainly are a lot of shops.

We went to the Bush Theatre cafe/bar afterwards - such a welcome chance to rest our weary feet.  It also offered the wonderful opportunity to see and admire what we all bought.

There were such lovely fabrics and trims on show that a few of us started to seriously consider going back and buying more!

I'm glad to say that I didn't, but I'm also a little embarrassed to say that I bought more than the two fabrics I wanted. Now we all knew this would happen, right?

My one comfort is the thought that I have projects in mind for each of them.  Which made me think that a blog post would be great about what we are all hoping to make with our purchases today.

Here go mine, please feel free to add your project plans in the comments, or send me an email so I can send you your invite to contribute directly to the blog (we are hoping that all LDC members want to contribute, either via posts or in the comments)

At A One Fabrics I bought a dark blue wool - I am hoping to make this a straight skirt for winter.  If I make it soon I should be able to decide if I want a jacket in this, so I can go back and buy more.  Right now I only have one metre because it was rather expensive.  I really wanted a thicker fabric for a skirt, this was one of the planned purchases.

I also got a blue on blue batik fabric in the same shop for a sleeveless summer top.

The second fabric I wanted was a mid grey to make a bias cut top to go under a see-through lacey blouse. Success!  Two metre for £2 each, bargain!

I liked this fabric so much that I also got another two metres in a purple - maybe a cowl neck sleeveless top?

The same place also had a loosely woven cotton or linen in a light pink.  The exact shade I was after to make some bunting with that I wanted to make for some time.  I just need a bit of grey and navy fabric and I'll be good to go!

And finally I couldn't resist a black and white linen to make a second tunic out of.  I bought a very similar linen fabric in a big floral pattern from the same place some time ago and regretted not having bought more: this is just so lovely to wear!

Funnily enough Emma happened to buy the same fabric - it'll be really good fun to see what we each make with it.

What did you buy, either on our shopping trip or elsewhere - and what are you hoping to make?  It would be lovely if you add your ideas and plans in the comments, or put them up in a seperate blog post.  Just send me your email address and I'll send through the invite so you can post directly.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Oops ... I did it again

Fabric shopping, that is. Good thing though, I could stick to my plan and only bought what I needed, plain polycotton and a little bit of interfacing.

And I didn't want to hold back on the little gem I found. I wanted to go there since I moved to my (still) new flat, but never really came around it. It's located in something called "Market Hall" within the Wood Green Shopping Centre. (For anyone who doesn't know where to find it, it's between Primark and New Look, and here's a map.) It can be quite tricky to find these two units but it's definitely worth having a look.

The shop contains of two stalls, one for fabric and one is mainly for haberdashery. When I was there, I was greeted with an excuse of how messy the fabric shop looks, although I found it didn't look too bad. I had to stick to my plan and only buy the things I wanted, so I didn't really have a look around. The polycotton and interfacing I bought were reasonably priced. I saw most price tags on the haberdashery side of the shop, which might be because the fabric part is still quite new.

To sum up: I definitely have to go back for fabric shopping, I saw at least 6 patterned fabrics which I need to have! And it's quite convenient to have a decent haberdashery shop on your doorstep.

NB: Here's a link to their website which, in my view, doesn't do justice to the actual shop.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

How to sew over bulky seams

Picking up from the kids' dungaree challenge on the Sewing Bee on Tuesday, Wendy from MIY Studio in Brighton has a great tip on how to sew over a bulky seam.

It is the MIY Studio where two groups of us went in January and February to do the dress pattern workshop, which was brilliant.  I can really recommend her courses.  Keep on the lookout for more courses in the later part of the year because some of the classes in the next few months are fully booked right now.

Follow the link to the Seam Jig tip here.

I love the photos she shows and also the very useful explanation of why your sewing machine stops sewing at a bulky seam (and why this piece of cardboard helps).  I would believe that it works without knowing this, but it's so much more beneficial when you understand how something works!  More satisfying too.

Do you have any tips on how to deal with bulkiness, or little tricks relating to seams?  Please post them in the comments!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A big thank you for filling in Sarah's questionnaire

Dear all,
Thank you to all of those who participated in my sewing habits market research questionnaire in the last monthly meeting it was really appreciated. For any of you who weren't there or didn't get a chance to fill in the short question and would like to please send me a message on the group or leave a comment below.
I thought I would explain a little bit more about what I am trying to do to put the questionnaire into context.
To explain why I am doing this is, I think a few facts about the textile industry may help:
     Conventional cotton farming consumes approximately 25% of global pesticides and fertilizers
      The textile industry is the number one polluter of water worldwide
      It is estimated that around 5,00 people die each year due to water contamination
      The harsh chemicals eventually mean the fields are rendered barren where as organic production replenishes the nutrients naturally and the land can be continually used
     The methods and materials used in organic fabrics have a very low impact, if any, on the environment
     Organic methods also create more jobs as they are more labor intensive therefore offering better livelihoods to the locals

So as you may have gathered by now I am in the process of launching an online organic sewing shop. I aim to stock organic fabric including cottons, silks and jerseys alongside organic sewing threads, and trimmings. The trimmings will include rick rack braid, lace, satin and taffeta ribbons and webbing tape. As I hopefully grow I will add more organic products to the store. I am also designing some starter sewing kits which will include the organic sewing products.
Hopefully from the facts above you can see why I am doing this. Obviously my love for sewing has also contributed as well as my desire to set up my own business. It probably also makes more sense now as to why the questionnaire you did for me was so helpful. Once I have put together all the results including any more responses I shall post them up as I think they're quite interesting. This will probably be in he next couple of weeks.
If anyone has any comments or thoughts about what I'm doing feel free to contact me, I always love talking to other people and hearing what they have to say, any comment is helpful.
Thank you again for your help, when the website is launched I shall give you all a discount code as a little thank you.

Sarah R 

Turn out perfect collar corners

Here is the link to the 'How to turn your collar points so that they're perfect' tutorial that I promised to post at the Sew a Detachable Collar session on Monday 3 March.

The Off The Cuff tutorial

I don't think that you need quite as long a thread as shown here, a bit shorter is fine too. 

While the collar is still inside out and hasn't been turned yet: only the thread loops should be showing outside the whole thing.  If you can see the two ends of thread and the loop is hidden inside the collar layer sandwich, that's the wrong way round (ask me how I know. I've done this wrong on every single collar I sewed up as samples on Sunday. Yes, every single one).

Once you turn the collar out through the gap left in the stitching, you should then gain access to the two loose ends of the thread.  You want to pull at both of them at the same time - just like the tutorial emphasises.

You can apply this trick to every type of garment where you need to turn a corner inside out. You could even use a couple of thread loops on a strong curve to turn that out if you feel it'll be difficult to do, on say the end of a rounded lapel that has no point but a sharp curve?  Or perhaps the end of a fabric tube that you sew shut, that kind of thing.  Those long, thin tubes of fabric are often turned inside out with a plastic gadget that acts a bit like a needle.  Thread loops are as good as that gadget, and definitely much better than a safety pin, which is what I used to use.

I had a problem with cutting into the thread when trimming the corners - you want to make sure to hold the thread loop out of the way when it comes to trimming.  Or insert the thread after sewing with the help of a darning needle, that works very well too!

After turning with the thread loops still attached

Let us know of your experience turning collar points.  Have you tried this technique and what do you think?  Do you do something different, and how are you finding it?  Please let us pick your brain for further insights into other ways of doing this!

Re stitching along the top and outside edges of a collar: I have seen more than one tailor/dressmaker sew off the edge of the fabric and sew each seam of the collar in separate goes.  I am not quite sure how different this is to pivoting at the corner and sewing without cutting the thread.  Does anyone have any insights into this?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

LDC jacket lining discussion

LDC Dilemma Corner: Lining your jacket
Sew-a-long discussion.

Hello Seamstresses,

Many of us got involved in the great jacket sew-a-long if you have completed your project how did you find the lining stage? Any hints and tips? If you are yet to complete it still let LDC Seamstresses know how you plan to tackle this section, it can be mind boggling ... That is my experience!

LDC's Dilemma Corner: For the Seamstress in Distress

LDC's Seamstress Dilemma Corner: For the Seamstress in Distress!

Hello Seamstresses,

Do you have a skill you really wish to master? Are you going about things in your own way following patterns and not sure if it's 100% correct? Have a general question regarding sewing, patterns, adjustments fabric, machines, sewing resources, and books? If so you're in the right place. Send your question(s) over  via the LDC blog site here.

 If you're a shy Seamstress and you don't  wish to  blog/ comment below or prefer someone else to blog your dilemma question, that's no problem just contact LDC and we'll see what we can do. 

But really we'd love it if you jump  and test the water yourself with a blog post  below... the water is not too cool!

Happy sewing seamstresses