writerinfact


member

I'm a fifty-mumble recent college graduate, looking at starting my fifth - or is it sixth? - career. I've sewed since I was about 6, when I made Barbie clothes while Mom sewed my school and play clothes. I still say the best winter coat I ever had was the upholstery fabric, lined with heavy pile, she made for my sophomore year in high school. Although the cloak I made for the medieval winter war 8 years ago runs a close second, I suppose (four army surplus wool blankets, a cotton lining I dyed to match and a polarfleece interlining, including the hood - with a half-cape over the top!). It also weighs a ton, but, man, is it warm! Since it's kind of tough to buy, not to mention ruinously expensive, medieval garb, I earned one of my knighthoods making my re-enactment wardrobe, from a linen sideless surcoat that's comfortable even here in Phoenix in the summer to an Elizabethan court gown. I have a stash that occupies more space than my car (which is why the car sits in the driveway, not the garage), and it's all fabrics and colors that flatter me. I don't do prints! Well, maybe the occasional tartan, or maybe a really cool paisley . . . I won't wear flowers or hearts, but I LOVE lace - which I confine to crocheted shawls, scarves, dishcloths, and doilies. I dream of the day I have a whole room dedicated to my fiber crafts - sewing, crochet, embroidery, needlepoint - what the hey, maybe I'll even learn to knit! And then there's my grandmother's quilting frame out in the garage, somewhere . . .

craft interests: crochet, embroidery, fashion, home decorating, jewelry making, quilting, restyle, sewing

Member Since: 04/06/2010


recent comments

Re: What sewing projects are you working on this week?

What am I SEWING this week? Well, only what I can fit in between the crochet projects for a holiday bazaar (a baby blanket, ornaments, tote bags, etc.) and packing to move 2500 miles away. In other words, what I'm sewing this week is a cover for the wool batt (double bed size) that came from my grandfather's sheep and is so far clad only in a very thin, very sheer, fragile, non-woven interfacing-type material. I bought thrift store sheets (queen size, flat) to give a little more protection to the wool, which is about 65 years old, before stuffing it into a duvet cover to last until I can find time - and space - to do an actual quilt top. Nothing like reaching for the stars (although I must admit that I've always been partial to a Bear Claw pattern, not stars!).

The (professional) work clothes that I so desperately need will have to wait until I arrive and (gulp!) UNpack.

Re: How to Maintain Your Sewing Machine

Why pay for a manual when you can go to the web site of the machine's manufacturer and (probably) download it as a PDF for free? At the very least, there will be a "contact us" link you can use to ask for a copy of the manual. Be sure you include the model of your machine. I've downloaded free copies of manuals for everything from my digital camera to my universal remote.

But thanks for the reminder to perform regular maintenance. It's vital, especially given the amount paid for the machine, and how much the repairman charges for a "tune-up."

Re: Get Organized in 2009! A Perfect Place for All Your Patterns

Man, I don't know where you got the idea that "a few binders" were going to provide a solution for this issue! I've (so far) got two file cabinets - only 2 drawers each, but office depth, not home - full of embroidery patterns, from medieval to modern. That doesn't even address the crochet patterns, although I admit I bought a 240 gig external hard drive to store those. Then there are the sewing patterns - another two file cabinets nearly full, but these are 4 drawers! Then there are the needlepoint patterns . . . I guess Dad knew more than he let on when he labeled the garage door with a sign that says "The Wherehouse" in his lovely, stylish, old-fashioned calligraphy. It's a 3-car garage - and there are NO cars parked there!

Re: How to Make a Reusable Sandwich Wrap

The best thing about this project (other than, of course, the pretty factor, the GREEN factor, and the uniqueness factor) is that I can finally fit my bread in the lunch container! Both solid sandwich boxes and bags (both made of non-eco plastic) are made for puffy square white bread, which I don't use; mine is much more oval-shaped (and it doesn't fit in regular toasters, either!). Gotta, gotta make one - or better, five!

Thanks a bunch.

Re: Make a Reusable Lunch Sack

How green and cool! Unfortunately, the link comes back "not found" after several tries. However, we are nothing if not inventive. If one is packing reusable containers and real silverware (I found half-size pieces at a local everything-unusual store - they're fabulous!), then the folded-up-to-take-home version might be adapted by adding tote handles, making for easier transport. Now I can also tote my hand-made linen napkins for lunch while out-and-about!

Oh, and TeacherTeacher? That everything-unusual store also sells (OK, they're plastic) lunch-sized containers that are double-walled, with freezer gel in between to keep stuff cool. You just have to remember to freeze it overnight, which, of course, I never do. I blame it on ADD.

Re: How to Weave on a Cardboard Loom

OK, *THIS* one makes it past the "oh, how cute" or "wow, neat" stage - I just HAVE to actually try this!! Finally, a loom that doesn't take either a huge bankroll or a room of its own! Thank you, from the bottom of my yarn stash.

Re: How to Make a Cat Castle and Scratching Post

I have 2 cats, and I really, really DON'T like the idea of teaching them that scratching carpet is an OK thing! I started out by buying a sisal rope-wrapped "post" and discovered that the destroyed version can be re-wrapped (yes, you have to actually buy the stuff from the hardware store instead of scavenging it, but it's worth it!), and is actually a feline-preferred scratching surface. It gets wrapped around those heavy-duty cardboard tubes and hot-glued in place at the ends. Quarter-inch diameter is easiest to figure out how much you need to cover the tube, especially if the circumference is a nice even number, like 4 inches. Or, in my case, it got wrapped around the actual log, complete with original bark, to help the cats make the transition to a more natural scratching post. And yes, I have a 4-1/2 foot tall chunk of 12-inch diameter log standing in my living room!

On the other hand, some cats definitely prefer scratching corrugated cardboard, as I discovered when I put the litter boxes inside slightly taller cardboard boxes to contain the "shake!" Corrugated is usually a highly scavenge-able material, especially from supermarkets.

Re: How do you use up your fabric stash?

I "use up" my stash by making things! A lot of my stash was purchased when I was a member of a medieval reenactment group, for period garb - which takes a LOT of fabric per piece: chemises, gowns, cloaks and the like. So there's a huge pile of cotton broadcloth and linen.

One of the bright ideas that occurred to me was to stop buying facial tissues, paper towels and paper napkins (also kitchen sponges, cotton balls and dishcloths - these use up my yarn stash in crochet versions) and make handkerchiefs, napkins, and "rags" by hemming squares - and not-so-squares. I have a stack of "wipes" (stored in crocheted baskets) that go right in the washer and on the line (we have a wonderful "solar clothes dryer" here in Arizona - works even faster than the electric one during the summer!). Haven't gotten past the "ick factor" of bathroom tissue yet, though!

Re: What are some of your odd sewing habits?

Well, for those of you who only SEW barefoot, I suppose I can go that one better - the first thing I do when coming in is get rid of the shoes! Since my "sewing room" is the dining end of the living/dining room, and I sew on the dining table, I suppose my odd habit is - that I'm habitual. For some reason, I have always put the wastebasket to my right; except that, as I'm right-handed, the scraps are always in my LEFT hand. That made dropping them into the basket a ritual of transference. On my last project, I finally had a light-bulb moment and moved the stupid thing - and was amazed at how much easier things were! I insist on leaving the ironing board set up while I sew (Mom doesn't like that one!). I can relate to those who cut out several projects at once, for "next time" - but since I have ADD, I found that more confusing than helpful - I kept finding pieces from one project "lost," probably mixed in with another. My goal is to have (someday) a whole room devoted solely to sewing and the other fiber crafts I love - with enough storage for the contents of 37 boxes and 9 "tubs" currently stored in the garage!