Thursday, 16 October 2008

Sew Crazy!

Could someone out there please order some more hours for the day? Whenever I ask, all I get is... "Computer says No" ...


I've been catching up with some reading, and trying to figure out how to make patterns for dressmaking. I've ordered some books from the library that are typically used by fashion students (did you know that dressmaking is not in the curriculum for fashion design courses?!). Luckily, last Xmas, Mr Marmalade bought me a subscription to the magazine "Sewing World" which this year has included a fantastic series entitled "Creating Fashion" by Betty Foster. Month by month lessons have covered everything you need to know in order to make your own fashion patterns, from design, to draft, to creation! I'm revising with relish. I have a curious compulsion to make a wedding dress! I don't know what's wrong with me. Perhaps they are in my blood having worked on so many -from the catering side of things - in my life. Ofcourse it would have to be a dress with a corset - that's the point.

I also received my first copy of "Sew Hip" today, a new magazine which I first saw reported on Primrose Corner. It's a bit like a blog in a mag .. by bloggers for bloggers ... And I don't know about you, but sometimes I like to sit down and read a bit of print ... it's not the same a screen that's for sure. Different to Sewing World, Sew Hip includes lots of inspirational ideas and product reviews..


along with projects and stories ..


and interviews with famous crafters and designers...


In the spirit of all this enlightement, I thought i'd show you some of my latest toys and tricks....

This is my newest gadget. It's a button covering contraption. I'd seen them on American craft supply websites, but never here in the UK. However, my favourite sewing/craft shop recently came up trumps as usual! Hurrah! I've tried it out .. It's definitely easier than covering a button without. I like to use every scrap of fabric that I possibly can, so this is useful!

I still find it easier to sew a gathering stitch around the circle of material used to cover the button and gather it in before finishing, rather than use those silly spikey bits around the inside of the button as pictured on the instructions.


This here is a mascara brush. If anyone is having a Body Shop party or a Virgin Vie party - or any other type of cosmetic party, then grab one of these!! They are sterile brushes supplied to party plan ladies for make-up demonstrations - therefore they are clean (not encrusted with dried up old impossible to get rid of black mascara) ... What have they got to do with sewing? WELL ... when you unpick a seam, you brush each separated side with one of these, and it gets all those irritating little bits of cotton out of the fabric completely effortlessly and quickly, giving you a good as new surface to re-sew in a fraction of the time! Who'd have thought it?


Last time I visited my favourite fabric store, at the same time as finding the button covering contraption, I picked up a packet of pop studs for £3.75. The owner of the shop who served me said "these work out at 40p each, and i sell these (indicating huge jar of the same) for 10p a set". And guess what .. they have fancy tops too - unlike the ones in the expensive packet. I think they will be useful for purses and pouches amongst other things. All you need to fix them - as demonstrated by said nice man - is a hammer and an old cotton reel which you place over the pop stud before hammering it in. Amazing! I bought 10 sets for £1.00. That's what I call service!!


My Moo stickers arrived yesterday and I am extremely pleased with them.


But did you know that you can get free business cards from VistaPrint. There are 42 designs to choose from, and most surprisingly a few of them are very acceptable for freebies - just be careful of the "added extras"! Which one will you choose???


17 comments:

Daisie said...

The press stauds are fab, I love the hammer on ones, they look soo good but are quite hard to find these days. I have crappy green and red swirly ones left in my stash. Must keep my eyes open for some lovelies like yours.
And how on earth do you discover that a clean (obviously) mascara brush is good for removing tiny bits of chopped cotton? I must say that when unpicking seams, it's no the first thing that pops into my head!!???
The stickers are ace too!
xxx

Gina said...

Could have used the button covering set last week! The poppers are too cute.

Knit and Sew City Girl said...

Hi! Yep Sew Hip magazine is so cool, I really like the tutorials.

I'm very interested in your button cover. Is this the one where you could make fabric covered buttons?

Thanks for sharing.

Mary

Indigo Blue said...

Hi,
I have various qaulifactions in fashion including a degree in Fashion speacilising in production and I know that you can not design wearable clothes unless you fully understand the body, how clothes fit, how the clothes need to move with the person etc and of course how they are constructed. Where in the world are they running fashion courses with no dressmaking/garment construction element!! Sorry to be on my soap box but I grafted for years to get the skills I have. Anyway, the student output will struggle to get a decent job as most employers will want you to offer more than just being able to draw pretty pics. Love the mascara idea. I will try that one out on my students, they really will think that I have lost the plot!!

Indigo Blue said...

Sorry about the spelling mistakes, time for bed I think.

Primrose Corner said...

Thanks for the link. I love those studs and the mascara brush idea is brilliant. All I need now is inspiration about how to stop those little bits ending up on the carpet and getting walked everywhere.... or is it just me. I bought one of those button tools just the other day but haven't got around to trying it yet.... perhaps later today.

Tiff said...

I love the mascara brush idea! Oh and your idea to make a wedding dress with a corset. . . Fabulous!!!

melissa said...

Wow, you're the first person I've seen anywhere online that actually likes Sew Hip magazine. I'm incredibly disappointed with it. I mean, not one but TWO needlebook patterns? And a quilt "pattern" that is just instructing you to buy a specific, expensive bit of fabric and trace it? UGH. Not what I was expecting at all!

I am absolutely loving those press studs you found, though! And I've got some of those covered buttons things, but I've never seen one with all the sizes together as one... very handy, I'm sure!

dottycookie said...

Love the mascara brush tip! Aren't those button cover sets fab? They're what I use for my embroidered ones. I do wish I could source some of those lovely press studs locally though. There's a shop in Ely that might have them. Hmmmm.

Helen said...

I could also do with a few more hours in the day. Not quite sure how to manage that one!
I am trying to be good and not spend any money at the moment, but I really want to buy a copy of Sew Hip now! Thanks for all the great links.

solsticedreamer said...

oh i would love to be able to make some things of my own as i dislike so much of what is in the shops and so expensive...but i would need nice easy ones!

lesley said...

Hi There
Sew Hip Magazine looks really good, must check that one out. What a great idea for all those annoying little bits, a mascara brush. Wedding dress with corset feature sounds brilliant, its a must! Can't wait to see the results!!!! xx

twiggypeasticks said...

Top tips lady! I've got some of the Vistaprint business cards and some address stickers too, as you say if you avoid the extras, they are bargainous indeed.
Twiggy x
PS Love the button doodah and stickers

Tracy said...

Hi, Julia! My brain hurts just thinking of all you're trying to accomplish with the pattern making! I make my own patterns for bags, some knitwear and other crafts, but not clever enough for creating dress-fashion patterns. Good luck to you! I just love that button covering thingy! I have one too and use it a lot...it' gets rather addicitive, doesn't it, covering buttons just for fun?! tee-hee.. And thanks for the mascara brush tip--who knew! .Your moo stickers are fanastic! Have a great weekend...be taking care, and rest your brain now & then...((HUGS))

tillyboo said...

Oh dear, Abingdon is only just down the A34 for me. You've gone and dunnit now, I'll be spending more money very soon.
x

handmaiden said...

I will be interested tosee how u go with yr covered button maker..........I haven't had any issues doing it myself...like u i tack around the edges then pull in and then add the shank...I do have to use my teeth to pushe it together!!

Kitty said...

Coo, what a useful post - thanks Missus Marmalade.

I love that shop too - in fact I haven't been for a few months now, perhaps another visit is in order?

Love the press studs, love the tip about the mascara brush. If you are going to become a fabulous wedding gown designer, you will need that button coverer thingy!

x