I’ve had a little bit of luck at the thrift stores in the last little bit I thought I’d share, for lack of sewing since I currently have no kids at home to keep me from spending LONG days at the office.
While home last weekend I went shopping at Value Village with my Stylish Sister-in-Law. (I have two sisters-in-law, the stylish one and the crafty one. I have hopes of getting both of them sewing, although it’s a bit tricky at this remove.)
While Stylish scoped out the summery dresses, I did my requisite scope of the fabrics, but (fortunately) found little to tempt me. There was a piece of what I think must be someone’s home attempt at shibori. Sadly, though, it was very narrow and, frankly, looked kinda like what I think shibori would look like if I tried to do it at home in my kitchen—the basic technique was definitely there (the silk was still wrinkled where the threads had been releashed), but the overall pattern was uneven and generally meh. And it was expensive (by thrift store standards, not by shibori standards), so I left it. I also walked away from a fairly comprehensive-looking Simplicity sewing book, chanting to myself: “someone else needs it more… someone else needs it more.”
I did not fare quite so well in the old-patterns section. I walked away with the above bunch, probably none of which I really need. But they are so cute…
On returning home and setting up my featherweight, I realized that the compromise of setting my machines on the end of the cutting table, which was barely adequate for two machines, was not going to be at all functional for three. So I had a mission. I needed a desk for my machies, preferably with plenty of drawers. I generally don’t like shopping at Value Village for furniture, as most of what they have in that department is pretty depressing, but for something that just needs to be functional and inexpensive, I figured it was a good place to start. After all, it’s going to be keeping company with my alley-salvage cutting table.
Happily, I found this blue desk. It’s real wood construction, quite sturdy, and has big drawers. It’s pretty nicked and beat-up, but I think it will serve its purpose nicely. Also all those drawers have considerably relieved the pressure on the stand of drawers holding my notions. I still need something more for the patterns, though.
While I was thrift-trawling, though, I couldn’t quite resist a couple more sewing books, one by Sandra Betzina, another by Marcy Tilton, whose name I think I’ve heard before.
I have to admit, on closer inspection I’m not super thrilled with the Betzina book. It’s basically a wardrobe/style guide with sewing suggestions. There’s probably some good techniques and suggestions buried in there, but let’s just say that my idea of a stylish wardrobe and Sandra Betzina’s idea don’t have much in common beyond both being made of fabric. Exactly the wrong kind of dated.
I’m much more excited by the Tilton book. It’s about making skirts. I know, you never would’ve guessed. There’s lots of detail, from beginner tips on fabric to a fairly comprehensive fitting section to some more couture finishes, and a lot of discussion of which techniques are suited to which fabric types, which I like. Not all the techniques are exactly what I would use, but then I don’t know everything so maybe I should give them a try. Lots of tips on the finer points of finishing waistbands and vents and things (although not on lining a vent!)
Oh, and the Featherweight is fixed. Or rather, I am even more astonishingly clueless than I thought I was. Oona nailed it—when I replaced the needle after the break, I put the flat side to the right instead of the left. Apparently, like threading from right to left, this is a Big Deal for Feather.
Well, colour me embarrassed. Especially since I had swapped in and out several needles BEFORE the one I broke, making sure the Singer ones were the same as my regular ones. Apparently all those times, I managed to put it back in properly by pure accident, while this time, when I was actually paying attention, I got it wrong. Five or six or ten times.
ANYWAY. She’s working happily again, albeit somewhat dripping in oil from all my attention. I’ll get her figured out yet…