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Topics - ClareInStitches

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In the wardrobe / Are these buttons going to work?
« on: April 09, 2021, 17:07:24 PM »
I am making a light weight cotton blouse and have found that I have buttons of the perfect number, dimensions and colour in my stash. Good Heavens, I hear you cry, That's a first!

Any way, they have a little oval shank on the back, rather than two holes. Will I be trying to do the impossible if I use them on my blouse? Will the shank always push the fabric apart so that the fabric won't lie flat? Is there a buttonhole made for this style of button?   

Many thanks for your thoughts,

Has anyone heard anything about the Croft Mill site?   I wanted to access their latest online catalogue, but Norton blocked me. Tried to contact CM by messaging from FaceBook, but that was inaccessible, so was going direct via the web page address.   

I do hope it's just a hiccup in the system.

I'll try again tomorrow and phone during office hours if necessary.

Dress Forms / Draping a basic Sloper on my 'Me Shaped' Dress Form
« on: January 08, 2020, 17:21:06 PM »
 8)  I have a paper tape double, which approximates me as I was several years ago. So, in an effort to make better use of it, I checked my measurements and added various bits of padding, with a view to draping a usable basic master pattern with all of my figure foibles built in. i.e. no more major pattern adjustments. Ha Ha!

YouTube has some quite useful draping videos. The oldest ones are the best, as they show a lot of detail, but not everything. Even they 'cheat' by presuming that I am using a professional dress form with Princess lines, etc., marked. My body doesn't come with those!  At least these old ones show draping for a four dart sloper. The newer videos are generally posted by enthusiastic youngsters who drape on a size 6 form, without wearing ease and only use Bust and Waist darts on the Front. The back might have a tiny waist dart. The possibility of a Back shoulder dart is mentioned in passing. Huh, have you seen my shoulder!

I don't want to decry their efforts, but I have to laugh. I'm a real person. I have bumps and hollows.... that need darts...and wearing ease! I really don't want to go back to pattern drafting from numbers; measuring ones self is a trial - everything keeps shifting! Toiles will still be needed, but Oh, to have a pattern me shaped!

Here are links to the videos that I have found most useful:            There are parts 2, 3 and 4, but she skips over how the                         
                                                                                    Back bodice is draped.              I shall use this one for the Back Bodice, she does have one
                                                                                     covering the Front, too.            A Jacket Sleeve by Shingo Sato. Might be able to crib ideas for
                                                                 draping a one piece sleeve, especially the underarm shape for the Armscye.

Anyone found any other useful draping ones.


The Haberdashery / Measuring yourself
« on: December 07, 2019, 16:07:18 PM »
On the browse for sewing gifts, I came across this from A Self Measuring Tape.

My first thought was, Oh That's a good idea. Second thought was, But can't you just use an ordinary tape measure? :)
This gadget might just possibly be more accurate. It looks like fun and isn't too expensive for a gift. On the other hand do I really need it..... ;)

 I might have to leave it up to Father Christmas to decide for me.

I have been lusting after various T.shirts on the White Stuff web site, but I'm not prepared to pay £37.50 each,. plus p&p, even with today's 20% discount!  :S

The fabrics are all a cotton stripe with the occasional embroidered motif. Here are a couple of examples:

The fabric must have been designed exclusively for WS, but I have hunted the ethernets for something vaguely similar and come up blank. I could create something on my embroidery machine, but..... :[

If anyone has happened to chance upon any similar yardage on their travels, I would be delighted to hear.

Many thanks,


Fun with Fabric / Smallest fabric samples?
« on: February 21, 2019, 19:32:18 PM »
I paid Caboodle Textiles £1. to send me two samples, so that I could get an idea of the scale of the print and the quality of the fabric. They arrived today.

One was 5.5cm x 2cm, the other 2.5cm x 6cm. By my reckoning, pretty mean and not particularly representative of the whole! 

I realise that cutting samples takes time, effort, postage and packing and reduces the amount of stock they have available for sale. However, I paid them for these and even at £13.50 per metre x 150 cm wide, I think that they could have spared me just a little bit more! 

Has anyone received samples smaller that this?

Tutorials / Trousers: Article on fitting from Melly Sews
« on: July 12, 2018, 16:15:54 PM »
I have read lots about fitting trousers, but always have trouble understanding what the words and drawings are trying to tell me. This article has words, drawings, explanations, solutions and before and after photos. It's not the Holy Grail, but I found it very helpful. HTH.

If you are keen on buying Organic fabrics from the UK, you might like to take a glance here:

Their main retail business is in ready made clothing, but they also sell their own design Organic Cotton Fabrics. I didn't think the prices too eye watering.

I bought a couple of jersey tops, so asked if they might consider selling Jersey fabric, too. Their reply indicated that they might consider it. Possibly a question of sufficient demand?


In the wardrobe / Sewing Mistakes. Grrrrr!
« on: February 13, 2018, 16:08:50 PM »
Aaaargh! Pressed my jacket shoulder seams. Stood back to admire the beauty ...... and realised that I had sewn the outsides to the insides, and it's black tweedy fabric!
Nothing to do, but unpick and try again. Bother, Grump, Mumble.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.


Spotted a new-to-me sewing machine shop, whilst I was driving past the end of Ruxley Lane, yesterday. Couldn't believe my eyes! If you are a Bernina, Pfaff or Juki user, you might already be aware of it. However, here is the link:;board=49.0

The introductory video is manic and loud. Turn your sound off. The owners seem to be well trained in these brands and advertise :sew: service and repair.


Even if you are not 'into' patchwork, do take a glance at this:

I just happened to turn on  the radio as the presenter said, go to the web page and see the detail in person. It's brilliant, you can enlarge the picture to see every stitch and the tiny descriptions of ordinary people at the time.

Such a beautiful and intriguing item and a very entertaining programme.

Not that I should be tempting you, but I succumbed to temptation in JL, today. Kingston branch has quite a few useful discounted fabrics, useful and pretty ones, not just weirdo's.

Sorry, I have beaten you to the last 2.20. metres of Robert Kaufman, Black Super Stretch Denim. It was reduced from £12.p.m. odd to £6. p.m. Curiously enough, I had been looking for a UK source online, last night without success. They had some non-stretch left and some nice jacket and blouse weight stuff.

They also had craft kits, such as the  Prym Espadrilles at half price, knitting books, Bag handles, etc.

Worth a gander if you are in Kingston. Just saying.... ;)

I don't find all of Peggy Sagers videos of interest, but this one was:

or on YouTube, her video starts at about 1min. in:

A customer shows how she used LCD to fit a toile and wears the results.

I find Peggy's style a bit trying, but this was made much more interesting by the input from an actual sewer.


In the wardrobe / Where to Stabilise Shoulder seams
« on: July 06, 2017, 13:20:47 PM »
Hi Folks,

I am puzzled about why stabilising tape is attached to the back bodice piece.

Here is an excerpt from the Grainline Studio Lark Tee instructions:
" •....You can stabilise the shoulder seams to prevent them from stretching out over time by ironing on a strip of seam tape interfacing. This goes on the wrong side of your fabric, on the back bodice, within the seam allowance but extending over where the seam will be sewn."

If you press the shoulder seam to the back, doesn't this make it more bulky? Often I'll top stitch it too, so more bulk.

I generally attach it to the seam allowance of the front pattern piece, so that it lays to the back.

Many thanks for your thoughts,


The Haberdashery / Anyone bought a Hip Curve Ruler?
« on: March 12, 2017, 12:39:46 PM »
I am part way through a Craftsy Course with Suzy Furrer, drafting my own 'pants' sloper. I have a French Curve, but she prefers to use a Hip Curve as it has a more gentle arc.

I have trawled t'interweb and the usual drafting suppliers for sources in the uk, but they seem to be either tremendously expensive or come as part of a huge set of other bits. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

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