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Messages - HenriettaMaria

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Different company - it's not the wallpaper people, it's the crafting people:

There's an analysis of the situation from the industry perspective here:

In the wardrobe / Re: Seven major looks for 2020
« on: January 14, 2020, 12:12:35 PM »
Not going to work on me in the main - I can't wear anything towards yellow, so that green, the oranges and the eggy tones are right out.  The mauve, on the other hand, is bang on.

Also, am seriously considering retiring this year so formal suits and jackets need not apply  0_0

Vintage Machines / Re: oil
« on: January 12, 2020, 20:35:48 PM »
I should add that I got my first sewing machine in 1979.  At the same time I bought a bottle of Singer oil.  That oil still hasn't run out although it's now decanted into an old-fashioned conical oil can.  You don't need very much unless you're sewing day in day out (chance would be a fine thing....)

Fun with Fabric / Re: Santa suit fabric
« on: January 12, 2020, 20:33:46 PM »
I made three Santa suits in fairly quick succession, well, in the space of three Xmases.  Two were for the primary school 'Santa's grotto' attraction at the winter fundraiser and one was for the school site manager, who does Santa in his own time elsewhere.  In all cases I used a fairly firm cotton twill weave.  Anything heavier was just too hot to wear, particularly in the confined space of the 'grotto', aka the cubby hole where the photocopier and paper recycling point usually live!

I got the fabric in a shop on North Street (I think) in Chichester, which is where I also got shortish pile fur for the trim and longish pile fur for the beard.  Don't live anywhere near there but MiL lives near Havant so was able to make a trip of it during summer visits.  I used McCall's M5550.

Vintage Machines / Re: oil
« on: January 12, 2020, 11:28:40 AM »
It's really important to use the correct grade of oil for the machine (whatever it is) in question so don't be tempted to use Castrol GTX on your sewing machines.

I googled 'large bottles of sewing machine oil' and found this

If you google it too you'll see you can buy it in what looks like full-size oil drums too, but I imagine that's aimed at major clothing manufacturers!

House Beautiful / Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« on: January 09, 2020, 20:57:54 PM »
As I live 15 min walk from the local John Lewis I go there for header tape.  However, I use my local independent hardware store for hooks because they do old-school brass ones and for long/wide/heavy curtains accept no substitute.  Having said that, it looks like JLP also do brass hooks although I haven't seen them in-store so if you are buying online you can get everything there.

Vintage Machines / Re: Treadle find.....may end up mine!
« on: January 08, 2020, 15:28:10 PM »
Green with envy!  I used one of those in first year at secondary school and I loved it.  Changed to brand-new-build school at the end of the year so no historic machines thereafter!

A Good Yarn / Re: Granny squares first attempt
« on: January 08, 2020, 15:25:53 PM »
The craft section in your local library is bound to have a beginners' book of crochet.  This will explain the abbreviations used in patterns.  I did have one but I gave it to a friend who was recovering from a nasty skiing injury and was immobile for a while and needed something to do for a while. 

I do have Step by Step Needlecraft Encyclopedia by Judy Brittain (Dorling Kindersley).  As you would expect with DK, it's very concise and very well-illustrated and I'd recommend that also (just don't blindly follow the instructions for invisible joining in knitted garments - they have transposed the plain and the purl versions!).

Access All Accessories / Re: This weeks project - Drawstring Bag
« on: January 07, 2020, 19:52:06 PM »
If it didn't melt then it's not synthetic.  You can bind the ends instead.  Google 'binding rope ends' or 'whipping rope ends' to discover the technique.

Patterns Discussion / Re: Can someone check my pattern for me please?
« on: January 06, 2020, 15:55:15 PM »
Cut out all the pieces in newspaper and pin them together over the object you are intending to cover.  That will tell you immediately whether or not you have given yourself enough wearing ease - if it's *exactly* the same size as the object the paper will likely simply tear and the final cover will be too tight.  If the pattern is too tight, add 3 or 4 mm to the tight bits and try again.  Once you are happy with your paper 'toile' use that as a final pattern.

Access All Accessories / Re: This weeks project - Drawstring Bag
« on: January 06, 2020, 15:49:02 PM »
You can prevent the ends of synthetic twine/cord from fraying by melting them with a flame, but do be careful to do this outside or over a sink where you can control the flames/fumes!

Another tip for drawstring bags is to make two strings, not one.  One has its knot and one side and the other at the other.  You pull the knots and it draws up.  This makes it much more secure than a single string.

Yes, you ought to pin fabric to patterns before cutting out, else use a rotary cutter, cutting mat and pattern weights to stop things moving around.  As noted by others, you should cut diagonally across the corner excess rather than clipping into it.  Clipping into the seam allowance is valid, but only on outward-curved seams although unless you get heavily into princess seams you're unlikely to come across these any time soon!

Sewing Machines / Re: Giving beginner sewing lessons
« on: December 29, 2019, 15:45:57 PM »
I first sewed at primary school.  There was a peripatetic teacher who came in one day a week and the girls in primary years 4 to 7 (Scotland, so 8 to 12 years) got knitting for half a year and sewing for the rest.  Can't remember what the boys did - some other craft I suspect.  The first project was a 'lap bag', which was all hand-sewn with coloured embroidery thread using running stitch, over stitch and hem stitch.  It was then used to keep subsequent projects in.  I used it as a peg bag in adulthood until it got too worn out about 10 years ago! 

I can't remember any sewing projects at primary school after that, although there must have been some (they must all have been hand-sewn as there were no machines that I can recall although), but at secondary school the first thing we did was a white apron for use in cookery class.  This is still around somewhere and DS wore it on baking days when he was younger.  Then we moved onto a nightdress, which I recall was a sleeveless yoked item onto which the body panels were gathered.  We had electric and treadle machines in that class and I loved rattling away on the treadle!

The following year at a different (and newly-built) school but with the same teacher we were asked to buy a pattern and fabric to make up in school. I made a blouse and a beautiful dress that I wore until I outgrew it.  The fabric was mainly white with a scattering of Paisley motifs printed in mauve, blue and, IIRC, turquoise or maybe kingfisher.  Anyway, the colourway suited me and I felt very smart in it.  And that was it until I acquired a sewing machine of my own for my 21st and took it up again with a very competent flatmate to advise.

Access All Accessories / Re: My first project. A cable tidy
« on: December 29, 2019, 11:37:56 AM »
Stitching the open edge closed once you turn an item like this can only be done in two ways:

* hand-catch it invisibly
* edge/top stitch it

For utility sewing like this I would edge stitch it but for fine/garment sewing I would do it by hand.  However, if I am doing utility sewing I tend to make a feature of it and edge stitch all round the item or do two parallel rows of stitching (think jeans pockets).

If you're clipping corners, the degree to which you abut the stitching is goverened by how much the fabric unravels and/or how loose the weave is.  If you intend to clip very closely, or the fabric is subject to fraying, reduce the stitch length for the last half-inch before and the first half-inch after pivoting at the corner.  A dot of Fray Check is handy too, but beware it can mark so use sparingly.

Access All Accessories / Re: Making a dust cover
« on: December 27, 2019, 15:53:06 PM »
The bits of advice I would give are:

  • don't use leather/leatherette for your first project.  It is unforgiving and MUST be sewn perfectly first time if you are not to be left with rows of perforations having gone wrong and having had to unpick.
  • be careful how you apply fusible interfacing.  You have to press, not iron, it.  In other words, hold the iron on the interfacing, lift the iron and then move it to the next area.  Do not slide the iron else you can wind up with puckers.  Also make sure the iron is at the correct temperature for both the interfacing and the top fabric!

It also strikes me that if you want to pipe the seams as in your photograph you might usefully benefit from an adjustable zipper foot.  Despite its name, this foot is also very handy for getting tight into piping that's in seams.

Fun with Fabric / Re: Sewing with Silk Fabric - tips please
« on: December 26, 2019, 14:15:39 PM »
@FloBear - The Silk Society is where we get our silk for making C17th 'colours', ie, 6ft square flags.  Apart from the fact that silk will stretch on the bias at the slightest provocation and needs immediate stabilisation, I don't have problems with it.

Silk Society stuff is excellent but pricey although, from the sounds of it, you don't need a lot.

I've been cutting out patterns that haven't yet had their excess tissue trimmed away for years and it doesn't dull the shears.  Wouldn't ever use my shears on any other kind of paper, though.

Finally, Gutermann sew-all polyester works well on silk,  I find.

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