Sewing clothes

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MaryMumsy

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So, after searching every on-line source and brick-and-mortar store I could think of, in the vain search for a simple black skirt *with pockets*, I went to the fabric store and got a pattern and yardage.

I have made my own clothes off and on for the better part of 50 years, but haven't done anything in about 15. So, I'm pulling up my big girl panties and jumping in.

MM
 

mirandashell

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Me too. I've been making clothes for about 8 months now. Mostly by taking nice clothes that doesn't fit me anymore apart and upscaling the pieces.
 

Maryn

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I have a lot of sewing experience, although I sew much less than I once did. When and if you get into trouble, the internet is a godsend. You can seek tutorials on how to do things (lapped zipper application, anyone?), usually with either a video or text with photographs for each step. At Craftster.org and other places online you can ask for clarification on pattern instructions which aren't clear, even post a photograph of your WIP and whatever issue it's posing.

Although if you need some help, I'm happy to give it a shot here.

Maryn, who buys fabric like they might stop making it
 

mirandashell

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I found some great tutorials on the internet when I started. Got loads of bookmarks.
 

MaryMumsy

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It should be pretty simple. A front panel, a back panel, tube with elastic waistband. I'm creating my own patch pockets to plop on the front. If it turns out well, I'll go back for more fabric and make an identical twin.

MM
 

GailD

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It should be pretty simple. A front panel, a back panel, tube with elastic waistband. I'm creating my own patch pockets to plop on the front. If it turns out well, I'll go back for more fabric and make an identical twin.

MM

:yessmiley I'm with Maryn! Fabric shopping is... *searches for adjectives*... almost better than cake. :D


I'm a self-taught dressmaker - got tossed out of needlework class in the 8th grade (it's a long story), but I'm sure it's like riding a bicycle, MM. You'll do great. :D
 

Maryn

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I don't know if it's cruel or kind to share Fabric.com here. Give them an email and they'll send you a link daily for what's on sale for the next 24 to 48 hours (usually 24). The sales range from pretty good to practically stealing, and the quality of what you can get is so much better thatn what JoAnn offers that I rarely go there anymore except for thread and notions.

My most recent fabric.com acquisitions are mostly rayon knits, including a luscious bamboo rayon, and a fabulous washable linen blend which beats the stuffing out of the ones available locally.

Maryn, who needs to prelaunder those puppies
 

Maryn

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Hm, I have no idea. However, their customer service people are pretty good. If you contacted them over the weekend, I imagine you'd have your answer Monday or Tuesday. Edit: Tuesday or Wednesday, since Monday is a holiday in the US.

FWIW, when you become a "good customer" (however they define that) they start cutting their already-generous 37-inch "yard" even more generously. Over and over I've ordered, say, 3.5 yards and gotten 5, or ordered 4 and gotten 7. The order form from my last order is sitting here:
Ordered 4.0, received 4.67
Ordered 2.0, received 2.25
Ordered 4.0, received 5.0
Ordered 5.0, received 7.5

They're also eager to get rid of the end of a bolt, so if you come close, they just give it to you.

They're also good about quality control. I saw some color drop-out on a knit when I pre-laundered it, and they refunded me what I'd paid.

I hope they ship worldwide. If you find out, let us know. I can't say enough positive things about this business.

Maryn, huge fan
 
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Filigree

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At least in the past, fabric.com has shipped internationally - I'm in a couple of sewing clubs, and one of the Aussie crowd has mentioned buying from there.

I haunt the site when I have money - they have gorgeous stuff. Scalamandre crimson silk velvet for only $20 a yard, anyone? Granted, this was a few years back, but it saved a project when my local places had to order out at $100 per yard.
 
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frimble3

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I know, from experience, that they ship to Canada. I don't know about the U.K.
 

harmonyisarine

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I used to do almost entirely renfaire garb, then moved to cosplays and renfaire, and now I'm started to design my own original clothes (and cosplay and renfaire... my sewing life is getting pretty darn busy).

I tried fabric.com and I do still use their site, but my favorite online stores are Dharma Trading and Mood. Mood is usually pretty ridiculously priced, but if you sign up for their e-mail newsletter they have some amazing sales. 50% off two fabrics once or twice a week, with a big group of them at the end. I've lost count of the wonderful fabrics that I've been able to afford this way. My favorite, since turned into an A-line skirt with a sanded purple charmeuse lined underlayer, is a white plain weave cotton with a flocked paisley pattern on top, also in white. I also just got my order of this wonderful crinkled wool-silk blend, which was only 30% off but I can't resist wool and silk. Dharma is much better priced, but you have to be down for dyeing as they only sell white and some blacks. Luckily, I quite love dyeing.

My mom taught me to sew when I was a kid, and then I took to the internet with those basics and really raised my sewing level to a nearly professional one. I hate clothes shopping and fashion in stores doesn't really fit my style, and now I can do something about it.
 

Maryn

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Thanks for the tips on other fabric websites! I shall investigate. Although I'm not one for dyeing, I wear a lot of black, so I might find good things at Dharma.

I just saw online that our daughter bought herself a foot-treadle sewing machine older than her grandparents. Cool!

Maryn, jealous
 

mirandashell

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I know, from experience, that they ship to Canada. I don't know about the U.K.

If they ship to Canada and Australia, I imagine they would ship to the UK.

Haven't had time to check yet as I'm making baby chicken costumes at the moment.
 

frimble3

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If they ship to Canada and Australia, I imagine they would ship to the UK.

Haven't had time to check yet as I'm making baby chicken costumes at the moment.

You're making costumes to make humans look like baby chickens? Or make babies look like chickens? Although tiny little costumes for baby chickens would be absolutely adorable, I don't know if the chicks would enjoy dressing-up. :D

As you're obviously busy, I looked it up for you (short answer - yes, they ship to the U.K.):

Fabric.com International Shipping


Shipping charges for international orders are based on the estimated weight of the package.
The shipping charge is calculated after the Ship To: section of the order page is completed. You will be able to review the shipping charges before you place your order.
International shipping rates do not include customs or duty charges. Fabric.com has no control over those charges and they are the sole responsibility of the person placing the order.
Here is a list of all the some of the countries we ship to (it was a very long list):
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan, Province of China
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States, Minor Islands
  • Virgin Islands, British
  • Virgin Islands, U.S.
 
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Maryn

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Thanks for taking the trouble to check that out for us, Frimble.

Small orders are sent in those tough plastic mailing envelopes, which weigh next to nothing. I've never had one arrive torn. Larger orders come in boxes, and inside the box, the cloth is in a plastic bag, so if the box gets wet the cloth won't.

How's the skirt coming along?

Maryn, who has sidetracked this quite enough
 

mirandashell

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Thanks Frimble! I will have to check the duty as that will probably make the difference as to whether it's cost effective or not.

And the costumes are to make small humans look like baby chickens. Hopefully!
 

Aleiarity

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I've never sewn from a pattern.

I don't have that kind of attention span.


I've made patterns so other people could sew what I made... but follow someone *else's* stuff??? That's like wearing a cardboard box over my head and trying to breathe.



/I clearly have issues...



Dharma trading tends to have good prices on silk and the like. Protein based fibers like silk and wool are really easy to dye using whatever and a bit of citric acid.
 

GailD

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Fabric.com International Shipping



Here is a list of all the some of the countries we ship to (it was a very long list):
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan, Province of China
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States, Minor Islands
  • Virgin Islands, British
  • Virgin Islands, U.S.

Oooooh! I know I shouldn't have - but I went there and looked. :e2faint:This one's going to totally blow my budget but...

They ship to S. Africa! :snoopy: And it's a sale.
 

MaryMumsy

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I haven't actually started yet. First I have to unbury my sewing machine, so I can stitch the raw edges for color setting and pre-shrinkage wash. Then I need to wash it. Set the black, and get rid of that "new cloth/dye" smell. Then I need to find the ironing board and iron, so I can iron it dry (also helps with pre-shrinkage). *Then* I can lay out the fabric and pattern and get started. The good news is, once I have found the sewing machine, the ironing board, and the iron, I won't need to find them the next time. :)

MM
 

harmonyisarine

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Thanks for the tips on other fabric websites! I shall investigate. Although I'm not one for dyeing, I wear a lot of black, so I might find good things at Dharma.

I just saw online that our daughter bought herself a foot-treadle sewing machine older than her grandparents. Cool!

Maryn, jealous

We've got a treadle from one of my great-grandparents. We've had it since we were kids, but it's never been used to sew. I might have to change that, if I can figure out the bobbin. Weirdest looking thing.

We also have... 8 or 9 other electric machines, from first gen electric through "made within the last decade," and 2 sergers. Something to be said for being the only people anyone knows who sew, I suppose.

And you're welcome on the other fabric! Dharma's only got a few blacks, but I've worked with some and they're amazing (the raw silk and silk charmeuse are my favorites in black, so far, for very different reasons and textures), and Mood is expensive, but I hope you find some things you like.



This weekend I'm going to a RenFaire, but I have to finish putting some crystals on my corset (she's a slightly insane pirate queen, she needs some flash), and putting together my brother's doublet, his shirt, his girlfriend's bodice, and then I'll be dyeing and sewing a skirt for her on Friday night and Saturday (Dharma's 75% rayon/25% silk blend for the skirt; dyes like a dream and with a slightly iridescent look from the two types of fiber). I don't know why I can't finish a project ahead of time...
 

GingerGunlock

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I also yearn for skirts (and dresses!) with pockets! I've never sewn my own clothes, though I do make a great drawstring bag ;)

I've thought about modeling skirts off of my favorites, with added pockets, but I haven't taken the plunge yet myself.
 

Maryn

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Ginger, depending on what styles suit you, it's entirely possible you could make yourself skirts with pockets.

If you don't tuck your top or shirt in, ever, and if your waist-hip ratio isn't huge, you can easily make an elastic-waist skirt and cover it with all the pockets you're missing.

I do tuck in some things, but I also wear elastic waists sometimes, too. The skirts come together very quickly.

And if you want to spend a little, people who sew for money--not tailors, but homemakers and students who sew for extra income--can make you a skirt and put pockets in. I used to sew for money in college, and there are still those who do.

Maryn, whose plans to cut something out today didn't happen