Tag Archives: fabric

Capital Investment

No, this isn’t ECO105…

…it’s an effin’ sewing machine.

My Nonna had five seperate sewing machines sitting in her basement.  You’d think it was like a Singer graveyard or something, but these machines don’t die.  Here is where you can find a vintage 1940s automatic Singer, amazingly decorated (not unlike this one) in great working condition. It was in constant use until grandma needed a zig-zag stitch that it just couldn’t offer sometime around the 60s.  My father’s mother’s machine was also in there, having migrated all the way from Northern Italy for whoknowswhy.  This baby still had a foot pedal.  I opted for the Euro-Pro Denim Machine.   Long discarded by my aunt; more stitch options than a Greek family has cousins.

The discovery of an inherited sewing machine would not always have made me as excited as it does today.  While it is the one craft my mother has kept up with (when it’s either necessary or Halloween)  sewing is not hereditary.  I don’t think I have ever trusted myself enough with the investments that seamstressing involves, nor do I trust my luck with all its margins for error.  I am notoriously bad at measuring. This fact alone should probably exclude me from this craft.

What could have made me turn?  My recent. fabric. obsession. I know… you’re obsessed now too.  Indeed, my pliers and beads have taken a backseat to cottons and silks!   Not unrelated is my particular penchant for dresses.  I would love to be able to wear something that I have complete control over.  No worries about “we only have that in a 2”.  An escape from the bandage dress plague!

Nevertheless, learning to sew is HARD.  Where do I start?  Do I just buy a pattern and learn as I go?  Do they have patterns that will help teach me?  Should I start big or small?  How will I afford the fabric?  How can I afford 30 dollar classes?  I have to cut that pretty fabric?

I should probably come to terms with the fact that whatever I sew first will be ugly and won’t fit me.  I’m sure I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment nonetheless, so what’s the harm in that?


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Yo-Yo, Ma

A new post, and not a minute too soon!

The minute I learned how to sew a yo-yo I knew this basic sewing technique was begging to be worn as jewellery.  They fit all the basic requirements of making it onto one my pieces: timeless, versatile and supercute. Fabric jewellery has its advantages due to light weight and the endless possibilities and combinations of colours and textures to play with, which only makes it easier to wear this jewellery with anything and everything.

The biggest hurdle with utilizing fabrics for jewellery is that economies of scale don’t quite apply.  Dozens of these hairpins could be made with a fat quarter or half a yard of cotton or silk; dimensions so minuscule in the textile business retailers have no problem charging >$8-10 for them.  At such a crossroads, any good crafter has to swallow their pride, take their allergy pills and ask where the scraps bin is.  Most higher end fabric stores will have one, or ten.  I’ve emerged with some pretty good finds: reams of embroidered silk that were sloppily cut, squares of now-off-trend-damask, and plenty of polyester!

Cotton and raw silk seem to work best for yo yos.  They fray minimally and are weighty enough to keep shape without much help.  Most of my dream fabrics are from The Workroom, whose inventory I covet so much that I would pay full yardage price to incorporate some of those great patterns into this line.

I’m thinking of going even bigger with some of these pieces.  The necklace can definitely be extended to 5-7 smaller yo-yos, to make a more significant/dramatic pendant, and I am also thinking about going smaller with the hair pins since they are just begging to be kid-sized.  (My little cousins already approve!)  Double sided pendants  of single yo-yos are also in the works, reversible as casual/couture on respective sides. Ooooh the possibilities.

Average No. of Pricks per Piece: 3
Still, you can’t deny their cuteness,

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