Category Archives: Stash

How to raid a friend’s stash

Happy Monday everyone!  Before you ask how my fall coat is coming along, let me inform you that absolutely no sewing occurred at Chez Elizabeth this past weekend.  Why you ask?  Well, my mom is visiting and actually sleeping in my sewing studio (aka, the living rm/dining rm), so it would be quite rude of me to sew late at night, now wouldn’t it? 

So while I pine away, I have been planning my totebag extravaganza.  I bought some canvas from Premier Prints recently with this project in mind, but I needed some medium weight cotton in coordinating prints to line the totebags.  Enter: my friend Tanya’s stash.  I happen to know that she has an entire cabinet filled to the brim with medium weight gorgeous cotton prints.  I casually proposed a stash swap.  Some of her fabric for some of my fabric.  Tanya readily agreed.  Mwah hahahaha….

This weekend I walked over to her apt and the stash raiding ensued.  I feel slightly guilty, because I hadn’t properly prepared Tanya for how large my needs were (I am making 6 totebags).  She did blanch a bit upon seeing how many canvas fabrics I had, but I just pretended not to notice.  😉   Of course, I will gladly share with her anything she wants from my stash (I hope she doesn’t mind that I am heavy on garment fabrics as opposed to med weight cottons). 

Tanya has a very substantial collection of cotton prints, including some Liberty prints.  I didn’t steal any of her Liberty, although they were much pawed over admired.  I did find some great coordinating fabrics for my totebag linings and am excited to share with you the pairings.  (All canvas fabrics are at the top of the photos and lining fabrics at the bottom.)

The last photo shows canvas from Tanya’s collection as well as her print (apologies for the blurriness).  One of the canvases which I had chosen (a Pucci-esque print) just did not say totebag to me upon receipt, so I stole swapped one of Tanya’s canvas fabrics.  Isn’t it pretty?

I am also planning to make a duplicate of the bag I made myself recently, so that brings my total up to 6 bag combos: two for Jack’s pre-school teachers and four for my co-workers.

And in other sewing/knitting news: Tanya invited me to participate in a holiday bazaar, so I will let you know what I make for that too.  We are thinking of some quickie projects.  Maybe I will make more ruffled scarves (maybe making them a little less finished so that they are fast to make)?

I hope at least some of you are sewing out there on my behalf since I can’t!

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Theoretical Clothes

My friends, I have discovered a new sewing term: Theoretical Clothes.  You may wonder what it means.  Well, my friends, that is my new name for my stash. 

Bed stash aka Jack's toddler bed

 

Closet Stash

You see, in theory, these pieces of fabric can be made into clothes that I or the recipient can wear.  Ergo theoretical clothes.

The last week or so, I have been thinking about all the things I want/need to make by Christmas.  Here’s my list:

  • Knit Jack’s mittens
  • Knit Jack’s annual sweater (maybe)
  • 6 lined tote bags for gifts
  • Finish my fall coat
  • 5 kids pj’s for Christmas gifts
  • Find, fit and make TNT pants and jacket for a suit

Considering how long it takes to fit a pattern, how long it takes to tailor a coat or a jacket, and generally how slow of a sewist I am, I feel a slight desperation about my ability to accomplish all that I want to do.  I know my theoretical clothes (aka stash) is small compared to others, but it is still way too much for what I can actually make in the time that I have to sew.  And that depresses me a little. 

My day job is getting in the way of my sewing. 

*big sigh*

Anyhoo, just wanted to share my new sewing term with you.  I didn’t get to work on my coat last night as my mom is visiting.  I hope I will have some sewing time this weekend, but I am not sure it will happen.

My toast to you all:  May you have lots of sewing time!

P.S. I accidentally bought some more fabric from the Fabricmartfabrics.com sale and I received an email from Elliott Berman about their amazing sale.  I’m doomed!

Slow down, you move too fast

Haha!

Thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday’s poll and for sharing your great advice. A lot of the advice was to tell me to slow down and to go with the process. I will definitely do that. The overwhelming voting result was to interface. I put in an order with Pam Erny’s interfacing supply site. But I just found out it won’t arrive here until Thursday. I can’t wait that long people to work on my coat.

Coat update: I cut out the lining two nights ago using cans from my pantry as weights instead of pinning the silk. This method worked great until I realized that one of the cans had oil or grease at the bottom which stained through the pattern onto both layers of silk of the back pattern piece. Needless to say, I was pretty shredded about this.

Canning

Long story short: I braved the torrential rain and tornado warnings today to go uptown to Kashi’s Metro Textiles in the garment district for a little retail therapy. I went because I was on a mission for interfacing, but thought I could stop at Kashi’s too. I went to Kashi’s first actually and ended up staying there the entire time. I knew he sold muslin, so I asked him if sold interfacing. He answered what kind; I knew right then and there I wasn’t going anywhere else. He gave me a medium weight fusible interfacing that I think will be great for my jacket for $2/yd. Carolyn had put a bug in my ear about his double knits, so I bought the black and brick-red for my collection. I already had the dark charcoal from the NY Shopping day at the end of August. I also bought one yard of the silk charmeuse so I can recut the back lining without a grease stain, thank you very much! But the piece de resistance was the Ralph Lauren wool suiting in a lovely dark charcoal in a great medium weight with a great drape. Did I mention it was great? Lurve it! I bought 3 yds of that as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make with it. Mmm mmm good!

T to B: RL Wool, silk charmeuse lining, red d-knit, black d-knit, interfacing

FYI: Kashi will provide a swatching service every three months of all his new arrivals. Call him to sign up! Also, he has tons of new fabrics in right now. It was difficult to be focused while I was there today. 😉

My plans for tonight? Testing my interfacing, recutting the back lining and whatever else I can get done. Wish me luck!

What are your plans for the evening?

Quick post with pictures

I am jammed for time here.  I would love to wax poetic about the PR Shopping day this past weekend.  To tell you how awesome it was to meet Robin IRL.  How great it was to see old friends.  But let me get straight to the goodies, because time is short here at Chez Elizabeth.

Our group was so large, we had to split into two groups for the first two stores which opened specially for us, Metro Textiles and Elliott Berman.  I spent most of my fabric budget at these stores. 

At Elliott Berman I bought a Missoni sweater knit which will become a fall tunic (pattern TBD) and a beautiful silk (TNT sheath dress anyone?).

Elliott Berman

Then I really went wild at Metro Textiles.  Kashi had so many great fabrics.  I bought this gorgeous, I mean gorgeous wool silk boucle in gun metal grays and he had a matching silk charmeuse.  I also bought a metallic gray knit for a date night top. 

Metro Textiles

Closeup of boucle

Then I couldn’t pass up this wool knit in purple, my favorite color.  And who could leave there without the ubiquitous border knit?!

Metro Textiles

Let’s not forget the silk charmeuse (on the right in the picture below) to line my fall coat and my first double knit for a, wait for it, sheath dress. I have a feeling one never forgets their first double knit.  *sigh*  On the left, is my only fabric from Parons, a mauve tweed.  I heart tweed. 

Parons and Metro Textile

By the time we reached Parons I think we were all fabric fatigued.  But it was a fun day.  Again, so glad that so many people came to shop from locales far and wide. 

And, now I know you were all wondering if I finished my dress for my cousin’s wedding which is this weekend.  Well….

I did.  I’ll do a full review of all the alterations I made when I am back from the Midwest, but for now…  Here are some pictures to tide you over.

Hope you all have a great week and Labor Day weekend!

Let the shopping begin!

Robin just posted our PR Shopping Day schedule on her blog (on August 28th).  Check it out and join us!  I am still in shock that I was able to get Elliott Berman to open for us on a Saturday.

*doing a crazy happy dance*

Fabric Buying Skills

Haha!  I bet you thought it doesn’t take much skill to buy fabric.  Just cash or a credit card.  But I am here to tell you my friend, that it does take some skill.  Just as buying patterns does too.  Let me ‘splain.  

While I do not have the legendary stash that Carolyn has, but I do have a modest collection.  Remember the fabric chair?  (well now it’s the fabric big boy bed that Jack doesn’t use).  

 

I have noticed a trend lately in what fabrics I use.  For instance, I used two of the three fabrics I recently bought from Elliott Berman within a month of their purchase (the Christian La Croix skirt and the FKA zebra print, I mean bamboo print skirt).  

Front

 

 

Most recently purchased with my Canadian friend at Paron’s (which I’ve decided is my new fave place to shop in NYC’s garment district because I love their fabrics and their prices), the silk twill and the stretch cotton chambray, both made within two weeks of their purchase. 

 

 

So what does this tell me?  That I am older and wiser my friends.  I am a better judge of character when it comes to fabrics now.  Oh how I wish that was so with men.   As we both know now, men and fabric have similar characteristics.  Seriously though, I think in the beginning of my sewing learning curve, I just bought things that caught my eye without a thought as to how appropriate they were for the intended pattern.  Now I  know that I am not fond of stretch wovens… that I love knits but want to really learn fit with wovens… that I love natural fibers… 

With regard to pattern buying, I was bedazzled by patterns with tricked out seam work, with artistic pleats, etc.  Now I know how to look for a pattern with good bones (ones with princess seams or darts which are opportunities for getting a good fit), maybe with few pattern pieces to make things quicker and easier to assemble, and that can build a great wardrobe without looking too boring or too singular.  So now when I buy patterns, I am no longer distracted by one trick ponies. 

So it is with this new-found confidence that I look forward to the Pattern Review NYC Shopping day on August 28th.  Are you coming?  I’m still making my list of stuff to buy.  I’ll share it with you later.  

Happy sewing everyone!

Accidental fabric purchases

A friend was in town from Canada today and I gave her a tour of the garment district.  Knowing that I will be shopping again soon (fyi, there’s a NYC PR Shopping day on August 28th, check it out!), I was very frugal.  Honest!  I only bought two fabrics, invisible zippers and a separating zipper for Karen.  Oh and I got a twin stretch needle!  Yippee!

For some reason, my pc ate my picture of the stretch cotton chambray I bought and I’m too lazy to take it and download it again (my pc is really old and crotchety, just like me).  This will be used for my first iteration of Butterick 5147.  I finished the second muslin last night and I love it!  Now I just have to decide if I want to use cotton batiste as the lining or not since I want to be able to wash this dress and not dry clean it.  Hmmm….  Game time decision I think.

The second fabric I bought I almost didn’t buy.  It was a little on the expensive side for me at $18/yd, but the cutter game me $2 off per yard, so it was definitely worth it in the end.  It’s a silk twill border print.  It just spoke to me right away.  I am really into silk twills lately.  I just love the hand, the feel, and the drape.  What’s not to like about silk though right? 

But enough of the wordy stuff… Here’s the picture of my latest beautiful fabric.

silk twill from Paron's

Happy sewing everyone!