The Fabric Maverick: March 2008 Archives
At the encouragement of several of our faithful readers, I am calling for a posse roundup! My apologies to
As you can imagine the Fabric Maverick's expense budget is extremely small. I can afford five quilting magazines but not five quilting trips. I will be publishing a list of great places to go if quilting is your passion. What I need to know from the posse is:
· Have you taken a quilting vacation?
· What were your experiences?
· Would you do it again?
· If married, did you take your husband?
I, also, need to know if there are special trips for home decor sewers or apparel sewers? I have not found any.
I need research for a future article on sewing machines.
· What kind of machine do you have?
· What do you like about your machine?
· What do you dislike about your machine?
· What is your dream machine?
Be a member of the posse. If you would like to join, you may respond to this blog or email email@example.com. She handles all my mail. Surely, I can do as well as Mark Lipinski
Swimsuit season is around the corner. If you are taking a cruise, it may already be here for you. Women have been known to cry when they try on bathing suits! Here are a few tips to selecting the type of suit that fits your figure best:
· For hip and tummy problems choose a color and a print that flatter your skin tone. Use your hair color and eye color for reference. Choose fabric with at least 20% spandex to minimize flab. Choose blocks of color to distract from wide hips and tummy bulges.
· For the bosom choose fabrics that have a texture to emphasize a small chest. To minimize a chest, choose a tank top style, choose a dark top.
· One piece suits are a good bet for most figure types. Where the body comes in, less is not always best.
· Bikinis should be left to the very young or the most optimistic.
Making a bathing suit makes a great deal of sense. Many women are different sizes on the top and bottom. A pattern can be adjusted to accommodate those differences.
Here are ten sewing tips from Susan Wigley at Paragon Patterns:
TIP 1: When you apply the swim wear elastic, lay the elastic on the bed of the machine with the fabric on top, then serge the elastic on.
TIP 2: If you are fortunate enough to have a cover stitch machine, use it for all of the hems.
TIP 3: If you don't have a cover stitch machine, use a twin needle for all of your hems.
Tip 4: Sew the side seams from the bottom to the top on both sides to avoid twisting.
Tip 5: A Serger will produce the best results for sewing the seams, however, if you don't have a serger, use a zigzag stitch set at 16-20 stitches per inch. You can also use a straight stretch stitch, set at 10-12 stitches per inch.
TIP 6: Always check your Swimwear Lycra for the greatest stretch before you lay out the pattern.
TIP 7: Lay out the pattern with the greatest stretch going around the body, regardless of the grainline indicated on the pattern. (Often times the greatest stretch is on the cross-grain, rather than the straight grain).
TIP 8: If you can find 4-way stretch Swimwear Lycra in the colors or prints you like, use that.
Tip 9: Always use Swimwear Elastic, Clear Elastic or Raw Rubber Elastic for your swimwear to get best results.
Tip 10: Always use ball point needles when you sew swimwear fabrics to avoid tearing holes in the seams.
Here I am again, the Fabric Maverick.
Fabric Maverick asked “What styles are ‘hot’ now?
Paige said “The Miss Daisy look is hot now. The Cinderella look is also hot. Size is an important aspect in style. Not every size can fit into every style. A person must be conscious of their body size in determining the styles that best outlines and enhances the style and the desirable look according to their body makeup. If you’re not going with the Cinderella look, go with a slim dress and black and white the mixture would be the perfect color for today's style, that's if you go that route."
I asked Paige if there are any trends in colors or fabrics.
She said. “Fabric colors work in conjunction with style. Body figure size makeup determines the most appropriate colors, and is very important. Small figures & Medium figures stick with spring colors that compliment your skin tone. Large figures & Extra-large figures stick with the darker colors that compliment your skin tone.”
I asked “What advice would you give on fabric selection?”
Paige said, “Again, body size means a lot. Smaller sizes can consider any type of fabric. I would recommend stretchy as the most applauding fabrics. On the other hand, larger sizes should stay away from fabrics that cling to the body that show every ripple but should look for sturdier fabrics that smooth out their figures. The fabric I have experience with, and the most success, is duchess satin. I'm planning to use crepe backed satin for my prom gown. It doesn't stretch as much, and has a great weight that drapes nicely and covers well. Proper undergarments are also important and make a big difference.”
“What skill level should the girls have to consider making their own dress?” asked the Fabric Maverick.
Paige answered “The first gown I ever designed and made was my Miss Teen Florida Galaxy Pageant gown which was a lot of fun, but very difficult to make. It took about 72 hours to make this gown. Now, I feel I am capable of making a simple design dress in about 10 hours. When I say simple design, I mean a gown that is a Cinderella style that does not require asymmetrical seams. That didn't include the time spent for selecting fabrics, trims, patterns, and notions. A first time design should allow more manufacturing time, and it helps to have an experienced adviser available if needed. Most people who sew are happy to give advice.”
“Are there any tips or tricks for working with special occasion dresses?” I asked.
Paige answered “When cutting your pattern, a rotary cutter is your best friend! I blocked my pattern pieces with weights, and only pinned the main corners of each piece. It's important to take your time and double check everything before cutting, and also before putting a seam together. (It's a real pain to rip out a seam of special occasion fabric!) It also depends on what machines you have available for your project, and stitch possibilities.”
I asked “How much time should girls allow themselves to make a prom dress?”
She answered “As mentioned above, hours depend on desired fabric, style and design. I would say to make a prom gown with silk fabric, plan at least 72 hours. A prom dress with crepe back satin fabric, I would plan about 45 hours. It depends on the type sewing machines you have available, and the degree of difficulty of your pattern.”
My final question to Paige is “Are there any prom dress styles that you suggest for certain body types?”
Paige answered “Body types determine the style and fabric of the dress. Be sure your pattern is large enough in all areas. It's easy to make it smaller, but very disappointing if it's too small. It is essential for this to be taken into consideration in designing the gown. The design will assist in the type of fabric. Small figures, I would say go with figure fitting upper half and lower half blossom. Medium figures GO ahead and pull off the head to toe figure fitting. Large figures go small at bust line and Cinderella at the bottom. Extra-large figures go totally Cinderella. “
Paige has given some really great ideas and tips on styles. Take some time planning your creations and have a look at our special occasion fabrics. We have some great satins and slinky mesh glimmer fabric.
From Paige and Fabric.com- We wish everyone a fun and memorable prom night!
Every job has its ups and downs. On one hand I enjoy helping people match fabrics; on the other hand I hate filing. The Fabric Maverick had to buy quilting magazines and read them this weekend. It is a tough job, but someone has to do it.
I do not know how many quilting magazines there are, but there are many available on the market today. I have selected several at random that are readily available at the grocery store, bookstore or fabric store. I cannot subscribe to all the quilting magazines so I must audition them to see which fit my sewing skills and personality. I have selected five magazines:
1. American Patchwork and Quilting
2. Fons & Porter’s For Love of Quilting
3. McCall’s Quilting
4. Quilter’s Newsletter
5. Quilter’s Home
These are listed randomly and not by my personal preferences. My review of these magazines is all my own opinions. If you do not agree, that is quite all right. I do subscribe to two of these magazines and may possibly add a third. I am an easy sell. Does anyone have some swamp land to sell?
Beginning with American Patchwork and Quilting, I will list the positives and negatives.
- Cover is always inviting
- Photography is gorgeous
- There are quilt patterns for all skill levels
- Quilting instructions are well written
- Show alternative color options for patterns
- Show alternative sizes for quilts
- Always an interview with a current designer
- Sometimes use the same designer over several issues
- Could improve teaching methods
Fons & Porters’s Love of Quilting is the best teaching magazine.
- For each project , there is a separate tear-out sheet detailing how to make a block, use a tool or technique
- Good variety of projects from beginning levels to advanced levels
- Well written instructions
- Offer good tips
- Great articles on subjects not usually detailed such as how to choose the correct quilting thread
- Provide different size options for some patterns
- Sometimes a little too traditional
- Covers can look cluttered and resemble each other over several months
- Covers are attractive and each cover has a different type of quilt featured. List designers and articles on the cover before turning to the inside
- Good instructions
- Wide variety of patterns from small projects to big projects/
- Good photography
- No alternative sizes or colors
- Pages can be a little busy
The Quilters Newsletter is meant for the quilter who is ready to challenge themselves.
- It is very serious
- Appeals to advanced quilters and fabric artists
- Good articles on the historical aspects of quilting
- Not for beginners
- Very advanced quilts with limited instructions
Quilters Home is a magazine to make you take a less serious look at yourself. This magazine is total fun. It is the brainchild of Mark Lipinski. I cannot begin to describe his tongue-in-cheek style of writing. It is quite similar to my style. Here is an excerpt from “Mark my Word” on appearances and stereotypes.
‘Most of us are way past college age (some of us are waaay past college age), and gravity and calories have taken their toll. That’s a bad combination, btw. Age+ gravity+ weight = the kiss of death. Add to that a passion for quilting and the needle arts and well, sister, most people think they has us quilters figured out, then discounted long ago.’ What he goes on to say is that the same person may have danced naked at
I am also jealous that with his first name, Mark, he has developed regular articles such as “Mark my Word” and “Question Mark”. This is no teaching magazine; it is pure inspiration. It tells about new trends, designers, in-depth product reviews and some quilt patterns. You do not have to agree with his opinions, but you will leave feeling invigorated and a little more creative. Also Mark has a posse. Where is the Fabric Mavericks’s posse?
Take some time and look at a few of the many quilt magazines available and see what suits your style.
Quilting has become so popular that the third Saturday of March is celebrated as National Quilting Day. March is now considered national quilting month to some. The National Quilting Association sponsored the first National Quilting Day in June 1991 to celebrate the rich traditions of quilt making and the contributions that quilters make to their communities and families. I bet you did not know that each year groups from around the world have celebrated NQD by creating and donating baby blankets to the first child born on National Quilting Day. Groups from as far away as
I have already begun my celebration of NQD by attending the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. This show is a 3 day event that celebrates all aspects of sewing .It travels from city to city over the course of a year. Fortunately they come to
On the 15th, a group of my friends will gather for a sewing/craft day. Each of us will bring a project we have been working on or wanting to start. We will share friendship, swap stories about sewing successes and disasters, and good food. A good time will be had by all.
I know that every year Stephen plans something special for his quilters so be on the lookout for special deals from Fabric.com.
In Atlanta, spring is battling with winter to take over. One day it is warm: the next day is cold. March is typically a month when the winds blow heartily over the land. What a perfect month to fly a kite. Kites can be made from a variety of materials from paper to silk. This is a great project for the entire family. I have found a website,The Virtual Kite Zoo, that tells all about making a kite from the simple diamond shape to more complex shapes such as the tumbling star. Being a quilter, I am drawn to the tumbling star. Should you want to, you can even teach the principles of aerodynamics to yourself and your children.
Before we can finish celebrating St. Patrick's Day, Easter will be here on March 23rd. Family Circle has some great projects to share with your children and grandchildren. You will find sock bunnies, mini Easter baskets, pinwheels and more. Children will appreciate the time you spend with them creating these crafts. Woman's Day magazine has some great projects to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. You can create a Leprechaun hat to a green frog chore holder.
Here is my personal list of craft supplies needed for family projects:
Small amounts of fabric
Leftover trim pieces for embellishment
Straight pins or small binder clips
Crayons and markers
These will make a nice start to the family craft drawer.
Of course, good food cannot be left out. Sweet Shamrocks from Family Circle are an easy to fix treat that children can help make.
Give your child the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick's Day.
To make these treats, cut a prebaked pound cake into 1-inch slices. Cut each slice with a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter. Microwave an open container of vanilla frosting just until you can pour it, about 10 seconds, and tint green with food coloring. Place shamrocks on a wire rack over a sheet of wax paper. Pour frosting over shamrock slices. Sprinkle edges with green crystal sugar. Let shamrocks set 5 minutes before transferring to serving plate.
Copyright© 2003 Parents Magazine.
As a final note the next time someone tells you to go fly a kite, take it as a license to go enjoy yourself.