A Sewist’s Trip to L.A.

At this time last Saturday, I was driving South to LA with Erin and my twin sister Jessi. I made my first (and surely not last) visit to Mood Fabrics.


I was completely overwhelmed when I first walked into Mood. Isles and isles of fabric from floor to ceiling–I wasn’t sure where to begin. I had made a list of specific projects I needed fabric for, so I set about touring the store to see what was on each isle.

I spent most of my time on the shirting fabric isle, trying to pick something out for my husband’s next shirt, as well as a shirt dress for myself. I finally picked a dark blue fabric and a light green fabric.


While touring the isles of silk, I came across this black silk with a dog print woven in. Loving dogs as I do, I thought it was rather special and expensive, so I splurged on two yards.

I’d like to make a blouse with it by the end of the year, but I definitely want to hold out for a TNT blouse pattern, so I need to get sewing more blouses.


We had a lovely afternoon eating food, walking to the garment district and back, and finally kicking back with our feet up after dinner.

Sunday morning we perused Little Tokyo, and I finally found something cute to hold my paperclips at work: a little rice bowl with kitties on it.



We made it to Sew L.A. for Gertie’s party, Sunday afternoon. What a blast! I got my makeup done by Dorit who was providing retro makeup for the partygoers. There was delicious party punch and snacks, and many friendly fellow seamstresses, including Miss Christine Haynes herself. And of course, Gertie!


Gertie was so sweet–she graciously signed everyone’s books and posed for pictures, and even talked fabric with us.



I didn’t think to take pictures of the clothes, but many of the items from Gertie’s book were on display. The clothes were so gorgeous and inspiring to see in person.

I was pretty tired after all the driving, so I’ve been laying low all week. But, the weekend is here, and I have some sewing to do.

Talk soon.



Fabrique de Plastic Bags

I have so much to learn concerning different types of fabrics.

My red feather fabric arrived today from Gorgeous Fabrics, and I was both pleased and surprised at what I found inside the box.   Ordering fabrics online is always a bit of a challenge and ultimately a surprise for me because once they arrive I get to finally feel the fabric, and it never seems to be quite what I expected.

This one was called a “crepe de chine,” and made of “polyester/acetate.”  In my mind, crepe de chine was defined as an inexpensive version of silk/satin.  I guess I was imagining something with a tad more body, but with excellent drape.  This fabric is all drape.  AND, it is exactly the same feel as a fabric I already have.  Enter the plastic bag fabric pictured below.


This blouse is made from a fabric I purchased from my local fabric store.  I love my local fabric store.  The owner is very friendly and helpful, and her prices are excellent.  I believe I paid $5 or $6/yard for this gray fabric.  (The red feather fabric was $10/yd plus nearly $10 for shipping).  Unfortunately, a lot of the fabric in the store is not labeled, so I have to ask the proprietor what the material is and how to care for it.  I was told this gray fabric was made from recycled plastic bags, and to machine wash and dry.  I was totally intrigued and feeling so green with my “recycled” fabric choice.

After making the pussy bow blouse, I found the gray fabric doesn’t wrinkle or hold a crease, making it a bit difficult to work with but awesome to wash and wear (I tend to leave wrinkled clothes hanging in the closet for months before I get around to ironing).  It is comfortable, but I believe it to be rather delicate–pins leave visible holes, and the threads are easily distorted if stretched or pulled on.  With the arrival of the red fabric, I am quite confident the gray fabric is also polyester/acetate. And thanks to experience, I have a better idea of how to handle the red fabric.

eHow.com describes acetate as derived from natural sources (not plastic bags).  Acetate can react (melt) if it comes into contact with nail polish remover or alcohol!  Dry cleaning is recommended.  Polyester is made from petroleum byproducts, and it is heat sensitive.  Plastic bags can also be made from petroleum, so perhaps it is possible that my gray fabric is made from recycled plastic bags after all.

At least now I have a better idea of what I’ll get when ordering “crepe de chine” or “polyester/acetate.”

The red feather fabric is destined to be a dress sooner than later–two of my good friends got engaged last week, and me thinks I need a new dress for their wedding :)