Friday, February 19, 2016

Faith Restored

My faithful, hardworking sewing machine,
a 1961 Singer Slantomatic 503, aka Judy Jetson.
1961 was a VERY good year.

Dear Mom,

Merchant and Mills has restored my faith in sewing. It all started with the Factory Dress and has continued through 3 pairs of the 101 Trouser. I have the fabric for a fourth pair in my stash. While the Factory dress went over my head and fit without need for alteration, I didn't push my luck with the trousers and made a practice pair with an old bed sheet, figuring I could use them as pajama pants. I am glad I did. The crotch was fathoms deep. I could easily pull the waist band up to my bra band. Comfy, but NOT the look I am going for.  I ended up taking 4 inches out of the crotch depth and adding 5 inches to the leg length. I made the cropped tapered style, but wanted my wool pants to have long legs. I will make a true cropped pair in linen for summer trousers. After my first pair, I've deviated from the pattern only to add belt loops and elastic to the waist, skipping the grommets and drawstring so I can wear my pants with a belt. (I will  return to the drawstring waist for summer linen pants.)

The biggest challenge is in finding quality wool fabric in the appropriate weight and desired colors. One CANNOT, whether knitting or sewing or painting or whatever, expect excellent results when using inferior materials!  We are very fortunate to have a wonderful fabric store nearby, The French Seam, and I was able to find warm camel color and rich navy wools, but no store can have everything. I took a risk and ordered an olive wool from Sultan's Fine Fabrics. My gamble paid off. The color and weight were everything I'd hoped for and I LOVE the pants.  Riding high on that success, I ordered a classic grey flannel wool from Denver Fabrics. Again, I was very happy with the fabric I ordered and that pair of pants is next in my sewing queue. 

Despite (or maybe because of) my renewed sewing vigor and faith, I am thoroughly disgusted and disappointed with most every visit to the chain big box "fabric" stores looking for notions. More craft than fabric, filled with poor quality quilting cotton and fleece, a more fitting name for JoHanncock Fabrics would be WeBeFleece. -let me digress here.... is Fleece the gateway drug? Does the No Sew Fleece blanket get people interested in sewing? Somehow I doubt it, but if that is what it takes, then shame on me. But 8537 different kinds of fleece but no navy hem tape and only 3 of every kind of button????!!!! Pleeeeze. Okay. Rant over- Thanks to your referral, I've started ordering hem lace and elastic from the WAWAK website.  I went a little crazy planned ahead and ordered 12 yards of elastic. And then yesterday, in the midst of sewing Trouser 101 v3.0TheNavyPair, I had a hankering for the wonderful tailor's ham and pressing aids we had in my high school tailoring class. (I am imagining an entire Merchant and Mills wardrobe for myself.) WAWAK to the rescue.  

 These, along with 2.5 yards of fusible interfacing (thinking ahead again), are on their way. That WAWAK site is Dan.Ger.Ous.

Up there, in that stack-of-fabrics photo, is fabric for a spring Factory dress- the green- and two Top 64s- the small check and, buried in there, a beige dotted swiss type cloth with small coral and chocolate brown flecks . The other fabrics pictured are my pants fabrics. 

Happy Sewing!!