Thursday, May 08, 2008

10 Questions and Answers

My friend Rowena posted this on her blog yesterday, and I really like it, so here are my 10 questions and answers:

1. What are your 3 favorite fabrics?

- 100% silk, with duppioni being my absolute favorite. I love the sheen, the feel, the vibrant colors, and the smell.

- 100% cotton. Cotton comes in so many varieties, from the lightest voile to heavy canvas. You can get fantastic prints and beautiful weaves, and it's easy to sew. The only cotton fabric I don't care for is knit.

- this is a toss up between linen and rayon. I like both, though linen is pretty similar to cotton, so maybe I should go with rayon on this one. ^_^ I love the drape and weight of rayon, I adore rayon batiks, and my favorite knits are rayon ones.

2. What are your 3 least favorite fabrics?

- like Rowena, I loathe anything with glued on sequins. Stitched on isn't so bad, but glued ones are awful.

- Neoprene. I can never get a machine to stitch that stuff without cursing and whatever I've done with it has taken 39 times longer than necessary.

- Fake fur. It sheds and gets in my nose.

3. What is the most unusual fabric you have ever sewn?

- I have to really think on this one. I sewed a costume once with a gorgeous embroidered duppioni. The embroidery wasn't done with thread, it was done with metal.

4. What is the most unusual thing you have made out of normal fabric?

- Gee, I dunno. A bra? Not unusual, but not normally made at home.

5. If you could sew with just one fabric for the rest of your life, what would it be?

- I'd probably pick 100% cotton, though I'd have to think really hard about the silk too.

6. What is the most special piece of fabric you've bought AND used?

- I don't get too attached to fabrics, I get attached to the end result. I suppose it would be the Coca-Cola bottle cap print I bought in 1990 or so. It was horridly expensive (almost $50/yard), supposedly a Perry Ellis overrun, and I made a shirt for my dad with it. He loved that shirt, and I kept it when he died and I went through his things. The fabric quality was great, and it still looks as good as the day I made it.

7. Where do you get most of your fabrics?

- I try my best to buy locally, and I'd guess 95% of my fabric is bought here in Milwaukee. We have JoAnns, a Hancocks, and Wal-Mart. We also have a few pretty good quilting shops, and I get a lot of my quilt fabrics at Bigsby's (they have some garment stuff too, like this linen). Mostly, though, I buy my garment fabric at Canvasbacks, which is a local manufacturer that sells off their fabrics 3x/year. I tend to go to only one of the sales a year. This, this, this, and this were all made from Canvasbacks fabrics.

8. What are the last 3 fabrics you used?

- 'quilting' cotton (Amy Butler prints), 48 bean bags for my Student Interest Day sessions.
- some sort of satin, for the jester costumes last week, along with a really neat sari fabric.
- duppioni and canvas, for the jester hats, along with the satin and some poly crepe looking stuff.

9. If you could buy any fabric you wish, what would you buy and what would you do with it?

- I really don't know! I've been obsessed with finding a fabric that duplicates chain mail. I've seen it online in movie photos (Monty Python's Holy Grail) and in some of the Shakespeare plays I've seen. It's probably knit, and I'm not sure it's available in yardage. IF I could find it, I'd get a bunch and make cowls and hauberks for the whole family.

10. What advice do you have to seamstresses about buying fabric?

- Touch everything. Go to every store you can and learn about the fabrics. Learn about fibers, weaves, dyeing (not that you have to do any of it, just know about it). Get samples, buy 1/4 or 1/2 yards of stuff and play with it. Make samples. Don't buy something unless it speaks to you, and don't be afraid to use it.

Lastly, don't be afraid of anything. Don't be afraid to try welt pockets or a lined jacket, or underwear. Don't be afraid to cut into that fabric you love, just do a muslin (or two or five) first. It's really not that hard. Really. Enjoy the process. DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF! I see and read people picking apart their work, and yet, if the same thing was on a rack at the store, you wouldn't be complaining, or not nearly as much.

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