Category: garmentry
Vote! Which button should go on this jacket?
chris. | 6 February 2012 | 9:38 pm | garmentry | 5 Comments

I bought this jacket at Goodwill last summer.  The bottom button was missing when i looked at it in the store (and there were no spare buttons discreetly sewn into any of the inside seams), but i also immediately realized the solution to the problem: the button sewn above the upper left pockt could be moved to the bottom of the placket, and a different, decorative button sewn in its place.

Which created a new problem for me: What fancy button should i use???

I picked up 6 buttons at the Weaving Works as potential candidates.  But i love them all and am now not sure how to make my decision.

So we’ll let the internet make it.  Ha!  Below are the six buttons, each laid out on the jacket in the spot where it will be sewn.  (There are also 2 pics at the end that show the buttons closer up.)  Which one do you think would be best?


cast on, cast off
chris. | 5 December 2011 | 11:03 pm | glosses, knitting | 2 Comments

Saw my knitting group thursday night after a 2-month absence and found myself thinking knitting all weekend.  I came up with a few ideas to use up yarn i bought back in the spring when a friend was closing up her spinning business, so tonight i decided to start something1.

I have no earthly idea why i do this to myself.  I almost always have to cast on 2x.  Tonight i thought i was doing pretty well after the 2nd cast-on, except then i discovered i’d picked up a stitch somewhere.  I’m lousy at finding my errors and the project is just some fingerless mitts, so i frogged back to the beginning.  Doing better this 3rd time thru’!  Except now i need to figure out how to CO1 over the gap of the thumb.

At least i got past the M1L, M1R, and M1 problems.  Tho’ it took 2 books and

  1. No, i don’t want to talk about the Clapotis that i still haven’t finished from the Year of Finishing. []
sewing: So easy MEN can do it
chris. | 21 August 2011 | 4:40 pm | sewing | Comments closed
'Coats & Clark's Sewing Book' (cover)

'Coats & Clark's Sewing Book' (cover)

A few years ago i found this book, copyright 1967, at a used bookstore:  Coats & Clark’s Sewing Book: Newest Methods from A to Z.

It’s by the Educational Bureau of Coats & Clarks, which in itself is amazing enough.  A sewing notions manufacturer with its own educational bureau??  You know that shit got axed in the ’80s.

The information inside is useful enough.  But the most amazing thing about this (thank god i found it used) find?  It has a thoroughly condescending introduction.  Which i will now present to you in its entirety, via photograph:

'Coats & Clark's Sewing Book' (intro) {Click for a larger version.}

'Coats & Clark's Sewing Book' (intro) {Click for a larger version.}

I think it’s fairly safe to assume that in 1967 the target audience for this book was probably women sewing at home.  Why, in the world, did the Educational Bureau of Coats & Clark’s decide to take the tactic of insulting them??  “Listen up, ladeeez, sewing is nothing more than following instructions.  Look how this man followed instructions and made a dress for his wife!  Now man up and SEW!!1

So, so awful.

Then i bought the Reader’s Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing and life was much better.  I do so hate being insulted by my how-to books.

  1. Also insulting to men, y’know? []
fashion histories of U.S. women of color {link love}
chris. | 22 March 2011 | 8:54 pm | culture, garmentry | No comments

A project by Minh-Ha T. Pham (also of threadbared) — “Of Another Fashion: An alternative archive of the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color”:

Since June 2010, I’ve been locating, collecting, and researching the sartorial ephemera of U.S. women of color for an existing website and prospective museum exhibition called “Of Another Fashion” — both of which highlight “the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color.” (quoted @ Etsy)


It’s a Tumblr.  Follow it.

{Via Dress a Day.}

thinking about dresses: Simplicity #9746, Colette #1013 (Crepe)
chris. | 6 March 2011 | 7:22 pm | sewing | Comments closed
Simplicity #9746 : pattern envelope

Simplicity #9746 : pattern envelope

Last summer i was bitten by the dress bug.  I have no idea why, but suddenly i very badly wanted a sundress.  Possibly it had something to do with our stuck-in-the-60s summer suddenly spiking into the 80s for a week.

Back in the early ’90s, my Gma made me 2 dresses from Simplicity #9746 — a long dress with long sleeves1 and a short sleeveless dress.  It turned out that i had the pattern in my pattern stash, but somehow in all of the time i spent shipping things from PA out to Seattle i had failed to pack the dresses.  My mother kindly complied with shoving the sundress into a Priority Mail envelope and sending it out to me.

Simplicity #9746 : blue-white flowered dress

Simplicity #9746 : blue-white flowered dress

I was shocked to discover that the dress was far too big for me.  I have no idea why Gma and i thought it was a good idea to cut out a size 10.  I still like the dress (tho’ i’m not sure about the fabric design — i wonder if i can dye it?), so i might see if i can take it somewhere to have it altered to fit me better.

When Andy and i were on vacation in Oregon last august, i hit up a couple of local fabric stores and engaged in a little stash enhancing2  I wound up with 3 fabrics that i intended to use to make sundresses out of this pattern.  Then one of my local Seattle stores had a big fabric sale on Labor Day and i wound up getting even more stash.

And, y’know?  I still haven’t made a single sundress.  I made 1 mock-up and the fit was difficult.  I think what i’m going to have to do 1st is get the existing blue-flowered sundress altered to fit me better before i plunge forward with making any sundresses out of this stashed fabric.

Well.  As i say in footnote #2 down below, the longer something sits around, the more i start to second-guess it.  Apparently, not only is this true of fabric, it’s also true of patterns.  I have developed something of a wandering eye for a pretty dress pattern.  Earlier this year the Cool Cottons blog mentioned the store’s crepe dress class.  One look at Colette’s Crepe dress pattern (Colette #1013) and i was smitten.  Then the ever-fabulous Sparkymonster pointed out Gertie’s Crepe sew-along and i realized that with so much useful advice staring me in the face i’d absolutely have to try making the Crepe dress at least once.

Now i have 2 big problems:

1)  Which pattern do i try 1st?

2)  Which fabric do i pair with which pattern?  One of the things i dislike about the Simplicity sundress is the way the princess seams dictate several narrow panels that chop up a pattern, makeing the whole thing look a little kaleidoscopic.  One of the things i like about the Crepe dress is the way you can pair a contrasting belt.

6 fabrics, 2 dress patterns

6 fabrics, 2 dress patterns

I think i like the 2 on the bottom for the Simplicity — something about their whimsy says “sundress” to me:

fabric: numbers, birds

fabric: numbers, birds (Click to see on separate page.)

I think the 2 in the middle will work better for the Crepe because i see them with contrasting belts  (The brick red fabric on the right, by the way, is populated by wee tiny little owls.  Squeeeeee!!!!):

fabric: cream w/ black swirls, brick w/ adorable wee tiny owls

fabric: cream w/ black swirls, brick w/ adorable wee tiny owls (Click to see on separate page.)

I’m really not sure which pattern to use for these 2.  The fabric on the left is a really luscious cranberry with almost a tie-dye variation in the coloring that’s deucedly hard to photograph:

fabric: variegated cranberry, grey & black

fabric: variegated cranberry, grey & black (Click to see on separate page.)

Do feel free to leave comments on the separate pages for these fabric pairings, if’n you got opinions.

  1. I wasn’t so interested in the long-sleeved dress, and i’m glad i never got my hopes up about that one.  When i visited PA last autumn and packed up the rest of my dresses lurking in the back of the closet, i found that the past 20 years have not been so kind to the white material the long dress was made out of.  It’s a white fabric with white flowers printed on it, and the white flowers were no longer white.  I’m not sure if it would be worth it to try dying the fabric an interesting color, because i think the flowers will always be a dingy off-white.  Sigh. Poor dress. []
  2. I’ve never done deliberate stash enhancing.  I’ve always preferred to buy fabric for a project i intend to work on in the very near future.  Any time a cloth has wound up hanging around for longer than a few weeks it’s been because something’s come up to prevent me from sewing.  And frankly?  I find that i don’t really like deliberate stash enhancing.  The longer a cloth sits around un-sewn, the more i second-guess it and start to not like it.  Lesson learned. []
sewing follies, Veterans’ Day edition
chris. | 11 November 2010 | 4:25 pm | cat stories, diary, sewing | Comments closed

It’s Veterans’ Day and i have the day off, so i thought i’d make that skirt i originally intended to make on saturday.

The best laid plans….

Fergus considers the grey corduroy

Fergus considers the grey corduroy

With all the grey thread i have in my supplies, because i rather love grey clothes, you’d think i’d have a grey to match the grey corduroy i brought back from Pennsylvania.  You probably wouldn’t even be surprised if i said i just happened to have a grey zipper on hand.

I was, therefore, quite surprised to learn that this corduroy matches neither my grey thread(s) nor the grey zipper that i (yes) do have on hand.

So much for having a new skirt to wear to this crazyass wedding i’m attending tonight.  Now i need to make a trip to JoAnn, and i don’t have enough time to do that, get ready for this wedding, go downtown to Uwajimaya to buy a bottle of sake as a wedding gift, meet up with Andy in the transit tunnel, and return to the U-District in time to attend said wedding.  Guess i’ll work on the skirt this weekend, then at least i’ll have it done in good time for the super-crazyass wedding i’m attending (and Andy is in) in december.

At least i can rest easy that my new skirt has passed the inspector.

Fergus:  “This fabric is Fergus colored!  I approve this garment!!”