Doupioni–friend or foe?

Doupioni

Doupioni.  Dupioni, Douppioni, Douppione, Doppione.  All the variations of spelling mean the same thing–Double.  Doupioni Silk threads are spun from silk cocoons that were spun too close together.  This filament is usually from cultivated silk due to overcrowding.  In the wild, silk worms have lots of room to spread out, so double cocoons rarely happen.  When the filaments are un-spun from the cocoons, there are thicker slubs where the cocoons crossed over.  That’s the technical portion of the filaments.  On to the technical portion of the fabric. The slubs are structurally weaker than the other silk filaments.  For this reason,

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Crepe de Chine

crepe de chine

We already discussed Crepe, but how is Crepe de Chine difference from Crepe?  Obviously there is a difference, words matter, and they each carry a unique name.  Surprisingly, Julie Parker was not as helpful as usual, listing the major difference between the two as Crepe de Chine is French for Crepe from China.  But good old Fairchild was supremely helpful (p. 157): “A fine, lightweight, plain weave silk fabric woven with a silk warp and a crepe-twist silk filling alternating 2s-2z…more ends than picks per inch.” Translation:  There are more warp threads, which hold the tension on the loom, than there

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Make Your Own Dress Patterns

Make Dress Patterns Review

So this is a brief review of Make Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis.  I honestly don’t even remember how this book came on to my radar to begin with.  It’s not new. It was published with copyrights in 1985.  Even so it is solidly written.  It covers basic geometric shapes, darting, shaping, slopers, and style techniques. And one might look at this book and assume it is dated, but the pattern blocks are solid and the instructions are clearly written and detailed.  And the designs don’t LOOK dated.  They look timeless and elegant, with design details that

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To Make a Pattern

to make a pattern

Ok, this is not as horribly bad as I thought it would be.  I mean, it’s not easy.  Or maybe it would be if I had majored in fashion design.  I’m basically using my 30 years sewing experience in sewing to make a pattern. And then I have to expand that pattern in to multiple sizes.  Again, something one would not think was difficult.  But judging by several pattern companies I have tried to work with before, where in the patterns did NOT size up well, this is the part that scares me.  Not to the point I’m unwilling to

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Patterning

Patterning...The Tome

The easy part of pattern making is knowing that I can’t draw a straight line.  Seriously.  Even with a ruler, my lines tend to veer off page.  Which means patterning for me is finding a good program that won’t break the bank.  Not actually as easy as one might think.  There are A LOT of good programs out there.  All offer excellent packages, with excellent options.  Most are over $1,000.  Which breaks the bank for me. Burda University did offer an excellent class on pattern drafting using Adobe Illustrator.  Which was my introduction to Adobe Illustrator.  And it’s a lesson

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China Silk

Processing China Silk, painted on silk

Ahhh China Silk.  How it all began.  5500 years ago, the secrets of silk were discovered in China and once the cocoon unraveled, China began weaving it.  The result was the original, plain weave, one over one under, China Silk.  Soft and lightweight, easy to work with, pleats like a dream, with a fine hand, this alluringly flowing fabric is usually found in 5mm to 10mm, but can be woven in any weight. The ever fabulous Fairchild (p. 119) provides the following definitions for China Silk: 1. A plain weave, lustrous, lightweight, very soft silk fabric produced in China and Japan

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Screen 1

Screen 1

Learning to use the Baby Lock Destiny II is actually fairly simple.  I’m not JUST using it for the camera, and I have figured out the basics of threading, winding a bobbin, changing needles and presser foots (feet?), and embroidery functions.  The frighteningly long manual is another kettle of fish.  To quote Beetlejuice, it’s like reading stereo instructions. Continuing on with how the manual is laid out, I start of The Machine and follow the little pictures in the manual to get to machine setting Screen 1.  Then it gets a little more convoluted, as the instructions included on screen

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Frixion Pens–Not quite invisible ink

Frixion pens...They Rock!

Almost a year ago, my mom gave me a pack of Frixion pens.  And she was very excited because if you mark fabric with the Frixion pens, then iron over the mark, the mark disappears.  This is SO COOL!  No more tracing paper!  No more wheels leaving pin pricks in your fabric!  No more uneven lines from the combination of wheel and paper!  I loved my Frixion pens instantly. So I used my Frixion pens pretty heavily on all my projects.  In May I taught my Care and Feeding of Silk Class at West Kingdom’s Golden Beltane.  And one of

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The Manual

The Manual

Mother of God!  The Baby Lock Destiny II is a thing of beauty, a modern marvel that does more things than one would think, requiring an instruction manual that is 414 pages long.  FOUR HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN PAGES!  I was able to determine the basic sewing functions very quickly (like, the instructions are literally on the screen quickly).  However, I decided that to really maximize the glory that is this machine, I’d take it slow.  I would work my way through the manual one function at a time.  It was going to be one page at a time, but at 414

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Baby Lock Destiny II

Baby Lock Destiny 2

Following Costume College 2016, I took more of a hiatus than intended while I took care of some back of house stuff.  Inventory, website maintenance, storage, vending contracts… This all culminated with a birthday embroidery workshop weekend featuring the Baby Lock Valiant (I did NOT buy this machine…) The event was hosted by local Baby Lock vendor, A1 Vacuum and Sewing, which is co-owned by Peter, Patrick, and Jeanne.  Now, my mom has been raving about Peter for years.  And apparently, she is not the only one, as hoards of ladies descended upon Peter en masse when he finally made his

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