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Fabric Friday: AT Fabric Site Round Up

2 Jan

Apartment Therapy is one of those blogs I skim a lot. Some pretty pictures here and there, but posts I find actually useful are fairly rare. I rent my apartment, but it seems many of the readers and writers of AT may rent, but can treat the property like they own (painting, light construction), which I cannot.

However, this is why I love New Year’s – roundups galore. Like a well organized browsing session, roundups help me find more information more efficiently.

Case in point – Best Fabric Shops: Online

While I prefer shopping for fabric (and yarn and clothing) in person due to my tactile nature, this is a post I will be bookmarking for future reference.

To comment on each site after a brief browse:

  • Amy Butler Design – annoyingly designed site and I couldn’t find where to buy fabric online – only pre made items like bags and bedding.
  • Retro Depot – exactly as the name suggests (includes Amy Butler designs). Very little that blew up my skirt, though, so to speak. Many designs just come across as kitschy – might be good for quilters looking for something different, though.
  • Purl Soho – More of what I like, but the thumbnails are very small, making it harder to browse effectively.
  • Fabric Guru – Now this is more like it! Huge variety, even though the site isn’t the prettiest thing to look at.

I’m a sucker for damask prints.

  • FinnStyle – again, the site design leaves something to be desired, but big, bold prints abound and are oh so lovely:

  • Nearsea Naturals – I’m not stickler for the organic/naturals movement (though if that’s what you like in terms of design, so be it), but the benefit of buying large quantities of fabric by the roll, or getting pre-cut fabric discounts is appealing.

  • Fabric.com – (note AT’s link via their Marketplace is wrong) Very much like an online JoAnn’s to me. Lots of fabric, not a lot that calls to me. They also have other supplies such as yarns and needles for knitting.
  • Lewis & Sheron Textile Co. Online – Nice and easy to browse. But really – why is it most fabric sites look like those pages that come up when you mis-type the address to a popular webpage like Facebook or Google?

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  • FiltzFelt – Though on the expensive side, the site is well designed and easy to maneuver and the products are simple and easy to find. The benefit of dealing in one type of fabric (and a few products made from that fabric).
  • Repeat Fabrics – suffers from the same site design issues as Amy Butler, but the designs are more compelling – though it doesn’t seem like you can order them online. Oh well.

The other item of note is most of the sites seem to sell fabrics good for decor, quilting, or non-wearable items. Aside from Fabric.com, I may still need to visit my local fabric shop for any clothing I’m looking to make in the future.

I wish everyone a wonderful and creative 2010! Happy New Year and Happy 10’s!

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Tutorial for all my peeps in rainy places

18 Dec

How to recover an umbrella:

These umbrellas were pieced to create new designs. Piece the fabric before cutting out the canopy segments.

Double Post to make up for my lack of Posting

9 Oct

Wow – almost a month has flown by already and I haven’t posted. Don’t you love how life just gets away from you sometimes?

The reason for the lack of posting is that I left my 9-5 and have become a housewife temporarily. This is a good thing and both my husband and I are happy with the decision. Ultimately I hope to get the house in order (which is has seriously gotten out of – if it was ever in order) and then try and focus and see if my craftiness might be able to be a career for me. I’m working on my chain making skills and also have a whole new book of historical corset deisgns (and as everyone tells me, Corset making is big money…we’ll see but they can be expensive).

I also have an awesome Halloween costume to work on, but that has to wait until after the in-laws come visit next Saturday, since cleaning is the priority until then.

So, what do I have to share with you today? Well…

  • Etsy lovers, meet the dark side “Regretsy“. WARNING: may contain mature content.
  • I’ve seen so many beautiful (but expensive) clutches over at Etsy lately. Surely, I could learn to make my own using awesome fabric I find. Sure enough, I did.

That’s all for today. I do have one small project I will document and hopefully post in the next week. Mainly, my cat Jayne (it’s a boy cat – think Firefly), has fallen in love with the slightly broken papazaan stool chilling out in my living room. It is rare he finds cat beds he likes, so I’d like to keep the stool, but make it a little more modern living room friendly. Not 100% sure how I’m going to accomplish that yet, but I have some ideas. Plus I don’t want it to fully break while he’s sleeping on it, so I need to fortify it as well.

Stay tuned!

Pie Bites and Dressform Fun

10 Aug

So this weekend was productive, despite a complete loss of Saturday and Sunday morning due to an overnight stay in Seattle. Unfortunately, one of my projects did not turn out as well as I would have hoped.

Project #1 – Finishing my dress form.

A couple of months ago, I purchased this dressform from Jo-Ann’s when it was seriously marked down (over half off when all was said and done). Aside from non-adjustable forms (which are crazy expensive – especially if you et one made to fit), this is probably the best dress form on the market.

However, I had two major issues with the form. I am fairly busty and the form is not. I also have a tummy, which I would like to take into account when making clothing, and the adjustable form really only expands out, not taking into account some areas being poofier than others.

So, being the Cheeky Craft Chick that I am, I went and got myself some batting. Then I took one of my bras (which the underwire had just torn through, making it perfect to donate for this project), and put it on the dressform. I stuffed the chest of the bra to fill out the difference and then added some batting to the stomach and rear end of the form, wrapping it into place with some thin quilt batting. Very often (in costume shops ’round the world), this is how a padded dress form is left to be used.

However, I am a little OCD.

So, to make the dress form look more presentable, I used some old blue cotton fabric I had leftover from my wedding two years ago and made a cover for the newly shaped form. Basically, this simply consisted of draping the fabric on the form, and creating seams and darts where necessary – much in the same way you would design a garment via draping.

Then I marked one of the side seams, unpinned it, and removed it from the form. I serged all the newly created seams together, leaving that large side seam unsewn (well, I serged the edges, but did not sew the fabric together).

Then I replaced the fabric sheath onto the form and sewed it onto the form by sewing that last seam together. the result was a fairly visually pleasing, and Cheeky Craft Chick shaped dressform.

Project #2 – Pie Bites

This project went fairly smoothly, though I was disappointed in the bites themselves, but I’ll expand on that later.

First things first. I love my baking mat.

I only just recently purchased this item and this was my first project with it. Completely worth it. It is larger than a cutting board and easier to clean then the counters (not to mention I just feel a little weird kneading and rolling dough on the counter directly). It’s also silicone, meaning if you wanted to just toss it on a cookie sheet (well, I’d need a bigger cookie sheet), then you can. It also held the flour beautifully and just was a charm to work on.

However, I think I need to invest in a food processor. The “Martha Stewart Foolproof Pie Crust Recipe” probably would have seemed at least a little closer to the cinch it was purported to be if I had the right equipment. Instead, I used my handy substitute:

Which was a real pain in the tuckus and took absolutely forever to do it’s job. I am now convinced I need a food processor.

But I got the pie crust fixed and rolled out. And I cut all the little circles I could:

And laid them out in neat little rows:

And topped them with 4 varieties of sweet goodies:

(as you can see, the sweet goodies tried to escape, but I managed to keep it mostly neat for the picture – a major accomplishment for me)

Then I topped them with another pie crust circle, molded the two pieces together, brushed ‘em with some egg whites and let ‘em bake for about 20 minutes.

And they came out looking like this:

And they smelled so lovely. So I let them cool a bit and popped a few into a bowl for my husband and I to try.

Note: I generally do not like pie. Jeremy was a crucial player as he does, in fact, like pie – so he can tell me if it’s good on the pie scale.

Both of us concluded they had potential, but had waaaaay too much crust to fruit ratio. Kinda like eating a dry biscuit with too little jam. Not a huge fan.

Which means, I’m certainly not going to send them to other people as thank you gifts.

Which means, I still need to think of a thank you gift. *sigh*

However, the pie bite is not completely dead in my book. I am contemplating securing some puff pastry (from the store if lazy, from a Julia Child cookbook if I feel inspired) and using that as the wrapping for the sweet, fruity yumminess.

But first, I have a great idea for a skirt I’m hoping to explore next weekend as my dressform is ready for work.

Stay Tuned! And happy crafting!