Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pretty vintage seam bindings!

I've been cleaning in my sewing room, trying again to sort and organize. I've been accumulating rick-rack trims and seam bindings lately. Since I make dog coats, I'm using the binding for the edges on quilted ones. I like to use vintage fabric for them, and the colors are hard to match with todays bindings, not to mention that the modern bias binding is a yucky poly-cotton blend. For the small amount of exposed fabric, the blend shouldn't matter. I'm just an old-fashioned fabric snob, I guess. Anyway, I've been looking at the packages of vintage binding. Boy, there was sure a lot of different brands! A far cry from the one offering available today. I took pictures of some of the older ones. Penneys fabric department must have rocked! They changed their logo at least 5 times! The deco looking package is my favorite Penneys one. I especially like the 'Tailor Bird' graphic. Well, now my cutting table is covered with rick-rack and binding packages. Every time I try to tidy up the place it gets worse. I've got a formal wedding to go to next Saturday, and nothing to wear. Reallyl! I gained weight this last year and need something more dressy than jeans. Shopping is out of the question right now. So I"ve found a pattern, found some fabric to use, now I just need to find some time to sew! I'll show the pattern, and my progress later this week.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Where have all the patterns gone?

What a day! I love Fridays, as it's my get "out of the house and look for patterns" day. Since gas prices went through the roof I've been staying home way more than I used to. On my shopping days I have a regular route of about 5 of my favorite places, and sprinkle in any sales that sound good along the way. I'm not very aggressive but decided to head out around 9-ish. Who needs to be number 103 at a sale. That's when you see the boxes of YOUR stuff that YOU wanted walking out in someone else's hands. I checked the newspaper, craigslist and more to find where the goods are likely to be. Trust me, folks either don't know or don't care anymore about what a estate sale is supposed to be. Two boxes in a garage is not an estate sale. It's a garage sale. So shake it off and move along. Second sale, lots of nice glass and pottery, pretty good prices but nothing else. I've sworn off shipping breakables so there's nothing here for me. Back into the car. Follow garage sale signs way off route, nothing there either. Back on the trail, decide to head to what sounds, from the newspaper's description, like an estate sale. Oh, joy, it IS a real one this time. Found some nice Vogue patterns from the early 60s. Elated, I head on to next one. Dud. By now it's almost 11:30. Head out to my favorite thrift. I swear, they haven't added any new patterns for weeks. Nice place but too crowded today. Buy myself a couple of skirts and leave. Lunch time. Burgerville strawberry smoothie. A liquid lunch for a busy business-person. On to the next thrift. Yuck, I'm not even going there again. Someone is scrawling prices on the pattern covers with green sharpies! What the hell? Why not just a sticker, or a sign posted on the wall with the prices. Maybe they're trying to stymie those pesky ebay sellers. The gal at the counter was online, on ebay, when I walked in. Bad sign. I won't be back there again, even though it's on my route. I drive past the Goodwill that doesn't even keep patterns in stock anymore. Onward to Value Village. They at least have patterns and frequently have different ones. Good least I"m not the only one buying them and so they will keep putting them out. Last stop, almost home. Nothing today, but it's one of my favorite places so I'll be back. Disgusted with the day I've spent driving around with so little to show for it, I stopped for a haircut. At least the day's not a total waste. So I go home. But I've got one final ace up my sleeve.
I posted a "want to buy patterns" online. Was contacted by a guy with his wives old patterns, and arrangements were made for this evening. As it turns out I was in the area earlier today. Ate dinner with visions of the boxes of patterns he was finding in his shed. I took my husband with me because I'm nervous about going on home visits by myself. So we get there at the decided upon time...he's not there. The daughter brought out the zip-loc bag with the 6 old crochet books in it. Hid my disappointment pretty well, paid a dollar for the two books I didn't already have. Got into the car and growled. Vowed to revise my ad. 6 crochet books? I drove 20 miles for patterns and ended up with 2 crochet books? Right. I need to work harder on finding sources for my beloved patterns. But tomorrow's a new day...maybe I'll go to a sale or two in the morning. The search is frustrating but addictive. I'm hooked!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Like She Said!

I just finished reading the newest post on Erin's wonderful 'Dress-A-Day' blog. She was writing about how folks are so reticent to cut and use expensive fabric, thus avoiding the risk of ruining their beautiful fabric and investment. I agree with her about the fear of risk and the potential failure and humiliation. My mother always said "nothing ventured, nothing gained". Was that a Ben Franklin-ism? But she also said " one must suffer to be beautiful" too. She was right on both counts. But I digress. When I started my now-failed skateboard shop, I was encouraged by 2 things I read. One was "God can't drive a parked car". The other was more profound but I've forgotten most of it. Something like the fear of failing was worse that the actual risk and failure. That you must work through the fear and gain from the experience, both good and bad. Well, failure sucked BAD! It was expensive, bad for family relations at the time, and humiliating to boot! But after a year in Hell, I've emerged a different person that I was at the beginning of the entire 9 year experience. I've awakened an actual entrepreneurial spirit that was really missing at the beginning. I've read a ton of books in the last year while avoiding and eventually facing my creditors, and have gained knowledge of myself and the business world that I never knew. So cutting a piece of $45.00 fabric seems like child's play to me now. My one-of-a-kind, no more available vintage fabric, that's another story...but when I have the right pattern and know it fits, I'm going to cut it too! And wear it while working on one of my businesses!