Saturday, August 15, 2009
The 'zipper' as we know and love it today was first used for boots and tobacco products and wasn't introduced into clothing until the late 1930's. It was first introduced to help children dress themselves and then expanded to men's trousers. It's distribution did not become widespread until much later because of the rationing of material's during the Depression though. So a zipper is a great indication of vintage. Vintage zippers will be metal. Nylon and plastic zippers were introduced later on which is what is in the majority of modern clothing.
So! when you are out garage sailing or in a vintage store and you find something with a metal zipper, you're golden! Happy hunting!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
A great way to save when sewing is to shop thrift stores and garage and estate sales. These are great places to salvage the dying art of sewing. Its always interesting what one can find in the zip lock bags full of notions marked 1$ at a thrift shop or what is going out in Grandma's estate sale. Usually these things are a steal because no one else really knows what they are... I've found some great and funky fabrics at thrift stores. I bought some wonderfully awful red and brown and blue small plaid like print fabric that is screaming winter coat at me for about 75 cents a yard!
Another thing to remember is that many things are made out of wonderful fabrics but weren't necessarily made into wonderful things. Take for instance sheets and comforters... large men's shirts... frumpy dresses... bath robes and my personal favorite; curtains. These things all scream at me to be reworked into something magical and one of a kind. Reworking and recycling a thrift store or garage sale find is somewhat easier than starting from scratch because the pattern has already been put together, just a few things need to be rearranged.
The trick to recycled fashion is to have an eye, not just for a good find but to see beyond what is there and seeing what could be there. Its like sculpting. You have to chip away what is there to get to the beauty inside.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
If you are new to sewing go ahead and get the basics:
-A sewing machine. It does not need to be fancy. In fact it will be easier if it's not. Mine is from K-mart or somewhere, a gift from my mother when I was in high school.
-Measuring tape. You are going to need really accurate measurements of yourself.
-Good scissors. Don't skimp on those... I have a pair of lightweight Ghinger shears. Super sharp and light weight means you can cut out an entire pattern with out your arm falling off.
-An iron! It really is important!
-Pins, needles, thread and of course fabric!
Some general tips for patterns
-Measure yourself accurately. Be honest.
-Shop the sales. Patterns go on sale some times a dollar each. Fabrics too! you can get off season stuff really cheap.
-Make sure you get the right size!! this is so important because you can't return patterns!
-Use coupons for things that don't go on sale like notions and bigger or nicer fabric purchases.
That's just a few tips for now! I will have more on other subjects later in the week, like reconstruction and vintage stuff... so much to share! have fun this week!