And, Your Favourite Fabric IS….(ratta tatta tatta tat – that’s a drum roll, not machine gun fire)

Fabric Fabrics Everywhere

Ahhh, to keep you in suspense for just a moment longer!  I must tell you that my blog has been short-listed on BurdaStyle’s 50 Best Bloggers for Sewing EnthusiastsTop 50 Blogs for Sewing Enthusiasts ButtonI really couldn’t believe it when I saw it!  Heck, I’m still flabbergasted when even one person enjoys my ‘style’ and comments on my posts.  🙂  I’ve no idea how Burda makes selections for this list or if somebody nominated my blog, but, if so, thank you very much!  I appreciate every person who drops by the ol’ blog, leaves a thoughtful remark, shares some wisdom, puts a smile on my face or offers up terrific advice!  We really do have a pretty special community here in the wonderful world of sewing.

There are definitely some fantastic blogs on the list, I am honoured to be in such great company (although a few of my personal favourites are noticeably missing).  You can go here to see who is on the list and vote for Gjeometry or any of your favourite blogs on the list.  Voting ends Monday, September 8th.

OK, now CHART TIME!

Favourite Fabric to Sew Chart

KatsMerinoWoolPapercutPatternsCopellia

Kat in her cosy Merino Wool Papercut Patterns Coppelia wrap top

Results were tabulated from this post, and the winning fabric, pulling ahead by just a thread (hahahaha) is…. 100% cotton!  This included:

  • lightweight quilting cotton
  • voile
  • batiste
  • lawn

Coming in a close second was wool!  This included:

  • wool suiting
  • merino wool
  • wool crepe
Morgan's Lovely Linen Livery

Morgan’s Lovely Linen Livery

 

Tied for third place was stretch cotton sateen (including stretch textured Jacquard) and linen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some other fun facts that we discovered:

Favourite Fabric to Wear Least Favourite Fabric to sew wear table

Favourite quote (by Rebecca):  “Cutting silk is like trying to cut water.” 🙂

Now, if you are new to my blog and/or did not get a chance to vote in this fabulously scientific survey, fear not!!  You can still add your favourite fabrics to sew and/or wear in the comments section and we can update the charts.  CHART!!  They do not have to be one of the already listed fabrics.Kitty has the technology

What Do Some Of These Terms Mean? 

Most of the fabrics are pretty self-explanatory, but here’s some info on a few of the  items.

Jacquard:

Jac·quard, Joseph Marie 1752-1834 was the French inventor of the Jacquard loom (1801), the first automatic loom able to weave complex patterns.
1. A fabric with an intricately woven pattern.
2. A special loom or the method employed in the weaving of a figured fabric.

Jacquard Fabric and Brooke's Fabulous Stretch Jacquard Trousers

Jacquard Fabric Swatch and Brooke’s Fabulous Stretch Jacquard Trousers

Jacquard weave:  a fabric in which the design is incorporated into the weave instead of being printed or dyed on.

Viscose or Rayon?

Well, actually, viscose and rayon are not entirely the same thing.  They are manufactured with the same process but different materials are used for each.  While rayon can be made with cellulose from a variety of plants, viscose is made from wood pulp or cotton linter.  More information can be found here:  Difference Between Rayon and Viscose.

Twill

Twill is a type of weave that produces a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs or lines (think herringbone).  This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads.  Examples of twill are denim, chino, gabardine and tweed.

Twill and Herringbone Swatches.

Twill and Herringbone Swatches.

Challis

Challis is a soft, lightweight, usually printed, woven fabric, originally a silk-and-wool blend.  It is often made from a single fibre, such as cotton, silk or wool, or from human-made fabrics such as rayon.

Challis Fabrics from my Stash (what to sew with them?) and Anne's Beautiful Challis Summer Frock

Challis Fabrics from my Stash (what to sew with them?) and Anne’s Beautiful Challis Summer Frock

ITY Knits

ITY stands for Interlock Twist Yarn, which gives the fabric a natural elasticity and is usually made from polyester.  The crepe textures can have a soft feel, but the smoother ones have a tendency to feel a bit ‘plastic-y’.  Skipped stitches can result and a proper (stretch or microtex) needle is key.

 

Till next time!

Top 50 Blogs for Sewing Enthusiasts Button

 

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I said I’d do it and I did!! Tank top version of the Burda Horse Dress. (Plus some Questions for Y’all!)

Burda 7221 tanktop side view

Well, since barely anybody else has sewn this pattern (Burda Style 7221), I thought it only appropriate that I sew it twice (first time sewing a pattern more than once!)  I made version B, the tank top.  To see version C, the dress, go here.

Burda 7221 tanktop front view

The upper bodice is a lightweight quilting cotton and the lower bodice is a striped silk in different textures that I purchased at a thrift/op shop.  I loves me a thrift store and always find such sewing treasures there!  (I’ll be writing a blog post on my haberdashery and sewing book thrift-ed finds soon).

Burda 7221 tank top sideview

I used the same front and back upper bodice pattern pieces that I used for the dress version.  I had already altered them before sewing the dress, so I ‘knew’ that it would fit.  Right??  WRONG.

When I sewed the upper part in the quilting cotton, I did not take into account that it had a vastly different drape, hand and thickness than the white rayon-blend fabric used for the dress, and the fact that this version was sleeveless.  And… it did not fit.  At all.  The neckline gaped considerably in the front and back (forgot to snap a pic, sorry).  Thing is, I had already completely sewn the entire top (and it is self-lined) so altering it became something of a creativity contest.

Burda 7221 tanktop back view

This is what I did:  I added a long dart in the centre front and centre back, ending at the seam that attaches the lower bodice.  Then, I pressed the darts open, not to the side (without cutting them first, so that everything was still finished off inside).  I then hand sewed the top of the darts to the bodice.  It worked beautifully!  Who knew? Although, it may  have slightly altered the straightness of the empire waist seam. Since the darts extend the length of the upper bodice pieces, it looks like a 2-piece bodice with CF and CB seams.

Darts Added into Centre Front & Centre Back and Pressed Open

I sewed darts into the CF and CB, then pressed them open. How would YOU fix this fitting issue?

What would you have done?  What would the sewcialists / spoolettes do?  (#wwtsd)  (Besides, of course, the obvious of re-fitting before sewing).

Hi Kitty!  "Off to my catnip garden..."

Hi Kitty! “Off to my catnip garden…”

One thing that did not go unnoticed was how easy it was to sew with 100% quilting cotton.  It’s such a breeze to put together, but obviously doesn’t have the same drape and qualities that you might want in your finished garment.  This poses more questions for you:

  1. What is your favourite fabric to sew with and why? 
  2. What is your favourite fabric to wear and why?  (They can be the same fabric or not).

I’d love to get an idea of who is sewing with what, discover any fabrics I may be missing out on and perhaps I will even generate a chart (CHART!!!!) with the results.  Thanks for playing!

Oooooh, I get MUCH better cellphone reception if I move my giant hat like this!!

OOOOOOOH, I GET MUCH BETTER CELL PHONE RECEPTION IF I MOVE MY GIANT HAT LIKE THIS!!

 

Easy Embellished Scarf (with yo-yos)

I found some fabric in the ‘ends’ bin that I had to have.  The labels in these bins always say “100% unknown fibre content” which makes them all sound so mysterious and exotic, but it is very likely 100% polyester satin.  However, one side is a smooth pale green and the other side is a pale textured aqua with a sheen and it could very easily pass for dupioni silk!

Scarf

I didn’t have a lot of the fabric and wanted to showcase both sides of it, so I made a scarf.  I cut a rectangle, double folded the hems on all four sides, about 0.5 cm (quarter-inch) and added some machine embroidery along both short ends.  My machine is not fancy in this regard but there are a few options to choose from.  If you look closely, you can see the one I selected consists of tiny rectangles joined together to form a herringbone line.  herringbone embroiderySince the material is thin, the larger satin stitches I tried on it made it pucker too much.  I have since bought water-soluble backing to use in future machine embroidery projects to see if that makes a difference.

I added some fabric yo-yo’s (remember yo-yo’s?) as embellishment in different sizes, using both sides of the fabric.  I also sewed on some matte aqua buttons in the centres of some of the yo-yo’s. scarf yo-yo embellishments On the opposite sides of the yo-yo’s, I attached some coordinating buttons.  This was to provide some stability as well as disguise the thread used to attach the yo-yos to the scarf.  I wasn’t sure how else to do this, so I chose the buttons.  If you know of an alternative method, please let me know.  Scarf backside with label

And, voila, a scarf!  I think it makes polyester look far more elegant than it probably should.