On August 17, Bay Area Sewists held a meetup at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley. The second floor, where we met, is where the store holds its many sewing and crafts classes. It’s also where you’ll find many sale fabrics (50% off!). This was one of our smaller groups; we were limited to 21 RSVPs because of space.
I had been trying to hold a meetup at this store for a while but they have so many classes on the weekends, it was a challenge to find a block of time to hold a meetup. But regardless of where we meet, Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics gives Bay Area Sewists a 20 percent discount on our meetup days, which is really wonderful!
The topic for this meetup was fabric choices – discussing fabrics we’ve used to make garments and showing what we’ve made – successes and failures. Parish brought a couple of things she’s made, including a dress made of a pale turquoise fabric with large white polka dots, which she considers a fail because it reminds her too much of Minnie Mouse. (Here’s a plush Minnie Mouse to give you an idea of how Parish felt – though her dress’s white dots weren’t that big.) Needless to say, the scale of the dots didn’t work for Parish. Members asked if maybe she could use the bodice and change the skirt but she didn’t think that would help. She’s never worn the dress.
Lindsay made the Polly Top, which is a free pattern from By Hand London. She said it was easy to make. The curve of the front inset”was a bit fiddly” but once that was in, it was easy. Here’s the image from By Hand London’s website:
Margarita bikes to work so she only wants to make things she can wear on a bicycle. So for her, skirts are out, as are tops with low necklines. She loves cotton knit fabric but after learning about the negative impact of creating cotton fabric, she doesn’t want to buy cotton knits. So now she goes to thrift stores and buys large men’s long-sleeved t-shirts to make her own knit tops. She made some great tops from those repurposed knits. [Check out this site Make Do and Mend, if you want to read about the overconsumption of clothes and the Impact on the Environment and the Impact on Workers.]
I was really interested in what folks had to say so I kept forgetting to take photos. The photos below are just a few of the Bay Area Sewists members who had plenty of interesting experiences to discuss.
In this photo Dorothy is talking about a costume she’s busy making from a pattern by Sense & Sensibility Patterns. It was quite elaborate with lots of cording. She brought the bodice to show where she is on it.
And here’s the pattern envelope.
Ali wore a skirt she made from fabric she got at a Bay Area Sewists fabric swap! She brought a few of the patterns and fabrics she’s considering.
Angela brought some pleated fabric, asking members what will happen to the pleats if she were to wash the fabric. She was assured that if she washed it the pleats would stay – just don’t put it in the dryer. 😉
Angela also has this upholstery fabric, which she’s thinking could be a coat. She also wondered how do clean this fabric. Dorothy pointed that that if it’s a coat, it won’t need to be washed very often. Dorothy also mentioned a trick she learned about refreshing a garment – lightly spritz with one part water and one part vodka. She says the San Francisco Opera does this with musty costumes.
Annamarie brought a couple of things made with some colorful fabrics, including this velvet wall hanging, which became the main fabric for this top with kimono sleeves accented with this metallic gold fabric. The waist tie (in her right hand) made from the same gold fabric of the sleeve edging. Annamarie suggested this meetup topic earlier this year at our first fitting meetup. She doesn’t pay attention to using suggested fabrics and likes the challenge of making different fabrics work with a pattern.
Sara made the dress she’s wearing – it’s the Moneta from Colette Patterns.
I brought a partially sewn jacket made from a beautiful red wool crepe that I got from Britex Fabrics. I’m not happy with the seams in the middle so I stopped working on it a couple of years ago. I should have used a fabric that had more structure to it. The advice I got from members was to try a good pressing with a clapper – or maybe cut a strip of the same fabric to go over that seam. I need a clapper and then if that works, maybe I’ll finally sew in the sleeves (once I remember where I put them!)
Bay Area Sewists members get a 20% discount at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics on meetup days. Below Lindsay and Allison (in striped tee) look at fabric. in the background you’ll see Melizza’s hubby and son standing in the entrance. 😉
Do you have any fabric care tips to share? Or any other suggestions for what to do with my red crepe jacket?