Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Just a little sweatshop sewing on Labor Day

I had the day off (Labor Day) from work but I spent most of it laboring in my own sweatshop at the sewing machine and cutting table. There was actual sweating too because it was in the 90's all weekend and we don't have a/c. It was hotter on Saturday but I escaped to an air-conditioned car and a slightly cooler location to do some fiber shopping. More on that later.

First, I am happy to announce that PWAP is almost done! The last piece is cut out and ready to stitch and since I've already made the pattern before, it should go together quickly. Should.

Below is a picture of the first two pieces, the Jalie 2449 crossover top and skirt #126 from the July 2007 Burda World of Fashion magazine. The fabric is a poly-lycra knit.

Burda WOF and Jalie

Here is top #116 from the November 2006 issue of Burda WOF. The fabric is a bamboo knit from Hancock Fabrics:

Burda WOF 11/06 #116

And this is the Hot Patterns Geisha Girl jacket (HP108) made up in a cotton thermal (or waffle) knit:

Hot Patterns Geisha Girl Jacket

I finished the Geisha jacket and the Burda top this weekend. I thought the jacket would be more difficult to sew since it was from a pattern company I'd never used before and have heard mixed reviews about their patterns. But the jacket was easy compared to the Burda top. You can't really tell from the photo, but the jacket is really comfortable and soft. I like it a lot. You wouldn't think the Burda top would be a pain to sew, but it was for me. Partly because the instructions were very minimal, which is usual for a Burda WOF pattern, but also because there is a 90 degree seam between the shoulder and neck and the fabric I was using (bamboo) was very slippy. I like the top but I'm not so pleased with the diagonal drag lines on the front. Judging from the pictures on patternreview, everyone who's made this ends up with those drag lines.

I'll post reviews here and on patternreview later. I'd like to write them up before my trip so I can remember the details, but I'm at work all week and still have one more top to sew. Plus I want to sew a nightshirt. And then there's packing and last minute stuff to do. We'll see...

So about the fiber shopping. I bought a loom! It's a Schacht rigid heddle table loom like the one shown in this picture I lifted from the internet:

Spinnity and I had spinning lessons on Saturday morning and then we decided to drive up to Berkeley to check out a fiber/dying shop that was closing. This past weekend was their final sale but fortunately for us they still had some stuff left over. We sufficiently reduced their remaining stock of merino/tencel, merino/tussah, silk (ahhhh!), and merino rovings in lovely dyed colors. We also added some books to our libraries. And I bought a loom! My husband and I have been talking about getting one and while it would be nice to start out with a big, fancy loom to do big, beautiful cloths, I think this table loom will be plenty challenging for quite some time. It's the 20" model and should be fine for placemats, runners, scarves, belts, etc. The price was right and the owner also threw in a book on rigid heddle looms (it's an Ashford book, but the same principles apply). For now it's sitting on our dining room table while we are busy getting ready for our trip. I am anxious to try it out but I know nothing about weaving, so I have a bit of a learning curve ahead of me.

Meanwhile, my spinning is improving. My lesson went well but again, with all the sewing and trip preparations coming up, I have had no time to devote to it.


  1. Wow! Your sweatshopping efforts look fantastic - I love everything you made.

  2. Simply beautiful! Well done!