Sunday, August 24, 2008


Last night I was busy admiring my obi bags and patting myself on the back, when I noticed one of them had a big mistake--I had stupidly forgotten to turn the pocket piece right side out, so when I reached into the pocket, I could feel the raw edges of the seams. Aargh! At least the error means I get to keep this tote, which makes me happy, since I love how it looks on the outside. I'm starting to build up quite a nice collection of defective bags.

To console myself, I made another tote from a mezashi (obi sample fabric) in a similar colorway. This one is just fine--I hope!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obi Bags

I've been working with obi fabrics for the past two days, and I'm enjoying the results. My studio is starting to look like the interior of a craft gallery!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Beloved Unwanted Visitor

Despite my admittedly half-hearted efforts to keep her out, our younger cat frequently insists on keeping me company in my sewing room. Sometimes she finds a spot on the floor from which to observe, but she often makes herself at home on my cutting table, especially if there's a nice comfortable piece of fabric for her to settle upon and shed all over. My lint brush gets a lot of use, and in extreme cases, I have to send my fabrics through another wash cycle to make them usable. Oh well--what can you do with family?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Happy Canada Day, which I'm also declaring Rotary Cutter Safety Day. I was looking forward to some serious sewing time--I hurt my back while I was in Toronto last week and haven't been able to sit or stand comfortably for any reasonable length of time until today, and I was finally feeling up for sewing. After less than fifteen minutes, though, I stupidly managed to cut my left index finger while cutting fabric with a rotary cutter. I did something similar about ten or fifteen years ago, so I guess it's about high time that I got another reminder the hard way to keep my fingers behind the ruler's edge. Now I'm sitting here trying to staunch the bleeding and typing one-handed. Remember--let's be careful out there!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On Interfacing

I grew up using cheap fusible non-woven interfacing. I always hated the stuff, and I avoided using it whenever possible. I hated the way the adhesives stiffened the fabric and made it feel like paper or tagboard, and I hated the pilling that quickly set in on my shirt facings and dress collars. When I noticed that commercially purchased dresses often had collar facings made of the fabric alone, and without any interfacing, I started making my facings the same way, despite advice to the contrary and dire warnings that the fabric would stretch as a result. But I recently bought some high quality, fusible woven interfacing from my favorite local fabric store (Fabricana, with stores in Richmond and Coquitlam, for those of you in the greater Vancouver area), and when making a wristlet purse the other day, I tried the new interfacing on a delicate kimono silk that needed extra strength.

What a difference good interfacing makes! I wish you could actually feel the purse in the photo above. I used a lightweight fusible interfacing that felt like cotton lawn, and it provided great support without destroying the feel of the fabric. The interfacing also added body, which allows the purse to stand on its own more easily. I like the results so much that I'll be using fusible interfacings a lot more often now. I'm a convert!