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Inside Molly’s Head, April 2016

April 27, 2016
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Must be the spring warm up, it feels like the pace of interesting things happening has picked up.

  • I started listening to the podcast Conscious Chatter and while I don’t consider myself extremely consumeristic/wasteful, I think I could do better. And it must be trickling into the main stream because NPR has picked it up a bit.
  • Will clothing subscription services end fast fashion? It’s not something I personally would do, but for people that shop a lot this seems like a really cool idea.
  • A history of DMC, the embroidery thread company, parts I and II. Of all the embroidery threads/flosses I’ve tried so far, DMC is my favorite, which I guess makes sense since they’ve had a little while to perfect what they’re doing. On a tangent thought, my fascination with this reminds me that apparently it’s a thing for millennials (me) to like companies more when they have a perceived legacy. But DMC has both history and quality, so it doesn’t bother me too much if I’m falling into stereotypes of my generation.
  • Don’t glue anything without this handy reference chart.
  • Who and what gets printed on money has been making headlines in the US recently, mainly because our money changes very slowly. The Smithsonian wrote recently about the depiction of ordinary women on money and the ancient empresses on Byzantium coins. I am very happy to hear that Harriet Tubman will be on our $20 someday, but it’s kindof funny to me that, because of a Broadway musical, people were lobbying the Treasury Dept not to get rid of Hamilton. Maybe he was an awesome guy, from what I know off the top of my head he did turn into an American hero, I haven’t seen or heard the musical though.
  • If you’re into historical clothing or costuming at all, the FIDM Museum blog is really cool.
  • And on a related note, The Costume Vault blog does really great, in depth reviews of movie costumes with discussions of inspirations and historical accuracy, where applicable.
  • Street style isn’t really street style anymore. This and a few other articles (on Man Repeller, the Cut, and Tom & Lorenzo) make me think that current fashion styles are going to shift soon, like everyone is getting bored with normal. At least in the fashion world, which means it will take 2-3 years for those ideas to hit my part of the world. This could also mesh in the with the slow realization that the fashion industry needs to change in general.
  • Side note: are hem lines dropping? And is it related to the global recession like it was in the 1930s? I don’t think middie skirts look so great, but maybe it’ll be common place in 5 years. I didn’t think skinny pants looked good 5-7 years ago either, so what do I know.
  • An interview with Marimekko’s creative director.
  • Why aren’t designers trying harder to update and appeal to (actually) powerful women – i.e. HRC not Kardashian. Although, personally, I think HRC is doing great in the wardrobe department.
  • This isn’t much of an article, but I love scifi fashion so the slideshow is worth a look. If only the met’s fashion exhibits traveled, that would be awesome to see.

 

This was 4 weeks ago:

Just a little bit of snow #tundralife

A photo posted by Molly Pruess (@mtoferet) on

 

This is last week:

Trouble in the making #spotthecat #catsonleashes

A photo posted by Molly Pruess (@mtoferet) on

 

Don’t you just love spring*

~Molly

Let’s Do the Twist

April 13, 2016

I think there’s only about 2 designs in each Drape Drape book that are wearable in my everyday life, but they’re so cool and interesting and different. This is kindof a test garment to see if the size I picked fit and because I have a more cherished knit I want to try next.

DrapeDrape2-4(3)

Pattern: Drape Drape 2 by Hisako Sato, No. 4 One-piece scoop neck asymmetrical top

Fabric: Polyester ITY(?), my mom bought this as the SR Harris warehouse store and gave me the leftovers after she made a top because it’s so wide. I still have a good chunk of it left too. Not my favorite colors, but I like the cityscape-ish print that ends up looking even more abstract on this shirt.

DrapeDrape2-4(1)

DrapeDrape2-4(4)

Design Likes/Dislikes: It’s a little weird that the sleeves are slightly different lengths and the right sleeve not being straight across feels odd. But the side drape is so interesting and the whole thing is very comfortable.

Sizing and Fit: Size L, sizing is probably the biggest downfall for the Drape Drape series because it really limits who can easily make these patterns. If I’m a size large and there’s only one size bigger being offered, that’s going to deter a ton of people, I know I wouldn’t bother. And the flat pattern shapes are so weird it might be difficult to modify.

DrapeDrape2-4(2)

DrapeDrape2-4(5)

Changes: I shortened the neck binding and the left sleeve to try to match the right sleeve better.

For Next Time: Definitely going to make the neckline higher, not only am I forced to wear a tank top with it right now but it kept shifting throughout the day because the neck just felt too big.

~Molly

Molly of Many Hobbies

April 6, 2016
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The main point of this post is I’m just showing off a recent painting I made, it has nothing to do with sewing, I just felt the urge to paint (I decided my living room didn’t have enough on the walls too).

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But first I want to talk about how I got so many hobbies. My sister’s and I were always doing creative activities when we were little, it was probably my mom’s way to distract us for a couple hours before smart phones and tablets existed. We painted, drew, built lego cities, made tiny clay sculptures (often off food to go in our doll houses), made barbie clothes, etc. I think in general we’re a pretty creative family (although I’ve recently realized I am extremely uncreative when it comes to cooking, it just doesn’t click for me). I kept painting and sewing all through high school and college, but the painting slowed down over time. My mom and sister’s houses have plenty of Molly paintings hung up, but I actually don’t have too many in my house.

We got a new couch in January and our living room is feeling extremely “adult”, but now I’m noticing that it still feels empty because there isn’t too much on the walls. Getting to the point, here is my first addition to the walls this year:

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This is the actual room, with a few chairs in different places

This is the actual room, with a few chairs in different places

I’m currently in an archival mood because I’ve been collecting old family photos for a slideshow for an upcoming family reunion. I think I’m going to try to paint my grandma’s sewing room because I always loved that room.

~Molly

Goodbye, Hancock, we will miss you

April 2, 2016
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Those of you outside the U.S. probably don’t know what Hancock Fabric is but it has gone bankrupt for a second time in a decade and this time it’s closing down for good. This will leave so many more small communities with no fabric store at all. Sewing might be having a resurgence in your neck of the woods, but in the central U.S. it’s looking a little sad right now.

Not a very good picture, but I snapped it while walking up to one of the first stores to close this year

Not a very good picture, but I snapped it while walking up to one of the first stores to close this year

Hancock is a fabric and craft chain that originated in 1957 in Tulepo, Mississippi. I think they might have only existed in the midwest and central U.S., but I’m not sure. In many cases, these closings cut access to fabric (in person) by at least half because Joann and Hobby Lobby will be the only chain stores left (and I don’t like either of them for various reasons).

The people who worked at Hancock actually new how to sew and they could give advice on nearly anything. Unfortunately their fabric selection has been hit or miss the last 10 years, only very recently did it seem to get better. And they probably had too many sales, so it was almost silly to go if you didn’t have the current coupon (because there always was one).

Having lived in smaller towns before, I just know how hard this is going to make it to buy patterns and apparel fabric. Even quilting stores can be far and few between. I live in a large city now, but I can count the number of fabric stores on my fingers. I’m going to do my best from now on to support those smaller, independent stores – in person and online – even if it means I have to drive 30 minutes up to St. Paul or pay shipping costs. Here’s a list of the local MN stores that I am aware of, if anyone knows more (quilting stores included) please add them in the comments:

  • SR Harris, warehouse store at 8865 Zealand Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
    • This is very short notice but the MinneSEWta group is going there today – here’s the link to the event details
  • SR Harris, smaller non-warehouse store at 3715 MN-13, Burnsville, MN 55337
    • Both SRH locations are definitely the place to go for great priced but good quality fabric
  • Treadle Yard Goods at 1338 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
    • Super knowledgeable, but they changed ownership recently so I hope everything’s going OK
  • Crafty Planet at 2833 Johnson St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
    • Very fun, mostly quilting/crafting/kid clothes oriented fabric
  • Always Mod at 905 Decatur Ave N, Golden Valley, MN 55427
    • More of a modern/Scandinavian interior decor store, but I’m pretty sure they still sell Marimekko fabric
  • Ginny’s Fine Fabrics & Support Group at 211 S Broadway, Rochester, MN 55904
    • I’ve never been here but I hear good things

I know there must be more quilt stores at least, but I don’t know them (I’m kindof surprised there aren’t more quilt stores in the Twin Cities metro area). Maybe our next sewing meet up should be at a local store.

I’ll miss having Hancock around, it was kindof a safety net in a way. I’ll miss the pattern sales the most though, that will be the only thing I’ll go to Joann for probably.

Do you have a favorite local store? Will the closing of Hancock affect you?

~Molly

Inside Molly’s Head, March 2016

March 27, 2016
by

Some random interesting things I’ve read in the last couple months:

  • A look at the use of crafts in activism part 1 and 2
  • And on a similar note, from the Smithsonian, a look at crafts in war and political participation
  • You cannot help but smile at this awesome gymnastics routine
  • Designer spacesuits, ’cause you gotta look good in the vast emptiness of outer space
  • This is probably only funny to a very specific group of people… who like star trek and sewing…
  • I don’t really keep up with current music much, it just moves too fast and there’s too much of it – I’d rather other people just show me what’s good. But I really don’t get Kanye and his “clothing line.” I just don’t think you can call everything you do art just because you feel like it
  • I don’t post about my dolls anymore (just got bored with posting, I still like toys plenty), but I do follow a lot of doll/action figure blogs. There is a really awesome looking Barbie exhibit going on right now in Paris that I’m pretty bummed isn’t near me. Here are a few more images.
  • Could Google’s conductive fabric be the future of clothing and tech? Looks pretty neat at least
  • I don’t have kids yet, so I can’t say what toys I’d buy for a daughter or son, but I liked the points made in this essay. And frankly, since I just love toys, I’ll probably end up buying a bit of everything for whoever my future kid is.
  • The current status of cotton growers in the U.S. doesn’t look too good right now

~Molly

Kate and Rose and Lisette

March 11, 2016

More scrap bust sewing with added embroidery!

EmbroideredLisette2

Pattern: Butterick 6182 (a Lisette pattern) with Kate and Rose embroidery pattern Bewitching Botanicals

Fabric: Chambray and seersucker, and a variegated pearl cotton thread for the embroidery.

EmbroideredLisette4

Design Likes/Dislikes: The top is a little short as designed, and the side view is very unshaped, but the sleeves fit really nicely. They could easily have been too tight because they’re kindof kimono like. The center dart thing is also very cool.

EmbroideredLisette1

Sizing and Fit: I made a size 10

Changes: I made the top a little longer. I had to piece the back several times to get eek it out of the chambray but it worked out. And obviously I embroidered down one side of the front. To get the embroidery placed the way I wanted I sewed the center and shoulder seams first then embroidered. I put some interfacing on the back of the embroidery after I was done so it wouldn’t catch or itch.

EmbroideredLisette7

You can see in progress photos of the embroidery on instagram 1, 2, and 3

For Next Time: This is a nice casual top and I’ll definitely keep it in mind, but I can’t say I need to make it again immediately.

~Molly

Renerick

March 2, 2016

Or a Butterfrew? I mashed up my favorite fitting t-shirt pattern with the Renfrew’s awesome hem bands and collar and I want 50 more of these shirts. My first Renfrew was great for a while, though I think it was a little tight, but it died because of the polyester fabric.

StripeRenfrew3

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew view C + Butterick 4198

Fabric: Rayon lycra (body and hem bands), cotton lycra (sleeves), and mystery poly-cotton (collar). I was trying to use up scraps, but didn’t have enough of the rayon lycra so now I still have an awkward chunk of that one leftover. The stripes are totally gone though! I was worried the striped fabric would be too heavy to pair with the rayon, there’s a big thickness difference, but it’s actually worked out really well because the collar supports itself enough and doesn’t pull.

StripeRenfrew1

I really need to stop being sucked in by how soft rayon knits are at the store, they do not hold up in the wash well.

Design Likes/Dislikes: I don’t like wearing plain t-shirts to work, it’s not professional enough in my mind, so the Renfrew’s collar is perfect. And now that I have the fit worked out by combining it with B4198, I just need to make it in every color!

StripeRenfrew2

Sizing and Fit: So I keep saying I combined the two patterns. Basically what I did, by tracing, was use the shoulders, side seams, and sleeve top from B4198 and the collar, neckline, body hem, and sleeve length and hem from the Renfrew. Having a pattern that will fit every time is really magical. Still working on the magic patterns for pants and button ups.

Changes: See above

For Next Time: More colors! The collar is also pretty good for combining scraps, so I’ll probably keep doing that.

~Molly

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