When I was a kid I experimented with crudely hand sewing some lacy curtains into a princess dress, which then proceeded to fray and fall apart, lasting only a few days. I was disappointed, but loved doing it. I would experiment with random things- gloves, embroidery, etc- but never really finished any projects, we couldn't afford fabric, patterns, or any other tools, nor had I any guidance, so things never worked out. My aunt had a sewing machine that had sat unused, that I was forbidden to touch, that she really didn't know how to use either.
|First completed sewing projects|
Fast forward a few years, and several "historical" Halloween type costumes later. I met my good friend Kim at a local pagan gathering. I had taught her kids to make dandelion crowns, and me and her chatted. A couple days latter I discovered that I had shingles and was contagious- so contacted her to inform her her kids had been exposed. And we had hit it off- we both made homemade wine, loved to garden, were hippyish and interested in fiber/sewing. One summer I had a plot in her community garden, and practically lived at her farm that summer. She was the one who introduced me into the SCA. And so my
So on to Thread and Laces
One thing that took me awhile to figure out are the differences between all the threads- and what application to use for them. In all honestly I am still in the dark about some of it. For the longest time I would just grab whatever thread was handy (or affordable) in a color that was similar to my project without regard to type.
One thing that is occasional mentioned is the use of linen thread with linen fabric. I have yet to find a source of linen thread that is affordable for me. So what alternatives can be used with natural fabrics?
|Red thread - stitches show when stretched|
|Red thread- just a little tension tore the fabric|
|Blue thread- Barely Shows when Stretched|
The stretch this fabric has means that it stretches with the natural fabrics when under tension. The texture also means that it grabs the fabric. You can make tight stitches and the fabric wont gather and pucker behind it. This also means that when a stitch breaks, the seam unravels less.
|Blue Thread -Can you find the stitch holes?|
One trick I have learned- if you are machine sewing on something you know will be torn off (mock up sleeve for example), use the strong shiny thread as a bobbin thread, and the serger thread for the top stitching. When removing the item use a seam ripper to get the first few stitches, or backstitches, then pull the fabrics apart. The strong thread easily breaks the serger thread, with little damage to the fabric. Use caution with narrow seam allowances or extremely frayed edges.
The same principle with lacing for closing up a garment. The shinier and smoother the lace, the more it will slip and pucker. You want something with a bit of stretch and texture.
In the top picture, the string on the bottom is a big no-no. It is polyester, slippery, and no stretch. It will cause the fabric to gap and pucker, and slide all over.
The Black lace has texture, a bit of stretch, and is good for some applications. It can slide a bit, so garments may pucker over the course of the day as the lace adjusts. This is more of an issue with something that has uneven tension, such as an open V front. I use this on kirtles that just skim the body, not actually shaping.
The top white lace is a cotton cording, it has the roughest texture, with a bit of stretch, and easily stays where you put it. This lace is great for items where the tension will vary. I used this lace on my undergarments, It can be very tight under the bust, but not so tight on the bust itself. Takes more time and patience to adjust.