Fashion and Sewing… Shopping for Fabric

One of the nicest things about sewing is shopping for fabric and notions. If you’ve got the sewing bug, you get really excited in a fabric store. Maybe even hyper-active. You’ll look at a bolt of fabric and know exactly what it would be good for. A dress, a pair of pants, a nightie. Something for your niece. Or you don’t know what you could possibly make out of it, but you want it, now.

Because seamstresses (dressmakers/tailors) like to have fabric on hand, we’re free to shop fabrics for any season. Spring fabrics to work with during the winter, heavier fabrics during the late summer for wearing in the cold weather. Sometimes our projects take several seasons to complete, sometimes they take years. It doesn’t matter what season it is. It will be a custom-made garment, fit to order. By us and for us. We get elated working on it and we may even get sick of working on it. But it’s a good idea to make a rule of finishing it before we start another sewing project. Starting a new project is our reward for finishing the current work-in-progress. That’s how I do it.

On Saturday, I’ll be exploring a new-to-me fabric store. I hope it has colorful cottons for blouses and colorful corduroy and stretch denims for pants. I hope they have big spools of strong thread and buttons so attractive they make my head spin with creativity. And most importantly, I hope they have good prices. The only thing better than getting a bargain on clothes, is getting a bargain on fabric to make clothes. As my grandmother used to say, “I’m not happier than when I’m sewing.”

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

Are Blue Jeans a Good Gauge of How Trim We Are?

Old blue jeans that we’ve had for years will have shrunk. So if we can fit into them decades later, we should feel pretty good about that, right? Yes. Maintaining the same weight through the years is desirable but not always easy. It’s a struggle for most of us.

I started wearing tight blue denim so long ago, I hate to admit the year. But let’s just say that I loved denim then and I love it now. Especially the new stretchy denim that’s been popular these past few years. With that fabric, we can all look good in blue jeans, right? Right.

Tight jeans are like corsets for the lower half of our body. And if we can squeeze into them, they fit, right? It’s not good for us to wear clothes so tight it cuts off our blood circulation but in my book, if I can wiggle myself into an old pair of “jeans” life is good.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

Fashion: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… What a Doll

The birth of fashion magazines may have begun in 1321, when a small doll dressed in the latest fashion was sent to the English queen. The dolls became more frequent and those on the receiving end were the nobility. Like our seasonal fashion changes today, the dolls came at the beginning of the spring, summer, autumn and winter seasons. The dolls originated in London, Berlin, Rome, Lisbon, St. Petersburg and of course… Paris. These dolls paved the way for the fashion industry as we know it today. When the doll custom evolved into pictures, they did not originate in Paris. They were created by a German painter, Jost Amman and published in Frankfort.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

The One Style Thingy That Will Last Forever – High Heels

It’s true, high-heeled shoes have been around for a long time and I suspect they will live on forever. Long after we are dead and buried or our ashes float down the river, there will be women (and men) wobbling around on high heels. They are horrible for your back but even the smartest of people wear them any way. And you can tell how great they feel tottering on those stilettos or high-heeled boots, “Look at me,” the shoes say and we do and sometimes we laugh as they limp off or pity them when we see that grimace upon their face. I never wear stilettos, never owned a pair but I have had several platform shoes and still do and my closet has several pair of cowboy boots with heels. I feel so good when I wear those cowboy boots (except when my feet hurt) and I’m not sure why. Yes, they make me a little taller but that’s just extra. Like I said, high heels are c’est terrible but they will be around for a painfully long time. Pun intended.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River. Available here:

Gold River:

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