Friday, January 27, 2012

The Great Shirt Hunt, Chapter 8

Here's how far we'll go to find a shirt shop that caters for modest and gorgeous women and girls! To Land's End!



Friday, January 20, 2012

Beware of Cheap Fabric!

FABRIC FLOPS
This fabric looks innocent enough, doesn't it?


I bought a length of polyester knit for NZ$2 a meter and thought I had a bargain. I noticed when I got home that it had flaws here and there. I carefully marked them and avoided them when I cut the pattern. I had soon created for myself a wonderfully comfortable, cosy winter chemise, but before the winter was out...

I noticed this.
Within a month it looked like this. It's always been laundered on a wool wash (mild soap, medium spin), and at time of writing is an impressive jungle of looped and twisted threads.

But then...

...this labour of love and desperate need...
 
...after two months...

...looked like this.

DOUBLE TRAGEDY
One malfunction was inconvenient, but two in the same season? Conspiracy?

A kind neighbour had given me a piece of wool tweed from her 95-year-old mother's 50-year stash. The yardage was limited, but I contrived a modest and attractive skirt out of it. That should have been the beginning of a long and faithful companionship. What let me down was the modern polyester lining. Perhaps the fabric had a flaw, perhaps it just wasn't designed to last, but after two months of continuous wear (it being my only winter skirt), I was shocked to find two gaping splits across my rear. Impossible to repair.

The skirt design features front and rear double inverted pleats, reflected in the lining, and along with interior placket reinforcement panels, the lining won't be simple to replace. Frankly, the effort didn't seem worth it if it was going to disintegrate again.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION
A friend told me her mother always uses Duchess Satin for linings. It's thick and sturdy whilst retaining that slippery quality essential to linings. The Lord blessed me with a 40% discount on all satins at Spotlight the day I went looking for this satin. Now I just have to get up the courage to chop my lovely skirt...well, the lining. The plan is to removed the lower half with the pleats, attach the duchess satin (cut on the bias) to the skirt yoke area, then join the lower half to the duchess satin.

BE WISE IN YOUR FABRIC CHOICE
When you devote a portion of your valuable, precious time to creating a unique garment, you want that garment to last. You want to feel rewarded for your effort. Here's one way to avoid feeling cheated: make sure you're working with quality fabric. Low prices don't necessarily mean poor quality, but they are a warning to be cautious.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shopper's Guide to Recycled Clothing: Top 12 Tips


www.savemart.co.nz

At SaveMart New Zealand, over 3000 fresh items of recycled clothing come into each store every day. If stock hasn't sold in 4 weeks, it goes to charity in Papua New Guinea.

For you, that means there's always new stock generated from diverse sources. Provided you remember Boutique Narelle's shopping tips below, and barring sticky trolly wheels, raucous radio, cramped dressing rooms, and staff-only toilet facilities (not all stores are thus adorned but certainly Palmerston North's SaveMart), your shopping experience should be a happy one.

 

Top 12 Tips for Thrift Store Shopping
  1. CARRY A LIST AND/OR A COLOUR SAMPLE of what you're looking for. Be wary of being sidetracked by an apparent bargain you don't actually need.
  2. In good lighting, CHECK GARMENTS FOR FLAWS such as rips, stains, loose stitching, snagged fabric, missing buttons, and other problems. Be aware of tag positioning -- removal of the staples may leave holes. (These labels are best removed using a staple remover.)
  3. TRY ON EVERY GARMENT AND UNDER THE CONDITIONS YOU EXPECT TO WEAR IT (i.e. over a camisole or t-shirt). Shrug, bend, wriggle, and crouch to check all aspects of fit.  When trying shoes, wear the denier of stockings or socks you would wear with them. Walk in them.
  4. TEST ZIPPERS several times.
  5. WEAR GARMENTS AND SHOES THAT ARE EASY TO REMOVE for try-ons, such as zipped sweaters, button-up shirts, and slip-on footwear (not lace-up boots!). Don't wear your best duds -- SaveMart is a dusty place.
  6. BE AWARE THAT SAVEMART BUILDINGS ARE NOT HEATED OR AIR-CONDITIONED. Plan your trip accordingly.
  7. READ GARMENT LABELS for laundering surprises and to check for extra buttons.
  8. READ PRICE TAGS CAREFULLY. SaveMart tags are hand-written and not always neatly. Don't rely on colour codes.
  9. DO NOT RUSH. Give yourself time to think. If you need the toilet, go, and return to your thinking unpressurized.
  10. If the garment has flaws, consider what it will cost you in time and notions to fix it. IS IT WORTH IT?
  11. If it isn't right and you can't easily fix it, LEAVE IT. And...
  12. COME BACK SOON for another hunt.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Links We Like: 6 Ways to Tie a Scarf


After all the posts BN has done on ways to tie a scarf, we're still finding new styles!

This Cold Water Creek link provides detailed sketches of 6 different ways to arrange a drapey scarf around your neck. Most of the examples use wide widths of lightweight fabric, but summer or winter, see how easy it is for one low-cost accessory to add both modesty and a punch of class and colour to an outfit!


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