Q/A Catch-Up Day
Going through my email inbox, I've realized that I haven't been answering some of your questions! Some of them are as far back as the thread painting post. Today I will try to get these all answered to the best of my ability.
Regarding the thread painting, Vegan wanted to know, "Is the metallic thread hard to work with? I tried metallic thread years ago, and I found it broke very easily . . ." I find that most metallic threads work fine in my machine, except for the Coats and Clark. Quality thread from Superior, Madeira, Sulky, Wonderfil, etc. are the best choices. Check to make sure you are using the proper needle; Schmetz makes a "Metallica" needle and Sullivan's makes one called "Metafil". I've used the Metafil needles with great success. Machine tension is another cause of metallic thread breakage. I find that metallic threads in my machine need a slightly looser top tension.
Suzanne had this question, and maybe some of you could help with suggestions in the comments: What type of fabric would you recommend for a vintage pattern (1940's)gown that would survive travel in a suitcase and still look good at a function? That's a tough one - it depends on the style of the gown, and how true you want to stay to the vintage look. Without seeing the actual pattern it is hard to determine what would be the most appropriate. Good packing by wrapping carefully in tissue paper and stuffing certain parts like sleeves and careful hanging immediately upon arrival at your location will go a long way towards keep the gown looking fresh. If you have a chance, email me a photo or link to the pattern!
After seeing my latest pair of vintage gloves, Clare asked, "Loved the gloves - have you ever made any yourself?" No, I haven't made any - yet! I do have the pattern, and would love to give it a try. Gloves are on my list of "things to make in my lifetime".
Regarding the paper bag book covers, Laura asked, "My 11 year old just made her first brown bag book cover. Sadly, she did not have a chance to embelish it. She will be green when she sees these. What kind of paint did you use?" There is hope for her book covers yet - if her school and teacher allows it. Markers do a great job of embellishing paper bags and won't soak through, and stamps and a regular stamp pad work even if the cover is on the book. I used a combination of fabric paints, Jacquard's Lumiere paints and glitter finish, a fabric paint pen and Shiva paintsticks to get the colors and textures on the paper bags. There was quite a bit of layering and blending to get those colors.
Valerie had this to say about the yellow vintage jacket, "The label is the best part, IMO! Either she did that for a living, or was a hard core hobbist. Labels aren't cheap (I've looked into it for a gift piece for someone) and I'm sure they weren't back then either. Could that possibly be a ribbon stamped with her name?" You know, I had to go back and take a good look at that label. I assumed it was a woven label, but it is not. You were right - it is a stamped label (you can still order these today!), whether she had a lot of labels stamped at once or she made them herself as needed, I don't know.
Parting Shot: Pattern Discovery. I pulled out a vintage Butterick pattern last night to take a look at the pieces, and found something interesting printed on all the pattern pieces:
Yes, that's right, pins and scissors! I had never seen pin marks on any vintage pattern. Granted, I don't own many vintage Buttericks, most of my collection is Vogue, Simplicity, McCall's and Advance. I can only think of two vintage Buttericks I own. The other one is the pattern for the REC trousers, which is older than this one by at least 10 years, and there are no pins on those pattern pieces.