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11  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Zipper foot for a White Brand machine on: May 18, 2010 04:35:51 PM
I have a White machine as well, and at Hancock fabrics they have feet from the White brand. I don't want to assume your White has a low shank, but if it does, you can buy low shank zipper feet on Ebay for a few dollars. You can also search Ebay for White brand zipper feet, you might get lucky. If you can take a picture of your machine shank I can help you figure out exactly what you need.
12  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Industrial Dress Form- Any recommendations? on: May 12, 2010 02:46:19 PM
From an online favorite site of mine... Kathleen is an industry expert and this info is probably more than what you're looking for but great nonetheless.

http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/dress_forms/
13  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Fully-Automatic Buttonhole? on: May 08, 2010 05:09:01 PM
Here are two videos done by a guy on another sewing forum I frequent on buttonholers from vintage machines. It's essentially the same technology, and there are some great up-close shots. You can click on part 2 in Youtube after you watch the first part.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4BeICk2DPQ&feature=related

Edited to add: The vintage buttonholers have the different metal templates for different types of buttonholes. These days w/ the computerized machines it's all built in so you have one main buttonhole foot and the buttonhole styles are chosen by you on the machine. Most lower end machines will offer one kind of buttonhole but if you are a garment sewer and want more options like a keyhole and one for knits, you will usually have to pay more for the feature. The beauty of these vintage buttonhole feet are that they are usually cheap (Ebay) and come with numerous templates.
14  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Fully-Automatic Buttonhole? on: May 08, 2010 05:01:08 PM
These machines come with a buttonhole foot like this one:



You set your button in a slot in the foot and the machine sews all the stitches (bottom, top, sides) automatically as the foot moves along. It will usually stitch the bottom side then moves up one side until it senses the button's size and then it continues to stitch the top before moving down the final side to close the buttonhole off. Some fancier machines have fine computer sensors in their buttonhole foot, but most are just a piece of plastic or metal and function mechanically.

You don't have as much control getting an automatic buttonhole made, but it usually is easier. I have machines that have "one step" automated buttonholes, and I have another machine that has a 6-step mechanical buttonhole. Honestly I prefer the 6-step machine but I just enjoy the process of choosing when to do each step with a dial but this also means I have to measure my button size and make appropriate guides instead of just plopping in the button into the foot.
15  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Peanuts Christmas Table Runner *LOTS OF PICS* on: May 06, 2010 12:27:51 AM
F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S FABULOUS!!! I love the Peanuts comics and am very impressed at your dedication and embroidery talents!
16  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where to Start? (new Sewer) on: May 03, 2010 01:04:08 AM
I highly recommend Kwik Sew patterns, they have great instructions with pictures and a nice introduction to simple projects. You should also get yourself a copy of the older version of Reader Digest's Complete Guide to Sewing book, lots of timeless sewing information in there and usually you can get it for a few bucks used off of Amazon.

Be open minded about the learning process and enjoy yourself!
17  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: I'm sick of sucky sewing machines!! what do you guys like? on: May 03, 2010 01:00:04 AM
I'm in the process of acquiring a Janome 1600P DB straight stitch machine. It's a semi-industrial machine, no frills compared to the other models (no automatic thread cutter, no needle threader) and has a max of 1600 stitches per minute. I'm a garment sewer but this model is used for quilting so if I change my mind in the future, I can free motion quilt on it. My Janome Threadbanger TB-30 is the machine I am doing buttonholes on, but this new Janome will probably be my primary machine.

I have never owned a Janome before this year, I have a Bernina in the US and my White Jeans Machine is here with me in Asia but it needs to be serviced. I had been looking to get the Juki TL98Q before the 1600P and chose Janome for its basic version ($200 cheaper!) and their warranty. Try out the machine before you buy if it's possible.
18  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Found the PERFECT pattern for my wedding dress... on: April 24, 2010 06:05:36 PM
I can't really help you directly, but here are some links that might be useful....

There is a fabric company in Tucson, AZ that is closing shop and selling all of their inventory- which includes some gorgeous bridal silk. It's 75% of original price, and I've been tempted to buy some even though I've been married for nearly 5 years. Here is a link to their store. I can PM you their email address if you are interested. NAYY

http://storesense4.megawebservers.com/buttonsnboltsfabrics_com/Categories.bok?category=SILK+BRIDAL

You might also want to sign up for an account at PatternReview.com, it is primarily a garment sewing site where there are lots of members sharing advice on sewing and everything sewing related. You can also check to see if this pattern has been made by someone else and reviewed, as well as post any questions/advice you'd like from the talented/experienced members in the "Bridal/Special Occasion Sewing" forum. I've been a member on that site since '05 and have gained so much knowledge from everyone over there. Check it out!

Best of luck on this project!

19  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Hem stiffening on: April 18, 2010 04:35:02 PM
Do you think the bias tape would be stiff enough? I think it will work to cover the hem, but it sounds like you're looking for something heavier. What about iron on hem tape? Or interfacing and then doing a rolled hem treatment on it? Otherwise I would probably go with the horsehair.
20  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Working with silk...advice needed! on: April 18, 2010 04:30:46 PM
Sounds like you might have found a piece of silk charmeuse based on your description. You should treat your fabric the way you plan to treat your garment. I have no qualms sending my silk crepe de chine or charmeuse pieces through the delicate/lingerie cycle of my washing machine, or washing it by hand. I then flat or hang to dry. Some silks will water mark if they get wet, always do a test on a scrap piece before any kind of treatment.

I am partial to natural fiber thread on all of my projects, using mostly cotton or silk threads but they are not as strong as polyester or a poly blend. This link that I am going to share suggests using poly thread, so it's really up to you.

You are probably going to find that cutting charmeuse is going to be a PITA! You can use spray starch on it to make it less slippery when cutting, but be sure to test a scrap piece so you're sure it will not damage the silk and/or it will all be able to wash out. Another trick is putting a piece of paper underneath the fabric when cutting to prevent slippage.

Storage wise, keep it away from direct sunlight. I store my fabrics in a plastic tupperware box, only after they are wrapped in a cotton sheet. I'm not sure if moths like to eat silk like they do wool, so if long term storage is what you are looking for, I'd go with a plastic box instead of a cardboard or fabric container. Just be sure it is away from direct sunlight!

http://www.craftstylish.com/item/918/more-tips-and-tricks-sewing-with-silk
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