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On the Cutting Table

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Cutting Table

Things are progressing very slowly on the cutting table. This table is too short, it’s an old dining table and 29.75″ high. I should be cutting at 36″ high. My old table at The Stitchery was 39.5″. The one table that was the correct height was my embroidery work table and now it is our dining table. And, remember, I’m cutting 5 workshirts from a denim cambric

Ouch, I need a break, lots of them!

Lately it’s almost impossible to cut more than 1 piece before my back is in spasms. I cut, I go sit. Over and over. I don’t remember having this happen before, usually I can push on through, not right now.

Ever had a project become bogged down from surprising circumstances?

Well, the mind is willing, even if the body is not. I decided to make the job even worse by pulling the fine shirtings that have been waiting for years upon the shelves.

I always like to cut as much as possible from the pattern before me, it makes more sense than cutting one garment and searching for another pattern, ’cause I can take for—ever to decide what’s next. It’s bad. And old production habits die hard.

I have these lovely fabrics that have been waiting for shirts for the husband. This new piece just came in from Acorn.com in
Acorn 2013, from Acorn, UK

I didn’t know the source of the blue stripped fabric, purchased from The Wool House, until I went to Acorn’s website

The Blue Stripe is from Acorn, The Wool House 2008

This top fabric has the lightest hand of all

Lightest hand of all, not sure if I will cut it

and while I bought it for him, I may cut it into a shirtdress for me. It suggests “feminine”

Purchased 2006? Source possibly Michael's Fabrics

This last piece is the most unbelievably silky hand, the finest denim I’ve ever seen. It may be too good for this pattern. Maybe I should wait to cut this when I find or draft the most amazing shirt ever? Yeah, probably.

Fine Denim Shirting, Italy, The Wool House 2011

I bought it from The Wool House in Toronto when I went to meet Els and Lorna in 2011. This is seriously fine cloth and most likely from Italy, since that’s where their fabrics are supposedly sourced.

So, I’m cutting slowly and wondering how to get this table raised when I really don’t have the bricks or vegetable cans to put under the legs. Oh OK, I should go buy the 5″ tall cans and insist that my husband help me get them under the table legs.

A woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do. Well, if he wants the shirts, right?

Mom's Graduation Project, Traphagen School of Fashion 1936

A Hard Denim Is Good to Find

Oops, did I really say that? Well, yeah, I did. So now that I’ve gotten that off my chest here’s the facts, Ma’m.

Finding good denim is tough! I have been looking for the last 5 years, through all the fabrics stores I’ve hit during business travels across the country, and by ordering swatches from Mood (thanks for the suggestion, Becki!) as well as other sites. I have bought denim for commercial and other uses so I’ve been around, loosely, er, loosely speaking, tasting all the denim I could.

The problem is that almost all vendors don’t know how the denim will perform over the years. They may not know the source of it in the first place. I tend to hang with my good friend Ann at GorgeousFabrics.com. She’ll know her source if she can and she sews the fabrics she buys. So I’ve made 3 to 5 yard denim purchases over the years from everywhere, and even bought out the last bolt of very dark wash, heavy shirt weight, denim from Textile Fabrics in Nashville. It was the closest thing they had to what I needed.

Textile Fabrics is an excellent store, BTW, should you ever get to Nashville. And if you don’t ever get to Nashville, you’ve blown your chance to visit one of the best fabric stores in US. Just my opinion and I’ve spent a lot of time and money gaining that opinion. LOL

A binding, seemingly insurmountable problem has been that Mr Stitch turns out to be very picky in his choice of colors.  He couldn’t use the light blue that has recently come back into fashion nor was he remotely interested in black. Oh, no. He has a total thing for blues. The color, not the music (darn it all) and he’d probably like the blue used in this paragraph.  Strong like Bull, stubborn like Ox.

So my 13 yards of very dark wash, slightly brushed for softness, yet close weave chambray (AKA Cambric) denim from Textile Fabrics has languished on the shelf, awaiting inspiration.

Desperation inspiration struck yesterday and 5 ripped sections of 60″ wide, 50″ in length yardage have been washed, dried and ironed.  The left over 6 yards is washed and folded.

Then I found my packet of patterns and notations and OLD SCRAPES from the years of shirt making for Mr Stitch.

Moving a work room is something that curses you for years afterward.  No matter how hard you try.  Remember this.

So late last night, I learned that my favorite pattern (I’d even forgotten I had numerous patterns, commercial and custom drafted) (I blame it on the chemo, so much got wiped out) calls for 1/2 yard more than the 5 segments I’d ripped.

Yeah, well, I might be bummed. I’ll have to do the layout with his alterations incorporated to see what I shall see. That’s on the menu for today.

The good news is that I have in my greedy little paws a whole ** load of ProWOVEN Super-Crisp Fusible Interfacing that I am really anxious to use in the collars ’cause that ironing last night and coming up during construction is probably the last iron these shirts will see.

And SCRAPES.  Gosh darn it where have these been hiding?  I could have sent  one off to Ressy, as Elaine Good suggested yesterday, many years ago and saved myself a ton of fabulous denim research.  Or not.

Que será, será