Friday, January 24, 2014

Auspice

I've had a punishing day, just got home, and a spider crossed my path - like CLOSELY - as I reached for my drink. To me it looked huge, but I am extremely afraid of spiders. Like phobic. It's a miracle I didn't spill red wine all over everything. Of course, Scott the bug-saver wasn't here. So I had to smack this spider about 50 times with a shoe. It's still sitting, shriveled, under the side table. I'm too afraid to go near it.

Despite that unflattering profile, I want to end this day (or move into the later evening, anyway) with a pleasant, if quick, story:

Andrea and Gail convinced me to order from Fabrications - which ships flat to Canada for 20 bucks. If I hadn't bubbleheadedly authorized the company to send by UPS (for same price), I wouldn't have had to pay 40 bucks in customs handling. Worst. Courier. Ever. And I know that. Mind you, I wouldn't have these fabrics three days after purchase:

2 yards Light-weight Coral Wool Jersey - it's much more orange than cerise...
The wool is machine washable (with delicate soap like Eucalan) and flat dry.

2 yards Silk Chiffon, pattern on navy blue. I copied Andrea with this fabric. She owns it too...
This one is coded "dry clean", which is something I don't have much appetite for. Do you think I could hand wash and dry it? Or will it go wonky? Note: It was 19 bucks a yard and I don't want to trash it.

I'm extremely fascinated by the chiffon. I may have to figure out how to make a top with a stretch-free woven. I guess the bias will be my friend...

BTW, I LOVE Fabrications. Excellent service, beautiful fabrics, reasonable prices (for well-curated, quality fabric). I mean, it's an independent boutique, not a chain store.

You should totally give them a go.

25 comments:

  1. Here's my take on "dry clean only". It's a challenge to see if it can be washed, and it's even better if it's yardage and not a RTW purchased garment. With yardage, I cut a 4" square, and toss it into the machine. 9 times out of 10, it comes out just fine, and if it doesn't, well, you're only out a 4" square. Also, the standard square that I cut helps me in determining if there is any shrinkage, but I bet you figured that part out.

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    1. That is an excellent suggestion Ellen!

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  2. Ooh pretty chiffon! I would totally hand wash it. Maybe after testing a swatch.i see it as a pendrell but I am a bit obsessed with that pattern. Funnily enough, that's how I first found your blog!

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    1. I'm inclined to also, but I've not worked with chiffon. I do it with charmeuse all the time... Oooh, the Pendrell. Hmmm....

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  3. Oooh, that was really quick! Janet and Dick are the best - I'm definitely looking forward to purchasing more fabric from them in the future.

    I think a lot of silks can be hand-washed - it's really a question of whether the dye will run. I'd cut out a little swatch and try it out if I were you.

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    1. I know! I love that place! LOVE. And the light-weight wool is lovely. Much more "everyday" than the raspberry stuff that Andrea got (the fancy wool jersey), but entirely useful for my purposes. And the colour is great.

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    2. It's the dye I'm a bit worried about, but Ellen and you are so smart to try a swatch...

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  4. I think we are surrounded too much these days by 'dry clean' only. Silk (&wool for that matter!) has been used for clothing for thousands of years! I'm sure all silks can take some water.

    I very very rarely dry clean :) I hand wash in cold water most silks, and certainly silk chiffon.

    I've also put things like Thai silk though the washing machine before. I bought 4 yards from mood which I washed by machine and then made into a shirt and a blouse. Washed shirt by machine and blouse by hand. I honestly can't see the difference. I wouldn't do this for most silks though, but that was a firm weave which I thought could take it - and it did!

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    1. OK, the machine scares me! But hand wash most silk I do on a regular basis. So I think a swatch test is in order.

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  5. About hand washing silk. It really depends on water. If you have highly mineralized water, then it's a really bad idea to hand wash silk clothes, but if it's not the case, you definitely can hand wash it using mild detergent and slightly warm water (for rinsing too). And it's very important to steam it off with large quantity of hot steam, so it get wet (preferable couple of times), before you start to cut it (this should prevent deformations from washing).

    PS I hand wash most of my silks and I'm aware that it makes them less durable, but if it will be three years of wear instead of ten I'm ok with it, because with dry cleaning for $10 for one dress I will save enough to buy a new garment in a 3 years. But I have some silk garments which survived much longer than that (like 8 years of hand washing).

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    1. Very interesting consideration! We have moderately mineralized water. It's fine with all the other silk I've hand-washed. I am going to steam it heavily because, in the past, I've noted shrinkage after washing the second time...

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  6. I'm hesitant to give guidance on fabric that could be ruined, but I actually do hand or machine wash silk all the time with no ill effects. I wouldn't wash a silk satin or hand painted silk, but charmeuse, chiffon, habotai, crepe... yup. Btw - I've had 2 more-experienced-than-me sewists tell me they wash AND dry their wool yardage to pre-shrink it. As a knitter, this kind of shocked me. I haven't quite been brave enough to try wool in the drier yet. We'll see...

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    1. Machine?! You are brave! (But then, didn't you say that to me about wool sock washing?) I'm not wash/drying wool yardage under any circumstances. The idea freaks me out.

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  7. I'm glad you're safe from that spider!

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    1. S: It's still under the table - Scott keeps forgetting to pick it up. A terrible reminder...

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  8. So nice to "meet" another Canadian sewista, and one with the same UPS experiences at that. USPS is the only way to go, eh?
    On washing/not: I hand wash all of my lightweight silks with a bit of shampoo, baby shampoo preferably. And I hang to dry over the shower rail. My only caution is that the colours can sometimes leak into the water, so do use cold water, soak for only a short time with a keen eye on what goes on, and when hanging, watch that the two layers don't stick, otherwise colour transfer can happen. Hanging over a towel prevents that.
    As a general note, silk is extremely strong. I've had lightweight silk crepe tank tops that have seen the washing machine more times than my underwear. I'm gentler to my silks nowadays. On the other hand, a stonewashed look and feel can also be very nice.

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    1. Nice the meet you too! I handwash most silks but chiffon is new to me and I am a bit afraid of dye running. Good info about making sure that the layers don't stick while drying. Thank you!

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  9. just accidentally consigned a biggish spider to the fire -- by the time I spotted it on the log, said log was already partway into the flame. Do you think they signal a condemnatory message to all their kin before they die? if so, I'm doomed . . . !

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    1. Ha! I can't believe you didn't drop the log while freaking out and burn the house down. You're not doomed.

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  10. I react that way with mice. It just causes this physical reaction I can't rationalize my way out of.

    I'd try aggressively washing a swatch, see what happens. If that comes out okay, at least you know you can pre-wash the rest like that and the garment maybe one step more delicate just to play it safe.

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    1. Exactly. My brain isn't thinking about the spider rationally.

      I'm going to do the pre-wash swatch, as so many of you have smartly suggested. Stay tuned.

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  11. Gah! When you mentioned they were going to courier the stuff to you I got so excited about you getting it fast that I didn't even think of customs charges!!! At least you like the fabric so that is good and now you know for the future to stick with USPS and patiently wait. I want to touch that jersey. Oh, and I was planning on hand washing the silk in cold water with a bit of soak.

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    1. I was so excited also, that I forgot rule one - NEVER get anything delivered by UPS. Next time, I wait. I think the Soak is the way to go. But if I get to it first, I'll do a little swatch on behalf of us both.

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  12. You were braver with the spider than I would have been with a slug. Eugh! Pretty fabric! I'd wash a swatch and see if it behaves.

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    1. Not that I judge the irrational fears of others, but slugs don't move fast! They don't run over your hand quickly with their scary, long legs!

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