Wednesday, 22 September 2010

In Search of Silk Lining - a tale of two shops

Dear Reader
This is an update on the McCall 5815 velvet jacket project that I started mentioning some posts ago. Life and work and other projects kept getting in the way, as they tend to do but I'm glad to say This Is It. I've cut out the muslin pieces, done my usual alterations in advance and cut out the interlining for the muslin and hand basted it onto every piece. Am I nuts? Why? Why not get out the glue stick?
Answers: Nuts? possibly.
Why an interlining? Because my muslin is dress weight stretch velour and to give it the guts needed to make a jacket I had to interline it. I've used left over polycotton from the scrub pants I made my friend recently. The  leftover material, which she gave me, is being put to good use and it was the right weight for the velour.
Why not glue? I didn't think of it until I'd hand basted all the pieces! I grew up watching my Grandmother do hand basting. Would she have beeen appalled at glue sticks? I know she would have loved using a serger if she ever got her hands on one. She might have said 'Use the glue stick you goose'.

I'm killing two birds with one stone, the interlining is also my interfacing. I don't want the garment to end up too stiff. I am cutting very generous corners off to reduce bulk at seam junctions.

To get to the point of my post, I had today off, dear reader, and I decided to go into the central business district (CBD) to have lunch with my daughter. We had Thai, it was delicious. My daughter works within walking distance of several inner city fabric stores. Handy hey. I needed to buy silk lining for the silk velvet jacket that will be the end product of all this effort, when I make it. I'd been to the Surrey Hills Tessuti and enjoyed looking around but I couldn't find what I wanted, so after lunching with my DD I decided to go to a shop in the CBD that has an amazing range of silk. Two floors of silk. Only silk. I knew they were expensive but I thought I'd have a look. Now anyone familiar with the Sydney fabric scene will know of the shop but I will not name them as I refuse to give them any publicity. They mainly cater to the high end high society wedding scene and they have fabric that is breathtaking. They had a material that was not quite the colour I wanted but it was end-of-stock, on special. I thought ok I'll buy 1.2 metres. That would allow for some shrinkage when prewashed. The woman brought the roll down from upstairs then kept rolling pieces that were longer than I wanted off the roll and trying to sell them to me saying she couldn't cut it. There was still some on the roll after she unrolled two pieces. I was wondering why she couldn't cut that. Then she tried to sell me 1.7m or 2.0m 'at a special price'. It was a reddish brown that was definitely a 'that'll do colour' so I couldn't see myself using the extra. I said 'No I want 1.2' she then turned to her boss who said 'No we can't cut it'. I said 'Ok I'll buy some on the internet, thank you. Goodbye' and walked out with them yelling out after me that they could do some deal.
I really really don't like being overcharged for material.
I don't like feeling unwelcome in a store - a fabric store.
I don't like pushy poor service.

Dear Reader I walked around the block to the York Street Tessuti and was greeted with a smile then left to browse. I found the ideal chocolate coloured silk habutae for better price than the other store's 'special' price. I was welcome to leave my intended purchases at the counter while I looked at buttons and Japanese sewing books and patterns. It's the sort of place where people linger and have a look and a bit of a chat. These girls love sewing. Night and Day. This store I will give a bouquet to: They are on my blog roll. You can buy from them over the internet and it's worth reading their blog to see what they are sewing.
Thanks Girls.

The silk habutae lining is on the left. The photo does none of the items justice. The buttons - bought at Tessuti's too are perfect. Dark brown on the rim with a brown shell colour centre and little engraved curlicues on each side of the two holes. I'd better get my behind away from the internet and spend some computer-free time sewing.
Thanks for listening. I feel better now.

1 comment:

  1. I have been in that fabric shop as well. It is in Toronto!!! :-) Funny how that attitude is everywhere. Good for you for leaving.