crafts · fabric · fashion · patterns · Sewing

hand injuries, and runway inspiration.

I have a great deal of paranoia about hand related injuries.   I already have tendinitis from years of excessive piano practice (from poor body technique in college… thank goodness I’ve fixed most of my issues!)  It rarely flares up, and at this point it’s more likely to be from excessive knitting or handsewing.   But I still avoid things that might irritate my hands.  I don’t bowl, or play volleyball ever. I gave my old laptop away because the mousepad was in a terrible spot and was giving me thumb issues.  At the first sign of issues, on goes a brace and I rest.  Right now I’m having problems with my left thumb.  Last week I lowered the presser foot of my sewing machine on my 3rd finger in the left hand, and bruised the tip.  I think that may have thrown off my technique last week, as I tried to avoid the injured finger, and hurt my thumb.  I’m hoping it gets better soon, because if not I’ll have to go to the doctor.  I’m afraid of arthritis, as I have some family history, although not in my immediate family, and they all had RA by age 20.  I am… not 20 (ok, I’m 31) and have avoided it so far.

So that’s a long way of  saying that I didn’t sew all weekend because I was resting my hand.  I prewashed the denim for my jacket – 3 times so far on hot, and even with white vinegar it’s still running.  Should I just give up and remember to always wash it alone?  I’m not making a muslin, because the denim was really cheap.  I am taking a little width out of the back to start, as recommended on patternreview, and I’m going to try hong kong seam finishes for the first time!

I also went through my pattern collection, and tried to get them in some semblance of order.  I paired patterns with fabric, as best I could, and uploaded them to flickr, should anyone be interested in my obsessive need to organize, plan, and make lists.   Right now it’s just a collection of ideas, and I’m not sure how many of them will actually get made that way!

Joann has gotten in their fall fabric now.  My Joann is a superstore, so it may have items that others stores don’t carry, I’m not sure.  And you know?  Really, it’s not bad.  I get the impression that they are at least trying to do better with the fashion fabric, though there is still far too much polyester for my taste.

There was a collection of animal print fabrics, and I picked up this leopard (of course!) ponte knit.

Yes, I’ve bought some of the new Vogues, and I’ll get a few more when they go on sale this week (I got this one at Hancock’s, which actually had the new patterns for the $3.99 sale!)  I think the full skirted version with the round collar will look great in this fabric.  I also want to make view E, the 2 tone with a straight skirt.

They had a collection of fabrics in 3 colorways – red, blue, and black/white.  I didn’t get any of those, because they weren’t on sale this week, but I did pick up a plaid RPL from the collection of plaids they have out.

I wasn’t originally going to get this pattern, but the illustration in plaid was so cute that I couldn’t resist.  I will have to grade it down a size – why does this pattern only go to a 10?  I really like the sleeves.

I have to say, doing my colors with the Color me Beautiful book has changed the way I look at my wardrobe.  I no longer (for instance) feel compelled to add brown to my wardrobe.  I look better in black, navy, and charcoal.  Now that I realize that I need clear colors, I don’t look at muddled shades as often.  I realize that I can wear both purple and magenta, shades that I thought were off limits, but I now love.  Sadly, though, jewel tones are hard to find.  And I still have a few pieces of fabric that I want to use, because I love them, even if they aren’t the best colors for me.

I am not usually into fashion shows so much, but I find myself very inspired by the Louis Vuitton fall 2010 collection.  Such lovely 50s silhouettes, in great menswear fabrics and plaids.

I have a plaid dress planned, and might do another… I love plaid… and for the suit I think the new Vogue 8679 would be wonderful – not quite as full, and so easier to wear.  And perhaps a tweedy full skirt.  I’m glad that the full skirt is back – I love them, and I was tired of people looking at my oddly when I wore my circle skirts!

14 thoughts on “hand injuries, and runway inspiration.

  1. i completely agree about joann’s. i hadn’t been in there for a few years (probably) and recently i’ve noticed that they really seem to be trying. i noticed that they have some real silk fabric mixed in with all the fake stuff, which i was not expecting to find at all. i also saw more 100% cottons and linens and less 40/60 poly blends.

  2. I hope the hand gets better, mine was the left foot – the axle on the rear wheels of the baby’s stroller came down on it, the top of the foot is bruised and sore. I love that plaid and leopard. With regard to colors, you are similar to me in coloring, I can wear similar colors. If there is some thing I like not in the range, it’s better as an accent or pant/skirt. You’re so much faster than me at sewing, but then, we have 4 rug rats home for summer.

  3. The flickr link is great, it’s fun to see some possible fabric/pattern combos.

    I’m planning on going to Joanns this week as well for the vogue sale, and now I’m pretty excited to check out their new apparel fabrics. I don’t really *need* any more, but I’ll still be taking a look!

    Hope your thumb/hand trouble improves soon!

  4. Sorry to hear about your hand! Great plans. I’ve actually had my eye on that exact plaid with the royal blue strip running through it! But have so far resisted because I really don’t *need* any new fabrics. And have no royal blue top or shoes to match. (I’m trying to talk myself out of another purchase, you see.) I’ve never been one to complain about JoAnn’s, but you are right about the polyester. They have TONS of it. And their wools are always SO pricey! I always find great wools at Hancocks for way less. I’m going to JoAnn’s on Friday when they open to snatch up the new fall Vogues that will be on sale and will have to eye the animal prints as well.

  5. I love reading about all your projects. I hope your hand heals quickly and you don’t have to much more trouble with it. I do also have a question. I am at best a very novis seamstress and am curious about fabrics. You mention so many types and when I look at labels at the stores all I see is cotton. Is there some sort of book or site that you would recommend that I could learn about different fabric properties and their names and maybe what sort of projects they would work best with? Thanks for your great inspirations!

    1. What you want is here:

      You can read part of it online, but it’s worth buying. Another good one is Claire Schaeffer’s guide

      When I was starting out I found the differing fabric types so confusing! It helps to remember that there are 2 parts to the label – the fabric content (cotton, linen etc) and the weave (challis, twill, faille etc.) I’ve found the Betzina book to be really helpful. There are also some dcent online sewing guides at emmaonesock here though they don’t have every type. I hope that gives you somewhere to start!


  6. For fixing the dye in your denim, what about synthrapol? I was just reading that Abby Franquemont uses it on her new blue jeans as well as on her newly dyed yarn. It would be worth a shot. I know you can get it from Dharma Trading.

  7. I love the Flickr link and I, too, am a huge plaid fan! I love bias skirts, but haven’t made one yet. I would like one a little less full than that Vogue pattern. Do you think you can just slim down the side seams for a less full skirt? Your skirt is tempting me to try one for fall. . .in plaid!

  8. I’m sorry about your hand injury! I worry about those, too. I think I would lose my mind if I had to quit knitting for a weekend!
    Vinegar doesn’t actually help set fiber reactive dyes (the ones used for plant fibers like cotton), it’s actually only effective on wool and animal fibers. Maybe you could try getting a dye setter that is made specifically for cotton? Or you could just wash it seperately….. I’m lazy so that’s what I’d probably do.

  9. Oh, sorry to hear about your hand injury. Hope it goes well and heals pretty soon. I have problems with my ankle since Saturday when I fell and twisted it. Well, there it goes
    I guess from what you say about your colors that you are a winter person. You can use all those brown fabrics and other colors you already have to make pants and skirts so they won’t go near your face and make you look pale, well! just an idea
    Get well soon

  10. Hope your hand feels better soon, my dear. I was a barista for 10 years so I’m also hyper vigilant about any pain – I’ve seen so many of my old work friends fall victim to repetitive strain injuries all in the name of coffee.

  11. I was a classically trained flutist and played way too much, with repetitive stress flaring up in my left forearm and hand. Hand strain/ arm strain is NO FUN and I was lucky to stop playing before I had to seek out medical help, but I really really hope some rest is all you need. Hang in there!

  12. I’ve noticed when I knit a lot lately that my hands and knuckles get sore. Can’t stand the thought of arthritis! Hope your hand feels better fast. Seems like I mostly see cotton fabrics at our Joann’s – probably because we’re in Phoenix and it’s so blasted hot. Love the Louis Vuittons. The jackets over the full skirts are gorgeous!

  13. Sorry about your hand! I’m reading this way late so hopefully you’re mended by now 🙂
    I love full skirts too. I’m glad they’re in fashion, but likely I would wear them anyways!

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