Saturday, November 27, 2004

I sell more natural color fabrics, than white. However when we are done it looks like white in the room, if there is no other white.

Love that natural look in Hompsun, denim, linen fabrics.

People buy my natural canvas about three times as often as the bleached white.
For those who work a lot with textured, neutral cottons...

Which do customers seem to prefer: white or natural/off-white?

I'm thinking about getting a full bolt of... something... (Hobnail? Something from Z-Tex?), wanted to know if customers tend to lean toward one or the other.


Friday, November 26, 2004

well, just some general guidelines. This is Homespun Fabrics PO box 4315 Thousand Oaks Ca. 91359 Hob Nail patternway color white , and though it took longer than predicted, it's beautiful when done.

It needs to be cut 5% large for me, I am not rewashing for removal of residual shrinkage. Rewashing makes it even more wildly wiggly and stretchy.

I'll take my chances hiding the 5% extra in the dressing of it on the chair. There's no claim of residual shrinkage made, says preshrunk, but leaving %5 extra was acceptable to look at, and safer than assuming.

Crinkle ( crashed ) voile was great for lining the skirts, I cannot believe such an unlikely choice had all the needed properties. It will give if asked, and will sew on then shrivel, good for this Hob Nail.

Sewing it makes it stretch, and the more you add, the more stiff and the longer it gets. You must consciously limit this when adding each new layer. Skirts were the thickest, I used big honking ( thank you Dede ) walking foot, ( only for skirt ) and as I sewed, pushed toward the needle the incoming fabric. I unscrewed the presser foot pressure control untill it was very light pressure.

The leg hole facings are cord casing used as bias double fold tape would be used. I left the seam allowance in there, all of it. I zig zagged slowly as near my nose as I could place the machine. It's stiff, yes, but it turns up like a collar, and it's very near the diameter of the cording on the rest of cover. It's secure, uniform, and hugs the legs.

Shirley Hendry Walsh...........................

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Well, because I love what this Hob Nail looks like done, I am going to add it to the list of fabrics discussed at " Washed and Rewashed Fabrics, Tricks and Tips " at this next summit.

For instance, in order to top stitch it with a cord edge finish, I had to ( after experimenting ) apply 12% less cord to the fabric than when it measures flat. Said differently: if I had an edge that needed cord being 19" I'd consciously limit the cord applied to 17" or a bit less.

Hard to control unless you apply empty casing to face, pull it evenly, and then fill it with cord. Comes out perfectly flat with my sewing it, maybe needs adjustrment for machine and operator.

I got roller coasters untill I found the courage to eliminate that much, I didn't get to that point but by steps. A filled casing was hard to control, the empty one went on just as fast.

Again it came out flat and the right size once done, and did not require a walking foot to do this well .

Dede, I got your package. Thanks, I am going to try a couple.
Struggling to finish this Hob Nail job for six french DR chairs. Struggling to regain interest in all the remaining holiday sewing, but this is a pickle of the dill variety.

Sticking to the plan, too far gone to change, and no fresh ideas have occurred to me anyway.

It requires patience, and many many many many notches.

I may break out the Pfaff1222e before the day is done to secure with slow zig zag the facings around leg openings and then just whack off the excess.

The thicknesses are a real issue, and next time I may use voile facings everywhere, maybe complete ones cut bias.

This is luxury work, despite the washable kitchen~y nature, and it needs to be priced as to expect it to take as long as any job needing careful sewing.

It will be a luxury for the end user who decided to place expensive chairs at the breakfast table.

Email me for pricing talk and my decsion about the next time I price it.

Anyone ever done this have suggestions that have not come to me yet ?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

10pm Sunday nite here in Arizona. Claudia and I just finished doing a dog show. Wow we talked to a lot of people. Offering pet furniture, critter covers for their furniture, plus photos of their dog on pillows for holiday gifts and other occasions.

Claudia also told folks about here sewing workroom. 250 cards were past out.

Check out to see her pet site.

K with SA

Saturday, November 13, 2004

oh yeah, I didn't rewash it, no. For the reason you said, it's stabilized by this last adding of sizing. Fabric would be even more stretchy without it.

Maybe I should quanitfy the changes, I see it as big, but then I am nervous about my promises. If you weren't looking for the changes, and it happened all at one or over time by EVENLY, then it's not a big deal.

I had the benefit of seeing on of Karen's sample covers that got washed funny, and putting this in context, I am LOOKING for this stuff, it was obvious to me.

When I cut my french chair cover I left hills of excess at the leg openings, a half inch or more, as I cannot predict further shrinkage.

On a non washed ( remember it was prewashed, so it acts washed even with more sizing added ) a nonwashed piece of fabric wouldn't look right with all that excess. The Hob Nail just rolled and poofed, it looked fine to me to leave it there ( in case of shrinkage ).

Had I washed it, I still wouldn't know if I had gotten all the shrinkage out. And, this is a perfect case of, even if it came out of the dryer small, I could dampen and pull, and it would give up more size. It isn't absolute, like shrunk and it's gone.

Though I wish it were available at true wholesale, and I wish it sewed faster, I do trust this. I trust the Hob Nail a lot, I'd put it over any shape furniture that presents itself. I trust it to pull it tight, I trust it to come out of the washer and dryer and go right on. I would not, this early in my testing, dry in hot. Maybe others have ?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Dee... let me tell you how they wash or pre shrink fabric at the mill. They do not wash it like you or I would. It is dipped in a big bay of hot water, then dried and rolled back onto a huge roll.

So what does the fabric do but re-stretch out. So when it come off the roll it is bigger than it would normally be even after being dipped in water.

If you are selling a washed/ or pre shrunk product one does need to make sure it is pre shrunk.

Homespun actually rolls the fabric off the bolt for you, and she sends it out to be washed before she shipped it to her clients. She has pre shrunk it for you. You may want to call DeAnne and find out how hot she sets the water, and if she dries it too, to get a better idea of her shrinking procedure.

Hope I have helped.

Shirley, do you think this is a case where it would be better to NOT WASH before sewing? The fabric is already pre-shrunk by the mill - maybe the sizing they evidently add to the wash would help the fabrication process?

I really appreciate your insight.
just because the bleach has been rinsed out twice does not mean they didn't go back and add sizing. Sizing is added back to most if not all " washed " cloth.

All I know is that white Hob Nail will come out blue white when washed in hot and strong detergent, from my experience. It arrives on the bolt a little softer shade of white, like chalk.

And, yes, it's very elastic.

Sizing is acceptable to me, it makes it easier to sew. You need only be aware for the sake of promising how washable it is. If it got lighter in spots and not entirely, it would then perhaps be a problem.

Could you explain this further?

"The hob nail white has a tea stain overcoloring which will wash out and then it will be white white. Use cold water and mild soap predisolved and this may retard this happening. The tea stain like color and sizing may be one and the same, it will wash out with hot if that's your preference."

According to the Homespun website, all of their fabric is woven from untreated, natural (undyed) cotton. White fabric (according to them) is that same "natural" fabric, bleached and then double-rinsed.

Is your experience different than what they are claiming? Also, is the difficulty you're having sewing Homespun due to its inherent elasticity?

Z-Tex has some nice white and natural-colored textures, but the old 50 yard minimum still applies. My samples don't feel as "stretchy" as Homespun.


The hob nail is the heaviest pattern way, and the natural seems to have more substance than the white white, which looses some substance in the bleaching.

I only used it twice before, and I was nervous about delivering, it seems hard to tame while sewing. Customers reported great happiness with it after washing, and it did cover enough ( hide ). I can forsee circumstances where it just won't hide enough in white white colorway. I think the natural would always cover well.

The hob nail white has a tea stain overcoloring which will wash out and then it will be white white. Use cold water and mild soap predisolved and this may retard this happening. The tea stain like color and sizing may be one and the same, it will wash out with hot if that's your preference.

It takes me twice the time to sew. You have to look at that statement in context to me: I can wizzz through, and this I cannot wizzz. The normal strategies I use half asleep don't work. I sewed cord in casing after casing was sewn to face pillows and cushions. That pulled the perimeter back down to the original perimiter size, overlocking having pulled it out like it was rippled. Think roller coaster.

I will box them on my 206RB Consew, as I am fearful adding boxing will stiffen if small stitch and stretch once again. I can use a long stitch, and 0/3 cotton. Remember it's to be washed. I made facings with viole ( yep ).

The good news, is these are french chairs with a huge hump in the seat, and the customer wants as much leg to show as possible. So, it draped over that hump and turned the leg joints well, and draped over those legs to then close with an overlap all in one piece. It's very flexible, it's one unique saving quaility.

I can add a 5" skirt after pleating front corner, without a band. I faced the skirt with voile, it cannot hem decently, I tried straight stitching and blind hemming, it just waved uncontrolably. I added it as if it was lining, and stitched the top.

You cannot make a folded or turned tie with it, but that's true of many washables.

It has texture, which is the one drawback that sinks the sales of the canvas I prefer. I looks organic, it's as friendly as bedding.

I am going to say this, whether it's PC or not. This yardage was ordered by a retailer in a brick and mortar store. The price was not reduced by much, and quantity was not the issue. This person really wanted this stuff, and there you are: if the customer would choose it over anything else you offered, you are where they are, stuck with the way things are. All considered, I'd offer it again, if I get my time paid for. I feel good about the outcome.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Shirley, please tell us more about working with Homespun. I love the texture, and as Karen has mentioned before, it is an environmentally-friendly product.

My only concern (as yours) is that it is too lightweight - what have you learned?
I can sell environmentally friendly. It's a part that fits into the whole, when I sell washables for allergic families.

There's lot about fabric that distresses me, the goo, how much it changes once washed ( what was in it ? ) how much less substance it has once washed. Can we get more natural stuff ?

I am currently using the Homespun nobby white, after hesitating about the thickness and the price. I like the idea it comes washed and natural looking.

It's been easier to sew than I imagined, though with some changes to my routine: I am sewing the cord into the casing after the casing has been applied to the cushion face, to shrink it in a bit. Overlocking does stretch it out.

Tell us more about what you heard.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hi all...

I just got back from San Francisco... a GREEN FESTIVAL, you now environmentally friendly to the EARTH that we live on. I attended several workshops focused on Interior Design, home decor etc. I have been concerned about the fabrics, building materials that we use inside our homes, for ourselves and our customers.

My focus was to see how we can help ourselves and our customers with better health inside their homes and to offer alternatives for healthier living. Also to use products that help reduce energy consumption, rather than just to consume.

My goal over the next year is to become wiser in this area and to seek out new resources in this field. We are already helping our customers to recycle their furniture, when we offer then the opportunity to have a slipcover instead of buying something new, and getting rid of the old furniture.

Now to find fabrics, that we can offer our customers that our natural and are fair trade if they come from other countries.

Any one else interested in knowing more? Anyone else have knowledge about what I am rambling on about?

Off to Arizona tomorrow to work with Claudia at a Pet Show. Critter covers for pets is our purpose, and also will sew some slipcovers there.

Will be checking the blog...
Would love response
K with SA
Yes you can go back and edit further. I have my blog to go back 100 posts. I think that might be the beginning of time.

When you get into the blog check the top of your screen. You will see a place that says show, you most likely have 5 in that number. If you click on the arrow it will give you other options. Hopefully when it edits that post it will bring it up to the top of the postings.

Try it and see. Otherwise let me know what you'd like to edit and I will try to bring it up.


is it possible to edit posts that are farther back than the last five posts ? They are not offered on the edit screen, I wondered how to access.........

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Just to prove I can do something twice:


I don't really have a lot to say except my serger won't let me serge a seam after it has been corded unless I have nearly 3/4 inch seams. (I've gotton good at seeing notches through the serging stitch!)

This ( I think ) is the last post in the series of double on half procedures. For those not registered having questions to post, contact Karen for blogger invitation.

Where I left off, I had ( let's say ) three groups of people, some having not unpinned the fitting ( method one ) some having unpinned and repinned in a single layer ( method two ) and some having unpinned the outside body parts and corded them ( method three ).

No one group has saved time, the time you use on the first try will be understanding what you are looking at. There are no wrong answers, you can do something other than what I am describing as long as you understand it.

The standards to hit here are:

cord applied to outside body pieces does not cause outside body pieces to become smaller. Nothing puckers or twists. Baste only, using largest stitch that does not cause to pucker.

Inside body pieces blend ( get sewn ) into the outside body piece to which it goes, by easing it in. You may have planned darts, sew them securely. There will be excess to blend, a little or a lot. Baste joining seam at first only. Once certain, resew. You may have areas that need to be stretched as well. If notches demand it, then stretch.

The cord you use outlines certain shapes in a purposeful way. I will end this post with a list that will tell you where you'd normally apply it .

Intersections are secure, yet flexible. This will be your biggest challenge. If and when you sew over top of a previously corded seam, it must naturally meet the seam you are currently sewing at a 90 degree angle, or you must not sew over top the seam allowance of the formerly made seam. Alternately, as in quilting, you may sew up to a point and stop, approaching it from all directions. You need not sew over the middle or over seam allowances. Backtack all. Pull 1/2" of cording out of any seam you are crossing or approaching with the alternate suggestion.

Your uncorded seams ( the seams which dive into the deck area ) all almost always flat and smooth. When there's excess ( bunchiness ) to one side, ease, or if previously noted and planned, dart. With more confident cutting, bunchiness will occurless often. At minimum overlock these uncorded seams to strengthen them. You may top stitch as well.

All notches must match. If they are off to a greater extent than 1/4" at one spot, or 1/8" in a series, you must rip and restart. You need not sew a long seam from start to finish. Match ( sew ) notches first and then close between them. You may sew cord on half ( the outside most half ) and then sew the inside body piece to it. Your notches get sewn first and then the rest. Untill you get experience, do this piece meal.

Whatever you do to the right side you must do to the left. This statement applies to good sewing as well as bad. Assume the cutting was not as easy to understand as you now would like it to be. Close the seam in such a way that the notches match, the slipcover is not made smaller ( bunched ) and the intersections are flexible. You think it looks funny ? It may well look funny and be correct. It may well be that it was cut as well as it ever could have been. It may simply look new~funny to you now, it will look normal later.

You have made compromises to make the seams come together, notches matching, intersections flexible and still there's bunching at that intersection, so ease it in. Do same right and left, press well over a ham, and you are done. This is highly characteristic of sewing slipcovers for the first time on the wrong side, it's only as smooth and self evident as it was cut, and you will soon improve.

The list :

Front arm panels get a cord around both side and the top, not skirt line.

Outside wings get corded on the front and top.

Outside backs get corded on sides and top, not skirt line.

Outside arms get corded on the top only, unless there's no front panel, and then they get a cord on the front as well.

Above is the norm. It does not cover all contingencies. It is not meant to curtain creativity. It's a place to start if you don't know anything and want your first cover to look " normal ".

When you have bias seams ( barrel backs ) strengthen them with cord or sew flat and overlock.

When you have contrast cord, your creativity may dictate other answers, you choose.

I will answer all questions asked, general or specific. Post here please, so all may benefit.

I have delibetately omitted order of joining above. I will generalize, but please don't allow this to confuse or redirect you. What's above will give you enough information to see your individual answers. If this list contradicts, the list does not apply.

Seaming order :

deck to inside back ( unless a barrel chair ) from center out to ends.

inside arm to inside back, from top of chair or sofa arm, into the deck. ( if wing, see ( *a ) )

From front arm panel, sew inside arm to deck. Start ( alternately ) from a center out notch and close what you can if the front near arm panel is not yet self evident to you.

If there are short corded seams close them now. These may occur to join front or top panels, or top arm panels.

( * A ) If there's a wing, there is a horizontal uncorded seam to the inside body. Close.

Cord and close up top arm, inside arm to outside arm, join as much as you can. If wing, sew wing to outside arm, leave wing arm intersection to last.

Front arm panel once corded can be joined to the arms. Leave intersections untill last.

Outside back once corded can be joined to all.

Cord skirt line next, and then add skirt cuts. Zipper if needed ( I zip everything ) .

Intersections: if all notches match, and you have sewn ( approached ) up to these areas, you may now see a logical self evident path to closing them. There are now two considerations new to this explanation. The second will follow in next paragraph. Which direction do you lay the cord over if you choose to cross the seam allowance and force it to lie down.? If for now, you sew up to it and not cross, then you need not choose. Later, you will be surer of the aesthetic choices.

Second, and very very impoprtant: it's here you will sew securely areas you have slashed deeply( to shape while cutting ) and perhaps cut on a bias angle. You must deal with this the best you can, it's nature is to be imperfect, regardless of cutting experience.

Sew as many lines of stitching as you feel will secure it untill it weakens the cloth to puncture it more. It will always be ugly to look at. If you can prevent bunching, perhaps by taking less seam allowance on the intersecting seams, do so. Take a little more seam allowance than planned and in the fewest spots you can, but you certainly may. It's compromise, it must be secure, and it must be flexible. It will be ugly. I recommend serging these areas after sewn, not before.

The last issue, as I have left it out but for brief mention in all the rest of sewing details. When do you overlock ?

It may be controversial to say, but overlocking is not as important as understanding your pin fitting right now. The allignment of the puzzle shapes in there proper place is far more important than the looks of the seam on the side. For this reason, overlock only when you can, only where you have sure knowlege of where your puzzle pieces line up. For the sake of success at your first double on half pin fitting, you may overlock last and where able. It's not a priority today. Tomorrow you may overlock as you better understand your own cutting. Be content, with perhaps zig zagging the closed seams today.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Jeannie H? Hooray! :)
I've had trouble with Picture Trail. Also, I don't how how to make images smaller: what you see is what you get.

When you use this method to transfer an image, you're actually linking directly to the original source. Usually this is not a problem, BUT... sometimes the original source doesn't want you to do this, and will cause a nasty image to appear instead of the image you THOUGHT you were getting.


And... Always (ALWAYS) be aware of copyright issues.

Everything I know (and I am NO expert, by any stretch of the imagination) I learned from CHFI Forum's "little yellow box", located on the bottom left corner of every Forum page.

Shirley, with your software system: right click your mouse on an image, choose "Properties" then highlight the "Address" and right click "Copy" (or "Cut", I think - not sure about "Cut"). Next, go to where you want the image, right click "Paste" and type [img] in front of address and [/img] after address. And PREVIEW, always PREVIEW!

My husband replaced our Microsoft operating system with Linux, so I'm working from memory here...
so, you could take it from my picture trail ? From anyone's website? are there limits ?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I know how to cut 'n paste pictures that are already on the internet: copy image location, paste in new location, type [img] before and [/img] after.

Anything else, and I'm hopeless.

Dede - Queen of Cut 'N Paste
Nice to see you got online with us. It does take a little bit of time to figure it out, and some practice.

I have not been around much. On the road for 4 weeks and then have been moving for the past week. Finally out of the old place and now trying to settle into the new.

Glad to see that Shirley is keeping everyone up to date on this method.

I know there is a way to post photos also. Has anyone figured that out?

K with SA
pictures would sure make explainin' simpler.

Dede, you know how to do do you post a picture ?

Glad to see you back Karen, I was certain you were doing something productive......
there's life on this here planet ! Yay !
Hi everybody. I'm just trying to see if I can make this blog thing work in the out-going direction.