Alternative Zipper Stops

While moving the hem up on a pair of pants, I encountered a challenge. These track pants have a side zipper at the bottom. I could (and probably should) move the entire zipper up the seam, or I can cut off the zipper at the new hem edge. I did not want to have to reset the entire zipper, so I chose to cut it off. However, that meant I was without a zipper bottom stop. I attempted to salvage the existing zipper stops, but the metal became weak and broke. I didn’t have a ready supply of replacement zipper stops, so I began to look for something else to use. I found these in my jewelry supply stash: crimp bead covers. These easily fit over the zipper teeth and I simply clamped them around and flat against the zipper teeth with my flat nosed pliers. In my opinion, I think it looks much cleaner than standard replacement zipper stops!



Perfect Vintage-Inspired Shirt Dress

A few years ago, I wanted to make a shirt dress. My inspiration came from a few places: one was a dress worn by the character Sofie on Carnivale, and another was a runway dress from the Ralph Lauren Spring 2010 collection. My perfect vintage-inspired shirt dress falls somewhere between these two.

My niece, blogging down a Retro Rabbit Hole, has recently gotten back into sewing garments. Which is great, because that means I don’t have to talk to myself about sewing anymore! (Don’t worry, the Sewliloquies moniker isn’t going away). Her recent sewing adventures have inspired me to become reacquainted with my shirt dress. I even have the fabric for it. I bought this great light blue fabric with a teensy floral print all over it, just for the occasion. I’m undecided about the lace sleeves seen on the Sofie dress; I’ve done lace sleeves before on my Victorian garb, and I love the pleating, but I’m not sure I want my shirt dress that girly. What I do love are the little red buttons on the Ralph Lauren inspiration dress. And the piped pockets. I’m digging the piped pockets.


A Woman Who Sews

What am I? There are all these words to describe people who sew. Tailor, dressmaker, sewist. What is it I do, exactly?

I looked at the definition of these words before adding a few adjectives to my blog recently. A few people out there have talked about this already, but I wanted to add my 2¢. (Incidentally, I recently learned that it costs 2¢ to make a penny. Talk about inflation.)

Here are a few of those articles/blogs:

Seamstress: a woman who sews, especially as a job. This term defines only a woman who sews; the male counterpart is “seamster”. The word seems antiquated, but I actually like it! The word has been in use since the 16th century.

Dressmaker: a person who makes women’s clothes. In use since the 19th century.

Tailor: a person whose occupation is making or altering outer garments. However, this term used to define only a man who made or altered garments with the female version being “tailoress”. Tailoress sounds odd. I guess that’s why it was changed. In use since the 13th century.

Clothier: one that makes or sells clothing or cloth. Nope, that’s not me. Yet. This word has been used since the 14th century.

Couturier: an establishment engaged in couture, or one who designs for or owns such an establishment. First used in the late 19th century. Sounds complicated. And French.

Sewer: one that sews. In use since the 14th century. The problem with this word is that is has too many denotations, with the most popular referring to the place where sewage exists. Sounds gross. I know a lot of people use this one, though.

Sewist: one who sews. This one has recently crept into greater use in the blogosphere. Perhaps it is meant to be gender neutral? hipsterish? I’m not sure. It’s not even a real word. I personally don’t like it. The first documented use of the word was in the 1960s.

I chose seamstress or dressmaker to describe myself. I particularly like seamstress, even though it does sound outdated. I have a romantic vision of myself as a Victorian seamstress with lovely dresses in the shop window in London. Here is seamstress translated into many different languages.  Maybe I’ll go with syerske.

Antique Singer Sewing Machine
Antique Singer Sewing Machine

Buttonhole Scissors

On a trip to my local Half Price Books, I scored a copy of Nancy Zieman’s Nancy’s Favorite 101 Notions book for $9. While I was perusing it (in between getting ready to go back to work tomorrow and taking care of baby) I saw something unusual. There is a handy little cutting device called buttonhole scissors. Buttonhole scissors!

There is a little screw on these things that you can use to adjust the buttonhole size you want to cut out. Apparently you put the scissors over the edge and they cut out just the buttonhole area. I so want a pair!

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