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Itzl AlertingAs you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here.  We care!

If you'd like to be part of the Itzl Alert Network, please leave a comment asking to join, or send us a message asking to join. We'd love to have you. The bigger our network, the less likely someone will be stranded all alone.

It's been 20 years since I bought new clothes, and some of them are starting to show enough wear that I can't repair them any more.  I have been fabric shopping, but the local fabric shops carry so many fabrics that are very cheaply woven or made from inferior threads and they're charging premium prices for them.

What's up with that?

My local choices seem to be the very pricey fabrics that are so thin and flimsy they might as well be sheers, heavy duty upholstery fabrics - or muslin. I'm getting desperate enough to buy the heavier $9 a yard muslins and then dying them myself to get what I want.

It may be cheaper to buy already made up clothes.  That means - ugh - clothes-shopping.  With Itzl.

Worse - most of the fashions aren't my style.

Sewing is getting more popular, but it seems to be mostly craft sewing - purses, bags, toys, quilting.

Do you sew?  What are the fabric stores like in your area?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:30:05 PM PST

  •  I make some of my own clothes. (8+ / 0-)

    I have a swing coat I made about 14 years ago that I get compliments on every time I wear it.

    I have pants that I made myself, and I made the pattern I used to do so.  I have some fabric and I really need to make a couple more pairs, but I hate to sew, in actual fact.  I'm good at it, but I really don't like it.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:36:17 PM PST

  •   The SF Bay Area has several good stores (6+ / 0-)

    Stone Mountain & Daughter in Berkeley
    Britex In San Francisco
    JoAnn Fabrics is the Big Chain

    Many good smaller/independent quilting fabric stores in our area.

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:44:12 PM PST

    •  I've heard of the fabric (4+ / 0-)

      stores in California...

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:41:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  JoAnn is the monster that ate everybody, here in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      old wobbly, Noddy, Pam from Calif, weck

      Oregon. Well, there's a couple (2) fairly big independents in Portland, but otherwise it's Joann cheap cotton-for-crafters!

      I hear there are a few high-end J's scattered around the country where you can find natural fibers all the time, & European stuff all the time. Granted, the local store does carry linens these days (I think they're cheap from Eastern Europe?), and for a couple of weeks a year will have a handful of European-quality woolen suitings, but it's mostly plastic & cotton, sigh.

      Luckily there IS "Mill Ends" in Portland, we found some nice wool for the Steampunk frock-coat-to-be. Now all we have to do is find the time to sew it. "after we move", sigh.

      My most ambitious sewing these days is repairs. Haven't made anything new for Society for about 15 yrs (how old is the kid now??? 20.)

      Eugene USED to have a fabulous place, Andrea's. a LONG time ago. Andrea used to travel to NYC a couple of times a year and bring home real antiques & couture leftovers. I still have some French military silver uniform plain braid, about 4 inches wide? maybe 10 yards of it! have to figure out how to clean the silver, if I ever figure out something to put it on, 8-) We had Bay Area folks who'd go to Andrea's on the way home from events in Eugene! 8-) Those were the good old days.

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:21:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The closest we get to real linen (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pam from Calif, weck, old wobbly

        is the polyester linen-look fabric.  European or couture fabric?  Forget it.

        Lots of quilting fabric in thin cotton and cotton poly blends, lots of translucent rayons, lots of that nasty plastic stuff that needs 3 or 4 layers before it's no longer see-through, and tons upon tons of fleece.  There's a few bolts of wool/poly blends. and muslin in several grades.

        All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

        by Noddy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:21:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Visit your "Southern" neighbors to purchase (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noddy, weck, old wobbly

        some superior fabrics. ;o)

        It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

        by Pam from Calif on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:32:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If the silver braid can be wet, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimene

        maybe you can use the hot water with washing soda and aluminum in a glass dish method to clean the tarnish.  

        There is some kind of chemical reaction that removes the tarnish very well from flatware and jewelry, just by touching the silver to the aluminum plate in the washing soda and hot water solution.  No rubbing, just rinsing, drying needed.

        Please donate to Okiciyap food pantry. . If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

        by weck on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 02:50:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  sal beressi on bryant in the mission (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noddy, Pam from Calif, weck

      theoretically upholstery/curtain but OH MT GAWD it is heaven - see reviews (some are hilarious):
      http://www.yelp.com/...

  •  I spent this afternoon decorating rocks (7+ / 0-)

    (don't ask) to make little tchotchke-type things to sell at the craft fair I'll be in this Sunday. They look nice, and I just have few that need finishing which I will do tomorrow.

    Then, after supper, I sat down at my computer to finish a 200-page book manuscript I've been working on for a client. Only to find, after much hassle, that it exceeds the size limit for Google docs, and so I'm going to have to send in two parts, as two separate docs, which really sucks. But oh well - it's finished.

    The interesting thing is, I tried to find out what was wrong with my document via searching the help forums for Google docs - ha ha ha yeah right. Then I came here and posted my question in the Open Thread, and got an answer back in about two minutes. Once again, Kossacks rock!

    I haven't bought new clothes in a long time, either. My undies are embarrassingly shabby, and the other stuff is just same old, same old. I did buy a nice casual shirt at a thrift store for $2, and that's my entire clothing purchase for this year!

    FOUR MORE YEARS ! A huge Thank You and {{{ group hug }}} to all who volunteered, donated, and voted to make this happen!

    by jan4insight on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:55:19 PM PST

  •  Noddy, rethink "shopping" for fabric (6+ / 0-)

    I get some really good vintage material by deconstructing garments bought in thrift stores ... and garage sales.

    One of the places I do rely on for store-bought clothes, though, is my favorite online market: www.sportsmansguide.com. I find their mil-surplus garments lend themselves to minor alterations to fit me (mostly tucks, gussets, and a bit of dye or embroidery work).

    Neutral colors, decent fabrics (I do let my mouth water on the camos, but I buy the "sensible" alternatives).  They also have a wonderful return policy if you happen (like me) to be hard to fit (I don't understand European sizing very well, still).

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 10:56:25 PM PST

    •  Repurposing old garments (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noddy, weck, chimene, BlackSheep1

      is fun.  I shop resale stores for color.  I've recovered several throw pillows with wonderful, soft, and very colorful sweaters bought for 50 cents.  Some skirts have enough material to make a caftan-type shirt.

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:56:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I do that for costumes, (5+ / 0-)

      but most of the thrift store clothes here are made of the same cheaply made polyesters the fabric stores sell.  It's like Oklahoma is the Land of Cheaply Made Polyester.

      I did find a few nice things in a thrift store in Texas, but I had to sneak away from my sister's house early to go there - she doesn't DO thrift stores.  I might get her to a store that sells seconds and discounted new items, but never, ever a garage sale, estate sale, or thrift store.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:45:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I discovered a chain of 'em here (0+ / 0-)

        goes by "Savers" but some labels say "Value Village".

        If you can sneak away again, check out what they have -- I bet there's at least one in / near OKC.

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:15:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good morning (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    broths, Noddy, weck, chimene

    Cold again here this morning, and while I was trying to doze back off my other half kept pulling all the blankets off my feet so I gave up and got up. I may go back to bed later when he's more inclined to share ;).

    As for sewing, I do mostly mending/crafty/simple hand sewing. I'm horrible with patterns, the clothes I make, mostly Garb, I do by sight. I think it's part of the dyscalculia possibly, with the spatial reasoning part because they just have never made any sense to me. I'm not good at jigsaw puzzles either. I can make a tunic and breeches or a simple cloak, but not something with a bunch of little odd shaped pieces that are supposed to come together as clothes.

    We do have a Jo-anne's here though that I go to if I'm looking for specific fabric. Curtains for example I make myself, it's a lot cheaper to get a discount fabric I like, sew the top pocket, bottom, and sides, and put a rod through them than to spend $20 a panel for store bought. Speaking of, if it's going to be cooler here this winter I should go get some heavier fabric and make curtains for my bedroom because these paper blinds we have up to appease the trailer park aren't going to cut it.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 03:48:57 AM PST

  •  Good morning everyone! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Noddy, weck, chimene

    I just started quilting, and buying fabric.  Buying fabric is fun, and if I don't start doing something with it i'm going to be a fabric collector.  I actually paid more for just OK fabric at Joann's then I paid for batiq fabrics at a good fabric store, and quilt stores.  No more Joann's for fabric for me.

    Going to be a beautiful weekend here, near 70 tomorrow.  Monday in the 30's.  Weird weather.

    Meeting a friend for breakfast.  My hubby volunteers at our local nature center, and tonight is the volunteer dinner.

    Have a great day.

    I am a work in progress. Still.

    by broths on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:39:11 AM PST

  •  Haven't bought fabric for (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, FloridaSNMOM, weck, chimene

    ages.  Even 15 years ago, the quality was poor.  I get all my clothes from a super-duper rummage sale that one of the more affluent churches here holds every June.  I can get a complete wardrobe for about $20!  Of course, I'm pretty easy to please, but some of the things I've gotten have still had the price tags on them.  You might think of checking out sales in the more upmarket places in your area.

    I'm in my own little mess here.  I've signed up for the church craft sale next weekend.  I had a few things made, but now I'm burning the midnight oil to get a bunch of things made soon.  It would help, of course, if I weren't such a terrible perfectionist.  I even point out tiny flaws to people and they can't see them.  What's up with me?!?  :-)

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:50:53 AM PST

    •  Perfectionism - (5+ / 0-)

      the fatal flaw in many artists.

      That's one of the reasons I like NaNoWriMo - ir forces you to work through your flaws to finish the project with a huge cheering section.  Your finished draft won't be pretty or well-written, but it will be done.  For noveling, that's the important part - finishing it.  Editing and cleaning it up and all that can come later.

      I haven't heard of a similar crafting group, probably because there'd have to be so many of them - the softies, the beaders, the big quilters, the crafty quilters, the painted rock tschotschkes, the artsy dolls, the meant-to-be-played with dolls, the pins, the hair baubles, the dough ornaments...it would be such a mess.

      But a support group might be an answer - people who can reassure and cheer you on and point out the good parts so you see them instead of the microscopic flaws.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:51:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think I managed to silence (5+ / 0-)

    a trollish type person - without ever being mean or resorting to ad hominems or anything but stolid and clueless persistence.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:53:05 AM PST

  •  I love home decor sewing. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Noddy, broths, chimene

    I made prom dresses and a few costumes, but the fabrics I love to work with are the tapestries and jacquards.

    I am working on a small quilt for the Netroots project for veterans, and I have been working on a big quilt made from scraps from a tie manufacturer that I acquired in 1975.

    Working with patterns annoys me, so doing chair covers and pillows and tote bags remains what I do for fun.

    I have been haunting thrift stores for as long as I have been working on the quilt.  The best time I had was in Phoenix, the stores were filled with clothes no longer needed by snowbirds; perfect for a teacher in NY.  The suitcase I bought to take them home in was a great bargain, too.

    I did the same thing when I traveled to San Jose with students; they had a lot of souvenirs, and a big extra suitcase was just the ticket.

    Please donate to Okiciyap food pantry. . If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

    by weck on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:23:24 AM PST

  •  I'm sorry your sister doesn't enjoy thrifts. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    broths, Noddy, FloridaSNMOM, chimene

    My 3 sisters and I have a multiple day vacation planned so we can be together and "go junking".  Antique stores, thrifts, garage sales and more!  (We may need to borrow a van!)

    Please donate to Okiciyap food pantry. . If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

    by weck on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:56:33 AM PST

    •  I have friends and my children I can do that with. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, FloridaSNMOM, chimene

      We prefer estate sales, thrift stores, and antique/junk shops.  Around here, the estate sales are much cheaper than the garage sales.  If we drive out to the more rural areas, that flips around and the garage sales are cheaper than the estate sales.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:24:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  my DH & I have been junking more than usual (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, weck

    the last couple of years... he's looking for brass for steam-punking with, and boy it's gotten scarce recently. we haven't really been able to figure out why, except maybe China is siphoning it up wholesale (!).

    and I'm on a kick to collect the back-issues of Victoria magazine, for some reason. I think I was tracking Tasha Tudor for Christmas stuff when I got ensnared... we do a very eccentric Christmas, with Victorian influence, so... I have been remarkably successful at that (collecting original-editor Victoria's), except for, of course, the first year, and the December/Christmas editions! St Vinnie's is the only one of the biggies that puts its books-and-magazines in any vestige of order at all, so that's where we go mostly.

    I also do a LOT of clothes shopping at thrifts, because if you can stand shopping at all, there are lots of good condition/good quality/sometimes even high fashion labels to be found. and somehow it's less humiliating sorting for stuff in the large sizes I need, than in department stores...

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:28:18 PM PST

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