[HNW] What do I use???

Robert Romberger jestar at webworldinc.com
Thu Jan 3 15:37:55 PST 2002

Carol Knight wrote:

> What kind of frame do I use? Should I even use a frame? If I don't, how do I
> stretch the fabric to keep it on grain?

    As was noted, using a frame with velvet/velveteen can crush the nap.  I
found that you can "refresh" the nap using a soft brush (the ones used to clean
your fingers work very well) and gently brushing in the opposite direction of
the nap (fluffing it if you will).  Velvet is much more slippery than the
velveteen (in my experience), so stretching it can be an exacting science.

> I have very limited work space, so I can not use a very large frame.
> How do I go about working the pattern pieces?
> Should I cut them out first or do a  chalk outline and a 'block cut'?

    When I have done doublets, I worked with the pieces already cut out but not
assembled.  I've not done any pattern that passed from the front to the sides or
back, so you might have to put the pieces together first if you do have a
pattern that goes around more than the front.

    When I did beading on a pair of canyons (the short pants), they were already
assembled.  Fortunately, the beading was on top of a ribbon pattern that was
already sewn to the outside leg seams.  It only got difficult around the middle
of the thigh area, but I have fairly small legs (waist of 30/32), though long
(inseam 36).  I used a beading needle and doubled up top quilting thread, but no

> I also have a needlepushing problem. I have tried thimbles, but those metal
> ones just feel ackward and they don't 'push right' for me. I know I need
> something, because the last project, I managed to draw blood with the eye
> end of the needle! Has anyone tried those leather thimbles that they sell for
> quilters?

    Haven't tried the quilters thimbles, but they sound like scaled down
sailmaker's palms.  The sailmaker's palm is a half piece of leather glove with a
metal insert, and is used to help push the large sail needles through multiple
layers of sail material (heavy canvas).  I have big hands, so finding a thimble
that fits has always been a problem.  Once I did find a metal thimble of the
right size, I cut some leather to fit it and made a small glove to help hold it
on my finger (middle finger seemed to work the best).  I rarely use it for much
else than heavy cloth materials, but it was a good invest of my time to make
it.  FWIW, I use a pair of old military issue leather gloves (similar to the
cheap soft leather gloves with light lining you can find in Wal-mart, etc.) when
I am doing any leather sewing.  I typically use heavy waxed thread with large
needles (two at a time), and have not needed the metal thimble or sailmaker's
palm.  If the needle gets stuck in the leather, I grab it with a pair of
needle-nose pliers and pull it through.

    Best of luck with your project!  :)

Robert "Jestar" de la Fonteyne
Knight Civil
Knight Bachelor
Adrian Empire Imperial Hospitaler
Master of the Ether (Imperial Webmaster) http://www.adrianempire.org

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