Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The state of fabric and notions

Have you tried to buy fabric lately? How about thread? It's almost as rare as toilet paper, but not quite. You can order from Joann and pick up curb-side, but you'll be lucky if they're not out of the fabric you want. You can go to Walmart to get thread, if they have any left.

Did any of us ever think that there would be "shortages" of our sewing items?

If you go to eBay, you'll see some fabric for amazingly inflated prices. After a couple of weeks, sellers got wise to the mask makers and started offering 1/4-yard pieces along with fat quarters that have been cut and are selling for way more than the initial yard it came from was. It's gouging and taking advantage. The fabric shouldn't be so expensive. Is it opportunistic and capitalistic to buy and then sell at high, really high prices? I have really mixed feelings about it.

I have purchased from these sellers because they have the fabric that mask buyers want. They also have the fabric that people who have masks donated to them want. I take the money made from masks and put it back into mask materials.

Even thread - thread! - is getting hard to find online, but I now have a stash of white thread and the variegated threads I like.

I've gone through most of my novelty fabrics, some of which are 30-40 years old. People love the old stuff - Smurfs, Sponge Bob, M&Ms, etc. I find they also have a hankering for dogs and other animals on their fabric. It's been interesting to see what people like.

I'm working on a large order for a local nonprofit and it's filled with not novelty fabric masks.

Anyway, get to sewing everyone! The world needs us and they need us to teach them how to do this for themselves. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Corona Donna

Like others who sew, I've been sewing to beat the band during this pandemic lock down. I personally am one of those at risk people - age and health stuff. Overall, I'm in good health, but I do have diabetes. I get groceries delivered and go out rarely. The newest "thing" is that my husband retired last week, so now life is changing again. Does change ever end? No, and thank goodness for that.

I've sewn literally hundreds of masks - donated, for payment with in-kind donation for buyer so they get money instead (nonprofit people get it), and for sale. I've given them in bulk to people outfitting their people for work and for free to a person wanting one for her child. I am an ongoing give to an emergency vet clinic. My daughter has had me make them for her friends. It's a self-supporting project in the end and the novelty fabrics I have had since the 90s are coming in handy. I don't need to save them any longer. Maybe this is what I was saving them for.

People who sew are heroes right now. It's a beautiful thing to give a mask to a person who needs one. I've posted earlier with the link to the pattern I adapted for myself. Actually, what I do now barely resembles any pattern I've seen, but it works! I've lengthened the ear straps a couple of times per suggestion of wearers. Here are a few:

Pride masks are super popular to sell. I've given away several. 

This is one of my early favorites. I called it the Annie. Now we're up to the Annie II (a different check) and people love it.

I had a little bit of this M&M fabric and used it up fairly quickly. 

My favorite brains fabric. I love this one.

David Byrne of Talking Heads can appreciate this one. 

Dexter anyone?

I bought Sponge Bob fabric eons ago. I'm using it all now!

German Shepherds. Why not?

Again, I've had Steelers fabric forever. Time to use it up. I have the black Steelers fabric too, but haven't used it for masks yet. 

I love this funky print. 

Candy bars are a good thing, right?

The Smurfs fabric is from the 80s. I had a couple of sheets that I had saved. Again, time to use it up. My husband made a custom cutting template for me so I can ensure each mask has Smurfs on it and not just background stuff. 

Newer M&Ms fabric. 

Sorry, Anna, I'm using the strawberry fabric I bought for your quilt since they're very in right now. I'll get you more!

Subtle skulls, barbed wire, and other cute prints. 

NY Yankees. Whew, this fabric was expensive, but as I'm selling these, I should make that money back. 

Alicia sent me some animal fabric. This is her pink/red cat faces that I made today. 

I highly encourage anyone who sews to make a mask or three. The elastic is not impossible to find anymore, but theme fabrics are super expensive on Etsy and eBay now. Sellers know what they have and they're charging a lot. My personal novelty fabric stash is disappearing and I'm fine with that!

I imported my Corona Donna posts and will no longer be using that blog.

Now, go sew something!