Splashes of sunshine for Spring 2010

"Splashes of sunshine for Spring 2010
New York Fashion Week, September 10 – 17, 2009

Designers bring splashes of sunshine to the runway for spring 2010. Vibrant brights add a sense of excitement to the color palette, while practical neutrals provide a safety net for cautious consumers.

“Now more than ever, women are vigilant when it comes to spending,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Instead of re-inventing their wardrobe at the start of each season, consumers want pieces to complement what they already own. Pairing a bold color with a basic piece or freshening up their look with bright accents addresses the need for practicality, as well as fun.”

Preview colors for Spring 2010." <- download PDF file from Pantone website.



I've recently updated my Vimeo account. I've added a Channel & a DIY Sewing Group. I enjoy viewing videos on Vimeo, although there aren't a lot of sewing and craft tutorials, so I decided to start one. Sign up to Vimeo and add your own videos to my group "DIY Sewing".

I never saw any reason for having a Facebook account until recently. I've started a Facebook Page in the hopes of getting feed back from my viewers.

iTunes is another recent addition to my list of accounts I've set up in the past week. Hopefully getting viewers will inspire me to create more tutorials. I receive no profit or free stuff to make my tutorials. I do them because I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other people.


Old Text-Books


I have often found old text-books helpful when sewing. The pictures are black & white, but the instructions are very clear. They also have little projects with illustrations & drafting information.
Plus I love finding old books from the 1900s.

Here are two books I found in Google Book Search:


How to Clean Your Iron

By Susan M. Keenan

Cleaning your iron on a regular basis is essential to maintaining clean, crisp clothes. At first glance, you may wonder how it is that one goes about cleaning an iron. In fact, you may even avoid the task simply because you don't know how to go about it.

Fortunately, cleaning the iron is no more difficult than cleaning most other small appliances. All it takes is a little bit of time and a few simple tools.

Cleaning the Reservoir

The reservoir of your iron needs cleaning if it looks as though small deposits are being left in the small holes on the soleplate. Typically, the deposits are minerals from the water that you are using in the reservoir. The deposits may have a white color, and they may resemble salt.

Cleaning the reservoir requires the use of white vinegar and a clean rag. Fill the reservoir of a cold iron at least one fourth of the way with white vinegar. Turn the iron on and place it on the steam setting. Steam iron the clean rag until the reservoir is completely empty.

If the deposits are still visible to you, you will need to fill the reservoir with clean water and steam iron a rag again. If the deposits are still visible to you after this, you will need to repeat the process with vinegar until the deposits are no longer apparent.

Rinse the reservoir thoroughly with clean water by filling it completely and then emptying it completely. In order to avoid mineral buildup and deposits, use only distilled or purified water in the reservoir. If you continue to use tap water, simply remember to clean the reservoir periodically.

Vinegar has a strong smell associated with it, especially when it is heated. Ventilate the area where you are working as much as possible, by opening windows, turning on vents or fans, or keeping the door open.

Cleaning the Soleplate

Unfortunately, the soleplate of an iron is prone to occasional build up. Therefore, the soleplate requires cleaning in order to avoid staining the clothes or fabrics. Avoid abrasive cleaning powders or scouring pads.

Begin with a cold iron that is unplugged from the electrical outlet. Use a mild dish washing soap or laundry detergent to create a sudsy solution. Use a nylon mesh pad, sponge, or a clean cloth dipped in the solution to completely wipe off the soleplate of the iron. Wipe the soleplate clean with a damp cloth or rag.

If the soleplate is the victim of a starchy build up or corrosion of some form, you will need to use something a little stronger. Use a clean cloth dipped in white vinegar to remove the build up. Wipe the soleplate clean with a cloth dampened in clean water.

If this does not work, then you will need to heat a solution of white vinegar and salt until the salt dissolves. Using a clean cloth sipped in the heated solution, wipe the iron's soleplate clean. Continue wiping until you have removed all of the build up or corrosion. Remember to wipe the iron completely clean with a cloth dampened in clean water.

Cleaning the Exterior of the Iron

The exterior of the iron should be kept clean to avoid any unnecessary transfer of dirt onto the articles that are being ironed. Simply wipe the exterior clean with a damp cloth or sponge occasionally. If the iron does happen to pick up some form of residue on its exterior, then wipe it with a mild dish washing solution. Completing this task when you are cleaning the soleplate of the iron is an excellent time saver.

Storing the Iron

Whenever you are finished with the iron, you should empty the reservoir completely and allow it to dry out. This will also help to prevent mineral build up and lessen the frequency with which you need to clean the reservoir. Remember that the water in the reservoir may be hot since the iron was turned on. Empty the water slowly by tilting the iron over the sink or laundry tub. Store the iron in an upright position in a location where it won't be easily disturbed.




It's amazing what one can find on the internet these days. Not only from reading fashion magazine or blogs. I found a 2002 article in Science Daily about stain removal. Apparently a "retired extension educator" updated a 1975 cornell publication called "Removing Stains at Home".

It's basically a 12 page booklet that explain how to removal almost any stain. It even list the stains that can't be removed. They go on to say one will get the best results if the stain is fresh. I download the PDF and I think I might even have a section on my website devoted to textiles (i.e. how to clean, store & about care label symbols).

ARTICLE: ScienceDaily "How to remove 250 Stains from Clothes & Textiles"



How to make dryer sheets.

• Cotton Fabric
• Pinking Shears
• Spray Bottle
• Fabric Softener (any brand)

1. Using your pinking shears cut fabric into 8"x8" squares.
2. Fill your spray bottle with fabric softener.
3. When you're ready to do a load of laundry, spray a cotton square 6 to 8 times & toss it in the dryer.
Tip: Wash your squares every once in a while to remove buildup of softener. With a little care, these dryer sheets should last for years.

"… Dryer sheets are made of fabric softener, like Downy, dried onto a small piece of fabric. It's just the stuff you put in the wash, but in solid form… If you make your own dryer sheets, one bottle of fabric softener can last you more than a year, & you'll save some big bucks…"
[Book: The Big Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano]

After reading this book I decided to research this for myself and I found more recipes on how to make your own dryer sheets. Below are a list of the recipes I've found.

Other Recipes:

• Recipe #1: Put liquid fabric softener into an old, cleaned spray bottle. Spray 4 to 6 sprays on a rag and tumble with clothes in dryer as ususal. Wash the rag now and then to remove buildup.

• Recipe #2: Mix 1 cup fabric softener with 2 cups water in spray bottle. Spray 4 to 6 sprays on a rag and tumble with clothes in dryer as ususal. Wash the rag now and then to remove buildup.

• Recipe #3: Mix 1 part hair conditioner and 1 part water in spray bottle. Spray 4 to 6 sprays on a rag and tumble with clothes in dryer as ususal. Wash the rag now and then to remove buildup.

• Recipe #4: Fill spray bottle with vinegar. You can add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar if desired. Spray 4 to 6 sprays on a rag and tumble with clothes in dryer as ususal. Wash the rag now and then to remove buildup.

• Recipe #5: Soak an old washcloth in liquid fabric softener. Ring out excess softener and then lie flat to dry. Toss dried cloth in dryer as needed. You’ll be able to reuse your cloth about 12 times before you’ll need to wash the cloth and re-soak in fabric softener.

Compiled from the following links:
[About.com, Frugral Fabric Softener Recipes & Dryer Sheet Tips, & Making Your Own Fabric Softener]



The Dreaded Eighties

I just finished reading about New York's Fashion Week and guess what? The dreaded eighties style has come back ....

Marc Jacobs Fall 2009 - "... delivering an over-the-top ode to the New York Eighties ..."

Donna Karan Fall 2009 - "... Karan reached back to the mid-Eighties with crystal transparency..."


Telegtaph.co.uk: Vivienne Westwood at Paris Fashion Week

By Hilary Alexander, Fashion Director

Last Updated: 10:31AM GMT 22 Jan 2009

DIY fashion: Vivienne Westwood's joyously haphazard approach to dress

Vivienne Westwood's powerful show featured DIY fashion and was based on the idea that time is running out...

“DIY! Don’t buy my clothes. Well, if you are rich or can afford a stylist, you can get me. But if not, do it yourself. My idea is that you can mix charity, vintage, Portobello Road, pieces of Ikat fabric; wrap it all around yourself, use a handkerchief as knickers, mix safety pins and jewellery. But above all do something! Be optimistic!”

Vivienne Westwood’s passionate pre-show dialogue was all about saving the rainforest and she was not in the slightest bit cautious about letting her politics invade her collection.

“We are in the most terrible danger. In 100 years 5 billion people could be dead, London could be inundated in 20 years. Time is running out.”

The inevitability of time was underscored on a World’s End clock printed on a T-shirt, one of the more instantly recognizable and recycled items in the show, along with a fresh take on the famous pirate boots, although this time decorated with rough-cut white denim in a nod to her legendary ‘cut-and-slash’ collection.

Elsewhere, she was true to her DIY manifesto, using colourful, printed tubes and rectangles of fabric, twisted, tied and wrapped around the body to form a colourful and joyously haphazard approach to dress.
Skirts were bunched up and secured with D-rings. A leopard-print throw came with baggy, grey cotton shorts. A yellow Chinese, embroidered bed-cloth was worn as a sarong with a striped Lurex jumper.

A remnant of blue and white print cotton was twisted into “nappies” and teamed with an Ikat print stole. And vast lengths of pastel, ticking stripe were gathered and knotted into crinolines and sari-style gowns.

Staged to Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, the show carried a powerful message. But was anybody listening?

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