Saturday 28 July 2012

It's Funny How Much You Can Buy in Your Lunch Hour...

01 Ridley Road Market, Dalston

Yesterday, I took my lunch break later in the afternoon, and I hopped onto the bus for a short trip to Dalston - home of Ridley Road Market (the market is located opposite Dalston Kingsland Train Station and beside Kingsland Shopping Centre).

The market has several African fabric 'n' textiles stalls and shops, it also has 3 more mainstream style fabric retailers, and a trims shop too (see below for links). The rest of the market is a bustling and vibrant array of fruit 'n' veg stalls, kitchenware, foods of the world, toys and DVDs etc.

In total I managed to pick up 3 pieces of fabric (8 metres worth), 4 cones of overlocker (serger) thread, 2 zips, a ball of acrylic *wool, 2 pieces of black elastic, 6 large spools of thread and a pair of second-hand jeans. Not bad for the Princely sum of £31.86 :)

02 Shopping

Blue Fabric - from Hamid for Fabrics £2 / metre, 2.5 metres 100% cotton. Feels light weight, but not too thin - the colour finish puts me in mind of Chambray (which I'm always a sucker for buying!).
03 Hamid for Fabrics, Ridley Road

Red Fabric - from Stall No. 118 (I think the stall is called Vawda's Textiles ?) in the Market, 3 metres of 100% cotton for... £1 / metre! It has a subtle sheen, and a lovely soft drape - I'm thinking nice blouse / top.

04 Fabric Stall, Ridley Road  05 Fabric Stall, Ridley Road

Purple and Light Blue Cones £1.50 each , Black Elastic 50p each and 6 Thread Spools 75p each - from U & I Trimmings. The 6 spools are for taking with me to sewing classes (smaller and lighter than cones dontcha know - but won't run out half-way through!) - as my preferred method for toile / muslin making on test garments is to thread trace my seam allowance lines and hems in black, and then to baste together in pale green - any subsequent changes to seam/stitching lines are made in red, then blue - before re-stitching together again in the pale green. This way I can see history and provenance of any changes I make clearly as I progress :)

06 U & I Trimmings, Ridley Road  07 U & I Trimmings, Ridley Road.JPG

'U & I' is a funny little shop - it is very crowded with ribbons, bias bindings, rick-rack, laces, and trims inside (there's barely any room to move), and outside there's tonnes of zippers, cones, thread spools, a few colours of wool (not real wool though), buttons etc.. Things are kinda lumped together into groups, and you really have to rummage around for what you want - for example the zips are jumbled together into boxes, they're not sorted by size / colour so be prepared to dig around. But as things are so cheap you might be surprised by what you turn up!

Yellow Gingham £3 / metre, 2.5 metres plus a ball of Acrylic Wool for £1.69 from Dalston Mill Fabrics. It's a woven Gingham rather than a printed one. And, unlike many printed cheap Polycotton Gingham's it feels more drapey (not overly crisp and stiff) - and not at all too thin. So, I think it might be a 100% cotton too perhaps? This fabric is destined for a special project at the mid to end of August ;)

08 Dalston Mills Fabrics, Ridley Road

I like 'Dalston Mills Fabrics' (links to their online shop) - it's like a Tardis inside. The front has a big display of PVC/Vinyl Oilcloth fabric, and also a bunch of de-enveloped patterns for if I can recall correctly £1 (maybe £2?) each. The patterns are not in any organised order though, so you won't find  say all the skirts together or anything handy like that. Inside there is a much bigger retail space, and a vast array of fabrics (sorry no pics of inside - I'll ask next time if they don't mind me sneeking a few!). There's wools, and lots of buttons towards the back. But at the very back are 2 smaller-rooms. One room is full of ribbons, elastics, trims - and lady behind a counter to cut them for you (you pay at the 1 till point in the centre of the shop). The other room has their wools and suitings - it's here that I found the 100% wool fabric I used to make my homemade pressing tools. They also have lots of zips, including long separating zippers for jackets etc. There's threads too, plus they have new Big-4 patterns inside + Burda too. The staff are always extremely friendly and helpful here too.

Then, a short walk heading South down Kingsland Road I popped into the quirky William Gee shop and picked up 2 more overlocker thread cones in Pale Yellow and Pink for £1.20 each. This was my 2nd visit to their store.

09 William Gee, Kingsland Road

10 William Gee, Kingsland Road  11 William Gee, Kingsland Road

12 William Gee, Kingsland Road  14 William Gee, Kingsland Road  13 William Gee, Kingsland Road

'William Gee's' bricks 'n' mortar shop is a stark contrast to their snazzy website is waaaay better than the store - I was a bit disappointed by the up close 'n' personal experience first hand. The staff seem nice enough, but I was surprised when on my 1st visit a few weeks back that they didn't have any lingerie or FOE (fold over elastic) :( which I'd hoped to use to make Zoe's FREE vest pattern. But fret ye not, eBay came to my rescue LOL! From their wall displays inside, and their window displays outside they carry a good range of shear, scissors, tools and rulers - including the love it or hate it Pattern Master. (See here for their range of Pattern Room Equipment & Design Aids.) The store was a single room - with old fashioned glass-topped counters either side (with 2 staff behind the counter) and it was devoid of all natural light. Unless it's within easier reach on a shelf (e.g. thread cones), you have to ask to be shown what you're looking for, so it's not a very consumer-focused retail experience really. I'd say don't go there to browse, go with a specific item in mind, or even better ring them up first to check they have it in stock to save you a wasted journey! (Or shop there on line hehe!)

Some other reviews of William Gee are linked at the bottom of my post. The company has been around since 1906!

And, practically next door is a big-ish sized Oxfam shop where I grabbed 2 Royal Blue zips for 39p each (brand new stock too!), and a pair of second-hand jeans for £2.99 - the jeans will get refashioned methinks (that's if I feel brave enough to get my pale 'n' pasty pins out whilst there's still a smidgen of summer left in the air!) :)!

15 Oxfam, Kingsland Road

*Nope I'm not taking up knitting or crochet LOL (there's not enough room in my little house for all the trappings of any more hobbies hehe!). It's to make the "hair" for a little dolly I'm making for my darling niece who has just turned 1 year old!

More reviews of WILLIAM GEE:
I did a quick Google search and I found these blog posts:
Set squares at the Scariest Shop in the World from 'One Foot in the Hull'.
Fabric Shopping in Dalston from 'Nicole Needles - Adventures in Sewing'.
Haberdashery from REAL shops! from 'Making My Tennant Coat'.
One gimp please from 'Sew Far Sew Good'.
This is an actually good read about the history of the place: At William Gee Ltd, Haberdashers from 'Spitalfields Life'.

Quote from this blog: The Lonely Crafter’s Guide to London from 'Cargo Cult Craft'.

  • William Gee on the Kingsland Road supplies haberdashery and equipment to the tailoring trade, but their shop, unless they’ve undergone a serious revamp recently, is one of the saddest retail spaces I’ve seen in my crafty travels. Difficult to navigate unless you know what you want, but they do have a pretty comprehensive range of professional tools, up to and including tailor’s canvas and pattern design and drafting supplies. 520-522 Kingsland Road, E8.

Friday 27 July 2012

It's Started! London 2012 Olympics - GO TEAM GB!

I've always loved watched the Olympics on the telly as a kid, and as an adult. And it feels all the more special as it's now come to my home town London!

The Opening Ceremony starts tonight at 9pm - and I'll be glued to the box, watching it :)

Go team GB!

I borrowed the sunnies from a colleague at work - and will be wearing my 2012 badge everyday until end of 9th September when the Paralymics close

Wednesday 25 July 2012

A Top, A Skip and A Jump!

(I'm paraphrasing "A hop, a skip and a jump")

The TOP is my 2nd finished Scout Woven Tee by Grainline, I successfully finished it in time on Sunday evening (just over a week ago), and wore it to work to show-off on Monday 23rd July.

01, Scout Woven Tee - Polka Dots

I made this with fabric kindly donated by Alana from Lazy Stitching at the April 2012 Walthamstow meet-up.

I managed to squeeze it onto barely 1 metre of fabric - and I'm quite proud of my pattern matching of the spots/dots around the side-seams, and tops of sleeves. I think the spots flow quite naturally, and don't look randomly cut-off or anything weird LOL!

Check out the early-morning photos I made poor Hubby take whilst my maquillage was all fresh before leaving for work hehe! (P.S. That's shower-fresh damp hair, not greasy strands alright ;)!!)

02, Scout Woven T-Shirt, Black & White Polka Dots

Following on from the details in my previous post... I stitched shoulder-seams, followed by side-seams, then the underarm seam on the sleeves, followed by setting-in the sleeves. I made the same mistake as on my first navy collared version of the top - in that I forgot to hem the sleeves before sewing them to the bodice (doh!) - it made it a little more bulky to manoeuvre under the presser foot but not impossible. I was careful when I altered the sleeve pattern to measure the curves along the armscye of the sleeve verses the bodice armhole - as I didn't want to have to contend with too much excess ease along the sleeve cap (I found it hard to ease this in evenly on the first toile / muslin I made). So, with less than ½" (1.3cm) of ease in the sleeve cap I first pinned the sleeve to the bodice between the notch marks along the lower edge of the fabric (aligning the stitching lines I'd marked on the wrong-side of my fabric using my Saral tracing paper) then I pinned between the notches along the top of the sleeve - distributing the ease evenly. Now, the first time I tried to sew a set-in sleeve it was tricky having to constantly stop 'n' start to remove the pins as I went along. So instead, I basted by hand with some bright red thread - about 1/8" (3mm) from the marked stitching line. I basted to the side of the line that was towards the bodice - so not in the seam allowance itself. I figured that basting on that side would control any tricky ease and awkward curves better than if they were stitched together in the seam allowance area.

I pinned the bodice front pattern to my toile / muslin at the shoulder and underarm/side-seam, and centre-front neckline. Then I use a pencil to mark on the paper my "actual" BP (Bust Point / Bust Apex).

03, Marking the BP on the Pattern

I wanted to find my exact "real" BP, so I could avoid placing any of the black polka dots from my chosen fabric over the bulls-eye! I used my top-tip to avoid dodgy placement of the dots over the "girls" ;).

I followed Jen's tutorial "Getting Flat Bias Necklines" to the tee! I worked really well, and I will definitely use it again!

04, Grading Seam Allowances
Trimming / grading the seam allowance

I cut the bias binding length as follows:
Length of Actual Piece of Binding to Cut =
*Neckline Length + (2x Seam Allowance), then minus 1/8" (3mm)
(*At seam line / stitching line - NOT at fabric edge!!)
I used my duck-billed applique scissors to grade/trim the seam allowances, and I was pleasantly surprised as they really did help to avoid inadvertently  trimming the bodice fabric underneath by mistake (something I've struggled with using normal shears/scissors in the past). As you can see from the photo above the bias binding got trimmed down in half to 1/8" (3mm).

I used some nude/ skin-toned bias binding (it kinda matched for my own skin tone) to face the inside of the neckline - I picked it up at Shepherd's Bush Market when I went out with Dibs recently. I think it worked pretty well! I didn't want an extra thick doubled-up effect you sometimes get with 2 or more layers of white fabric!

05, Pinning and Pressing Bias Binding Inside the Neckline
Pinning and Pressing Bias Binding Inside the Neckline on my Tailor's Ham
The bias binding is then turned to the inside. I pinned it carefully in place and pressed it between the pins (avoiding pressing over the glass head pins - which can leave marks of the pin holes in the fabric otherwise!). My homemade tailor's ham was very handy in laying out the neckline during this process - as it mimicked the natural contours of a real body well :)

Then, I hand basted in place close to the bottom edge of the binding (not so close as to catch in the machine stitches later).

Then, I stitched it in place on my sewing machine. I had the top the right-way out (not inside out) and then stitched inside of the neckline - so I could see that I was catching the edge properly of the bias binding. This means that the bobbin thread appears on the outside of the neckline, and the thread from the spool/reel shows on the inside of the neckline.

06, Finished Neckline
The finished neckline - lies lovely & flat!
Oh, and I used the new overlocker that my wonderful Hubby bought for me early this year for my Birthday (I was having trouble adjusting the tension on my old machine) to finish the seams on the inside. Handily it came pre-threaded with 4 mini-cones of white thread, so that saved me some time - but I did have a go at re-threading it and it was MUCH faster than my old Delta overlocker. I straight stitched all the seams first, and then overlocked (serged) them - I don't trust my judgement enough yet to just overlock them straight off. It was a bit slow going around the armscye seams - probably because it's such a curved line to follow, and I was worried about accidentally cutting off bits I shouldn't be with the machine's blade. But I was careful and it turned out great!

I also used seam tape to stay the shoulder seams before I overlocked them too.

The SKIP is... skipped stitches, I got trying to zig-zag stitch the side-seams on my first attempt at Zoe's FREE vest pattern.

Skipped stitches
Opps - can we say "Skipped stitches?"

P.S. If you haven't heard of this fab little pattern - where have you been hiding ;) ? I might be biased - but download it now and give it a go! It was my first try at sewing with knits (unless you count taking in the side-seams of T-shirts with glorious abandon for the ripped straight stitches that don't give - when I was a teenager haha!), and aside from the skipped stitches (hmmm... which I think are related to pressure issues with my presser-foot) it went together really quickly!

The the JUMP is the frightful jump I got when sewing my vest using my 'Walking Foot' and the needle snapped - eekk!

Broken Sewing Machine Needle
What's wrong with this picture :( ???

Monday 23 July 2012

PRIMA Pattern - August 2012, Jumpsuit / Playsuit

The current PRIMA Magazine is out - August 2012.

Prima Magazine - Pattern, August 2012 (01)  Prima Magazine - Pattern, August 2012 (02)

Their latest pattern for ordering is a loose-fitting bandeau jumpsuit, with elasticated waist and no fastenings. Full-length for evenings or short for the beach.
Prima Magazine - Pattern, August 2012 (03)

Looks to me to be an easy make for beginners, and shouldn't have to many fit issues - being loose, a knit 'n' all :)!

Prima Magazine - Pattern, August 2012 (03)

Prima Magazine - Pattern, August 2012 (04)
Order details for the August 2012 Jumpsuit / Playsuit Pattern
See my old post here on tips for ordering their patterns: PRIMA Magazine: How to Order Their Sewing Patterns.

Sunday 15 July 2012

"Look Mum! I'm on TV!" (Well sorta ;) ....)

If YouTube is supposed to be like your own personal TV channel then does that count too ;)? (Hope so!)

Check out the video interview the delightful Miss. Dibs made of yours truly on our recent visit to Goldhawk Road here: The Blogger Series: Sew Incidentally.

Extra points if you can name the Bond villain I was imitating at the end of the clip... clue he was "Number 1" and worked for SPECTRE :)

Oh, and have a look at the other great interviews on Dib's channel too, of : Melizza from Pincushion Treats, and Rachel of House of Pinheiro.

OMG - What AM I doing here???

Me + an invisible white cat.
[Still screen shots above - taken from Dib's YouTube Video]

In other news, the spotty-dotty Scout Top is nearly done I am midst attaching the bias binding to the neckline and then that's it!

Saturday 14 July 2012

TOP TIP: How Tracing Paper Is Your Friend (OR... How To Prevent N*pplegate When Cutting Out Your Patterns)!

Okay, so I've been working on my 2nd version of Jen from Grainline's fab Scout Woven Tee. My *first version was finished at the end of February (yeah I know nearly 5 months ago eek!). But, for my sins I've been on a health kick since the start of March and I'm 30lbs/13.6 kgs lighter than I used to be - so a lot of my original pattern alterations are now defunct. E.g. my waist is now 6"/ smaller, and my biceps are around 1"/2.5cm smaller. I had originally graded up all my pattern pieces; made a FBA (full-bust alteration) which created a side bust dart where originally there had been none, plus I'd done a wide-bicep alteration too... so basically, I had some stuff to undo and fiddle around with. But, hey! It's all good experience for pattern alterations isn't it ;) LOL! (*Worn here in my recent outing with Miss Dibs!)

Anyway... I'd pinned the picture below of Kelli's Scout top make ages ago, 'cos I loved her version in black 'n' white polka dots.
Image Source: Kelli at True Bias
Then, I remembered that I'd acquired the perfect fabric to blatantly copy make my own homage at the April Walthamstow Market meet-up from Alana at Lazy Stitching. Bonus - I'd already washed and pressed it, so this weekend it'll be made up! If it goes well, I'll transfer the altered pattern to some pattern card - which'll make it much easier to transfer the marking to fabric, so I can make LOADS to this fab little pattern :)

But, before I cut out the fabric I wanted to ensure I don't "mark the bulls-eye" so to speak over my bust apex, my aim was to avoid "n*pplegate" !

The tools and bits that inspired my "Eureka!" moment
I believe this is a common concern for sewists the globe over no? Well, I had a bunch of bits of paper, sellotape etc. scattered over my desk. And I had one of those "Eureka!" moments....

Helping You With Your Fabric Cutting Layout
(SUBTITLE: How To Prevent N*pplegate When Cutting Out Your Patterns!)

How to Avoid Unfortunate Patterned-Fabric
Placement Over Your Bust Point / Apex

 If you like this tip you can pin it here: Pinterest :)

Step 1.
Mark your BP (Bust Point) on your bodice front pattern piece - X marks the spot people!

Step 2. Mark out a rough square about 1½"-2" (4 - 5cm ish) wide centred over the BP. 

Step 3. Cut along 3 sides of the square (I used a ruler and a sharp craft knife). On the last/4th side fold a crease line.

Step 4. Turn the pattern over, so it's face down on the table.

Step 5. Cut a scrap of translucent / see-through tracing paper that's bigger than your square hole. Tape it securely to the back of the hole.

Step 6. Turn the pattern back over again. Hold the little flap of paper back down with your fingers, and then use a tracing wheel to run-over and mark your BP.

Step 7. Lift up the flap, and you should see the indentation marks of the tracing wheel onto your little panel of tracing paper! Mark the BP in permanently with a nice dark pen.

Step 8. You can now lift up the flap and see exactly where your BP lies when positioning it over patterned fabric (yay!).

You could cut off the flap on the top layer (after transferring the BP to the tracing paper below first of course!) - but if you leave it on, it'd make things a bit easier I feel for any future pattern alterations, as tracing-paper can be a bit flimsy :)

Back to details of my latest top!
Anywho... for the version I'd been working on this week and last, I'd made a fresh new toile (muslin) to test out my changes. First I made the toile to the same pattern as my collared navy version - only minus the collar. From that I discovered I needed to take out a 3cm tuck all the way down the CF (Centre Front) - as the top now looked baggy 'n' saggy on me.

I sewed the tuck down the outside of the CF, and pressed it then tried it back on - so that if I needed to pinch out more, it'd be easier to pinch + pin when I looked in the mirror.

Then I addressed the tight underarm area. From wearing my navy iteration a lot, I'd realised that an issue I get with a lot of RTW (ready to wear) tops and blouses had translated across to my me-made top. Basically I was getting a load of tight crease marks starting at the front underarm area - pointing up towards my chin. So I dropped the bottom armscye a wee bit (2cm/ about ¾"), and also lengthened the armscye edge of the sleeve pattern accordingly. I also reduced the sleeve width by 2" - as the toile sleeves had some vertical drag lines going on, and they were doing this weird flappy/sticking out thing (not a good look). It looked liked I wanted to take off and fly away somewhere!

Also, the front hem of the bodice now hung weirdly - it seemed to sick out in a tent like formation at the front (perhaps without my now departed tummy flesh there to support it, it was at a loose end?). So, to pull it back in at the hem I increased the angle/depth of my side bust darts - which worked a treat! I unpicked the side-seams on both sides to within about ¼" of the underarm seam-line. I popped the top back on and then used my hand to pinch out a deeper dart, pin it in and see how that affected the drape at the front hem line. I left the upper most dart leg/line alone and only made the lower-dart leg deeper (does that make sense to you? LOL!). I also played around, pinched and pinned the sides at the hemline, and decided I needed to remove another 2"/5cm width at the bottom of my top (or 1"/2.5cm on the pattern piece - as after all the piece is only one half of the whole front of the bodice). I then transferred my new dart legs to my paper pattern. I re-stitched the changes to the same test garment (why waste the fabric eh ;) ?).

NB: The deeper dart meant that there was now a short-fall in the front SS (side-seam) length of 3.5cm. I folded out the new dart on the pattern, measured the seam line and compared it to the back-bodice SS. I've now slashed the front bodice pattern and moved it down by 3.5cm and trued up the SS lines. I trued the SS by folding the dart, temporarily taping it down and placed my ruler from the top of the seam-line at the under the arm, across the folded-down dart, and aligned it to the bottom of the SS at the point where I'd brought the hem width in by 1"/2.5cm), I repeated the process minus the dart (of course) on the SS for the back bodice. There! New SS line was drawn in, and new cutting line at the correct SA (seam allowance) drawn in too :)
I also unpicked one of the "flappy" sleeves, and inserted a new one I'd re-drafted and cut out. Much better! Sleeves no longer flap (it was good to have one arm to compare to the other in the mirror), hem line is not tent like, and front with it's tucked-up tighter CF now looks non-baggy. Interestingly (or not) I didn't need to make any changes to the back bodice at all (aside from the hem width) - maybe all my weight loss happened round the front haha!

So, if things go well I should be able to bang out a few Scouts! Maybe a whole troop (scouts - troops gettit LOL?)

Tuesday 3 July 2012

You Guessed Correctly.... It Was Goldhawk Road!

Indeedy peops! I was in Goldhawk Road on Saturday, enjoying the sunshine and fair weather with the lovely Dibs of Dibs and The Machine and her friend who was visiting her for a few days :)

Dibs & I inside of 'Alanaka Textiles Ltd'
(Photo Source: Dibs!)
Check out Dibs's photos and post of our little excursion here.

I acquired a few bits of fabric:
• 4 metres of medium-weight, dark beige/light-khaki 100% cotton twill - from UK Textiles for £6.99/metre (for my Minoru Jacket).
The man in the shop said that Burberry had purchased the same stock (not from him of course - but from the same fabric wholesale source I guess?), not sure if that's strictly the truth, but hey what's good for Burberry is good enough for me LOL!
• 2 metres of a heavy-weight, lighter beige/khaki 100% cotton twill - kind of like a lighter weight denim feel to it. This came from A to Z Fabrics, £6/metre. (For a Beignet Skirt or an casual throw-it on type of skirt perhaps?). The guy in the shop gave me 2 metres for the price of 1½ as it was the end of the role (yay!).
• Also from from A to Z Fabrics, for £3/metre (although I think I got overcharged by £1 - not bothered though) I got 3 metres of a bright-white waffle-like textured (Piqué?) 100% cotton fabric. (For a top/blouse I think).
• 2 metres of black eyelet 100% cotton from Classic Textiles. (Again for a nice summer top/casual blouse I think.)
"The Haul" - Well swatches of it anyway, the real stuff is drying or in the wash!

I also got a couple of notions:
• 2 metres of plastic boning from A-One Fabrics. (For a sewing room/ tools project!)
• 10 metres (yes 10!) of nude/skintone single-fold polycotton bias binding. (I picked this up from a haberdashery stall in the middle of Shepherd's Bush Market.) I plan to use this to finish the inside edges of sleeveless light-weight white tops - so you don't get that extra-thick white effect when you have layer-upon-layer of white fabric (you know what I mean ladies - just think about when you wear a white bra under a thin white top, it really shows doesn't it LOL)

I've pre-washed the beiges, and the white fabrics so far, and they're drying on the rack indoors (the sunshine sadly did not last :( ) the black eyelet is next for a tumble in the washing machine.

Beiges + white fabrics, pre-washed, and now drying inside
In Classic Textiles, we spotted this amazing fabric. It came in a pink or chocolate brown background - and was covered in images of vintage/retro ladies - the kind you see on the envelopes of 1950's or 60's patterns. The lady at the shop counter said she had another customer come in to buy the fabric, which was then used to make a dress in one of the actual designs printed on it! V. cool :) I'd love to see that dress in person. Sadly, although this fabric was definitely eye-candy, at £18/metre (around $28 USD!) it's a little too extravagant for my purse.

I've done a spot of Googling, and it turns out that this printed 100% cotton fabric is by Melody Ross, from the 'Homespun Chic' range - made by 'Blend Fabrics'. There's plenty of online stores selling it (at less than £18/metre!) and places on Etsy have it too.

Halfway through our fabric-shopping outing the eagle-eyed Miss. Dibs spotted a gaggle of ladies across the road. Our keen observer concluded that this must be another group of sewing enthusiasts...
"What's that I see in the distance? Is it a bird, is it a plane? No! It's a gaggle of sewists!"

These ladies all meet via MeetUp, and they are part of The London Sewing and Craft Group. MeetUp is a new-to-me site for arranging get togethers with folks sharing hobbies and past times. We nabbed a quick pic with Marijke who blogs at My busy craft life.
Dibs, Marijke and lil 'ol Moi.

So, I've just joined MeetUp and hope to make even more new sewing friends!