Holiday Gift Guide

0.75x 1x 1.25x 1.5x 2x 0:0001:20:45 Holiday Gift Guide


Episode Summary

Gift ideas for the newbie or advanced sewist. Sewist, Attorney, and Black Women Stitch OG Allysia Holland joins Lisa for a chat about good gifts to put on your holiday/birthday/anyday wish list. We also review TWO Oliso irons: the Oliso Pro TG 1600 and the Oliso M2 Mini Project Iron. And speaking of “GIFT” guide, thanks to Oliso, we are having a GIVEAWAY! The winner will be announced TODAY in this episode. The winner’s name will be posted later on the Black Women Stitch IG page and contacted directly too. Links to products included in the show notes.

Episode Notes

Support the Stitch Please podcast and Black Women Stitch

You can buy a cute Black Women Stitch lapel pin for $15: send it to Paypal or CashApp. Include your mailing address 🙂




Cash App

Special thanks today to OLISO for giving us irons! We talk about the TG1600pro and the MiniProject Iron. You can find links to them in the Gift Guide below

Special thanks to Allysia Holland IG: @hrhally who will be teaching at the 2020 Craftcation Conference

Links for Gift Giving Guide

We divided the guide into FOUR categories: Beginner, Intermediate-Advance, Upgrade YOU, and Sewist-to-Sewist

The links below are for Amazon. When you buy from these links, Black Women Stitch gets a bit of money 🙂


Seam Ripper, ergonomic

Thread Snips


Sewing Clips


Buttonhole knife

Point turner

Point turner WITH seam gauge

Press cloth

Retractable Magnet

the MiniProject Iron.

Guterman Thread Box (26 spools)



Fasturn Tube Turning Set

Pattern Weights Or Bianca’s Custom Made

Seam Roll

Tailor’s Ham


Clover Curved Ruler set

Upgrade You



Felt Pressing Mat



Sewist-to-Sewist Gift Ideas

Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina

Fitting and Pattern Alterations (this is used in design schools, hence the $ but it’s excellent)

Pants for Real People

Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing 1976 edition — This is a rare gem of a book. If you find one at an estate or yard sale, snap it up! Otherwise, it is here. 🙂

Supplies for a GIFT KIT include…

Appleton Dress – a favorite Black Women Stitch dress

PDF Plotting—Save your sanity! NEVER tape a PDF pattern again. Buy the A0 format and print it with PDF Plotting.


Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Lisa Woolfork: Hello, stitchers. Welcome to stitch, please. The official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. I'm your host. Lisa wool fork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stick together.
[00:00:24] Lisa Woolfork: Welcome to the holiday gift guide episode of a stitch please podcast I'm joined today by Alicia Holland for a deep dive into the amazing variety of gifts that you can give the sows on your list. This year, we will also be talking about two Aliso irons, the TG 1600 pro and the mini project iron with thanks to O Aliso for giving us those irons to try Aliso also donated a mini project iron to be given away on the black women's stitch page.
[00:00:57] Lisa Woolfork: We will announce that winner in this episode [00:01:00] and later post the name on the. This episode is a little bit longer than some of our other episodes, but that's because we go into a really deep dive into the notions tools, books, and these irons that will be really great to have as gifts for new intermediate experienced sewists.
[00:01:22] Lisa Woolfork: And because there is so much information, be sure to check the episode notes for this episode of the podcast. You can find them wherever you listen to the podcast, but it also includes direct links to the products that we're discussing. Um, and these links are to Amazon listings for the products and because black women's stitch is now an affiliate of Amazon, the stitch please podcast gets a little bit of money when you use those links.
[00:01:49] Lisa Woolfork: So without further delay, here's Alicia and I talking about the holiday gift guide,
[00:01:56] Lisa Woolfork: um, speaking with [00:02:00] Alicia Holland, who is an amazing seamstress sewist teacher attorney, um, she's gonna be presenting, um, at Craftcation this year. Well, next year in 2020, um, on a fitting class. So she knows so much, and I'm really delighted to be able to talk with her today about what a holiday gift guide should look like and what should be on it.
[00:02:25] Lisa Woolfork: And I made a long list and I showed her the list. And so all the products that we're gonna talk about today that will also be links to them in the show notes. So you'll be able to look for yourself at the things that we're talking about. Um, so welcome and thank you for being here today, Alicia. Thank you.
[00:02:42] Alicia: Thanks for having me. This is fun. Although I listened to that intro and I was like, who is she talking about? Oh, that's me. Oh, OK. I better bring it.
[00:02:53] Lisa Woolfork: yes. Yes. Bring it, bring it Fran. You bring it everywhere you go. You can't help. Um, [00:03:00] so I guess when in thinking about the holiday gift guide, and we also wanna acknowledge that we're gonna talk about irons today, um, as part of the holiday gift guide, because Aliso has given us, um, two irons, Alicia got the, I think it's the TG 1600 pro.
[00:03:19] Lisa Woolfork: Is that what it's called? Yes, it is. And I got, um, a mini it's, like it's called like a mini pro. It's a project iron from O Aliso. And that's what I was most interested in because I like to keep a little iron next to my surgery next to my sew machine station. So we're gonna talk about irons as well. And so I just wanna give a shout out to Aliso for that.
[00:03:43] Lisa Woolfork: And there'll also be links to those products in the episode notes as well. So do you think Alicia it's worth dividing up a gift guide into beginner, SOS, newbie, SOS that advanced. So is like how what's like, when you thinking about like, [00:04:00] what are the kind of things you want as a sewist? I mean, since you're pretty advanced sewist I don't know if you think about, what's a good thing that someone could give someone that they might not buy for themselves or as a treat.
[00:04:11] Lisa Woolfork: I don't know. Yeah. So
[00:04:13] Alicia: I thought of it in kind four categories, I would say. And so my four, my four categories were beginning sewist and then kind of an advanced intermediate sewist because it's interesting. I think so many people call themselves beginners, but are really not, they know, and can do a lot more than they realize.
[00:04:37] Alicia: So I kinda lumped the intermediates and the advance together. Then my other two categories were, um, cause always extra around here. So the upgrade ya category. So those are the things where like you've been doing this or you're trying to step your game up. And so it's more about upgrading the things you have as opposed to just [00:05:00] adding things you don't already have.
[00:05:02] Alicia: And then my last one was a Soest to Soest category. And what I'm thinking about in the Soest to Soest category is it's one thing for me to give my wishlist to my non sewing people. But it's something where one of when I am a so, and I want to give something to somebody else that I know has an equal love for this thing.
[00:05:29] Alicia: And so I might give them a different kind of gift than somebody that's a newbie or somebody that I D that I don't know. What they do when they're sewing as much.
[00:05:41] Lisa Woolfork: Oh, I really like that. I really like that. And what I like about it is that it's something that from sous to sous, it's something that, you know, we could use.
[00:05:52] Lisa Woolfork: And you know, what brands to look for as opposed to someone who is, I don't know, that's it's seems like it's, it's much [00:06:00] more, not much more, but it's very thoughtful. It's a considered type of gift because it's considering the context because of, so is to sous gift shares a context. That's really cool. I like that.
[00:06:13] Alicia: Yeah.
[00:06:17] Lisa Woolfork: So let's look at some of the products we have listed on our gift guide. And maybe we should think about like how to divide them, because, well, let me just go over the list of what I had. Yeah. And then we can try to tackle how we would categorize them up. Okay. So it's about. 10 things on this list. Well, you know, we all know that I'm terrible at math.
[00:06:35] Lisa Woolfork: It's not 10 things. it's five, five again, 15 it's 15 things. That's not bad. That's close enough. All right.
[00:06:44] Alicia: So here we go. Very Rodney Dangerfield. I have one question in 27 parts.
[00:06:50] Lisa Woolfork: exactly. Okay, here we go. So seam ripper scissors, a Bodkin button hole knife, [00:07:00] good pins, thread snips, a point Turner, uh, pressing ham and a pressing seam roll.
[00:07:10] Lisa Woolfork: The fast turn tube Turner set a pressing mat, wonder clips, a Gman thread box that I think it's the box that has maybe 18 threads in it. Mm-hmm and, um, Uh, curves like French curves for pattern alterations. That's what I have right now for the 15 things for the gift guide. Um, and again, everyone, if y'all, didn't hear all this, don't feel like you have to go scrambling, write it all down.
[00:07:41] Lisa Woolfork: Um, I'm gonna do my best to get back to transcribing. So there'll be a transcript for this episode, but more importantly, in the show notes, there'll be links to all the products and you can just look through them that way. I also had a couple of books, which I think might be good, so is to sew is gifts.
[00:07:58] Lisa Woolfork: And so one of them is [00:08:00] actually the one that I have is the one that you kind of reco you recommended you didn't give it to me, but you totally rended it. And it's been great. And I'm hoping to sit down with it over the break and enjoy it more. Um, that's the fitting and pattern alteration book, um, by Elizabeth light Lighty and Judith RAs band.
[00:08:20] Lisa Woolfork: I think you told me about that. Yeah, the, the big red book, the big red book. Yeah, that's a good one. And then I like fast fit by Sandra BEC, um, because it has like certain corrections that are, you know, easy to make based on your body. Like if you have a sway back, if you have, um, larger upper arms, if you have, you know, all these different things and how you can alter the patterns to make them to make these adjustments.
[00:08:47] Lisa Woolfork: So those might be another example of the, um, maybe of a, of a, so is sous gift because, you know, I tried and I like it and then I recommend it to other people. So what do you think about [00:09:00] sea rippers? Let we could, we could do it in fives, do it in five. Okay. So same ripper scissors, vodka, buttonhole, knife, and pins are those for the beginning, sous the intermediate advanced upgrade you or sous to sous those five.
[00:09:20] Alicia: I think those will likely fall in the beginner section to me. And I had a couple of those on my list as well, with a slight variation, which is, I think everybody has a seam repper and same those first snips. I know that wasn't in this five, but I put these two things in the same area. Um, everybody has the seam ripper, cuz you know, you have that little red one that comes with your sew machine
[00:09:48] Lisa Woolfork: that's right.
[00:09:49] Lisa Woolfork: Or
[00:09:49] Alicia: in some little freebie kit, that sort of thing. Yes. But those little things are enough to make you quid sewing. If you have to rip out a long [00:10:00] scene with that tiny little thing that is likely to give you
[00:10:03] Lisa Woolfork: arthritis all by itself. Exactly. And so
[00:10:07] Alicia: what I actually put the variation of those, which I think is good for a beginner.
[00:10:11] Alicia: So. Is to give them an ergonomic, sea ripper and snips so that they can see, like, sometimes it really is having a better tool for the job just makes the job
[00:10:25] Lisa Woolfork: more manageable. That's right.
[00:10:27] Alicia: And then for the, yeah, for the others, like the Bodkin, the point Turner and the buttonhole knife, I think those are great, cuz those are not in basic sewing kit and they're not ones that people commonly have.
[00:10:42] Alicia: Like I was like, oh, I don't even have a buttonhole
[00:10:45] Lisa Woolfork: knife.
[00:10:46] Alicia: even though I do plenty of button holes, so that'd be a great one. So I think those are good to help somebody that's just getting started building out their kit.
[00:10:56] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm and do you have a recommendation? [00:11:00] So I, I have, I think we both have this seam ripper because, um, for the black women's ditch beach week drips gave us.
[00:11:09] Lisa Woolfork: That ergonomic sea ripper. It has a light and a magnet. Remember that one? I
[00:11:14] Alicia: do. And I do.
[00:11:17] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah, I like that one, cuz I like the way it feels and I like that it has, you know, I like that it has a light and a magnifying glass on it. Like I like being able to see what I'm, what I'm doing, like being able to see that.
[00:11:31] Lisa Woolfork: Um, and I think I like your idea about, um, that when you have like very, very basic tools or the freebee tools that it makes a, a hard job, worse mm-hmm and um, you know, having this, you know, that a, a three inch long seam ripper, that's the size of a pencil and you're like poking away and it's like, I hate steam ripping and everybody hates steam ripping, but you hate it more if your tools are not good.
[00:11:58] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. So I [00:12:00] like the ergonomic one, but let me ask you about the buttonhole knife. So I didn't get a buttonhole knife. Until maybe I was maybe more advanced and intermediate. And I don't know why. I think that, I guess when I first started sewing, we were supposed to put pins across the tips of the button hole.
[00:12:21] Lisa Woolfork: So, and then open the button hole with your seam ripper, like poke the thing in and slide it up. And invariably, I would cut through it and stuff. And I don't know why the buttonhole knife isn't a more basic or popular tool. Do you, do you, I don't know. Why do you think that that's kind of restricted or is there a reason for it?
[00:12:40] Lisa Woolfork: I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I'm being hazed with sewing. I'm like, you mean to tell me that all this time I was trying to thread elastic with a safety pin and there's a thing such as a Bodkin or like Clover flat Bodkin that, that doesn't. Hop out, you know? Right.
[00:12:58] Alicia: yeah. I [00:13:00] knows. Get the utility of a, and like I said, that is thing that I don't, I just use my very fine point scissors and get in close with the button hole and have never had a problem with that.
[00:13:17] Alicia: And so while I think the buttonhole knife is a great suggestion and is a lovely thing to have, right. I'm also reticent to say, you must have that right. In order to sew, because I also find that sewing is one of those hobbies, like so many hobbies that it can seem super expensive and cost prohibitive just to try it.
[00:13:41] Alicia: Yes. And so can you make button holes successfully without a buttonhole knife? Absolutely. You can. You don't have to have this special thing. Is it a great help? Sure. Same with the sea ripper. Can you rip a sea with the little freebie? Absolutely. But is it kind of a [00:14:00] pain in your Ticus to have to go all the way down the side seat of a dress with that little thing?
[00:14:07] Alicia: Yes. So those are just, so I think the buttonhole knife is one of those things that it's a nice to have. And I think it's one that if you are trying to that, if you're trying to get better at it and are getting frustrated with things, then that is certainly one that having in some of your more beginning stages of button, as opposed to waiting until you've done it, a bunch of different ways would probably be a useful tool to
[00:14:34] Lisa Woolfork: have.
[00:14:35] Lisa Woolfork: Right. That's I, so, in, in your, in your, um, in your categories, would you put that as an upgrade you the button hole or would you put it as advanced intermediate
[00:14:49] Lisa Woolfork: for the button hole knife?
[00:14:50] Alicia: Yeah, I think I would still put it in as a great gift for
[00:14:54] Lisa Woolfork: a beginner. Okay. Yeah. All right. [00:15:00] How about scissors? What do you think, do you think you start with basic level scissors and work your way up and the same pins? Yeah.
[00:15:11] Alicia: And for pins, you're talking straight pins or marking
[00:15:14] Lisa Woolfork: pins.
[00:15:15] Lisa Woolfork: Straight pins. Straight pins. Okay.
[00:15:17] Alicia: Yeah. So for the scissors, I also have those on my list and I put the scissors on the upgrade, your list. Okay. Because I think sometimes people, I think there are lots of really great basic scissors that you can start with is really when it comes to sewing, you need two things, so they need to be sharp and you need a different set for your paper than your fabric.
[00:15:43] Alicia: And so if you've got those two things. I think just about any pair of scissors is gonna at least get you set up right. Then I think once, you know, okay, this is my thing. And I'm really into this. I think scissors fall in and upgrade just that where [00:16:00] then that's when you're upgrading to maybe some nicer scissors, like that's where you're learning.
[00:16:05] Alicia: Oh, dressmaker shear. So I can get that flat bottom or moving to Kais or GERS or the different levels of Fisker scissors. Uh, before I got to that level, I had a great set of scissors. I believe they were three M scissors that I found in a three pack from Costco. No. They were, they had the ergonomic handle, which is also one of the important things, cuz it's just, you're using your hands so much in all of your sewing practice that having tools that are comfortable in your hand, I think is more important than the brand that you have.
[00:16:46] Alicia: Yes. And so my scissors, those that three pack from Costco that I had were great and the way I used them to maximize my scissors was I would take one pair out and use it for my fabric. And [00:17:00] when it started to get a little doll and then I think I was gifted a pair of Fisker at a conference at that point and UHS, dressmaker shears.
[00:17:10] Alicia: And so then I took that pair and turned them into my paper scissors. Um, cause they still cut plenty fine. They just weren't as sharp for the fabrics. And so I used those scissors for the longest time before I upgraded. And then I got, I went into using now I prefer Kas and Fisker. Which are just the ones I have.
[00:17:29] Alicia: I also think the GERS are lovely, but to me, for my hands, the ging scissors tend to feel a little heavy in my hands, so I don't prefer them. Um, but I do have Gringer snips that I think are great. So that's why I would put scissors in the upgrade yet. Cuz I think you can spend a lot of money on scissors, but you don't have to.
[00:17:48] Alicia: And so that's a great upgrade
[00:17:49] Lisa Woolfork: gift. That's excellent. And I totally agree with you about everything. Um, I rotate my scissors out still. Um, I will work on it and use [00:18:00] it for fabric fabric fabric, and then I use the fists guards. Um, the one with the, um, the spring loaded handle mm-hmm and because, because I can't take those to a regular scissor sharpening place because I guess the blades don't open wide enough or something, something weird.
[00:18:18] Lisa Woolfork: So I end up using those for paper and I just write the word paper on the blade and Sharpie because, um, Folks come in. And I, luckily I train my beloved family to like, if it's, if it's mounted on the wall, do not touch it. And my husband will tease me still saying, oh, I'm just go, go get some scissors from downstairs.
[00:18:38] Lisa Woolfork: You got so many, I'll just go get some off the wall, the ones next to all that thread. I'll get those all these times. I telling you shady boots. That is what my whole, I, I guess, you know, all of us are just shady, but they will totally do that. And like, if it's on the, you know, if it's on the basket next to the, the printer, you can totally get 'em, there's seven pairs of scissors in the basket [00:19:00] get those.
[00:19:00] Lisa Woolfork: Um, but also I like this idea of you can definitely spend more money on citizens. You don't need to start with the, I like Kai a lot. Yeah. But you don't need to start there. Um, so I think that's important. And, um, do you have the same kind of view about PIs as well?
[00:19:17] Alicia: Um, Yeah. So one other thing about the scissors, cause they don't have to be super expensive.
[00:19:25] Alicia: My poor are Kai scissors. I found on Amazon. I will try to find the link for you so that you can put it in the show notes. And they were about 20 bucks and came with the blade shield and my favorite scissors to date. So I will definitely give you that. And then another tip just since we're talking about shady acres, cause I don't want anybody's family members to get it by new year's because somebody used the wrong pair of scissors without knowing from a Christmas gift is, um, I take a little remnant of fabric or a ribbon [00:20:00] and tie it in the loop of my fabric scissors.
[00:20:03] Alicia: And so that way I don't even have to worry about like writing on the blade or something rubbing off. Like I can tell visually these are not paper scissors because there's fabric on it.
[00:20:16] Lisa Woolfork: Yes. So let me tell you a little story about my mother and her three children of which I am one, and my mother would do the same thing.
[00:20:25] Lisa Woolfork: She had these heavy black shears and she tied this chiffon. She tied fabric around them. And I never knew if that meant these were for fabric or these were for us to play with. So, um, we would just take my poor mother. I mean, we would just take it and you know, these are scissors and she would say, don't you see there's fabric on these?
[00:20:51] Lisa Woolfork: And we would say yes. And she, and she would say, what do you think this means? And we would say, we don't [00:21:00] know, we just needed some scissors. And these were the only ones we could find. And, you know, I had to cut my sister's
[00:21:07] Alicia: hair. They were scissors.
[00:21:09] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. Yeah. I had to make a paper doll on a cardboard. They were scissors.
[00:21:16] Alicia: I totally get that. So yeah, I think it comes with that. And the training, like you said, with your little shady boots clan there. Exactly. You gotta train 'em up on it, but yeah, for pins, I, you know, pins, I don't have as much of an opinion on which is surprising. I'm sure. Cuz I seem to have an opinion on everything but I am so much more of, um, this is a spoiler, so I'm sorry to spoil it, but I know it's on your list in mind.
[00:21:45] Alicia: I am so much more of a wonder clip so than I am a pin let's
[00:21:50] Lisa Woolfork: let's jump. Let to wonder clips. Let's jump to wonder clips. So let's the next section. Wait, is there anything else that you let's jump to the next section and [00:22:00] that's going to be wonder clips, a point Turner, a pressing ham and a seam roll.
[00:22:08] Lisa Woolfork: That's four things. The point Turner. Pressing ham, pressing sea roll and the wonder clips of those four things. Where do they fall on your list?
[00:22:22] Alicia: Wonder clips. I'm going beginner. Okay. Point Turner, I think beginner, ham, sea roll. And I would add clapper to that list to round out for the five. I think those, I would put it intermediate.
[00:22:38] Lisa Woolfork: Okay. A clapper. That's a good idea. I didn't even have that on there. That's excellent. Well, let's talk about all. Let's talk about the, um, since we were talking about pins, let's talk about the wonder clips and why you would give those to it. Again, a wonder clips are pretty new. Um, I think, well, at least in more wide use, I think they, I think they hit the scene.[00:23:00]
[00:23:00] Lisa Woolfork: How long ago? What? Five years ago, would you say longer? Six to seven years ago. I
[00:23:05] Alicia: imagine they're probably more than five years old. Cause I've been doing garments. For about six years now. Okay. And they were out when I got 'em and my first set, they might have been just a little bit newer cuz the funniest thing happened when I got my first set of wonder clips.
[00:23:24] Alicia: I ordered them on Amazon randomly. And it was one of those where before everybody got hit to what these were. And so it was like a hundred of them for like $5. And then I was like, oh, these are great. And a friend of mine went to get some and she got her set and then we went to go get some more, the price has shot up everywhere and we're like, Aw man, everybody got to them now.
[00:23:51] Alicia: Wow. So
[00:23:52] Lisa Woolfork: yes. So a wonder clip. If, if you're not familiar with what it is, it's like a [00:24:00] slightly like a spring loaded pressure, small clip. It's about a half an inch wide though. Now they come in different thin thises and thicknesses and strengths. And you basically use them to clip together the cut edges of your fabric.
[00:24:16] Lisa Woolfork: Um, it's a lot faster than pinning. Um, it's, that's one thing it's very, very secure. Um, I prefer, I don't really love to pin anything. Um, of course I'll pin a sleeve in if you know, because that really requires, you know, a certain type of easing and all that, but it's really great for long, long pieces, like long pant legs and skirt seams and stuff like that.
[00:24:41] Lisa Woolfork: Um, is that a adequate description? You think of a wonder clip?
[00:24:45] Alicia: Yeah, I think another way I would describe it, uh, is like a chip clip is like a tiny little chip chocolate that you can use actually that's better. And I use, I use them for shoulders. I'm not shoulders for sleeves. And what I [00:25:00] do is just for the part, right.
[00:25:01] Alicia: As I'm going to be starting this, this sleeve, I put a couple of pins there, but then I wonder clip the rest of the way around. And I also think they are great
[00:25:12] Lisa Woolfork: for hys. Oh, they are. That is so true. Yes. So that would be go, that would go in the beginner category, like to start with wonder clips. Yes. It's I think I really, one of the things I really like about wonder clips is that they work really well for stretchy knit fabrics that sometimes are, um, challenging for pins.
[00:25:34] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. And so that's something that's another advantage of the wonder clips that I really like. Okay. Let's look at the, um, the pressing unit, which is the ham flapper and the seam roll and why that's a number two intermediate advanced, um, type of tool or a set of tools. Yeah. Cause
[00:25:54] Alicia: I think for those. That's I think you're ready for those.
[00:25:59] Alicia: When you have [00:26:00] decided that sewing is a thing that you're into and you're trying to, you're just either doing a lot of it or trying to step your game up. And so that's when it's time to invest in those sorts of tools, because at the end of the day, there are other common household things that you can use as a substitute while you're still feeling out this sewing thing to see if it's your thing.
[00:26:23] Alicia: So if push comes to shove or a seam roll, you can roll up a towel or a t-shirt and stuff it in there and get the same effect for what you need while you're trying to see like, well, what is this thing doing? And how does that work? And for a ham, very similar, you can use a towel or throw a towel over a boxer, a mound of fabric, or a spare piece of fabric, something like that.
[00:26:51] Alicia: And then same with a clapper. Everybody has a dictionary, or if you are of a certain generation, then you have the set of encyclopedias, [00:27:00] but a heavy, basically a heavy book is what you need to give you the, the essence of a clapper. And so I think once you figure out like, oh, okay, I think I'm actually doing this thing versus, um, I know something we've talked about previously and kind of chuckled that is the people that are in the Joannes, making the Halloween costumes.
[00:27:22] Alicia: Yes. That have never sewn anything. Like once you've gotten past a couple of little Halloween costumes and Christmas projects to say sewing is, is a thing I do, then that's maybe where you're at ham scene, rolling clapper, where you get the actual tool at that.
[00:27:39] Lisa Woolfork: I think that's great. And I like the way you talked about what substitutions can be made, because I do agree that sewing can be like almost anything can be very expensive and people are looking for ways to make it accessible and affordable.
[00:27:53] Lisa Woolfork: And if there's ways to say, you know, right now, I don't know how much I love this, so I'm not gonna [00:28:00] spend the money on a clapper, the money on a scene roll when I could take a thick towel and you know, or I realize that there's certain steps I need to take to get the results I want. I'm now willing to invest in those tools, um, to help get the results that I want.
[00:28:17] Lisa Woolfork: No, that that's great. I'm just glad that you didn't say that. Like, and for the pressing hand, just get a ham, um, from like the honey big ham store and throw a blanket over it and I'll be like, no, I don't think that's appropriate, Alicia. That's not gonna give them good. Yeah. I'm like,
[00:28:32] Alicia: yo stuff is gonna smell funny.
[00:28:34] Alicia: And so all the animals will be chasing you exactly a perfectly good ham,
[00:28:39] Lisa Woolfork: like, or it's gonna smell great. Ham is delicious. So it might be amazing. Yeah. What about, um, a point, do you use a point Turner? That's that it's like a, like a bone, almost like a bone folder it's pointed at one end and round on the other.
[00:28:55] Alicia: Yeah. The point Turner that I use is the one that is the [00:29:00] combined point Turner and sea gauge. So I have that one, I use that point Turner and frankly, sometimes some of the other things, um, that I use to turn points and get. Just so is I keep, uh, chopstick at my sewing station. Yes. And so often I use that as my point Turner as well, which until I learned about the fast turn was also how I turned to.
[00:29:29] Alicia: Yes. So
[00:29:30] Lisa Woolfork: I'm telling you, I have such, I guess I'm, and it's so hard for me to kind of get back into the mindset of like where I was like 24 years ago when I started sewing or whatever, um, to, I mean, but I remember that I remember the safety pin. I remember all of these things. And then when I got the fast turn, which I got, like I said, maybe 24 years ago, I, it was just kind of like the angels flew out of all the sewing spaces and were like, [00:30:00] I mean, it.
[00:30:01] Lisa Woolfork: Incredible. Totally.
[00:30:02] Alicia: I was today years old, the day that you showed us yours and how that thing worked. And I was like, wait, what? There's a tool for this.
[00:30:12] Lisa Woolfork: Oh, darn . And it's like, now we can make that much, that many more Appleton dresses with the really long refs we can do the Ze jumpsuits with the really long, like, okay.
[00:30:20] Lisa Woolfork: We're getting ahead of our stuff. Okay. I'm sorry. okay. So actually this is leading us to the last part of the list. Okay. Yes. So that's the fast turn to turn set, a press cloth and a wool pressing mat. So that's just three. And, um, of those three things. And then I wanna hear what you had on your list that I haven't said, um, of those three things.
[00:30:48] Lisa Woolfork: How do you rank those in terms of beginning, intermediate upgrade or so as to SOAs?
[00:30:55] Alicia: Yeah, so fast terms I would put in [00:31:00] either intermediate and also that could be a SOS to sewist gift. Yes. Press call beginner. Mm-hmm cause there's nothing sadder than thinking. You've really done something and ruining it with a too hot iron on fabric and not realizing it.
[00:31:17] Alicia: I know. And the wool pressing mat, I'm gonna put an intermediate to
[00:31:22] Lisa Woolfork: advanced mm-hmm yeah. great. So the press cloth, um, for those who might not know is just, there's lots of different types of press cloths. The one that I use actually is one that someone gave me when Riley, my oldest, who was about to be 21 at the time of this broadcast, he will have been 21 for one whole day.
[00:31:44] Lisa Woolfork: Um and they gave me that when he was a. And it was this, like, it's just like a thin cotton cloth. I was taking a sewing class when my child was an infant and, um, I needed a press cloth. They're like, oh, here have [00:32:00] this one. And it was just a nice gesture. And I have had it ever since I have had this piece of press cloth for 21 years.
[00:32:08] Lisa Woolfork: And all you do is lay it down on your garment and it really does help prevent, um, it from scorching, it prevents it from like sometimes some fabrics, if the iron is too hot, it will leave a shine on the fabric. Cause I think it's been SINED or something. And then you can't like get rid of that. You can't get rid of that singe.
[00:32:31] Lisa Woolfork: So it's, it's really nice. The press cloth is just a small thing for that. They also make them out of Teflon and that's all different types. Um, but it is a nice thing to use and develop a good pressing habit so that when you're pressing your Gar. You're not, it's like a, it's an extra precaution.
[00:32:50] Alicia: Um, yeah, the press cloth also helps if you do a lot of fabrics that have prints or patterns on them.
[00:32:57] Alicia: Oh. Because sometimes those patterns, [00:33:00] particularly if you do things that have, um, any sort of shiny or metallic print, sometimes what they've used to get that on the fabric, even though your fabric might be a cotton spandex knit that should hold up to the heat. Well, the print on it is not the same. Like if it's a painted on like flower or print or whatever, and so the press cloth can help protect number one, not messing up your fabric.
[00:33:29] Alicia: And number two, not messing up the soul plate of your iron. If some of that stuff transfers onto your iron.
[00:33:36] Lisa Woolfork: Oh, that's an excellent point. I hadn't thought of that. Thank you for that. That's excellent.
[00:33:41] Alicia: And at a time or two, and been like, Ooh, I should have had the pressing clock down. So I keep it next to the iron.
[00:33:48] Alicia: It's just a barrier layer. And even if I'm not sure how a fabric is gonna do what the iron, just to be safe, I put it down. I also always use it. If I'm doing anything that's white so that if the [00:34:00] iron leaks a little water or whatever, Then that way it does not ruin it. Cuz there was a panel of a skirt that there were some tears over when I was making an Easter dress.
[00:34:10] Alicia: Oh. But I was like, I can't fix it. Thank goodness I have enough fabric to head another
[00:34:16] Lisa Woolfork: panel. Oh my gosh. And I think that's actually right. Like for some reason I have my, my standup ironing station is in this one area, the sewing room, but the pressing supplies are in another area. And so I got my ham, I got my seeing roll.
[00:34:32] Lisa Woolfork: I got the pressing cloth, um, the clapper, but then I forget to bring out the pressing clock and I'm like, Ugh, I really don't feel like walking the entire 15 steps to retrieve this pressing claw. So let me go ahead and see what happens without it. And then I'm, I'm angry. And I'm like, Ooh, what can I do to cover up these ugly spots that just came or whatever, because I was just being impatient.
[00:34:56] Lisa Woolfork: So don't play iron chicken. It never works out in [00:35:00] your I'm telling you. I, I just made a Cape at the stitch please retreat back in October. And it's a great looking Cape. I'm very happy with it, but I ended up having to add bias binding around the top of the collar and up and down the front, um, closure because I burned it.
[00:35:17] Lisa Woolfork: I, I know was, I mean, I got it done all needed was a final press. I didn't feel like getting the pressing cloth, that new iron that the hotel provided, which was very nice. Um, it was too hot and I, and my, my fabric is also slightly synthetic and all these things I knew, but I was like, I'm done. I'm done. I can, I'm finally done with.
[00:35:42] Lisa Woolfork: and then I was not done with it. And that was a whole set of making the bias binding, pressing the bias binding, attaching the bias BI. It took a, it was like making a whole nother component to this garment all because of a pressing error and everything [00:36:00] could have been presented. If I used the pressing cloth,
[00:36:04] Alicia: the iron chicken.
[00:36:05] Lisa Woolfork: Okie dope. I totally did big time.
[00:36:14] Lisa Woolfork: My sad experience with not using the press cloth on a garment that I was really excited about making is just one example of why it's important to have. Good basic tools at your disposal up next. We'll talk about one of my absolute favorite notions in my sewing life. It's a little pricey, but it's really worth its weight and goal.
[00:36:37] Lisa Woolfork: I recently did an I GTV video about this tool. So you can check that out too. Here's Alicia and I talking about it right now.
[00:36:55] Lisa Woolfork: Um, so let's shift to the fast turn tube Turner set. I really feel like [00:37:00] I have been, um, some type of strange ambassador for the fast turn people. Ever since I know at least four people that
[00:37:09] Alicia: have 'em because of your ambassadorship. So I don't, you got a free
[00:37:14] Lisa Woolfork: set coming . I mean, these people don't know me from a can of paint, but I have been telling anybody who would listen, you know?
[00:37:23] Lisa Woolfork: And so I think you're right that, um, it could be an intermediate advanced gift or it could be an upgrade you or so is to, so, because that's how you got it. Cuz I think, um, Amma sewist I told you about it and you are so, or I showed you, I think I was like, see just what, what? Yeah. And so tell us, I guess, cuz I know I could talk about this dog one thing forever.
[00:37:45] Lisa Woolfork: Um, but tell us about like your experience with it. Since this, since you are a recent, um, user of the.
[00:37:53] Alicia: Yes. Well, I can't, I have to give credit where credit was due. Cause I did not get it for myself. That was [00:38:00] definitely a, so was just so gift while I saw yours and thought, oh, that's so cool. It was my good buddy and yours who was ordering her set and was like, just nothing good comes of it.
[00:38:13] Alicia: If mine shows up and one doesn't come for Alicia too. And so she got me one, two, and I was like for me, so it is great. And I have never regretted that. She, she bought it for me cuz I would've been too stubborn too.
[00:38:29] Lisa Woolfork: Y'all that's fine. I'm happy with the chopstick. I don't know why I like spending 20 minutes trying to turn a tube with chopsticks and a safety pin. You know,
[00:38:39] Alicia: as they say, tell the truth and shame the devil.
[00:38:43] Lisa Woolfork: So I
[00:38:46] Alicia: would've
[00:38:49] Alicia: whole conversation when mine just showed up.
[00:38:58] Alicia: So, but I love mine. [00:39:00] I use it for, I definitely use it for turning tubes. The other place where I have found it really useful is when I need to put an elastic in a waistband, I have used it for that as well. And so, um, when you, when I'm putting an elastic in a waistband where there's a channel yes. And they want you to, uh, and you've already attached the Bodis and the skirt together, then I've been able to, if I leave the opening right.
[00:39:29] Alicia: There's a lot of fabric to do, but just make sure that you get it all on the copper tube. And so for the people that don't know what the fast turn is, is think like a piece of copper piping and the set comes with a few different sizes of that copper piping. And it's got a little ring around it so that you have something to hold onto.
[00:39:50] Alicia: That's bigger than the pipe. And what you do for the fast turn is you feed that copper piping [00:40:00] into the tube that you're turning, uh, that you wanna turn. Like if you're trying to turn a strap or a bag handle, you feed that copper tubing into it. And then it comes with this thin long wire that has a little pigtail cue at the end.
[00:40:16] Alicia: And a point then you push that little pigtail. Through the end of your fabric. Once you've gotten the tube bed through your piece that you want to turn and you secure your fabric on that little pigtail end wire. And once you've got it secured, you pull the wire back through the tube until you get it back out, then you can take the wire off and it sped enough of the fabric, but you can just pull your little piece of fabric through and what would've probably taken you five to 10 minutes with your chopstick or whatever method you were using.
[00:40:53] Alicia: Prior to that, I know somebody said they used the highlighter, um, to do theirs when we were talking about them at beach week , [00:41:00] but what would've taken you five to 10 minutes, that way with the fast turn you have done in less than 30 seconds, it is one of those things that could you do it without it?
[00:41:10] Alicia: Absolutely. But it is just such a nice game changer to not have to fiddle with it because. You just don't make mistakes with the fast turn and lose it, partway and all kinds of stuff. And it, frankly, I think it gives you a cleaner turn and so it makes it easier to press it once you've gotten
[00:41:30] Lisa Woolfork: it through.
[00:41:32] Lisa Woolfork: I, I agree because the copper tube is so strong and depending on the type of fabric you use, if you're using like a cotton fabric or something like that, that's more stiff. If you put your thumb at the sea allowance to open it or to press it one way as you turn, it will stay open. Um, if you have to keep your thumb there to kind of, to kind of guide it along, and that's something that I found that does kind of [00:42:00] help it be ready for pressing in a really good way.
[00:42:03] Lisa Woolfork: Um, so yeah, I love the tube Turner. I, I, yeah, I think that you're right. You could do it without it, but once for me, once I saw it demonstrated, and then once I did it myself, I was like, oh no, I cannot go back.
[00:42:17] Alicia: Never again. It's
[00:42:18] Lisa Woolfork: kinda like having the option to have central air conditioning and then go back to a box fan in the window, you know?
[00:42:25] Lisa Woolfork: Right. like, it's so true. It's like, I don't want a box fan in the window. I think I wanna make the investment in some central air. Um, yeah. It, and so, oh, we, the last one thing we have is the press mat, which you had as an intermediate advance or an upgrade. Do you use, um, one of the woo press mats?
[00:42:46] Alicia: I don't have one.
[00:42:46] Alicia: That's why I said, oh, apparently that's more advanced than I
[00:42:51] Lisa Woolfork: need this. The reason that I have it is as I also so quit. I also quilt. And so for me, I [00:43:00] like to do paper piecing and that requires a lot of trimming and pressing in between. . And so that's one of the reasons that I like to have the little old Aliso iron that we're gonna be talking about is because rather than having, because it's so many seams after every seam you need to press.
[00:43:18] Lisa Woolfork: So the seam is like four inches long. You need to trim it, then press it. You then put, you make your other seam, which is about five inches long. You sew it, you trim it and then you press it. And so when you're working with quilting cottons, they respond very well to high heat and a little bit of steam, but not too much cuz you don't wanna distort it.
[00:43:42] Lisa Woolfork: But the wool, the thick wool pressing mat really helps the fabric that you're pressing to wick. And it wicks the moisture of the, from the steam iron right into the fibers of that quilt block. And it really helps the seam stay nice [00:44:00] and flat. And that is like, That's a, it's a, that's a big advantage when you're, when you're doing paper piecing or other quilt blocks that require you to press as you go along and having a little iron, like the one we're gonna talk about in a bit is a good, it is a good example of that.
[00:44:19] Lisa Woolfork: Um, and so the press mat really does it. Doesn't burn it. Doesn't I did say that the press mat does kind of smell like animal when it gets, when the steam gets going. cause it's made out of lambs, wool, I guess it's animal, it's actual animal. It's not synthetic. And so that's been pretty good. So that's, I think that you're right.
[00:44:39] Lisa Woolfork: I think that is more of an upgrade to thing. Um, or even the, so is to Soest gift. I got mine on mass drop years and years ago, but you know, you want your seems to be kind of flat and. And this does a really great job with that. So we are ready to head into either talking about a couple books as a Soest the Soest gift.
[00:44:59] Lisa Woolfork: And then [00:45:00] I did wanna spend some time talking about the Aliso ions, but is there anything else on the list that we could include on the holiday gift guide that I haven't
[00:45:10] Alicia: mentioned? The other one that I had in mind that I would include couple of little ones. Um, one that I think would fall in the upgrade you set, but is not necessarily an expensive gift.
[00:45:25] Alicia: Good is, um, the circle pin cushion or pin tray. And so the Z pin tray is a magnetic pin tray that is magnetic magic in that it makes it when you put the pin on, no matter how you throw it on there, it puts all the points towards the middle. Yes. So if you are a pin person, then I think the Z would be a great upgrade gift.
[00:45:51] Alicia: To do then another one I had on that list is, um, pattern weights. And I [00:46:00] know, yes, some people prefer pinning because they think, oh, as you're cutting you pin, but I prefer pattern weights in my wonder clips. And so there are the little beanbag pattern weights that you can get at Joanne's, which, um, are not the best value I will say.
[00:46:18] Alicia: Cuz you get like four of 'em, but there are just so many cute options, whether it's you decide to make your own. So I have a set that I was gifted that are, uh, plumbing washers that somebody lovingly crocheted around. And so they're super cute. And they came in a little Mason jar mm-hmm and then I know there are folks that make them like.
[00:46:40] Alicia: Thanks. I make them with the laser cut pattern weights. And so if you know, somebody has a certain hobby or school that they're into, I think that's a really cute gift idea that you could both customize and personalize and give them
[00:46:55] Lisa Woolfork: something useful. Yes. And so what number would you say that was two [00:47:00] or three for pattern weights or a one oh, for which category?
[00:47:07] Lisa Woolfork: Uhhuh for the pattern weights. That
[00:47:11] Alicia: one, you know, I think that one kind of can fall into three of them. I think that could be a great beginner gift. Mm-hmm um, I think that it could also be a great intermediate gift and I also think it would be a great, so it's just so a gift.
[00:47:29] Lisa Woolfork: Alrighty, that sounds good.
[00:47:30] Lisa Woolfork: And did you have the circle as a number three? I think that's what I put down, but that doesn't seem right. Did, is that what you. With the
[00:47:37] Alicia: circle confused me cuz I don't know what the numbers mean. I'm sorry by their names.
[00:47:44] Lisa Woolfork: upgrade you a circle. Is that an upgrade? I think that could be an upgrade. Yes. I love mine.
[00:47:53] Lisa Woolfork: And sometimes like I just like throw pins at it at random just to see it just because , [00:48:00] it's also also with toy yeah,
[00:48:03] Alicia: that's true. That's true.
[00:48:04] Lisa Woolfork: About a lot of sewing tools though. I know. It's so true. It's so true. Oh, one last thing that I would add since you're talking about pins, I have, um, a retractable magnet that they use to retrieve fallen tools from car engines.
[00:48:22] Lisa Woolfork: Oh yeah. And, and so it's not like it's nothing you'd buy in the sewing department at all. Um, it, I think it extends maybe two feet. Or two and a half feet. I got mine at Walmart for $5, but I know they probably have them at Harbor freight. They're not very expensive at all, but it's a nice way to pick up pins from the floor and you don't have to move your body or lean your body over and risk, um, slipping or something like that.
[00:48:53] Lisa Woolfork: Especially if you have a rolling chair on a smooth surface. So I think I might just add that as a, it could be a beginning [00:49:00] slash advance intermediates. Yeah.
[00:49:06] Alicia: Need to have a little side note. Cause I know we talked about that once on an Instagram live. So that's reminding me that thinks the podcast episode of thinking outside of your sewing box.
[00:49:18] Alicia: Yes. For those sewing tools that are useful, that you don't buy in the sewing section.
[00:49:24] Lisa Woolfork: Yes. I love that. Yeah, we're gonna totally do that. Cuz we just gotta Harbor freight in our, in our that'll be fun.
[00:49:30] Alicia: You'll have a lot of fun with all the things you can find
[00:49:32] Lisa Woolfork: in there. I know I'm so excited slash terrified.
[00:49:37] Lisa Woolfork: Um, okay, so let's, we're gonna take a quick break. And when we come back, we will talk about the irons because that's also a nice gift and we have a chance to talk about a couple of irons. So stay tuned.
[00:49:53] Lisa Woolfork: You're listening to the holiday gift guide episode of the stitch please podcast. We've been talking about gifts [00:50:00] divided into the beginning, intermediate advanced upgrader. And so is to sous. Now we're gonna talk aboutso irons. We were given to Aliso irons to try the pro and the mini project iron. And we're gonna discuss those now stay tuned.
[00:50:19] Lisa Woolfork: Okay. So we're back and now we're gonna talk about iron. Aliso, as we mentioned gifted us, um, these irons, I got a small one, the, the mini project iron and, um, Alicia got the, um, the larger pro iron. So I'll just talk really briefly about the small one, because I am eager to hear about the, the large one. So the one that I have is a little cute, looks like a doll iron.
[00:50:52] Lisa Woolfork: It is so small. It is so cute. Um, I'm looking at it right now, cause I'm in my sewing room and the, [00:51:00] the top of the iron, like the, the, um, the base of it. Um, this is the model is MTU pro. Um, the sole plate is about six inches from tip to bottom. And the iron itself is less than eight inches. It's about maybe seven and a half inches.
[00:51:19] Lisa Woolfork: It doesn't weigh very much. Maybe, maybe three pounds. It might weigh. If you go to the old Aliso website, they can give you the specs. Um, some of the things that I really like about the iron is that it has a really sharp, pointed tip. I think they call this like a detailed tip or a design tip. I'm looking at it now in comparison to another iron that I had.
[00:51:39] Lisa Woolfork: Um, that's also a small iron and it is, um, a it's bigger than that one. It weighs a little bit more, but it feels a bit more substantial. Um, then another thing about the Oleo iron is that this does not have an auto shutoff, which I like. I like, um, being able [00:52:00] to, um, leave it on and it, this iron gets really, really hot.
[00:52:04] Lisa Woolfork: So that's something that I also like something that I'm also adjusting to is how to use the steam and release the steam. It really does steam well, and. The way that it works is that you put your Palm over the top of the iron and then your thumb in four finger squeeze simultaneously to press the steam side so that the steam releases, um, you don't just press one side or the other, you press them both.
[00:52:31] Lisa Woolfork: And I think that that is kind of an ergonomic design, so that three fingers are holding the iron and the two are doing the pressing, but your whole hand is moving. Um, and so I think that, I think it's just really cute. It's like a kind of like, this looks like, looks like a Barbie iron because the one I ended up, the one that I got was pink.
[00:52:51] Lisa Woolfork: So I think it's really cute. Um, it also comes with this little resting slash storage, [00:53:00] silicone, um, base, like an iron rest. And so on one side, you flip it down and you can set your iron, your VI, your hot burning iron. You can set it on the resting side. And then when you're done and the iron is totally cooled off, you flip it over and you can put this on the resting side, which like, which kind of has, has a notch at the bottom and a notch at the top.
[00:53:25] Lisa Woolfork: And you can hop it in there. I'm doing this now, as I'm talking to you, um, and then you can hang it up, which if you see in my sewing room and some of you have from the Instagram lies, I love hanging stuff up. I have, I have all this fabric hanging up. I have all my threads mounted to the wall. So the idea of having a little iron that I can hang up on the wall is pretty exciting.
[00:53:53] Lisa Woolfork: So that is something I've really enjoyed about this iron I right now, I have it set up as my, like what I'm calling my [00:54:00] right hand iron. And I have a standup iron station where I do pressing for like my large garments and my apparel. But when I'm doing small pieces, Or if I need to do press as you go, and I don't wanna get up every, you know, every five minutes after every seam or if I'm doing paper piecing for quilting and I don't wanna hop up all the time, I will set the iron up right next to the sewing machine.
[00:54:25] Lisa Woolfork: And my chair, um, is like an office chair that rotates. And so I'll stitch a sea trim, the same twist to the sewing, the pressing station, and I'll press it. And this iron is perfect for that, especially since it has the steam and it does not auto shut off. I just find those auto shutoff. So irritating. One of the disadvantages is that if you do keep it on like high for a really long time, it's an iron, it will get really hot.
[00:54:52] Lisa Woolfork: So they don't recommend that you keep it on the highest temperature for a really long time. Um, so you can turn it off and [00:55:00] then when you wanna use it again and turn it back on, like, it, it, it heats up very fast. So you're not wasting any time waiting for it. So that's my, um, my thought so far on the Aliso, M two pro mini project iron, I haven't done a lot with it.
[00:55:17] Lisa Woolfork: This is something, this is a new acquisition. Um, so, but that's, that's where I am right now. So what about you and the big boy? Oh, the big girl, the, the yellow one, the big lady who,
[00:55:30] Alicia: yes, the big lady. , she's a lady so I got the protg 1600 smart iron and it has been really fun to use. There is a bit of a learning curve.
[00:55:46] Alicia: One of the neat features about it is it has what they call scorch guards. And so it is different than the typical iron, you know, kinda the way we learn to iron. This is totally dating myself, [00:56:00] but I took home EC. In middle school. And so, you know, you learn to do your ironing and then you sit the iron up on its heel when you're not in the active moment of ironing or pressing something.
[00:56:14] Alicia: And so with this Aliso iron, with this scorch guard, it has this technology where all you do is lay your hand on the handle and it will go up and down on its own. And so you never rest this iron on its heel. And so, because that muscle memory has been built into me for so many years, that took a little getting used to, and sometimes I still infuse my brain a little bit and get it wrong, but I love that technology is what I found it useful for doing when I was working on, I think I was working on a duster pattern that I was testing, and I got to a point where I was pressing and I needed to make an adjustment.
[00:56:58] Alicia: In the way that something [00:57:00] was laying. And so it was very nice to be able to literally
[00:57:03] Lisa Woolfork: leave my iron right there. We had a bit of a recording blip during this part of the interview, but we quickly get back on track. You were mentioning that you were working on a duster pattern and that, I guess it must have really long scenes.
[00:57:16] Lisa Woolfork: And so can you talk a bit more about that process? Absolutely.
[00:57:20] Alicia: Yes. I was working on this pattern and it has long seams, but there are also certain points where you're dealing with smaller kind of fiddly bits, if you will, where for instance, you've hemmed to the bottom of the garment, but you're still turning up and, um, sorting out the neck band.
[00:57:39] Alicia: and so, you know, you start depressing something and you get to a point and realize that you've not turned something or adjusted it to where it needs to be before you put that press in it, where it's gonna be a bit more set mm-hmm . And so it was very nice to just take my hand off the iron and let the scotch guard do it where the [00:58:00] iron stayed right there for me, while I made that adjustment and then was able to just hold onto the iron and let the heat drop back onto my fabric without having to run the risk of what typically happens in that scenario of you move the iron off to the side, and then you end up adjusting more of a, something than you meant to, or your whole garment shifts on you or trying to get back to that spot or feeling like you need a third hand to move the thing, hold the thing and bring my hair back.
[00:58:31] Alicia: That's right. That's right. It was very nice. It felt like it gave me the extra hand that I have always wanted in my ironing. And what I appreciate about it is that it's it's sturdy and gives a good solid press. So it did a really nice job with that, but the iron isn't super heavy. And with that scotch guard, it means that I'm not having to do as much picking up of the iron.
[00:58:57] Alicia: And so it just felt a little bit more
[00:58:59] Lisa Woolfork: effortless. [00:59:00] Oh, that's fantastic. Excellent. I was wondering about that because I tend to like an iron that's a bit weighty. And I remember when I first saw and Aliso iron, I think that I was just, of course not used to it. And so I had left it sit down and then that, then it hopped up on its feet.
[00:59:19] Lisa Woolfork: I was like, oh my gosh, is this like, you know, beauty and the, is it beauty and the beast where all the, like the teacups were talking, I was like, is this thing about to break out in the song right now? Right? but it was, I was like, this thing hopped up, it scared me half to death. Um, but no, it's, it's really cool.
[00:59:37] Lisa Woolfork: And so I, I, we are thankful to Aliso for, um, sharing their, um, you know, giving us these products to review and to think about. And, um, and I know that you said that you actually needed an iron, so that's pretty amazing. yeah, no,
[00:59:53] Alicia: it worked out lovely. Cuz my iron was doing this leaking thing. Sometimes it would [01:00:00] waterboard your garments and you just never know.
[01:00:02] Alicia: And so, and it was one of those like, eh, do I really wanna spend the money on an iron that I told you already I'm stubborn,
[01:00:09] Lisa Woolfork: so right. Don't fault my Virgo nature about these things. Virgo nature .
[01:00:15] Alicia: And so, but what's funny about it is I remember. Seeing the Aliso. So this is definitely one that I think is a great intermediate gift or a, so is Des sous gift or even an upgrade GI gift.
[01:00:28] Alicia: Cause I remember seeing one at a conference, gosh, that's probably been a good three, four years ago. Now they were a sponsor at a conference that I went to and I saw it and I'm like, that's nice. And, but I'm not trying to invest that kind of money in an iron. I just don't think I need it. And I felt like the iron that I had at the time worked well enough, but as I've used it over time and learned what I like, and don't like about an iron, some of these features now I can totally appreciate them.
[01:00:57] Alicia: Whereas at that time, like it is [01:01:00] literally the same iron that I played with at that conference. They might have tweaked a few of the features in that amount of time. Mm-hmm but I remember just not being inspired by it then. And now I'm like, oh yeah, this is
[01:01:15] Alicia: this thing. So it, like if I had to send it back, if they just let me borrow it for a minute to test it, I will be kind of sad about sending it back and being like,
[01:01:25] Lisa Woolfork: I think I lost it. that's right, exactly. I dunno what happened to y'all's iron, but, um, thank you. Right.
[01:01:34] Alicia: So it is nice. And the bigger one has that detail tip that you were mentioning it, and that has been helpful too.
[01:01:41] Alicia: I did use that when I was working. Just as I was testing the iron to just kind of get a feel for it before I put it on one of my sewing projects, I had a couple of shirts that are on the stack that are probably gonna be in my donation pile for the end of the year, frankly mm-hmm , but I had [01:02:00] just washed them and I wanted to at least give them a little press, cuz I don't like donating things that look like little wrinkled balls.
[01:02:07] Alicia: Right. And so since I had them sitting there, I used it to do some pressing on those shirts and a couple other garments that I had to just get a feel for it. And like one of them has this belt that has that's attached to the shirt that has Pintus on it. And so that detailer tip was really nice for being able to get in and get under that Uck.
[01:02:32] Alicia: And so I really got to see that and that was quite a nice feature cuz I think some other irons have something that they call that, but this one has a really. Good. Um, like basically a split between the soul plate and the body of the iron, so that when you need to get into a space. So for this one, there was a piece of the fabric felt that I needed to get under.
[01:02:57] Alicia: And so that split was perfect for [01:03:00] putting that piece in there and being able to get under there and to get a lot of really good ironing coverage, still getting things done with that. So those were some of the features I really appreciated
[01:03:11] Lisa Woolfork: about it. And I think what you're also describing is it's that to have the iron hover, like it does to have the iron pop up is not like a gimmick.
[01:03:21] Lisa Woolfork: It's something that's a really advanced and a really useful technical feature because when you're trying to press all those Ucks and you want it to lay a certain way, you have to make little adjust. And you just can't leave the iron, just kind of sitting there, but if you're able to take your hand off and then it pops up, you can make a quick adjustment and then start ironing and well, and then start pressing again.
[01:03:44] Lisa Woolfork: I think that that's, you know, a really, a really nice thing, a really good advantage to have. So that's wonderful. Well, I'm glad you liked it. I'm really glad you liked it. So, and I'm enjoying the little baby one. I think it's really cute. It's kind of like if it was a tiny bit smaller, it'd be like a [01:04:00] Barbie dream house, iron
[01:04:02] Lisa Woolfork: Cause I think it's really cute. And I also do like how it hangs up, but I know we, we are, we're gonna be, we're starting to wrap things up, but I wanted to spend some time talking about the Soest the Soest gifts that you had talked about. So these aren't things, everybody that you can just like, there's no links to these.
[01:04:19] Lisa Woolfork: There's no things that you can find on Amazon, but pay attention to what Alicia's talking about here, because these are some pretty cool gift ideas. So tell us a bit about what you, what you developed as so is to, so is, cause I was thinking about like the books I mentioned, like that pattern alteration book and the Sandra be, or, you know, real fit or real pants for real people like those kind of books and I'll drop the links to those books in the show notes.
[01:04:44] Lisa Woolfork: But what Alicia was talking about is really, really special. So I'd love to hear more.
[01:04:50] Alicia: Yeah. So these are gifts that I am extremely fortunate to have my crew of sew. [01:05:00] Of sewing buddies, like not only my ones across the country, like my black women's bitch friends, but my crew that I have right here that are local to me.
[01:05:09] Alicia: And so we've been able to get together to have sewing dates and different things. And so these are some sewing gift ideas that we have used to give to some people. And so an example of one that I know we've gifted people, a, a friend and I have come together and gifted it a couple of times is if there is a pattern that they're interested in or that we think would look really great on them, or it's one that we know looks great on everyone.
[01:05:37] Alicia: Like for instance, I have never seen a cash Mar at Appleton dress that has not worked out no matter the size. And so that one makes an excellent gift to give the paper pattern. And one of the things I love about, um, the indie patterns in particular is that they usually have a beautiful presentation with the instruction booklet [01:06:00] and all of the pieces that you get to them.
[01:06:02] Alicia: And so maybe a so a great, so to sous gift would be to give somebody the pattern along with essentially making a kit for them, a fabric that either you've seen them admiring in the store, or you know, that they would love or fits their color story, or you think would look great on them. So maybe the pattern, the fabric that they would need.
[01:06:24] Alicia: And then if it calls for any special notions like elastic or buttons, maybe give gifting them, those things. Another would be if maybe it's an indie pattern. That is one that they are not, um, a taper of the PDF patterns, which I, I fall into that category then maybe a gift, a gift certificate to PDF plotting with the pattern and the kit for them, so that they can have all of the things so that you've given them a project.
[01:06:55] Alicia: Another would be, um, there are some certain little [01:07:00] things that people like to have, uh, for their. For their machine, like the machine aprons or different projects, like there's that one, another one is there are some DIY tutorials for making your TA your tailor's ham or the sausage, which is also the same roll.
[01:07:20] Alicia: And so giving, doing cute little printout of one of those DIY sets of instructions with all of the supplies they might need for that, for the sea role, including the saw dust or whatever you're going to there's different recommendations. And the saw dust is one of the easy ones to acquire. And so with all of the pieces to it.
[01:07:42] Alicia: And so they get a thoughtful sewing gift and it's a project. So think like the way that you might give somebody an embroidery kit, where it has the hoop and the design and the thread and everything they need, but a sewing version of that, that you get to personalize [01:08:00] for the person.
[01:08:02] Lisa Woolfork: That is so thoughtful.
[01:08:04] Lisa Woolfork: I really like, I really like that idea. And so it's also, it gives us an opportunity to really communicate, I think, what do they call that? Like your love languages, you know? Yeah. It's this kind of gift that you're giving that recognizes, you know, something that they love and doing something for them that they might not choose to do themselves, or maybe they would choose to do it, but that you're seeing something in them or just, you just wanna communicate your love of sewing with them.
[01:08:30] Lisa Woolfork: And I think that those are all really beautiful and thoughtful and really thoughtful gift ideas. So thank you for sharing those. So we're gonna go ahead and wrap up. Um, but I wanted to ask, ask you to talk a little bit about where people can find you on the socials and maybe to talk a little bit about the class that you and Jill are gonna be doing at Craftcation 2020.
[01:08:51] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah.
[01:08:52] Alicia: Sure. So on Instagram you can find me at HR, H L, which stands for her Royal [01:09:00] Highness. Does I told you extra all the time. So that is where you can find me on Instagram and the class that we are going to be doing in 2020. One of them is a remake of a class that we taught this year at craft Asia. This will be our second year teaching there, which we're so excited to teach.
[01:09:21] Alicia: We've been going to the conference now, I think this will be our seventh year attending sixth or seventh year attending. And this will be our second year teaching. So the remix class is some made to measure legging slash yoga pants that we are doing. And for that class, what we do is you leave with a proper set of lower body measurements.
[01:09:47] Alicia: You get to do a little, try your hand and do a little pattern drafting, cuz we will actually draft the pattern for your leggings according to those measurements. And then we'll stitch up those leggings. And I [01:10:00] can, I can report that at our class last year, every single participant got to leave with a really super awesome pair of leggings that they customize for themselves down to how high or low they wanted their waistband and whether they wanted full length pants or crop length or knee length pants.
[01:10:23] Alicia: And there was a runway show. So everybody got to show off their awesome leggings that they were super proud of. It was a lot of fun. And so we are doing that class this year and I rumor has it that it might be on surges this year, which might be really fun. That we get to do the surgery class. Then we are also doing a class that is, um, working with flat pattern adjustments and learning the elements of flat pattern and how that applies to your sewing pattern so that you can use that [01:11:00] to learn how to read the pattern and how to make the adjustments that you need to make to your pattern from the flat pattern, as opposed to just trying to figure it out on the fly in your fabric.
[01:11:11] Alicia: And so it's, once you learn those elements of the pattern, then you can actually look at the pattern before you ever put scissors to fabric to learn how to make adjustments for it. So that one is gonna be really fun. And then we are also doing an activity. Um, it's not as much a class, uh, but they have different activities when they have some more, um, I won't say social activities, but people have different energy levels and ways they like to go about interacting.
[01:11:43] Alicia: And so for instance, for some people that maybe don't wanna go to the dance party and want, but still want to be social, then the activity we are going to be doing for that one is something that's called pimp your tote bag. And so you get your tote bag for the conference. And so we're gonna have [01:12:00] all kinds of different surprise and ideas and things where you get to pimp your tote bag for the activity.
[01:12:08] Alicia: And so we're gonna hang out and pimp tote bags together. So I think that one is gonna be super duper fun as well. And since this is the holiday gift giving guide, that is another one that we should definitely add to the link for, because the conference registration for 2020 is still open. Oh, that's a good.
[01:12:31] Alicia: Yeah, their website is dear handmade life and it's, uh, run by an awesome company of, um, Mo uh, I wanna say mostly women. I think it's all women, but I don't want to be, I don't wanna exclude anybody if that's wrong, but they are dope humans that run that company. I want a hundred percent vouch for them being the most awesome people.
[01:12:54] Alicia: And it is a great experience and a lot of fun, and they put so much work into it and I have [01:13:00] never regretted it. It is something that I look forward to every
[01:13:03] Lisa Woolfork: single year. Well, you know, that I got my talk about is so is to, so is gift. I think that you all didn't give me a Craftcation registration, but I totally signed up because on the strength of your recommendation.
[01:13:16] Lisa Woolfork: So I'm really excited about it. Yay. Um, and so, and I'm definitely excited to do the flat pattern adjustment class. That's something that's like my top list of top choices. For classes, I'm really excited about all of it. And I will definitely include a link to Craftcation in the show notes. So again, Alicia, thank you so much for joining me and thank you for sticking with me through all of our technical challenges and all of our lessons that we have learned.
[01:13:41] Lisa Woolfork: Um, I really feel like this has been like, I think we tried to start at five o'clock my time and it's like, it's like 10 30 now. So, you know, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It was my
[01:13:55] Alicia: pleasure. I had a lot of fun. It is never a waste to get [01:14:00] to geek out about sewing and to get people ideas and inspire them.
[01:14:05] Alicia: Whether it's things you already have or things that you wanna put on your wishlist or look into, or just nod your head and agree. It is always great to be in community with people that are into your thing. So I love it. Thank you so much for having me. This has been fun.
[01:14:26] Lisa Woolfork: That was Alicia Holland. Soest attorney Craftcation teacher, black women, stitch member, and just amazing friend. She and I spent five and a half hours trying to get this podcast episode together because we had technical difficulties. So I wanted to give her a shout out for her patience and enthusiasm and kindness.
[01:14:48] Lisa Woolfork: I also wanna acknowledge my neighbor, max, who did an amazing job, helping with the sound and helping to fix all of the errors [01:15:00] that came through with the disrupted recordings. So thank you so much, max. I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode of the stitch. Please podcast. The holiday gift guide is a really extensive list of lots of different types of projects and product.
[01:15:19] Lisa Woolfork: That you can use to support your sewing and to give as gifts for sewing friends. Please check out the show notes that have links to all the products that we talked about. And again, if you do end up buying them from Amazon, the stitch please podcast gets a little bit of money. Um, so we do appreciate that.
[01:15:40] Lisa Woolfork: And finally, we can announce the winner of the Aliso mini project iron. I would love to be able to insert a drum roll or something like that, but y'all know my, um, podcast editing skills are kind of on the struggle bus. So I don't really know how to do that, but maybe whole, please, let's see if I [01:16:00] can figure that out.
[01:16:05] Lisa Woolfork: Well, that's not exactly a drum roll, but I did spend about 45 minutes figuring out how to put it in there. So I figured after almost an hour that I would just drop it in y'all wouldn't mind and hopefully our winner won't mind. And the winner is black. Pearl magic, B L a C K P U R L magic. So congratulations, black Pearl magic.
[01:16:29] Lisa Woolfork: I will be in touch with information on how to contact Aliso for your mini project. Iron congratulations.
[01:16:42] Lisa Woolfork: Oh, thank you for joining us for this week's episode of the stitch, please podcast the official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. There are a variety of ways that you can support the program and you're doing it right now. By listening to the [01:17:00] pro, by listening to the podcast, it does help us grow.
[01:17:03] Lisa Woolfork: Another way to do that is to rate the podcast, review it, subscribe to it. All of these things are ways that you can support the podcast without having to spend any money at all. If you would like to spend some money to support us, there are ways to do that as well. You can make direct donations to our Patreon site for monthly contributions, as well as one time contributions to PayPal cash app or ven.
[01:17:28] Lisa Woolfork: And finally we have another cute, very adorable way for you to support the black women's stitch project. It's a pin, a P I N enamel lapel pin. That's very cute. It's about two inches wide and one and a half inch tall. And it's of the black women's stitch logo. And that is $15 with free shipping to the us.
[01:17:52] Lisa Woolfork: And so if you drop $15 in the, a PayPal, Venmo or cash app accounts, and then send me [01:18:00] your email. Oh, not email. If you send me your. Mailing address to my email either at black women's stitch or you send me a direct message on the black women's stitch Instagram page, we will put the pin in the mail to you.
[01:18:16] Lisa Woolfork: Um, again, free shipping, $15 for the pin, and all of this goes to support the black women's stitch project. Thank you again for joining us this week. Come back next week and we will help you get your stitch together

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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