Sewing Supplies Beyond the Fabric Store

0.75x 1x 1.25x 1.5x 2x 0:0000:51:31 Sewing Supplies Beyond the Fabric Store



Episode Summary

Listen to the discussion of the many places you can visit to get sewing-related things. Lisa talks about the sewing gear that you can get from the art supply store, automotive store, camping store, grocery store, hardware store, medical supply store, thrift stores and variety stores. Also listen out for the four WINNERS of our four prizes from last week’s “Yes, You Can Make A Bra” episode. If your name is called — it will be your IG handle –please contact Lisa @blackwomenstitch via direct message by Friday, June 5th.

Episode Notes

Lisa’s Faves  mentioned in the podcast

Retractable magnet —

Printable Freezer Paper Sheets —


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[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.
[00:00:21] Lisa woolfork: Relax and get ready to get your stitch together.
[00:00:45] Lisa woolfork: Hello everybody. And welcome to the stitch please podcast. We are the official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group where black lives matter. I am joining you today on recording this episode on June 2nd, the episode will release on June 3rd, 2020. [00:01:00] I mentioned that date because time and timing is important.
[00:01:04] Lisa woolfork: We are in the midst of global uprisings. Against white supremacist police violence. We are also in smaller uprisings in our own neighborhoods, communities, jobs, schools, affinity groups that black women are in some ways also in uprising in this. Because it's just a lot. Y'all, it's just a lot. And I could just be a hundred percent honest with you.
[00:01:32] Lisa woolfork: I do not have the capacity at this point to talk about this in the way that it deserves. And so what I want to do is to point out a few things. And to direct you to what's gonna be happening next, but I am overwhelmed and exhausted, and I have been that way for quite some time. Um, of course, to quote Fannie Lou Hamer, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
[00:01:57] Lisa woolfork: I just, I, I do have to say that I [00:02:00] woke up this morning. I went to. Six, a 6:30 AM woke up three minutes after my class that I'm teaching is supposed to start, got down there at 1 0 5 in record time and have been going like pretty much all day, ever since running on very empty tanks. And so. But as I start this episode for today, and the episode is gonna be about, um, thinking or shopping outside the fabric store about a variety of resources that you can use and pull from beyond going to a big box fabric store to get materials.
[00:02:36] Lisa woolfork: It just felt like I had to say to the black women sous out there who are learning new and unfortunate things about the white friends and white companies in their. I just have to tell you that I see you. I love you. I am you. I have absolutely been there. I definitely know the feelings of betrayal. [00:03:00] The feelings of surprise, the feelings of knowing someone for so many years.
[00:03:06] Lisa woolfork: and then realizing that that same person could not care less if your own child, if your own children got killed in the street, they wouldn't think about it one way or another that they do. Not that they're afraid to say that black lives matter. They refuse to say it. Um, and so this is the basic minimal.
[00:03:26] Lisa woolfork: Um, for me, I would think. And so one of the reasons that I started black women's stitch was because I refused to sew with anyone who could not say that black lives matter period. That was one of the absolute baseline motivations that I did not ever wanna feel that I had to trade my full humanity or my ability.
[00:03:51] Lisa woolfork: To, to just be my whole full self in exchange for doing something that I loved. And so we will be back, [00:04:00] um, in a week or so, uh, to talk about this in more detail, um, we've got, got, I've got an amazingly brilliant. Beautiful crew and black women's stitch. And we're gonna come and do a special episode talking about this, holding this space, showing what community looks like in the coming week, but for now I wanted to direct people to just a couple of things.
[00:04:24] Lisa woolfork: Um, if you wanna learn more about where I'm at in terms of my perspective, if you wanna hear from me, um, I have an I GTV video that I recorded on may. And that is about a protest action that I attended on Saturday, May 30th. And, um, when we got back from the protest, I, um, sat down and did like a 23 minute debrief kind of discussion on Instagram live.
[00:04:51] Lisa woolfork: And I ended up saving that. So if you want to learn more about my perspective, And to hear, um, what I hear about what I think is currently happening. I just [00:05:00] urge you to check that out on my I GTV. I also have an episode that I recorded earlier on this year, and it's called stitching truth to power quilting and white fragility.
[00:05:11] Lisa woolfork: And this is about a controversy with a quilt block involving the national quilt museum in Paducah. The social justice, sewing academy out of California. And I talk about, you know, about that controversy and what it reveals about the quilting community. And so I just want, and, and, and also one last thing is that I will be, um, talking about this on Thursday during my regular Instagram live.
[00:05:41] Lisa woolfork: I do an Instagram live on Thursdays at 3:00 PM. And my plan is to be there like. Um, and to, um, hold space to have this conversation and to, um, acknowledge and affirm black women in this in a time such as this, I created black [00:06:00] women's stitch as a way of building something that I needed. And it turned out that other people needed it too.
[00:06:08] Lisa woolfork: And I'm really happy to be here to center black women, girls, and fems, and sewing to say, SIS, I see you. I hear you. And you do not have to walk through this alone.
[00:06:32] Lisa woolfork: For today's episode, we are thinking outside the fabric store. I was thinking like thinking outside the box. And by that I meant thinking outside the big box store, because how do we, it's interesting to think about all the other places that we might source materials and things for our sewing. And so, um, because I like to make lists, I have a long list of different places where you can buy things that are relevant and useful and [00:07:00] sustaining for.
[00:07:01] Lisa woolfork: Sewing. And that includes a place you probably never, ever thought of about getting fabric. So I'm happy to share that with you. So, um, the, the cap, I have actually a list of seven places and I put 'em in alphabetical order, um, about where we can find materials to sew, um, or to support our sewing. And so the first half of the episode, we're gonna talk about art.
[00:07:30] Lisa woolfork: Supplie. Automotive. Camping and grocery stores, these four places where you can go and get things that are gonna be related to your sewing. Yes, I did say the grocery store and then we'll take a quick break and I will announce the winners of the yes, you can make a bra contest. We've got four sponsors, um, designed by Tosh bra builder.
[00:07:56] Lisa woolfork: Emerald Aaron SOS and stitch love [00:08:00] studios. And we have four winners who I hope are listening to this episode so that when your name is called, you can contact me, send me a direct message, and I will connect you with the prize and with ways to get it, if you don't hear this message and you don't, you have until Friday to contact me and then I'll go to the next set of winners.
[00:08:18] Lisa woolfork: But I'm hoping that folks whose name I'm about to call after the break will be listening to the episode. So. Oh, so then after the break, as I said, that's when we get into the hardware store, the medical supply store, and the seven thing is thrift stores. And I could talk a tiny bit about variety stores, but I feel like if I started talking to you all about what you could sew with at the dollar tree, that's a whole different episode.
[00:08:45] Lisa woolfork: It's true. Like you think about, well, no, I'm not gonna start at the end, but there's a lot of places that you can go to source materials beyond a big box fabric store. So to jump right in the art supply store. Now I'm going to refrain from [00:09:00] mentioning brand names or the names of particular shops, because I don't work for any of them.
[00:09:07] Lisa woolfork: So I don't know why I need to be pumping up what their businesses are, but I just, I just wanted to let you know that if you have a hard. Store, if you have an art supply store, um, I can, I will probably mention a few names, but I just wanna be careful about that. So, um, the first art, the first thing I would think about is if you have an art supply store, if you have a favorite art supply store, and I don't mean an.
[00:09:28] Lisa woolfork: Art supply store like arts and crafts. That is together though. I guess that would also be fine. That that was all you had. But I mean like art supply stores where people who are, um, trained in, uh, fine arts and in, uh, crafts and paintings and sculpture, where they go to get their stuff from that was that's that's.
[00:09:46] Lisa woolfork: Those are the kind of stores I'm talking about. We used to have one, um, right here in Charlottesville and I really liked it. And I just said, I don't, you shouldn't, you shouldn't think about it as an arts and craft store, but this was a little tiny story. Y'all and it was it. Art store upstairs [00:10:00] and then downstairs, it had scrapbook paper.
[00:10:03] Lisa woolfork: It had an Ellison machine. If you remember what those are. And because for me it had cake decorating supplies, and maybe you didn't know, but I am also a cake decorator. I used to decorate cakes. Um, I, I do it a lot less now, but when the kids were little, I, I did, I did role fondant. I did the Wilton course.
[00:10:24] Lisa woolfork: I made my own, um, fondant from scratch because pre-made fondant was disgusting. I made it from scratch using like boiled marshmallows. Um, and so anyway, they had a whole section on cake decorating there, but here, if you have an art supply store near you and you might already have your favorite or one nearby, here's a couple things that you can get from an art supply store that can help support your sewing.
[00:10:47] Lisa woolfork: One thing is thesal paper. I know I've mentioned CIOL before. Um, again, no affiliation, but I might throw in some links. Um, if to my Amazon. Um, site of, of some of these [00:11:00] supplies, cuz thesal paper is really good. It's that double sided wax theory paper. They sell it in the art supply store in sheets, as well as in rolls, you could also get really good measuring tools, really good measuring tools like T squares, which are useful curved rule.
[00:11:18] Lisa woolfork: French curves. We know French curves are good for, um, doing hip curves for blending, between sizes of pattern. They also have gritted rulers and gritted rulers are also really good because I can tell you that was pretty much close to today. Years old before someone told me that, actually I believe it was two folks from black women stitch, um, who were saying.
[00:11:41] Lisa woolfork: One of the reasons that it's good to measure your body in quarters. And they had said this to me more times than one, but I can be a little slow. And they said, you measure your body in quarters because the pattern pieces that you buy are in quarters. And I was like, I have been cutting garments on the fold for, you know, for [00:12:00] more than 20 something years, right.
[00:12:02] Lisa woolfork: To cut a bodice out. Not realizing that what I was looking at was one fourth measurement of my hope of my body. Like mind blown. You know, but yes. And so the grided rulers become really useful for measuring the pattern pieces and then measuring those comparisons to the measurements you make on your body as well.
[00:12:22] Lisa woolfork: The curved ruler is really good. I have some curved rulers, but I wanna get another one that's really long. I believe. Um, you want a curved ruler? It's mine is blue. It has numbers on it. It's really good for bra making, um, to measure like your under bust and the, um, and your, um, B. Blessed cup, death, those kind of things.
[00:12:43] Lisa woolfork: But if you have a longer one, they're very good for measuring and tracing a good crotch line for a pair of pants. And so just to kind of keep that in mind that these are some of the things that you can get at an art supply store, as well as some good paper paper for tracing. Um, they have paper that feels like [00:13:00] pattern paper.
[00:13:00] Lisa woolfork: There's a lot of things you can find if you're just wandering around, if you are adventurous and you want to do some. Fabric decorating or fabric dying. Um, they have, of course they have the dyes and the resists and the things that you need to do that. And they also, um, based on closer to my skill level, have really good fabric markers because I am not about to pretend that I have skills enough to die of fabric in a way that it's gonna come out consistently every time.
[00:13:28] Lisa woolfork: And usually when. When I've been dying fabric it's because I get fabric that have white people on it and I wanna make them brown. And so then I use a Sharpie and have terrible results and then I'm extra sad. And so they sell fabric. Um, they sell fabric markers that will help you diversify some of your fabrics if you want to.
[00:13:47] Lisa woolfork: Um, let's see. So the next thing I have is the automotive store. Now this is something that is very unusual, that there are things in the auto, I guess it's because, you know, when I was a kid, I used to get dragged around. Felt like a, you know, 50 11 [00:14:00] stores with my mother. And I always had to find something fun to do because.
[00:14:05] Lisa woolfork: Or something to what we, what she would say occupy yourself. Because if we were misbehaved in a store, there were, there were several layers of consequence, right. We could occupy ourselves by just, you know, wandering through the store. The three of us, me and my two sisters together. Because, you know, we're not gonna just be running around, um, or we could sit and be quiet, boring, or we could not sit and be quiet, act up and then get in, get in some serious trouble when we got home.
[00:14:32] Lisa woolfork: So it's the idea of like looking at every store and finding something that I wanna do. Um, why she does what she wants to do, or what she needs to do, uh, is, has, has, is really one of the big motivators for me, trying to like everywhere I go, I wanna figure out what can I do to occupy myself in this place that is now boring.
[00:14:51] Lisa woolfork: Um, which is really funny because I took her to the fabric store like two years ago and she was really ready to go the whole time. And she was complaining and I was like, it's your turn. Now you have [00:15:00] to sit there. Um, Because I drove. Um, but the automotive store has one thing in particular. There's other things, of course like, um, I know some folks have been really liking the blue, the, what do you call them?
[00:15:13] Lisa woolfork: The blue shop towels, using those for making masks, using those as filters for masks. So those have been really popular, but the main thing that I love from the automotive store, in addition to certain like small wrenches and small tools is this one thing. And I wish that I had done the research to find out what exactly it's called, but I'm gonna describe it as a retractable magnet.
[00:15:37] Lisa woolfork: And. And it's, and it's, it's the purpose of it is it's telescopic and they might even call it a telescopic retractable magnet. Again, if I have time, I can, um, you know, look it up and put, um, a link to it in the show notes. But one of the things I really like about this is that it's a. It's a, it's a tool that mechanics use when they're repairing a car [00:16:00] engine and they might drop a screw or a tool or something down into the base of the engine they're working on, or, or maybe like falls out onto the floor or something.
[00:16:10] Lisa woolfork: Um, but you can, they can extend this telescopic magnet and I'm holding it in my hand right now, trying to keep it away from my computer. Um, You can hold it in one hand it telescopes to 25 inches and it wa it can hold up to four pounds. And the reason this is so good is that it's good. If you drop a pin on the floor, that's the only reason it's a it's.
[00:16:34] Lisa woolfork: So it's a one use implement, but if you drop a pin on the floor and you are sitting down. Because it extends more than two feet. That's how that's how far it measures. It allows you to pick up this pin from the floor or wonder clip. It works with wonder clips too. Um, it allows you to pick that up without leaning over and risk falling or.
[00:16:59] Lisa woolfork: To leave it on [00:17:00] the ground and step on it. Um, both of which I have done, I have both leaned over to pick up a pin and either narrowly fallen or fallen, or I have stepped on it and found it that way. But the automotive store has the retract, the retracting or retractable, telescoping, um, magnet. And I know a bunch of sewing stores like have a tool that's like a little wand, but it's so small and it doesn't retract very far that you end.
[00:17:28] Lisa woolfork: Leaning out and, you know, I don't know. I just find that this, this one from the automotive store is just so much better. So let's talk about the camping store. Now I've been to a camping store, like one time and only for this reason. Because I have a confession to make. I am not about the outdoors. I know that we are in a season where we are many people are sick of being inside.
[00:17:50] Lisa woolfork: I am not one of those people. I'm not a big fan of nature. Um, my sister really enjoys this kind of thing and she wants us to like rent a van, an [00:18:00] RV and go cross country and we could stay in it. And I was like, no, no. And more. Because I like being inside. However, there are things at the camping store that are really cute and very fun tools to use.
[00:18:15] Lisa woolfork: The two things that I'm interested in are the organizational tools. And one of the one thing that I really wanna get that I'm very interested in is a special type of toolbox. Now I can. I can talk about the toolbox when I get to the hardware section, but the, the camping section, the camping store has a tackle box, which, which people use for fishing.
[00:18:34] Lisa woolfork: Now, I feel like I'm explaining, I feel like I'm explaining this and everybody in the world knows what a tackle box is. And the idea of me explaining what a tackle box is to somebody is pretty hilarious considering I don't like the outdoors and I find fishing really boring, but the tackle box, one of the reasons that I wanna get one is I like how it's a multi-level.
[00:18:55] Lisa woolfork: Organizational system with trays for different things. [00:19:00] And when you open it up, like one tray lifts up and like pushes back. And so one of the reasons that I want a tackle box actually is because I wanna use it to organize my bra, making supplies. One of the things that I really like about my own sewing is to organize my tools in such a way that I can see everything at.
[00:19:22] Lisa woolfork: But not have it be spread all over the place. And so to have a tackle box, I thought I could have a box and I could open it up and I can look into it and say, okay, well, I've got these rings, I've got these sliders, I've got this much strap. I've got this much of the, um, two hook for the back and this much for the three hook in the back.
[00:19:44] Lisa woolfork: And oh, you know, I Don. I guess I could put the under wires, like in the bottom part of the box. I don't know. I don't have a toolbox yet. I mean, a tackle box yet, but I thought it was really a pretty clever idea. People also use it to organize beads and things like that. [00:20:00] So, or you can even organize your snaps, but having some kind of cool organizational box that has everything you need in one place.
[00:20:07] Lisa woolfork: Um, it's something I'm really looking forward to when I get a chance to go to the camping store and get a tackle box. Oh, another thing people use sometimes, and I've never done this, but, um, they use fishing wire or fishing line to do hymns because it's a special type of hymn that you can do with the, um, with fishing line.
[00:20:28] Lisa woolfork: And you can get that at a camping store too. So that's. The camping store. Um, the next place is a place that most of us visit pretty regularly. And that's the grocery store, the grocery store, believe it or not has a couple of things that are useful for your sewing. Um, the first thing is, um, just an alphabetical order is freezer paper, freezer.
[00:20:51] Lisa woolfork: Paper is a product that feels like paper on one side and is shiny. On the other side, it comes at least [00:21:00] the stuff I have comes in a blue box maybe made by Reynolds. I think I'm not sure, but freezer paper is designed to wrap meat in so that you can put it in the freezer and it doesn't get frostbite.
[00:21:12] Lisa woolfork: Because one side is shiny. It's not gonna stick to the food, but it's close enough to it that there's no separation between the paper and the then and the cold. So when you open it up, it doesn't peel apart. We did this, um, me and my son have been making ice, making homemade ice cream sandwiches. So I made cookies and then we took the ice cream and put it in there.
[00:21:35] Lisa woolfork: And then we wrapped up the sandwich in freezer paper. And so. Those sandwiches really good. Now I'm actually hungry, but you can use the reason that I like freezer paper is that it's excellent for making reusable patterns because you can iron you can iron your freezer, paper to your fabric. And use it to cut and use it as a, and use it as a reasonable template.
[00:21:59] Lisa woolfork: [00:22:00] So when I make bras, for example, I use freeze. I actually bought some freezer, paper sheets, and I can put the link to this in the show notes, the freezer paper sheets that can run through your printer. So you put. The sh the, the sheet of paper in the printer, you printed off your ink. J I would not inkjet printer.
[00:22:16] Lisa woolfork: I would not use a laser because a laser printer gets really hot. But on your inkjet printer, you put the freezer paper in, it prints on the paper side, you cut out the pattern, you iron that pattern piece to your fabric. And I've done this with cotton fabric. I've done it with duo Plex. I've done it with, um, sheer mesh.
[00:22:34] Lisa woolfork: I've done it with a variety of. You iron it use your rotary cutter or scissors. The rotary cutter is really great for bra making, especially a little one. Um, and it does a really great job you, and that way you can avoid pinning, it allows you to sew. It allows you to cut out a pattern without having to use.
[00:22:51] Lisa woolfork: Pins or pattern weights, all of it. It'll stick there. And then when you peel it off, it comes away with no residue and [00:23:00] it is reusable until the sticky stuff stops sticking. So if you make like a little bag, um, or a little pouch or a little purse, um, and you say, you know, sometimes you have a pattern and it has you to print it out over like four or five pages because of all the different component.
[00:23:14] Lisa woolfork: You can print that on freezer paper, and it will be a really cool reusable pattern that you could have for quite a while. And you can make several projects with it without it, um, without it losing its stick. Another cool thing you can get at the grocery store in the same section as the freezer paper is parchment paper parchment paper is a, is a almost translucent sort of transparent.
[00:23:46] Lisa woolfork: No, no, it's translucent. You can't really see through it, but it is almost like, it feels very Telan it it's non-stick, it's a non-stick paper and you. Parchment paper for baking, [00:24:00] especially for baking cookies. I like it for cookies because it makes the cleanup really easy. Um, I used to also put it in the bottom of my cake pans because I could pop the cake out of the pan and just peel the, um, and peel the freeze, the, the parchment paper off.
[00:24:14] Lisa woolfork: It's very good for things that are, um, Cheesy or messy. And, um, it'll the, you know, the, the, the, the parchment paper keeps it from being sticky and messy. And so like, if you're like, when I would do, um, dip caramel apples, for example, you can dip the caramel apple, or the hard candy red candy, apple. On the parchment paper, let it dry.
[00:24:38] Lisa woolfork: And then it'll peel right off. This is really good for as a pressing cloth. Like if you are working with, um, wonder under, for example, or steam ISIM or heat and bond, if you've ever worked with any of those fabrics. And I mean, any of those, um, adhesive mediums, especially wonder under the other half of wonder under is essentially.
[00:24:58] Lisa woolfork: Parchment paper and [00:25:00] you could always save the parchment paper. I had a friend that used to reuse the parchment paper. She used the ones that she got from she'd do a, a bunch of applique, um, using, um, the wonder under, and then she would save the release paper, but you could also buy it. I buy it in bulk from, um, from the big warehouse stores.
[00:25:18] Lisa woolfork: I use it also for my sublimation printing because it helps to, um, keep the ink from blowing. And blowing all around. They call it, they call that blow back. When you're doing sublimation print, pen printing and your ink, because the sublimation ink is a gas and it go, it doesn't just stay directly where you wanna put it.
[00:25:38] Lisa woolfork: It can kind of seep out. And so it's a really good protective cover. And so if you've, if you ever work with likes. Sticky, um, mediums like the wonder under, or the steam theme or the heat and bond. And you put that on your ironing board. It will save you from a headache. If you get a whole bunch of fusible stuck to your ironing board or a whole bunch of it stuck to your iron.
[00:25:59] Lisa woolfork: The [00:26:00] last couple of things from the grocery store that I think are, um, that, that people might not think about so much though. I think they actually do. I think a lot of sous, we tend to be a bit maybe frugal or creative thinkers, but I save my, I get my prescriptions from the grocery store and I reuse or save my prescription bottles, you know, after I peel the label off.
[00:26:20] Lisa woolfork: So I can put bent sharps, sharps, like broken needles, old needles, used needles. Um, Well, I'm, I'm looking at, I have a whole little stack of them right now. I'm trying to think about what other, basically sharp things. I've also taken to putting things like, you know, loose staples and those kind of things in them, but that's a good way to store things.
[00:26:41] Lisa woolfork: And the one last thing I would say about the grocery store is you can reuse, oh, and one, the quick thing about the prescription bottles, I remember once calling a pharmacist or a pharmacy and asking them for like, 20, like to see, I could buy 20 blank pill bottles, and they were like, no . [00:27:00] And I was like, oh, well, I can see why this might be a complicated question considering you don't know what I'm using these for.
[00:27:06] Lisa woolfork: Um, and yeah, but I thought that was really funny. I was like, I, I, it didn't occur me that they wouldn't give it to me, but, or let me buy it, but they I'm pretty sure they were like, look, you're not gonna have us losing our license, giving you blank. Some prescription bottles. Um, and I recently actually bought some, I bought some use, uh, someone else had been saving prescription bottles and I bought them from her.
[00:27:25] Lisa woolfork: Um, just like I save my old needles in. I always say I'm gonna take them to the doctor on my next doctor visits because they dispose of sharps, but I've yet to do this. And I have like, I don't know. 10 years of sharp broken needles in like a thousand, um, prescription bottles, but no judgment zone. Um, the last thing I would say, um, from the grocery store, um, is to look at, or look for jar, interesting jars and bottles like, like spaghetti sauce, jars, um, jelly jars.
[00:27:55] Lisa woolfork: And I feel like there's no need to really explain this because I, I think a lot of us who sew [00:28:00] at least if you've had people in your family that also sew have a jar. A mayonnaise jar, a old salsa jar or something full of buttons. I don't know where the buttons come from, but they always end up in the jar.
[00:28:13] Lisa woolfork: So we that's another way to store things. And now of course, because we're all fancy. Um, they sell jars, um, Mason jars and things like that. That you could also use for the same purpose, but you could also reuse jars like that from the grocery store. So we're gonna take a quick break. And when we come back, I'm gonna announce the winners of our contest.
[00:28:34] Lisa woolfork: Um, so please stay tuned and then we'll get into, um, the last few things about, um, sewing beyond or sourcing sewing materials beyond the big box fabric store. Stay tuned.
[00:28:52] Lisa woolfork: Here it's ditch. The official podcast of black woman stitch, we talk a lot about sewing, but if you want to see [00:29:00] and not just hear about some of the things we've been discussing, feel free to join us on the socials. You can find us at stitch, please. On Facebook and you can also find us on Instagram at black women's stitch.
[00:29:15] Lisa woolfork: You can find photos of projects that we've been working on. Really interesting social commentary and on Thursdays at 3:00 PM Eastern standard time, you can join black women's stitch for a live Instagram chat. Again, that's every Thursday at 3:00 PM. So find us on the socials. Follow up with us. We are happy to hear your direct messages.
[00:29:38] Lisa woolfork: You can reach out to us at the black woman's stitch page on Instagram, and we'll help you get your stitch together.
[00:29:57] Lisa woolfork: Hello everybody. And welcome back. Welcome [00:30:00] back to this ti please podcast. You're listening to an episode called thinking outside, thinking outside the fabric store, or maybe it's called sourcing sewing materials beyond the usual suspects, or I'm not sure what exactly I'm gonna call this episode, but the topic is how do we find things for our sewing in places that are.
[00:30:21] Lisa woolfork: About sewing. And I think I just wanted to have people to expand their vision of where you can get the things you need in order to sustain your sewing. And that's why I wanted to show that there's so many different places that you can go and look, and there's so many unexpected and fun treasures that you can find in different places.
[00:30:41] Lisa woolfork: So, but before we get, get in, get back into that and I'm gonna end this. So the second and final half of our episode, we'll talk about what you can find at the hardware store at the medical supply store and at the thrift store, as well as a little tiny bit about variety [00:31:00] stores. Before we get into that, we're gonna announce the winners of our yes, you can sew a abroad contest.
[00:31:06] Lisa woolfork: These are the names of the people who have. Prize from either of, of, from there one, a prize from one of our four sponsors. So, so for the supporters of this episode, the supporter of this, not this episode, but, but the supporters of this contest and this giveaway have given really cool prizes. Emerald, Aaron has given, um, a pattern and a bra kit.
[00:31:30] Lisa woolfork: Um, bra builders has donated a pattern and a bra kit. Um, I said, I said, Emerald, Aaron bra builder. Um, designs by Tosh has donated a swatch kit and a half yard of power mesh in your skin color. And, um, stitch love studios has donated a. Kit and a, um, a bra kit and a bra pattern. So those are four prizes that we have, and we have four winners.
[00:31:58] Lisa woolfork: If you are one of these people, or if, you [00:32:00] know, one of these people get them to DM me as soon as possible. So I can set them up with their prize. And if I don't hear from them, then I'll go on to the next set of people. But here we go. Um, Shamika. MIS twisted and turned CSOs, which I have as C E E S E w S.
[00:32:23] Lisa woolfork: And so natural Dane. These are the four winners of our contest. That's at Shamika west at miss twist and turned at C. C E E S E w S. And at so natural Dane, um, y'all contact me, send me a DM, hit me up and I will get you. I will get you in touch with the, um, with the prize that you have won, but congratulations, and thanks and shout out to the folks for donating and supporting.
[00:32:56] Lisa woolfork: Um, you can also look to Emerald Aaron and stitch love [00:33:00] studios who if you didn't win and your name was not called, there are still discount codes available. Um, and Emerald Aaron's discount code is good for pretty much the rest of June, but I believe it might be June 20th. So you might wanna check. I have that in the previous note, in the previous show.
[00:33:16] Lisa woolfork: For the broad episodes. And, um, the stitch love studios has a discount go, a dis discount code that extends all the way through the end of the year. So if you didn't winning your name, wasn't called, you can still get a discount on your purchases from those shops. So do check them out and please prize winners hit me up.
[00:33:35] Lisa woolfork: So I'm gonna transition to the hardware store, the hardware store as a place to buy sewing things. This seems like probably the last thing, the last place you would imagine that you could. Stuff from, but actually actually I could probably do a whole episode just on stuff you can get from the hardware store.
[00:33:54] Lisa woolfork: I really like hardware stores. They make me feel way more crafty and handy than I am. [00:34:00] Um, and so I wanted to share with you some of the things that I've gotten from the hardware. Store that would be useful. I believe for, um, that I, that had, that had been useful for my own sewing. One of the things that I, if you think about some of the, the way of repurposing, some of the materials that you could find at the hardware store, you can get, for example, PVC pipes.
[00:34:23] Lisa woolfork: and you can ask the, the, the store to cut the PVC pipes to a certain height, evenly four for the number four F O U R PVC pipes to go on the legs of a folding table. And it will elevate that folding table from a height that's really low or good for sitting into one. Good for standing. So essentially you can turn a folding table into like a standing desk by getting four PVC pipes in the proper diameter to slide over the legs of each table.
[00:34:56] Lisa woolfork: Um, I've done that with great success. And so it's nice because it [00:35:00] brings the, the folding table to a good cutting height. I've also gotten like one by twos, which are these kind of long narrow boards and used them to build a quilting frame. Um, so that I don't quilt by hand, but I would do, I would do a lot of pinning by hand.
[00:35:15] Lisa woolfork: And so I would use the. The, uh, the one by two boards, I patted them. I wrapped them in fabric and then I would clamp them, which you get clamps from the hardware store. And that would be a frame, like a, almost like a picture frame. And I would wrap my, the base of the, the quilt, the, the quilt backing, and then put the batting on and then put my quilt top on and I could do my basting.
[00:35:39] Lisa woolfork: I prefer to base with, um, with, um, safety pins. And it was just easier to get on all four sides, cuz our house was small. I would like I would do it outside. But um, so it's a bit of a cumbersome process, but I was able to get a lot of great basting done with those set of tools that I got from the hardware store.
[00:35:56] Lisa woolfork: So for that quilting frame, another thing that you can use is you can find [00:36:00] rotary cutting blades at the hardware store. They usually had those, I guess, in the carpet section, um, because carpet cutting blades and rotary blades are. Similar and can, and I think depending on the blades you get, you can interchange them with the, um, the rotary cutter.
[00:36:15] Lisa woolfork: You already have other things that are useful is cording. They sell cording at the hardware store, um, using washers again, I think this is also from the plumbing department, but washer heavy washers. Are they make good pattern weights. I know people use those and sometimes you can, like you could, I know folks who have wrapped their washers and grow grain ribbon and use that as a pattern weight or people who've just used them plain without the wrapping or decorating.
[00:36:45] Lisa woolfork: There's also this, another thing that you can find at their hardware's. Store. And this is like a metal, I don't know what it's, I don't know how to describe it. Other than saying it's a metal dish for screws. Um, I went to a hardware store, um, in it's a, it's a pretty popular chain [00:37:00] and they have, um, low cost discount, um, materials.
[00:37:04] Lisa woolfork: And they had part of their flyer was when you checked out, you could get a free one of these free metal dishes. And I was like, oh, okay. That's pretty cool. So basically it's a nice thing to kind of throw your pins in. They, I think people usually use it for screws in the hardware context. Also don't forget that at the hardware store, they have grommets grommet, setters, and eyelets, and these are really good things to get for like making, um, like an in.
[00:37:32] Lisa woolfork: Jacket. Um, I've used grommets for different, um, other craft projects. Like if I'm making a certain bag or if I wanna use a toggle instead of a regular closure, if I wanna use, put into eyelets and grommets and just tie it with a bow. So tho and I also really much prefer those grommets and the grommet setter to the thing that I have found in the fabric store, because it's just stronger and it's more durable.
[00:37:56] Lisa woolfork: And so that's, that's something as well to think about. Setters [00:38:00] and eyelets. And finally, um, Oh, yes. Screen mesh. You can buy screen mesh, um, at the, at the hardware store. And that can be really good for, I made, um, I know that there's a pattern for making a BU making a, a desk organizer. I believe it was a free pattern.
[00:38:20] Lisa woolfork: I think. That the baby lock website had it a long time ago, but I still, I made one and I have it on my desk still. And it's a, um, it's a bucket that has all of these different pockets on the inside and the outside and the outside pockets are, um, screen mesh that are covered in bias tape, made with fabric.
[00:38:39] Lisa woolfork: And it's really pretty. It's a pretty cute thing. Um, and it has a little handle that's covered in, um, That's covered in fabric. So it's a really fun thing. And it's just a paint. It's a paint bucket, a small paint bucket that we got from the hardware store. And let me tell you just one last treat. And this was the thing about the fabric.
[00:38:59] Lisa woolfork: And this [00:39:00] is, I think this is the cover. I know this is, this is the cover art for today's episode. I got some fabric from the hardware store and not only did I get the fabric from the hardware store, it was fabric that I really wanted, um, from Mecca, which is a designer, um, in Finland, I believe. And they have fabric that they sell directly.
[00:39:21] Lisa woolfork: They have fabric that they make their products out of, and they have retail stores in certain places in the us and the fab, the meme fabric that I was able to get I got from, I guess I could just say it. I got it from home Depot. How did I get meme fabric from home Depot? You ask Meko makes sheet. And I ordered a set of full sheets, and now I have all of this great me Meko, um, small size of their kind of traditional pattern.
[00:39:53] Lisa woolfork: And I am really looking forward to using it. I've already washed it. I've unpicked the, um, the seams from the pillow. [00:40:00] I need to remove the elastic from the fitted sheet, but that's a lot of fabric for a reasonable price and, and that's gonna help me. In the end. When I talk a bit about thrift stores, that's another place you can get.
[00:40:12] Lisa woolfork: Some really great fabrics from, um, is by looking at sheets and because a lot of hardware stores, especially the bigger ones are starting to sell more lifestyle products or life products or home products. You can get fabric in unexpected places. If you call it sheets, instead of calling it yardage. And so, yeah, I'm really excited about my meme sheets.
[00:40:34] Lisa woolfork: I think I've talked, my I've talked. I think I've talked my friends' ears off completely about the dog on meme fabric, but I'm really excited. It's gonna be cute. Um, so I'm gonna switch from the hardware store to talk about the medical supply store. And here's a few things you can get from the medical supply store.
[00:40:51] Lisa woolfork: You can get IV poles, which you really only need. If you have a gravity feed iron and I recommend gravity feed [00:41:00] irons. Big time. They are heavy. They will save you. Um, They will save you the trouble of having to refill the tank of your iron, because I think I'm looking at mine now. I think maybe it's at least it's a, it's a minimum, half a gallon.
[00:41:16] Lisa woolfork: It might be an actual gallon of water that feeds, um, into the, the channel, um, or the piping. Of the iron into your actual iron itself. And the reason you need to have an IV pole is that the, the water reservoir has to be elevated higher than the iron in order for it to flow through. Now I'm in an open ceiling studio, um, in the basement of my house.
[00:41:40] Lisa woolfork: And so I can hook up the, um, the, the water tank to that. But if you don't have that, or if you don't wanna put holes in your ceiling or whatever, you can use an IV. another thing that's great is exam paper. They like when you go to the doctor's office and they have the paper that they sit on the benches.
[00:41:57] Lisa woolfork: Well, you know, when you sit on the bench to get your exam, [00:42:00] they sell those by the roll and they make really good tracing paper for patterns. One last thing that I wanted to share is, uh, hemostat, H E M O S T a T. And this is like, it looks like scissors. , but it's really a clamp. And when I first, when someone first told me about hemostats, I was like, I do not know why I would ever need such a thing.
[00:42:24] Lisa woolfork: I'm not doing surgery for goodness sake, but it's really helpful for like pulling elastic through things. It's helpful. Like if you're, um, if you have a, if you're trying to like pull, um, a stubborn. P a, a stubborn, like hand stitched pin or curved. Um, I'm sorry. A hand stitched needle through something I have right now about maybe seven.
[00:42:47] Lisa woolfork: No, let me see one. Three four. I had to move the sewing. I did tell y'all I had to move the podcast studio down to the basement, into the sewing room because my podcast was being recorded in my son's room when he was at college. [00:43:00] And then when college closed, he came home and was like a, a very strict executive producer who was like, mom, record your podcast.
[00:43:08] Lisa woolfork: Because I want to go back to playing my games. Um, but until now, basically the upshots I'm in the song room and I'm looking at my collection of hemostats and I think I do have about 1, 2, 3, 4. I have four on the wall and two that I keep right next to the machine because it's just, it's just a good, handy thing to have.
[00:43:27] Lisa woolfork: Um, so, and that brings us to number seven, thrift stores. Thrift stores are really great places to find like treasures. And, um, some of the things that you might wanna think about are, um, sometimes folks just donate, um, sewing stuff. So you can find. Sewing patterns, sewing notions, like they'll have, um, sewing machines.
[00:43:51] Lisa woolfork: You can also look at, um, someone or shop Goodwill. I don't have the exact link, but if you don't wanna go in store, you can [00:44:00] shop online, but they have all types of stuff. I found some really great vintage, not. In addition to, um, great things like sheets and vintage luggage, like I've gotten some really cute, like little lunch boxes that are good for storing things, hat boxes I've got from the thrift store.
[00:44:20] Lisa woolfork: Um, all of these different ways that you can find or repurpose materials to, um, to. Build your sewing, um, and also sheets, old sheets, single sheets, um, old curtains. Um, all of these are, and they're usually sold for very, very little. And so you can make something with it and it doesn't work out. Then basically you're using the, um, the fabric as a muslin.
[00:44:44] Lisa woolfork: That's gonna let you practice, um, your pattern. Actually actually sew it. And so the thrift store is a really great place for that. Between vintage notions, vintage, sewing patterns, vintage sewing machines, you can also find vintage luggage, sheets, and [00:45:00] other fun things for storage. Sometimes I also like to get like a really pretty like bowl or fish bowl for some time.
[00:45:06] Lisa woolfork: I think I might have gotten rid of this, but I had, like, I was collecting vintage wooden thread spools. I think I am actually still collecting vintage wooden thread spools. I put them somewhere. When I was cleaning up and now they are safe for me, cuz I don't know where they are, but that's something else you can get.
[00:45:23] Lisa woolfork: Like, you know, just like just things you don't expect. And so you never will know what you're gonna find. So I'm gonna close this episode with just talking about some other stores that you might not think of for sewing things. Even though I hear that that's changing. One of the favorite stores. My sister-in-law told me about this store.
[00:45:42] Lisa woolfork: She introduc this to me years ago and cuz she was getting stuff for her son's birthday party and they live in Manhattan and she was like, Lisa, there's a store here that has all kind of stuff. And you would love it. She doesn't like stuff like that. Like little tchotchkes, little, you know, little fussy things like this or little cutey, things like that.
[00:45:59] Lisa woolfork: But she went of [00:46:00] course to get art supplies for, um, her son's birthday and they have these low. Things, and it's called flying tiger. And it's from Copenhagen, but they have two stores in man. They have two stores in New York, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. And the one in Manhattan is pretty much walking distance from her house.
[00:46:19] Lisa woolfork: And I went over there. Y'all and I fell in love. Oh, my goodness. They have all types of all types of stuff. I bought little tiny sewing kits within little tiny metal boxes. I brought, I bought, um, Almost like a Traveler's notebook style organizer. It was like $5. Um, they have pins, pencils. They have, um, little time, like I said, sewing kits.
[00:46:46] Lisa woolfork: They have notebooks, they have all types of things. And I use that for sewing because I like to have, I like to kind of keep notes or if I'm at a conference, I love notebooks and stationary. I am such a nerd. I love pens. [00:47:00] Uh, pens, pencils, gel pins, um, notebooks, organizers, all of those types of things. And they have those kind of things at flying tiger.
[00:47:10] Lisa woolfork: Similarly, this is a store I've heard a lot about. But have never seen one yet. And that's DYS O D a I S O, which I believe is Japanese. Um, but I have a friend who's in Texas and they have one there and they have a whole like sewing or craft apartment with cute things in it. So that's another place to look and then dollar stores, um, dollar tree, I know for example, has started to sell more craft and actual sewing things, including like fat quarters of fabric, I believe.
[00:47:38] Lisa woolfork: Um, and so that's just something I've been reading about. In cause I haven't really been traveling that much. So I just thought that was just interesting to think about not having to feel like the only if you don't shop at a big box fabric store, you have no way to get the things that you need. That's not true.
[00:47:55] Lisa woolfork: There's, uh, there's lots and lots of independent fabric stores out there. [00:48:00] Lots of independent pattern makers and pattern designers. And then there's all these other places that we might visit with some frequency and. Think about them as sewing related. And I hope that today I've given you some ideas about how you might visit the art supply automotive camping store, grocery store hardware store, medical supply store, thrift stores, and other stores, as ways to help you get your stitch together, that you don't just have to rely on the one big box store to get everything that you need.
[00:48:50] Lisa woolfork: 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. [00:49:00] There are a variety of ways that you can support the program and you're doing it right. By listening to the pro, by listening to the podcast, it does help us grow.
[00:49:10] 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.
[00:49:33] Lisa woolfork: Cash app or Venmo. 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.
[00:49:59] Lisa woolfork: And so [00:50:00] if you drop $15 in the, a PayPal, Venmo or cash app accounts, and then send me your email. No, not email. If you send me your mailing address to my email, either at black women's or you send me a direct message on the black woman stitch Instagram page, we will put the pin in the mail to you.
[00:50:23] Lisa woolfork: Um, again, free shipping. $15 for the pen 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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