I took a pass at bead work at one time. My conclusion was Indian women
had a lot of time on their hands and excellent eye sight. The experiment
lasted about as long as when my mother tried petit point.
Your stitches aren't following a single thread-line in the fabric.
I.e., the fabric can be thought of as a grid. But, your stitching
isn't perfectly *aligned* with that grid. So, the structure in the
fabric (i.e., which "horizontal" threads you're crossing along with
which "vertical" threads you're crossing) biases the stitch you're
You also need to ensure top and bottom thread tensions are balanced.
A zig-zag stitch is usually more "accommodating" than a straight
line stitch; it has some elasticity in its structure. (and, moves
each penetration of the fabric farther apart for a given amount
of "forward motion"; sort of like walking/wobbling with legs wide
vs. taking baby steps to make the same forward motion)
The fabric is also used and more than likely has random straight and
cross grain stretches already.
A walking zig-zag is more accommodating than a straight or a normal
zig-zag stitch, and should be used for materials that have an expected
stretch to it. A zig-zag stitch on a trampoline material is only good
for flat felled seams, or seams that fray because of the open weave of
Is that the same as lycra? As in what your well undressed nerd on a
$2500 road bike wears?
Worked great for the Columbian team.
That's about how my conversations go. The fatal one is "What are you
going to use it for?" "You don't want to know." is the most accurate if
not the politest response.
That's often how it goes in the hardware store or Home Depot unless I'm
looking for a specific item that will be used for its intended purpose.
The funniest one I've see was a young Goth couple looking at leashes and
collars at the ranch supply store. The clerk was really trying to be
helpful but he was in way over his head. "How big is the dog?" "There
isn't a dog."
Yeah, I get that at the hardware store when I'm trying to *imagine* a
device to solve one of my technical needs. "Hmmm... do I spend 15 minutes
trying to educate this sales person as to my actual need so they *might*
be able to make some suggestions? Or, when they ask if I need any help,
should I just reply, 'No thanks! I'm all set!'"
When you can rattle off very *specific* requirements -- but can't put a name
on the item (or, an application to which THEY would relate), it tends to leave
them stupified. I.e., "clearly *he* knows what he's looking for (in detail!)
so why can't I figure out what he wants??"
He/she should have matter-of-factly turned to his/her mate, wrapped their
hands around their neck to gauge the size; then, removed them and said
"About this big..." (knowing that the salesperson had watched the entire
I'm also afraid of hardware store drones. One
time I was looking through the aisle, the drone
tried to stay one step ahead of me, and read
all the shelf tags out loud. Really destroyed
my ability to think. I tried to, politely, ask
him to go else where.
The sewing machine place is the scary one. My mother had a Singer she
used quite a bit but as complex as it got was a button hole attachment.
Some of the new ones cost more than my car and have more computing power
than the machine I'm typing on. I always worry if I get too close I'll
have a monogram embroidered on my left butt cheek in all the colors of
Mine is a Pfaff, and it's one of those that has a zillion stitches with
programming capabilities. I made a career out of it for many years as a
professional seamstress and made all sorts of things with it. I even
worked for the ballet for several seasons as their principle dancer
seamstress. I was glad when I got out of that, though, because I don't
have the steady hands that I used to have to do all the plateau
embroidery and cut work. That was career #4, I think!
Okay, google just let me down. What's 'plateau embroidery'? My
grandmother did something that involved hoops and about 1000 little
skeins of yarn, thread, or whatever it's called.
One of my aunts was a seamstress for a while and tended to have a
mouthful of straight pins rather than using a pin cushion. She looked up
one day and one of the ankle biters was emulating her. I don't think she
breathed until the kid was disarmed.
When the principle ballerina wears a tutu it can be decorated by a top
flat portion that's attached to the top of the tutu. Part of what I did
was take the ballet designers pattern and create the tutu plateau which
could include intricate sewing patterns (sometimes zig-zagged) using
invisible thread and then cut outs in the pattern, and then glittery
jewels and beads were sew on to decorate the plateau.
LOL I always used a pin cushion, and supplemented with a wand magnet.
I'm so far out of my league... I did know a woman who worked for a
fashion house that specialized in stripper costumes. One of their
hottest sellers was a pubic hair wig for the performers in Boston's
Combat Zone. Is that anything like a tutu?
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