Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dreaded Hook and Eye

 Image from Threads magazine, issue #117

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently bad about a hook and eye. In fact, they can be quite useful little suckers. My problem is that I dread sewing them on. You'd think I was getting a root canal, the way I avoid them! I'm finishing up another dress based on this pattern that I draped (it's the exact same shape, but with an improved empire line, done in navy with white piping, if you're curious), and it will definitely have a hook and eye. When I saw my teacher Sharon last week, she reminded me that a hook and eye at the top of a back zipper will help the neckline of your dress lay perfectly. Plus, to be honest, the zipper on this one starts a smidge low. So there is no doubt that there will be the sewing-on of a hook and eye in my very near future. But why does it fill me with such dread?

Perhaps it's just one of those silly chores that one hates for some reason, the way some people hate dusting or taking out the garbage (and yet they can perfectly tolerate washing the dishes or mopping the floor). I also feel I've never gotten my technique down perfectly. Ever since I saw an article in Threads on the subject which showed a hook and eye perfectly executed with gorgeous little blanket stitches (issue #117, if you're interested, it's a great article), I've felt mine were inferior. Yes, I know I'm feeling inferior to an illustration rather than an actual hook and eye, but there you have it.

And then there's the fact that there are hooks, eyes, bars - it can be mystifying! Also, Sharon suggested a hook with a thread chain - have any of you done this? 

So what's your dreaded sewing chore? Also, any hook and eye tips?

66 comments:

  1. Don't worry what the diagram shows about sewing on a hook and eye; I've seen a million different ways in various books over the years, so there is definitely not only one correct way! ;) I love how a hook and eye add a bit of finish and security to openings, especially zippers. Ever since I noticed 75% of my vintage dresses had one at the top of the zipper (or the waist on side seam zippers), I've been mimicking it--and a zipper has yet to start coming undone during wearing!

    I think my least liked chore is measuring and marking hems. I like the act of sewing a hem (usually by hand; not because I can't do it by machine, but I find it really relaxing to stitch by hand!), but getting to that point is like pulling teeth. In fact I've got a dress that is waiting to have the hem measured, pinned and tried on--and it's been patiently waiting since last month! Yikes!!! :p

    Can't wait to see your new version of that dress!!! :)

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have also written in the past about how I hate these little devils - they are so difficult to get on right. Mostly I just don't use them (and none of my garments have come undone - yet!) but sometimes I feel that a neckline would look better with one - especially when the back neck is lower than usual and is therefore more on show. I think replacing the eye with a thread chain loop works better but it does take a bit of practice, and patience, to work them nicely.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a hook and eye dreader myself, and I didn't even know I was supposed to be doing perfect little blanket stitches! That and snaps. Give me buttons or a zipper any day. I don't know why, because it's not *that* difficult, but I just hate getting them all lined up right!

    Looking forward to seeing your latest project. Navy with white piping in that style sounds fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a beautiful illustration! Although I've never actually seen a hook and eye sewn like that in real life. Usually, they're just held into place with a few simple stitches.

    I don't really have a least-liked chore, although I'm still resisting doing vintage sytle zippers. I'm sure once I've done the one I'll wonder what kept me all those years, but I'm dreading the day I have take to the plunge. Then again that day may come very soon as I have a pattern I desperately want to do that requires one, as an invisible zipper just won't work... You can be sure I'll be following your tutorial/ advice every step of the way!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just hate sewing hooks and eyes. I had 5 of them on my two first sewing projects (indian saree blouses, 5 on each on them !) and I've dreaded them ever since. I just don't understand how I'm supposed to sew them in place...
    I'm looking forward to seeing your new dress :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do have to say that my hooks and eyes don't go on very well either. Thank goodness that you can't see them when you are wearing your garment.

    I really hate cutting out the fabric with the pattern. That, I think, is what I dread the most when sewing. It is especially annoying when you plan to cut out all your fabric and then your kids get up from their nap before they are supposed to.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hate hand sewing, period. So all the finishing touches to a garment -- putting on buttons, hooks and eyes, hemming -- are on my List of Dread. I have to remind myself that I don't get to wear whatever it is until these little things are finished!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Advanced BeginnerJuly 22, 2010 at 8:09 AM

    I'm not crazy about sewing on hooks and eyes or buttons; I once tried using the blanket stitch on a hook, but it certainly didn't look as neat as that diagram. (A lot of this is practice.)

    I especially hated a class assignment skirt for which I had to sew two heavy skirt hooks and eyes.

    You make a stitch somewhere under the hook, come up through one of the small eyelets (metal circles at the edge, at least I assume those would be "eyelets"), sew two or three loops and then go down through the top layer of material (in between the two layers of fabric that make up the waistband extension), slide the needle up and emerge at the other side of the hook. I had a lot of difficulty manipulating the needle.

    I also have trouble holding the hook while I'm getting started; I've tried pins and holding it. Holding it seems to work best.

    Marking placement is also an issue. The best way for me, although I'm still mastering it, is to place the hooks where I want them, take some tailor's chalk and mark the edge, remove the hooks, and then manually press the extension to the waistband; the chalk transfers the line so I have a guide for the eyes.

    My hooks still don't fit into the eyes as they should. They're usually a bit too tight.

    But as I've sewn maybe a total of eight hooks in my life I shouldn't be too hard on myself.



    I've never used a thread chain, but someone once showed me how to make one. It didn't look too hard. Someone else told me that one could also use a Merrow (serger) machine chain.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yeh, I am hopeless at sewing on hook and eyes! >< They always end up looking so messy and ugly and most of the time not quite in the right place so they pull the fabric weirdly....

    But I have to sew one on for zipper security because one of my zippers keeps sliding down. So I will try the technique shown above! Thanks Gertie. : )

    xox,
    b. of Depict This!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I HATE to hand-sew. Just about the only thing I hand-sew is buttons. And trust me if my machines weren't 82 and 62 years old (no zig zag on these babies) I'd even machine sew buttons!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Advanced BeginnerJuly 22, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    I also hate tracing patterns. In the classes I've taken we often had to trace the pattern pieces and if you have 20 to 25 people working with two, or if you're lucky, three, sets of patterns with 10 to 18 pieces that can get nerve-racking. The patterns are on oaktag, and sometimes a corner has been bunged up. Sometimes it's hard to transfer the grainline on a really long piece. I'm rushed, I'm slow to begin with, and my tracing is never as accurate as it should be. I often have to retrace at home. But I've learned that if I don't start out with a good pattern I'm screwed.

    The really good people take tailor's chalk and trace the pattern pieces directly on the fabric and cut it out. I trace on the fabric, too, eventually, but I need to have a copy of the pattern in case I need to re-cut something.

    I also trace commercial patterns because they're too damned expensive for me to cut up. But tracing one easily takes me an hour and is very tiring. I'm looking for a large-format printer in NYC where I might be able to make some copies.

    I've tried every conceivable method: Swedish tracing paper (a translucent medium that's sort of like interfacing that you can sew and wash -- it can function as a pre-muslin), various varieties of wax and chalk tracing paper, a special stylus for tracing (it looks like a pen but has no ink).

    I hate having to write the name of the piece, the size, and the date. I have lousy handwriting. I also usually try to make a Cutters Must (a list of the pattern pieces, the number of pieces to be cut and the type fabric to be used). Last year, I bought a pattern puncher. I wanted to feel "professional." It's also much easier to carry everything on a pattern hook.

    I also hate:

    --Winding bobbins (when the machine is acting up);

    --Threading the Merrow machine from scratch (much more complicated than a home serger -- at least I figured it out);

    --Separating plies of six-ply embroidery thread. I've been shown how to do it, but I always end up with a knot.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Advanced BeginnerJuly 22, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    This site has loads of good information. This is just one lesson. If you click on the image you will get an enlarged version. There are also discussions of various kinds of thread loops on the site.

    Lesson 215 - Hooks and Eyes

    http://vintagesewing.info/1910s/17-ad/ad-09.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. If you're curious, I just saw an article on threads.com about using thread bars for hooks and eyes. It was all well explained, but afterwards I still wasn't sure why it was an improvement on using an eye. Maybe it's less noticeable on the right side of the garment?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for that beautiful picture, now I have something to aim at when I try hook and eyes.

    My most hated sewing task is actually starting sewing - I have to clear the table with my sewing machine on of all my sewing clutter and although it only takes 10 minutes I still put it off:(

    ReplyDelete
  15. Blanket stitch - how ingenious! I never thought of sewing on a hook & eye that way; it looks very secure.

    After 30-some years of sewing I still can't always manage a neat buttonhole. In fact I think my buttonhole-making ability has declined over the years. I want to blame it on the older machines I've used lately, but I don't know how true that is.

    I can't even imagine taking the time to trace patterns rather than just cutting them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Buttons, I just don't like doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have serious hatred for sewing a hook & eye too, actually, it's just getting it started that I'm not a fan of. One of those things that takes so much longer than it seems like it should.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I absolutely loathe doing buttonholes, so I end up using hooks and eyes fairly frequently. How can you hate sewing on hooks and eyes more than you hate doing buttonholes??

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have a stash of vintage hook&eyes that are in pastel colors. They're rather fun to sew in. Does anyone have any idea from what era they might be?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have to agree that hooks and eyes are a pain. I think that it's because they're so small... it makes them hard to hold while sewing (as Advanced Beginner noted above). I've never tried a blanket stitch. Maybe the next time, just to say I've done it... though I don't tend to sew couture, so I'am all for functional rather than fancy schmancy on the inside.

    I second Sharon on the thread loop, though. First of all, you don't have to hold anything in place to do one. Secondly, if a little of it shows, it matches the dress rather than proclaiming its presence with a metallic gleam. It's almost as fast to do one as to sew on the little loop or bar.

    My least favorite task is transferring pattern markings to the fabric. There are 'sew' many ways to do it, and deciding which to use gives me a headache. Then, with my aging vision, there's the question of whether I'll be able to see the marks while I'm sewing.

    Looking forward to seeing your next project.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ooh yes, buttonholes are awful. I hate hooks and eyes too, but more because my washing machine mangles them than because I hate sewing them on. I tend to use a little button and a thread or ribbon loop instead.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hate hooks & eyes, but I put one at the top of every zipper anyway. (Unless its a skirt or trousers and I can get away with a skirt hook thingy) My stitches don't look nearly that pretty, but the hooks/eyes usually stay on fairly well. I like a bar better than an eye as I think they are easier to hook into. A few of my RTW garments have a hook and a thread loop, which always looks nicer, in my opinion, but I can never get my own thread loops to work.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I also hate sewing on a hook and eye! It's an essential part of sewing, yet there's something about it that seems so tedious compared to sewing the entire project.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hook and eyes are fine compared to buttonholes, which I detest. I'm not a huge fan of hemming either, but I am spending this afternoon hemming some trousers before doing the buttonhole. And it's not even a buttonhole that will be visible!

    That and taking out tacking thread. If someone could create water soluble thread, I would kiss them.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sewing in any zipper is my dreaded chore. I put it in and rip it out several times before it looks the way I think it should.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Mee tooo! Those little buggers drive me crazy. But my real kryptonite is hand sewing in general. That's bad right? I think it's because I'm all excited that I've busted through something and am all ready to wear it and then realize, "nope, you aren't done yet, there's an hour hemming in your future, sigh" But I will say that recently I've trying to embrace it, since I know there are many things I should be hand stitching that I don't and it really does make a difference in certain garments. Sigh, a necessary evil I suppose!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Buttons, buttons, buttons! I sit and fret over the correct placement of them. Then, once I get a good OCD frenzy going, I fret over their orientation. Then, right when I'm ready to jump off of something tall, I fret over how many loops I've sewn in each hole.

    I need help.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Advanced BeginnerJuly 22, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Fairevergreen:

    As for transferring pattern markings to the fabric itself, the only reliable way I've ever found (for me at least, and I represent the worse combination, not dexterous, slow, and perfectionistic, until I simply can't take it anymore) is to chalk the markings on the fabric and then to tailor tack or thread trace them.

    First I cut out the outline of the pattern piece in the fabric with the two layers pinned together. Then I lay the pattern on the piece again.

    The oaktag patterns usually have a small hole 1/2 inch before the end of the dart point. I crumble a little soft chalk and rub it on the opening or take a dressmaker's pencil with a very sharp point and poke it through. Then I remove the pattern, take a rule and connect the dart legs to the point. Then I tailor tack at the very least the point, sometimes the entire dart.

    I've tried all the less labor-intensive ways and have had a lot of screw-ups.

    There's an even more precise method used in couture called "pouncing." You take a paper pattern and, using a wheel that looks something like a stiletto tracing wheel, trace the seam allowances, darts, etc. The wheel makes small perforations. (Some people use a sewing machine without thread to make the holes. They place the pattern under the needle and sew, following the lines.)

    Next, you lay the perforated pattern back on the pattern piece and use a "pounce pad" to smooth a special charcoal powder (you can also use cornstarch in a tennis sock) over the pattern. The powder gets in through the holes and when you remove it, you have a faint pattern on the fabric to follow, over which you thread trace. (The powder fades very quickly.)

    This method is also used to transfer embroidery designs.

    I've never tried it for real, although I do have a couple of pounce wheels and powder in white and blue. Getting the right amount of powder from the pad takes a little practice.


    I baste everything, and I love basting because it raises my comfort level. Which is not to say that it's always perfect. But my results tend to be so much better if I baste.

    One of my favorite sewing tasks is to remove basting.

    ReplyDelete
  29. One of my favorite sewing tasks is to remove basting.

    Really? Can I send you all of mine to do?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I hate the beginning and the end: cutting the pattern pieces and hemming the finished project. I just wanna sew and be done!

    ReplyDelete
  31. As much as I hate sewing hooks and eyes, I hate hooking and unhooking them more! They are a little ZAP of trouble, every time I get dressed and undressed, which takes a little bit of the pleasure out of the garment for me every time I wear it.

    I really have to come up with an alternative. At the moment, I am considering a little tab with a snap or a sturdier skirt hook (I actually like those), either to cover the zipper pull on the outside, or to sit invisibly under the top of the zipper on the inside.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I don't like putting zippers and the worst is putting them on pants.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I have nothing to add to the already long list of "what I hate to do while sewing" but wanted to share this. Gertie, I opened your blog in Reader this morning, and the illustration looked so much like a medical illustration of an IUD that I got cramps just looking at it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. i must say that right now it is the same thing...i have 2 unfinished projects that need that darn hook & eye and i keep letting them just sit there...i will do it...i just have to be motivated!

    xo,
    cb
    www.thecitybirdsnest.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I hate pinning and ironing, but my most dreaded is sewing on buttons. I have let clothing sit for a month, just because it needed buttons sewn on...

    Of course, now that I've realized I can sew regular buttons (not shank) on with my machine, it's like a whole new world of opportunity :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. ANYTHING that involves hand sewing!! I always end up stabbing myself, and things end up lopsided.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you Mary for showing me I'm not alone in my paranoia. To me that diagram screams diy gynecological surgery!

    I dread marking and cutting the fabric and (an inevitable part of that process) covering it in cat hair.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm not sure about sewing hooks and eyes (I've only done it for our Elvis Costumes) - but I HATE wearing them. Neckline be darned! Seriously - I can *feel* a hook and eye and always dislike the feeling - H & E's are a NO for me unless it is essential!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am a chronic buttonhole avoider. I haven't sewn one yet!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Gertie: The threads hook and eye treatment is lovely, but I don't have either the time or the inclination to do that. I have used the hook and fabric chain method, which offers less opportunity for the eye part to mysteriously dissapear. I suggest that you take several stitches back and forth over a kitchen matchstick to give you some wiggle room before beginning to cover them with a tight blanket stitch. Make sure you use a long enough thread to finish the job (ask me how I know!!) Good luck. Your work is so lovely, and I appreciate your points of view.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Gertie,

    You know, I think hems, buttons, buttonholes, and of course hooks and eyes, are just not my favorite things to do because of one simple fact: they are usually the last steps in the sewing process.

    I feel like I am done once I finish all my seam allowances and whatnot but then I remember those buttons that need to be sewn in or the hooks and eyes to find. . . What a damper!

    It is good to find that I am not alone! :D

    Sincerely,
    Rebekah
    http://www.artandneedlework.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I don't mind sewing hooks and eyes. I secure them exactly the way that picture suggest and they're held on nice and sturdy. To do this with as little aggravation, I find a strong thread (silk, button thread, or sulky) and cut a generous length - not too much to tangle, but enough to be able to maneuver the needle through. Then I go for my cache of needles and choose the smallest curved needle I own. The curved needle is very helpful for getting in the little space you're left to secure the closure.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I will have to confess that I rarely use a hook and eye - only if the item in question has a zipper that is too short. I hate sewing them on. I don't mind handsewing in general, but I'm not a fan of slip-stitching lining to anything in general, especially the zipper tape. I know there's a way to do it all by machine, but I can't work my head around the technique.

    Even more than that, I hate cutting - it always causes me so much stress! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Mine are definitely of the inferior variety. I have yet to master that neat and clean blanket stitch and I've been sewing a lot more years than you have. Thread chains are much nicer and less obtrusive than the metal sort. Like anything else, it take doing lots of them to do it really well.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I have a skirt I made in college (over 10 years ago) that I still wear. But I never got around to sewing the hook and tab on the waistband. I've been using a safety pin. It's really pathetic since it would take all of 10 minutes to add the hook.

    I have to admit that I never actually hook the hook and eye at the top of a zipper. I'm a lazy dresser that way.

    ReplyDelete
  46. that's funny - i was just finishing a dress last night and thinking about how much i hate sewing hooks & eyes. i think i just hate the idea of sewing shit by hand... i also try to weasel out of sewing snaps, tacking down the end of my zipper tape, tacking down facings, sewing those hanger-loop things (i have a strapless dress i made, oh, a month ago - still laying on the back of my chair because i can't be arsed to sew loops in it to hang!).

    interestingly, i prefer to sew the majority of my hems invisibly by hand, as i think it looks more professional/neat.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I just don't like the whole cutting the fabric business. It's so tiring: moving things to get enough free space on the ground. Placing all the pieces, tracing them with tailors chalk, marking the seam allowances, cutting, tracing the markings to the other side if the fabric was folded, cleaning the mess up that I made. Ugh.

    And I don't like ripping seams and doing them over again. It always takes so much more time to correct a mistake than to make it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I always use a thread chaininstead of an eye. As someone else said, the thread matches the dress so it's less obvious. Another advantage is that you have a little more lee-way with the position as the chain will "swing" round to meet the hook - so you don't need to worry so much about getting it spot-on. I also sometimes put the hook upside down (ie the hook facing outwards instead of inwards. If it's hidden properly (and if you make alonger chain for the eye, you can hide a hook very thoroughly) this doesn't show. The advantage of this is that the hook doesn't rub against the skin. So if I think a hook is in a bad position, I always do it this way.

    ReplyDelete
  49. ha ha! I had to comment because I made two dresses last winter that still need the hooks and eyes sewing onto them - each time I wore them I had to wear a jacket or cardigan over them so that you wouldn't be able to see!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I hate transferring pattern marks to the fabric and cutting out the fabric--let's get to the sewing already!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I really hate filling the bobbin with thread, ugh, especially in the middle of project! Isn't that the worst when you are in sewing zen and your bobbin runs out?! ARGH!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I also dread the hook and eye! That's probably my least favourite task.. plus it's the one step you can technically skip and still wear the garment! I'm glad you posted that tidy little diagram though, it's a reminder to be more tidy when sewing mine on :)
    Your navy dress sounds so pretty, can't wait to see it!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Personally, I find thread chains even worse. . . .

    Drsue

    ReplyDelete
  54. To do hand sewing, including hooks and eyes sewn with the blanket stitch, you must run the thread thru beeswax, found at any notions counter; iron the wax into the thread (although I do not always iron it); and the thread will not only be stronger but the threads do not tangle or become uneven with knots and loops. The blanket stitch will look like the picture shown.

    Also the length of the thread should be shorter rather than too long for more ease and accuracy in stitching. I like to use the thinnest needle I can when doing close work such as hook and eyes.

    Really, waxed thread is absolutely worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  55. To help get through the pain of sewing on perfect hook and eye closures, I have used a curved needle (like those used for upholstery but thinner) in order to get around the darned little thing.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I hate zippers. I'm forcing myself to do garmnets with zippers until I can get them right. Maybe try sewing one hook or eye per day until you begin to feel comfortable with the technique.

    ReplyDelete
  57. This concept applies to other things...think of all the auto maintenance jobs involved in car ownership. The one I dread the most? Filling the tires with air. A monkey could do it but I just can't stand it! As for sewing...hand hemming. I pile it up for months, then put in a movie and crank it out in one fell swoop. Once I made a beautiful green skirt - then found another green skirt in my hemming pile I totally forgot I made. Dumb!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I don't mind hooks & eyes. But I do find it much easier to bring the needle UP in the center of the loops. I also take a few stitches on the neck of the hook to hold it down better. It may not be "correct", but it works for me, and no one sees them anyway. I've used thread loops quite often when fixing the blouse gap between buttons. It helps to stitch over something when making the loops before covering them with blanket stitches.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I love to sew by machine, but I hate hand sewing, especially hems. Before she lost most of her sight in one eye, my grandmother used to put my hems in for me. She tried to teach me how to hand sew the blind stitch and although I understand the technique, I haven't had patience enough to master it. Odd, too, because I love to embroider by hand.

    The worst part about sewing on hooks and eyes is that they slip while you are trying to hold them with one finger. Try sticking them in place with a basting glue stick or basting tape.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Oops! I should have added, before you sew them in place, because they certainly won't stay permanently in place with glue.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I hate zippers. Every time I tried putting one on I end up with a deformed, uneven piece (it looked so good before I put the zipper on!). Maybe I just need more practice and patience.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I applied to the CA Shakespeare Festival as a stitcher but was deemed unqualified. They hired me as a wardrobe mistress/dresser instead and they let me help the stitchers on easier tasks.

    Sewing hooks and eyes was considered too highly-skilled for me to do properly. The eyelets must be completely covered with blanket stitches so that the metal doesn't 'flash' under the headlights.

    How did they achieve blanket stitch nirvana? They used buttonhole twist, which is much thicker than normal thread. The right tool for the task makes everything easier--but my stitches were still not even enough to pass muster.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Add me to the "I hate buttonholes" list.

    As for the hook and eyes, I've never really minded them. I just use satin stitches instead of blanket stitches, it seems to work just as well.

    ReplyDelete
  64. My mother always throws away the eyes part of the hooks and eyes... She says the garment just deserves a thread loop and makes them beautifully. I, well, let's say that I will do them if needed to, but find no pleasure in doing so. I second the bees wax pointer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sorry, didn't mean to comment anonymously...

      Delete
  65. One hint I have learned is to put a small dot of fabric glue at the placement mark for buttons and snaps. This prevents the little stinkers from slipping around while sewing.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

© Gertie's Blog For Better Sewing. Powered by Cake