Vintage Lace And Trim From The 70’s

Crochet trim

Last week I got the coolest gift ever: a box of vintage lace and trim from my aunt.

Vintage lace and seeing trims from the 70's

A lot of it came from my grandma’s stash. She used to keep a scrapbox under her sewing machine for me to design Barbie clothes. Thus began  my love affair with sewing. We lost grandma Vivian to leukemia when I was barely in high school. It’s nice to have this connection with her after she’s been gone so long. I’m so glad my aunt thought of me!

1970's flower trim

Most of it is yardage, and I’ll definitely be using it in some upcoming projects. I’ve had so much fun digging through it that I thought you’d like to see too.

Colorful vintage lace and trim from the 70's

Vintage sewing trims, lace and tatting from the 1970's

The colorful pieces are some of my favorites. Is the peachy colored trim (top of photo) tatting? I wonder if it was made or purchased.

Sewing: Vintage lace and trim from the 1970's

There are so,e embroidered trims too.

Vintage lace and trim from the 1970s

I looovvve crochet lace. Last year I wrote a tutorial to add crochet lace to shorts. I vaguely remember tea-dyeing with my grandma when I was very young. I wonder I helped dye any of these over a quarter century ago.

Vintage Lace And Trim from the 1970's

That makes me feel old! I hope to sew through my stash before I leave this earth. If I don’t, hopefully one of the kids takes up sewing so I can pass it down.

Vintage woven sewing trim. Packaged to prevent unraveling

Here is a woven trim, packaged to prevent unraveling. I can see me wearing it.

Vintage sewing notions: lace and trim from the 70's

lace and printed ric rac: vintage lace and trim from the 70's

This lace has really amazing details. I’ve been swooning all week because I know I’ll be putting this stuff to good use.

Vintage lace and trim from the 70's

More goodies. There is also some sequin trim (not shown) that will be excellent for costumes and crafting. There’s more than I can show here.

Vintage lace and trim from the 1970's

There’s just so much to play with. Some of it will need a quick steam. I’m excited about the white laces because, hello Rit dye.

Hope you enjoyed looking at my vintage lace and trim! How much big  is your vintage sewing stash?

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Bohemian Fabric Collection

Bohemian Fabric Collection by Amy Mayen

The Bohemian Fabric Collection by Amy Mayen

Inspired by textile arts like blanket weaving and macrame, mixed media art and dying techniques.

The Bohemian Fabric Collection, fabric designed by Amy Mayen

Have you seen my design profile page at MyFabricDesigns?  I have lots of bohemian fabric prints, but today I’m showcasing four of my favorites.

I’ve been influenced lately by everything from home decor to lost civilizations. I realize that none of these prints exactly match, but I do think they clash brilliantly. I hope I can claim cohesive messiness;)

Bohemian Fabric Collection

Serape by Amy am ayen, The Bohemian Fabric Collection

Serape (above) is my rendering of a hand woven Mexican blanket. I then created an effect, like when you run a dry brush through oil paint. This design is the mother of several other prints in my collection.

Kaleidoscope by Amy Mayen, part of the Bohemian Collection

Kaleidoscope was inspired by encaustic painting; or pigmented wax applied to canvas or wood. This is a drip and splatter pattern, but there are also melting and shaping techniques. I pulled, stretched, and mirrored the design until I found a rhythm I liked.

Kaleidoscope by Amy Mayen; The Bohemian Fabric CollectionHere’s a digital image of one 60″ yard, to give you an idea of scale for garments.

Several of my designs in this collection aren’t truly seamless, even though MyFabricDesigns has a seamless pattern creator tool. I liked the visual breaks, so I kept them.

Manta Tejida by Amy Mayen, The Bohemian Fabric Collection

This is Manta Tejida . It’s my serape print meets Morrocan overdyed rugs. Have you seen those? It’s a re-worked vintage rug, distressed and then saturated in bright dye. They are stunning!

Gypsy Curtain by Amy Mayen, part of the Bohemian Fabric Collection

Gypsy Curtain began as a beaded macrame curtain on an old caravan. At least in my mind. It’s really fun when handmade elements meet digital processes, although I find the end product becomes something abstract and hard to define.

Bohemian Fabric Collection by Amy Mayen

The fabric is photographed in performance knit, but these prints are available in 26 different types of fabric.

The performance knit is 100% polyester. I think polyester gets a bad rap…I was a bit biased against it just because the word makes me think of the thick, itchy 70’s poly. I liked the feel of it in my swatch, so I ordered it.

When I received my prints, I was unsure what to make at first. It has one way stretch but is much more stable than a jersey. It’s lightweight and smooth to the touch. It finally dawned on me the other night what the rest of these prints need to become…

Serape by Amy Mayen shown in performance knit from My Fabric Designs

Extreme closeup of the performance knit…

I was going to tell you what I’m planning, but maybe it would be fun to guess. What would you make with this  fabric?

Click the image to shop My Fabric Designs.

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The Best Synthetic Dye For Lingerie Elastics

Have you tried dying your own elastics for lingerie sewing? Are you wondering what’s the best synthetic dye to use? I tried 2 popular brands to compare results. This post is not sponsored by either brand, all opinions are my own. Read on!

Synthetic Fabric Dye Comparison

Let’s take a look at each brand, and see which is the best synthetic dye.

What's the best synthetic fabric dye?

iDye Poly

From the Jacquard Products site:

“iDye Poly is for synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon. It even works on some plastics—buttons, frisbee discs, 3D printed objects, dolls and more! The dye comes in a dissolvable packet, so there are never any messy powders to handle: simply drop the packet in a pot of water, add your fabric and bring to a boil! iDye Poly may also be used for sublimation printing techniques and to dye the polyester threads that are used to sew commercially manufactured garments.”

  • Price range is from $3-$7 dollars, depending where you shop.


  • There are 16 synthetic dye colors to choose from.


  • iDye Poly comes in a lightweight cardboard container, and includes a liquid and a powder. You heat water on the stove and add the ingredients. There aren’t comprehensive instructions, other than how long to “cook” and what temperature. I wasn’t sure when the color intensifier was supposed to be added. There is a forum but I didn’t look at it until I began writing this post. I also didn’t know the packet was dissolvable. Oops.


  • One packet will dye 2-3 pounds of fabric.



Comparing Synthetic Dyes

Rit’s DyeMore

From the Rit Studios site:

“We’ve developed a new dye, Rit DyeMore, that dyes synthetics. This means polyester, polyester blends, acetate and acrylic are now all dyeable with Rit. And while nylon has always been a material Rit could dye, it dyes to even richer shades with DyeMore.”

  • Price range is from $5-$8 dollars.


  • There are currently 12 synthetic dye colors to choose from.


  • Rit’s DyeMore formula comes in a plastic container. It’s a thick liquid. You add it to water and “cook” your project. There are thorough instructions, although it’s pretty easy. (Pour the dye into to the water, use more or less for different results.)


  • One bottle of Rit will dye up to 2 lbs of fabric.


What’s The Best Synthetic Dye For Lingerie Elastics?

What's the best synthetic dye for lingerie elastics?

The price range is comparable for each brand of synthetic dye. I used the colors shown in the product images- turquoise iDye Poly and super pink Rit. I used the entire packet of turquoise in a smaller pan, and a few teaspoons of Rit dye in a larger pot. The results aren’t scientific, obviously, but the iDye Poly was used in a much more concentrated dose.

In each pot of dye, I colored a set of bra straps, hook and eye, underwire casing, and decorative elastic. (Enough for one bra each color.) In both brands, the hook and eye and casing took longer to absorb the dye.

What's the best synthetic dye for lingerie sewing?

I found the Rit easier to use and had better instructions. The iDye Poly had almost no instructions, and an extra step adding the liquid packet. (I’m referring to instructions on/in the package, not website content.)

Synthetic Dye Comparison: Rit DyeMore vs. iDye Poly

The Rit Dye also had a brighter, even color with no splotches. I wish I took better pictures, but the turquoise had lighter and darker spots. This could be due to using a smaller pot or improper use. If I’ll barely crack a cookbook to make dinner, it’s doubtful I’ll be doing much online research to cook bras. So even if I did it wrong, I still like Rit better.

The Rit dye came out a deep fucshia; very close to the color on the bottle. The iDye Poly “turquoise” is nowhere near torquoise…but more of a light blue. The package shows a brighter blue that isn’t turquoise either.

The iDye Poly is only good for one use because it has a dissolvable packet. Rit’s plastic bottle good is for many uses and stores easily. I only used a very small amount of Rit. I’ll probably never dye several pounds of fabric, so that makes Rit a better price for me.

Rit DyeMore is the best synthetic dye across the board. Share this post to spread the word:)

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Burn Test To Identify Fabric Content

How To Use A Burn Test To Identify Fabric Type

Here is a guide to conduct a burn test to identify fabric content.

How To Identify Fabric Content With A Burn Test

I recently cut a kimono out of (what I thought was) nice brushed silk. One side is smooth, the other has a soft brushed feeling. The drape is fluid and soft, with a single warp and weft weave.

How to Identify Fabric Content With A Burn Test

Once I saw the fabric bathed in natural light, my textile snobbery went into full force. There is occasional nub (which isn’t uncommon in natural fibers) but quality silk fibers tend to be made as smooth as possible during the carding and combing process. Also, this fabric is pinnable. Pins usually leave a mark or hole in silk. However, it is prone to snags and pulls, which is consistent (but not exclusive to) silk.

It looks like I’m dealing with mystery stash! I decided to perform a burn test to identify fabric content. I’d hate to spend my time making something that won’t last.

Use A Burn Test To Identify Fabric

A burn test is used to help to determine types of fiber in fabric. In general, natural fibers burn and synthetic fibers melt. The color and smell of ashes, burn speed, and behavior while burning can narrow it down further.

Many factors can effect how a fabric burns, like chemical treatments, weave density, or the dye. Blended fabrics can be difficult to identify, and synthetics are especially hard to pinpoint. Click to print or download this handy burn test chart from Threads Magizine, then we’ll gather the rest of our supplies.

How To Conduct A Burn Test To Identify Fabric Content

You also will need: squared fabric swatches, tweezers, plate or dish, seamripper, lighter

Have a spray bottle or some sort of water available as a fire precaution, and work in a well ventilated area with no breeze or wind to disrupt your results.

How To Identify Fabric Content With A Burn Test

Sometimes fabric blends use a different fiber for warp and weft, rather than twisting them together as one yarn. Here’s a preliminary test to check for a fiber blended weave.

Use your seamripper to pull out a few pieces from each side. Hold the fabric with tweezers and light each side separately. I lit it and quickly blew it out, like a candle. If both yarns behave the same continue to the next step.

How To Use A Burn Test To Identify Fabric Content

Hold your swatch with tweezers, and set it on fire. Set it on the plate to observe. How does it smell? What color is the flame/ash? Does it catch fire quickly, or fizzle out? Does the fabric curl away from the fire? You may need to burn several swatches in order to note all the variables. You can use your chart to make notes.

How To Use A Burn Test To Identify Fabric Content

My fabric burned slowly like silk and smelled like burning hair. When  But the beads weren’t round or shiny, and there was a liquid residue on the plate. I suspect a synthetic blend, and possibly some sort of chemical treatment.

How To Conduct a Burn Test To Identify Fabric

In design school  we were told that there is always an exception to every “rule” in fabric identification. A burn test result won’t always be conclusive, because the textile industry has constant technological advances. It’s definitely a process of elimination though!

I’m disappointed that I don’t have silk. Synthetics have come a long way and are nicer than ever before, but I’m really concerned about wear on this kimono. It’s probably going to end up as a muslin because  the more I work with this fabric the less I like it:(

Until next time!


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How Fabric Affects Garment Fit

How Fabric Affects Garment Fit: Jalie 3245 sewn in 4 different fabrics

Wanna see the same pattern, sewn in 4 different types of knit fabric? Here’s a quick visual of how fabric affects garment fit; and can change the look and style of your project.

How Fabric Affects Garment Fit: Jalie 3245, sewn in 4 different fabric types.

Here’s my latest sew, Jalie 3245 again. I love this pattern, I wear baseball tees all the time. (And flannels. And moccasins. It’s my momiform.)

How Fabric Affects Garment Fit: Jalie 3245 sewn in 4 different fabrics

These prints are high quality, medium weight jersey knit with 4-way stretch. Both are cotton with 5% Lycra. This is my favorite type of fabric to work with; 5% lycra is the magic number for me. It has  excellent stretch recovery, the fabric hugs you and it’s super soft.

Below is a very similar top in tribal print and stripes. It’s the exact same type of fabric, jersey knit; except it’s lighter weight and has 2-way stretch instead of 4-way. It stretches along the width of the fabric, but there isn’t much stretch vertically.

How Fabric Affects Garment Fit: Jalie 3245 sewn in 4 different fabrics

Visually, I don’t see a ton of difference in the top using less expensive fabric. This top thinner and needs a tank under it, and it’s definitely not as stretchy. But still a great top that gets a ton of wear.

How Fabric Affects Garment Fit: Jalie 3245 sewn in 4 different fabric types

Next is the same pattern, using an upcycled t-shirt with 100% cotton and very little stretch. Using this type of fabric won’t give you much ease, and you can really tell the difference in the fit. I got claustrophophobic taking it on and off! That’s why my sister in law is wearing it.

How Fabric Affects Fit: Jalie 3245 sewn in 4 different fabrics

Here it is again using a lightweight jersey slub. Slub knit has a little bit of texture to it, since it’s made using uneven yarns. Linen and handwoven cotton almost always have slub, but in knit fabric it’s made that way intentionally.

The fabric content and stretch varies with slub knits. I like a cotton/Lycra blend; but I’ve used some with a little bit of polyester (or some type of synthetic fiber) content that felt nice too. Often it’s a bit sheer, great for summer clothing. It gives this top a looser, drapier feel. I wear this top a lot!

After wearing all these tops, I gotta be honest and say that the pricier fabric on the first version look and feel the best. The less expensive fabric in the second top looks just as nice, but isn’t as thick and stretchy. Not a deal breaker for me. The slub knit has a totally different aesthetic that I love; but the 100% cotton knit top (version 3) was worn only once.

How fabric affects garment fit

My newest Jalie 3245 is my favorite of all. Sadly, I used the laziest construction of all with this one!

Jalie 3245

I didn’t serge any of the seams. I used a double needle to stitch the neckline, hem, and sleeves; but the tension was a little loose. I really need to unpick it and redo. I’m holding my breath for that sponsor who wants to give me a coverstitch machine. Ha!

Jalie 3245

I think it’s interesting to see how fabric affects garment fit. But I’m kind of boring, sewing the same things over and over. I’ve become pickier about everything sewing related; from fit to fabric. It makes it harder to get a project off the ground!

Until next time, friends.

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