Wednesday, 23 January 2013

B is for Brrr, BFF and a beautiful Baby

Brrr, so chilly.  I am part woman and a larger part socks, woolies and feathers ( Uniqlo Ultradown).  My husband thought that I had overnight put on a few pounds- until he patted my sides, I was heavily insulated by a feather boday warmer under my hoody, plus jersey and vest- I love layers and I feel the cold big time.
I have been sewing, sewing and more sewing and my new best friend,  promoted to BFF ( although an alternative meaning made me laugh) is starch.  I have always been a little mystified by starch, especially as all I could find in the UK was aerosol stinky white flakey starch, and then I found this, Earth Friendly Spray Starch.
Available in UK at many online stores- cheapest I found was auravita, you can also find it at Lakeland and health food stores and in other countries.  It is cornstarch based, lightly and naturally fragranced.   I am very sensitive to smell and I find this the only starch I could consider, it is a light frangrance that doesn't linger.  So what does it do?  It bullys bulky seams into submission, those seams with many layers flatten easily.  It also sorts out bias edges and stops them waving and stretching. On slippy fabrics like voile and lawn, it gives the fabric stability.  It does't produce rigid shirt collar style fabric like an aerosol just  a neat flatness and no marks or flakes. I had tried homemade starch but lack of preservative was a problem and the spray bottle started developing mildew.  This is worth every penny and I wouldn't do with out it now.
And a quick mention to Lucy, she made this wondrous version of my Liberty Sewing Portfolio case pattern, not only a beautiful piece of work- the embroidery!  But also made when her soon to be born baby was days overdue.
inside sewing case

sewing case
And then on Monday, along came her beautiful daughter Lois.  Huge congratulations to Lucy!
sib blog


  1. I will forever think of the 30 rock meaning going forward :). I cannot wait to see what you are starching.

  2. Thank you for your starch tip! I find my piecing really benefits from starch and I usually use the stuff in a can but I have ordered some of this brand to try.

  3. Lu is so unbelievably clever with her beautiful stitching! I might have to see if we have that starch in Aus - sounds great! I too am sick of stinky flaky stuff :o)

  4. Brr indeed, I've been wearing a fleece hat to bed! I always use this starch, but I'd been getting it from Lakeland, so will have to order some up from this new place before the rest of the world catches on ;o)

  5. Oh my goodness! I thought I was the youngest Lois in the world! It is a heavy name to carry, but solid. :)

  6. I've been using starch for a while now and really like the body it gives the fabric while I'm sewing and then washes out so nicely.
    It's been on the cold side here in Portland, Oregon too. The past 2 weeks it's been in the 20's and this morning it's 34 degrees ~ we're having a heat wave ~ teehee!
    In love with the little case ~ it's on my list!

  7. Beautiful sewing case. I will have a good look at your pattern. The zipper going round looks a bit difficult maybe?
    It is cold here too (The Netherlands)!
    And I like your new fabrics for your nephew, very nice.

  8. I spied the yellow floral print on your ironing board. I just got some in green. I just love that print in person. You are so right.. B is for brrrr and F is for freezing.. :) The layers you added on yourself looks very cozy. I need to find our woolie socks.. :)

  9. I feel your pain! I freeze all the time! Enjoy your sewing ; )

  10. I think the starch alternative I'm using is similar to yours. It comes in a spray bottle, not aerosol, and it's called Mary Ellen's Best Press. I think it comes unscented, but I like the "flavored" kind. ;-). I always get the lavendar because it smells exactly like I remember my grammy's house, and I get whisked back in time 30 years every time I use it.

  11. I'm yet to try starch, although I do have some of the aerosol variety. I had to laugh at your padding layers, I'm exactly the same! And Lucy's portfolio case is gorgeous! I would love to try it, but the zipper part looks a bit scary (is it?) xxx

  12. I love your socks :) Thanks for the tip off about starch, I could only find a aerosol which I hate using. WIll pop to Lakeland next time x

  13. I've never tried starch but wondered if it was something I should use. Maybe I'll pick some up next time I'm at the store :) Thanks for letting me know the benefits!

  14. Oh - such a lovely sewing case. I'd missed that pattern somehow! And your tip on the starch is very timely - I've just discovered the delights of starch myself (purely for patchworking you understand!) and have been using the aerosol spray kind which is very niffy! Sx

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