All posts filed under: Reviews: resources, books, museums

Friday Review: Bryan Gaskin Fabrics in Palmerston North

John Cleese famously dubbed Palmerston North the ‘suicide capitol of NZ’ and advised that a visit to the city would inspired anyone to be able to do the deed. If you are a fabric and textile enthusiast there are only two reasons that a visit to Palmy would only inspire you to end your existence.  You might do it if you were completely overcome with fabric fabulosity and couldn’t stand the wonderfulness anymore.  Or perhaps you might need to permanently alter your social standing if you spent so much money on fabric that you decide it would be easier to kill yourself than to face your significant other when they see the bills. One of the main reasons for all the fabric fabulousness in Palmy is Bryan Gaskin Fabrics, 402 Main Street, Palmerston North (just off The Square) The Good: BGF’s stocks…well…everything.  They focus on bridal and evening fabrics, so the selection of laces, beaded fabric, and silks of every variety is spectacular. Being bridal specialists, they have a lot of white, but their stock …

Friday Review: Three Buckets Full

Three Buckets Full 509 High Street Boulcott Lower Hutt City Wellington What it is: an antiques and notions store with a focus on textiles, sewing, and beading. Three Buckets Full is the Wellington areas best-kept secret: everyone who has ever been to it raves about, and loves it, but the shop does no advertising, isn’t on the internet, doesn’t really even have a phone line, is in the most unpromising location, and has the most inconspicuous, uninteresting shopfront.  If you don’t hear about the place by word of mouth, you are never going to find or visit it. Luckily, word of mouth in the Wellington textile world is alive and well, and once I discovered it, Three Buckets Full became my favourite store ever.  Or at least, one of the more dangerous stores ever to take me in to.  It carries all of the most delightful and drool worthy pogey bait types: vintage jewellery, beads, buttons, lace, antique trims, old sewing notions, fabric, vintage textiles.  The only thing I don’t care for is the dolls. …

Friday Review: Jill Salen’s 1900 Ribbon Corset

This is a review of the fit, comfort, and wearability of the 1900 ribbon corset pattern from Jill Salen’s Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques, and of the pattern itself. First, the pattern: The pattern, when you first confront it, looks ridiculously hard and completely incomprehensible.  This is true of all ribbon corset patterns in my experience.  As soon as you put a prototype together and figure out how it works, the logic of it all comes together in your mind (or at least it did in my mind!) and the whole thing makes perfect sense. There are some very interesting things about this pattern.  Because the side, back, and front pieces are perfectly straight, the seams that meet them are very curved, to give the corset its curving and shape.  The front and back seams are particularly curved.  I’m not used to sewing two very curved seams at the centre front and back, modern seamstresses are generally taught to keep both of these seams perfectly straight, so it did take a little mind-readjustment. Flaws/problems in …