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Foundation Garments – What They Are and Why They Matter

This is another entry that’s going outside the usual scope of FFC, but it’s an important topic for any costumer, so here goes. Just like the name suggests, a foundation garment is something worn under your street clothes – or costume – which supports your outer clothing and/or changes the shape of your body, usually… Read More »

All Dyes Are Not Created Equal

Courtesy of the smart folks at Dharma Trading: Did You Know That Every Black Dye Doesn’t Dye The Same? And the same holds true for all colors. How a dye turns out depends on the fibers your dyeing, the technique you use and the chemical composition of your dye. Visit my page about dyes and… Read More »

Bedsheets: An Underrated Resource. Yes, Really!

Bed sheets can be an awesome resource for cosplayers. They’re useful for mockups, flat-lining and even making some garments – I made a hoopskirt and matching bodice out of fancy sheet set from Target and they looked great. Previously-owned sheets have done all their shrinking and bleeding in previous washings, so no nasty surprises await you in that regard.… Read More »

Introduction to Fibers: Alpaca, Llama, Vicuña

I’m lumping these three together for reasons that will become apparent as you read. The alpaca, llama and vicuña are three closely-related South American mammals and they’re all used for (among other things) yarn made from their sheared hair. The collection and processing of their hair for textile use is very similar to that for sheep,… Read More »

Crepon

Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics’ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. A heavy crepe fabric, with a more prominent texture than average. The fabric features distinctly wavy ridges along the warp. I’ve seen it referred to a lot in my 19th century catalog reproductions,… Read More »

Introduction to Fibers: Ramie

Ramie is a fiber made from a plant of the same name – a member of the nettle family. Like linen, it’s a bast fiber – part of the stalk is separated from the plant and woven into yarn. It’s also similar to linen in that the fiber is relatively brittle and creases easily and… Read More »

Tabby

Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics‘ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. A tabby weave is another term for plain weave. A tabby fabric, therefore, is a plain-woven fabric. I’m disappointed. I was hoping for a cat-print. Here’s a real tabby cat, instead.

About Upholstery Fabrics

You should never neglect the home décor section when shopping for costume fabric. You’ll find patterns and colors there appropriate for a surprising swathe of history and some drawn characters too. For instance, when you need emergency princess gear, pintuck taffeta can be a lifesaver. Sheer gauze curtains can provide material for fairy wings. I’ve lost count of… Read More »

Before You Sew: Prepare Your Fabric

You’ve found the perfect fabric, you’ve acquired the yardage and now you’re going to lay out your pattern and start cutting, right? Wait! Stop! Arretez-la! Before you cut your fabric – before you even pin/stick your pattern on to it – you have to prepare your fabric by washing it or sending it to the… Read More »

Seersucker

Seersucker is a light-to-medium weight fabric – usually made from 100% cotton. When woven, varying tension on the warp yarns creates a bumpy, textured surface to the finished fabric. It often features a striped or checkered pattern. With striped seersucker, the stripes always run along the warp, parallel to the selvedge edge. It’s somewhat similar to plissé, although the latter… Read More »

Plissé

Part of the ongoing Antique Fabrics series – although it’s not quite dead, yet! Plissé is a cotton fabric that has been chemically treated to give it a puckered, crepe-like appearance. In fact, Wikipedia treats it as just yet another of the many varieties of crepe out there. To my eye, it seems a little more ‘wrinkly’… Read More »