Fusible Interfacing in Manila

Hi everyone!  I’ve been away for quite some time, sorry about that!  I have a really good reason though: my husband and I welcomed our lovely baby girl this month.  Our little bundle of joy has currently been sleeping very soundly through the day but has been awake (okay, not just awake, howling) through the night.  She lives in Manila but is operating on North American time!  Anyway I’m back and on maternity leave so I hope to be able to post more often in between taking care of the little one.  🙂

I’ve shared in my previous posts on sewing supplies here that one thing I couldn’t find is fusible interfacing here in Manila.  Bam commented that there was some in Carolina’s Glorietta 5 so when I found myself in SM Megamall a few weeks ago, of course I had to go check it out, and I’m glad I did because my search for fusible interfacing here is now over!  

As with many sewing supplies here, fusible interfacing goes by a different name (which is why I couldn’t find it!).  In Carolina’s, they call it cotton fuse or Sanforize.  I bought several yards of each type to test them out.  Prices are as follows:

Sanforize (125 Php per yard) on top, Cotton fuse (30 Php per yard) on the bottom. Prices as of April 2012

In the picture below, cotton fuse is to the left and Sanforize is to the right.  Cotton fuse is much cheaper at less than the equivalent of a dollar per yard, and is somewhat translucent.  Sanforize as they call it is much thicker, somewhat like regular plain cotton with a sticky side.

To test them out, I cut some scraps of cotton I had lying around and fused both types by pressing them down for 20 seconds with a hot iron.  Here is how they looked from the back:

Cotton fuse to the left, Sanforize to the right

Here’s the front view below:

Cotton fuse interfacing on the left, Sanforize interfacing to the right

They both fused to the cotton very well, but Sanforize produced a noticeably more stiff result than the cotton fuse.  Also, the resulting color of the cotton was brighter with the Sanforize.  Overall, they worked well although I have yet to use them for an actual project.  🙂 Carolina’s Megamall contact number:  (02)633-4965, (02)633-1766

Update:

Fusible interfacing is available in Cotton Depot, Glorietta 5, Manila at 50 pesos/yard.  This price is as of November 2014.

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Burda style magazine in Manila!

This week is Holy Week in the Philippines which means that almost everyone is on leave and on vacation…but I’m still at work since it’s not the best idea for me to make long trips or to fly somewhere almost 36 weeks into my pregnancy. I’m saving my leaves for Christmas break! Happily though, something arrived today to keep me company at work (although it means I wont be getting much work done):

I’ve been really curious about the Burda style magazine since so many hobby seamstresses and blogs often post about it. It can’t be purchased anywhere here in Manila (like a lot of sewing supplies and references) but luckily I saw a link on burdastyle.com here which directed me to http://www.newsstand.co.uk. I ordered just 3 issues first since I’m not sure how much I will like the magazines and how easy it will be to sew from them. The first one arrived today, and from the looks of it I’ll be getting a longer subscription. 🙂 Only thing is I’m not used to tracing out patterns since I’ve only used the ones from the Big 4 which I just cut out. It’s always fun to teach yourself new things though! If you guys have any tips or suggestions or favorite patterns from the new magazine do let me know! 🙂

Butterick 5196 maternity top, completed!

Now that I’m in the home stretch of my pregnancy (35 weeks and counting!), I really need more maternity tops (quickly!) since my regular clothes, even the stretchy ones, just won’t fit me anymore.  I’m so happy to share that I finally finished my new maternity top that I posted about earlier here.

Here’s my finished twist maternity top from Butterick 5196, I made it with around 1 and 1/4 yard of lightweight jersey.  It ties at the back (or in front if you would like) which I love because it somehow defines the waist a little bit.  I also really like the way the twist highlights the baby bump, I’m planning to make another one but I would take an inch off the top portion to make the neckline a bit higher.  When I was cutting the pattern out, I already took off an inch but in the portion below the twist since most patterns from the Big 4 are intended for women 5’6″ in height and I’m only around 5″2 on a good day (hehehe).

Image

Things I learned:

  • Narrow hemming (using my sewing machine for the neckline and by hand for the armholes) – Narrow hemming is sort of a pain especially when you’re trying to do this on curved parts of knit fabric since it’s hard to press/pin evenly while your fabric is curling on the bias.  Ultimately, you want a tiny hem without much bulk.  Using your sewing machine, there is a lot of pinning, basting and sewing.  If you do it by hand the stitches are almost invisible on the right side and it’s easier to make the hem as tiny as possible.  I followed the narrow hem tutorial here, it worked okay but I found it kind of involved and time-consuming so I ordered a narrow hem presser foot from Amazon the other day.  Will share with you guys how that works out for me once I figure out how to use it!
  • Blind hemming using my serger – I made a tutorial for those of you who might need it here.  I still need lots of practice though!

The verdict:

  • Great pattern with a few minor edits needed, makes a cute wardrobe staple!

Sewing books – my 2012 favorites so far!

I’m sure that all of you hobby seamstresses out there have your own little stash of sewing books as references.  Even with the ever popular YouTube and all the wonderful sewing blogs that I constantly stalk, it’s still nice to have the actual books to leaf through (plus all the great paper patterns that a lot of these books come with).  Aside from my iPad, these are what I take with me while waiting for my turn at my ob-gyne’s clinic or at the salon.  Hehehe.

I ordered most of them through Amazon because there used to be very few sewing books in Manila bookstores.  Luckily (or unluckily for me since I had to pay shipping), local bookstores like Fully Booked and Powerbooks have been carrying more and more sewing books.  This isn’t my full stash since I have some on Kindle (the Nancy Zieman ones and Me and My Sewing Machine by Kate Haxell) and some others lying around our flat, but these are the ones that I’ve been going through the most as references.  There are a lot of patterns that I can’t wait to try out once I give birth!

Sewing books

Most of these are for relative beginners (not absolute beginners) or those with average skills, because they do assume that you already have previous knowledge on basic sewing terms and skills.  A lot of them though have patterns and suggestions that advanced seamstresses can easily use to take their projects up a notch or make their projects more complicated.

If you’re into making things aside from clothes, 1-2-3 Sew or One-Yard Wonders (not pictured) are good options since they have projects like bags, electronics cases, pouches, aprons, etc.  For absolute beginners though, I love Stitch by Stitch for its clear, detailed instructions (one of the best I think) that gets you started with small crafty projects (napkins) then guides you through projects of increasing complexity until you find yourself making clothing!  I used Stitch by Stitch to create my reversible totes (you can read about it here)  and found the book simple and easy to follow.

For the books on sewing clothes, I’ll be able to make a better call on the books once I start sewing from them (after I give birth) but so far I’m really liking most of these books.  These are the ones that come with basic clothes patterns and offer tips on customizing them:

These books don’t come with any patterns:

Another great book that I read through is Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide that I bought on Kindle.  It gives you an awesome reference on types of fabric and what presser foot, thread, needle, hems, seams and finishings to use for the best results.  When in doubt, this is my go-to book!

If you have any questions about any of these do let me know, I’ll try to put up some reviews on the individual books soon.  =)