The Same but Different

Recently I saw a photo in which someone claimed they were wearing chambray and I wondered if they really were. I am a textile geek, after all, and I could see why someone would think that a fabric is one thing when it’s really something else. I wondered if the fabric in question was indeed chambray, or if it was denim.

Left: striped chambray Right: denim

Left: striped chambray
Right: denim

Chambray and denim are very similar in that the warp threads – the threads that are attached to the loom in weaving – are dyed threads, and the weft threads – the ones that come off the shuttle (I remember it by “weft goes left…and right”) – are white threads. And they’re both typically made of cotton.

Denim is typically a pretty thick canvas, but it can be very lightweight as well, it just depends on the gauge of the threads used. Chambray is typically lightweight.

This is a great blog post about denim, and it explains the structure of “the simplest example of a woven fabric” (which weavers call “plaino”) and the structure of a twill fabric (looks diagonal). Herein lies the fundamental difference between denim and chambray: Chambray is plaino weave – one over, one under, and denim is a twill weave, two over, one under.

Ultimately, I was concerned that the person was accidentally wearing an Albertan Tuxedo (denim jacket and jeans – a fashion I unwittingly adhered to for much of the 90s and early 2000s). If you want to go blue on blue, make sure you’ve got a chambray top and denim jeans – or vice versa.

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Christmas Meltdown

It finally happened last night. I was considering all of the gifts I had started to make and the small amount I had finished, and realised that with the working 7 days a week that I’ve been doing and the social commitments, there’s no way I’ll be done in time. The snapping point was when I remembered that my mother has only enjoyed my silver gifts, not so much my textile gifts, and I was considering knitting her another scarf she wouldn’t wear (the only scarves she wears that I knit were made with eyelash yarns, which is a little painful to a natural fibre snob like me).

So I cast on Baudelaire out of Arequipa yarn in colour 206. Dudes, it’s squishy alpaca-y goodness. For me.

beaudelaire.jpg

But here’s the apron I made for my friend’s birthday. I already gave it to her so it’s available to be viewed.

gift-apron.jpg

And for your amusement, Catzilla with Laser Shooting Eye Action!

catzilla-with-laser-eye-action-small.jpg

Shudder

ravelry > antsy

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Fashion Rant

I’ve probably had this rant on a previous blog; it’s an issue that’s near and dear to my heart because I make (and wear) clothes.

Today I bought myself the second cutest bathing suit. It’s a tankini and it would have been the cutest bathing suit if I had gone with the other top, but considering the type of activities I intend to do in said top (swimming as opposed to lounging around), I decided to go with the sensible racer back rather than the PLUNGING halter. And the sensible racer back is a size 8.

I also got some core pieces to the start of a more professional wardrobe. I did have a problem in that I couldn’t find tops to go with the outfits; nothing seemed quite right, but that isn’t the thing that is rant worthy.

What made me a little angry at the modern fashion world is this: in an effort to make the bigger woman feel better about herself, they’ve made sizing so that your size is smaller than you are. So I bought a jacket today that is a size 6; I should be a 10 at least, especially considering that in pattern sizes I’m a 14/16. To compensate for this, they’ve had to create 0s and 00s…this doesn’t help the psyche of the smaller girls like my brother’s classmate who used to wear two pairs of sweatpants under her jeans so she wouldn’t be ridiculed for being so thin. And when the media says that Marilyn Monroe was a size twelve, they mean closer to pattern sizes and DEFINITELY not today’s modern size 12. Yes, I got some satisfaction out of getting that wee jacket, but it felt hollow; I’m still chesty, I’ve still got a tummy, and it kind of offends my sensibilities that they’re messing with my brain that way.

Although, I’ll admit that I was glad that I got a pair of trousers that fit my thighs and wouldn’t easily be pulled off without undoing them though; that was pretty nifty.