April 14, 1993 |
Dear Polly: Do you know how to make those stretchy fabric-covered ponytail holders? I think they'd be so cute if I could make them to match various outfits for my little girls. - Sandy Dear Sandy: "Scrunchies," as we call them, are easy to make. First, measure a piece of elastic the length you want the finished scrunchy to be (8 or 9 inches is a good length), then add a couple of inches for overlap. Make a fabric casing of about twice the length of the elastic by cutting a strip of fabric 3 or 4 inches wide, folding it in half lengthwise with the right sides together, and stitching along the edges to form a tube open at both ends.
October 28, 1996 |
To see the light through their taut silky sides is like gazing into another time. These classic, cream-colored lamp shades, with scallops and gold-fringe trim, now cast an antique glow in a world gone neon. "Philadelphia was the mecca of lamps and shades," said Mark Blum, president of Alga Saxe Lampshade Inc. "Now, we're one of the last left. " In a loft factory building near Chinatown, Alga Saxe and its 20 employees turn out 1,500 hand-sewn lamp shades a week. The Philadelphia lamp and lamp-shade industry, which once sprawled through the city's industrial quarters, has mostly moved south.
May 2, 2008
If you've never made a pillow before, The Pillow Book (Chronicle Books, $24.95), by Shannon Okey with photos by Gemma Comas, is a good place to start. For one thing, it contains basic advice about fabrics and pillow accents: nothing too precious if you have kids; nothing dry-clean-only if you anticipate stains; nothing too tempting to cats (tassels, fringe and the like); no mixing materials with different washing requirements. Plus, the book offers a solid foundation in those core steps of sewing prep: pre-wash, pre-shrink and pre-press.
December 10, 1999 |
Walk into the CoCo:Chenille shop in Lambertville, N.J., and you could curl up and go to sleep, surrounded by stacks and piles of recycled chenille bedspreads. Just a little nap, maybe, where you wake up all warm and cozy, with that chenille imprint on your cheek. We're not talking rayon chenille - the kind that's made into plush scarves and throws. We're talking vintage chenille: the cotton bedspreads with little tufts that covered your mother's or grandmother's bed. These chenille bedspreads fell out of fashion in the 1960s.
August 25, 1995 |
In a child's room, screens serve various uses, from artfully dividing space to showing off memorabilia. Their movable-feast quality works two ways: They can be moved physically as the room or your child's space needs change. And they can be re-covered or otherwise updated with a minimum of time, cost and effort, so they grow with your child. Painted brightly, pasted with posters or covered in wallpaper, these wood and fabric partitions create atmosphere while personalizing a room.
August 16, 2014 |
Dino DiMucci removes his weathered fingers from the gray suit coat he's been hand-stitching. He wants to tell a story. It's clear he has the time. The shelves are half-empty in the narrow Newtown, Bucks County, haberdashery where he works. The back has more thread spools than garments. So DiMucci holds his right hand in the air and pinches his middle finger to his palm. This, he says, is how tailors push needles through fabric. For a week as a boy in southern Italy, his hand was tied in that position with a piece of string.
February 12, 1998 |
Other people may recycle cans, bottles and newspapers. The children of Overbrook Educational Center reuse fabric. The students made quilts from scraps of pillows, T-shirts and baby blankets pulled from the bottom of drawers and closets in their homes. The quilts taught them that anything, no mattered how tattered, could gain new purpose and meaning. "We recycled to carry on the memories," said Bahiyah Abdul Malik, a sixth grader at the Philadelphia public school, at Lansdowne Avenue and 68th Street.
January 6, 1993 |
Dear Polly: My granddaughter enjoys paper dolls, but they are always tearing - in particular, the heads tear off. I'm looking for hints to pass along to her to help keep this from happening. Any tips for prolonging the life of paper dolls? - Mrs. A.J. Dear Mrs. A.J.: I loved paper dolls as a child, as did my mother before me. Indeed, several of my favorite paper-doll sets had been hers which she passed along to me. I wish I'd had some of these pointers to cope with floppy heads, torn-off arms and other paper doll mishaps: Glue a popsicle stick to the back of each doll, extending right up into the head area.
July 9, 1986 |
Lighting Factory Outlet in the Northeast is a very large, well-stocked operation that sells lamps, ceiling fixtures and lamp shades at a hefty discount. I visited the outlet recently and found: A 32-inch-high Stiffel brass-finish table lamp with unusual scroll-like base design. Includes pleated fabric shade and three-way base switch. List $365; $239 here. A Westwood solid brass table lamp with silk pleated shade. The 32-inch high lamp features a chalice-like design. At Lighting Factory Outlet, it's lamp is $201 ($358 list)
August 3, 1992 |
Willi Smith, who took much of his design inspiration from the style of the street, would have loved the idea of taking fashion out of the studio and placing it under the stars. That's exactly what five local designers intend to do when they present the International Fashion Montage at Dell East in Fairmount Park on Friday. According to Ron Wilch, of the South Philly-based Ron Wilch Couture, the show is as much a tribute to the talent and influence of Smith, who died of AIDS in 1987, as it is a showcase for himself and fellow designers Kelvin Rice, Nadine Artis, Alex Rappley and Dale Mitchell.