Because a beautiful 4-month old girl, Aya, is moving to San Francisco soon I decided to "whip up" a little kimono top for her. I say whip up because a) they are easy and b) I have made them before. What should have taken no more than an hour turned into a 4 hour headache. I haven't fully decided where I'd like to lay the blame for this but my top two contenders are Wright's and Jo-Ann's.
I really love using your bias tape, especially the double fold kind. In fact, I have yet to find any use for the single fold kind, but that's really my problem, not yours. My beef with you is your color palette. Frankly, it's kind of limited. Pastel yellow is nice for Easter, but how about a bright sunflower yellow? Seafoam green is okay, but wouldn't Granny Smith green be even okay-er? I'm going to go even farther and suggest you could even make polka-dot, striped or otherwise patterned bias tape. Wow, can you imagine? So keep up the good work, but please visit the Pantone website for some color inspiration. You'll really be helping us sewers out.
I heard you are consolidating a lot of your smaller stores into Super Jo-Ann's. If this means you will better stock your bias tape section then I am all for it. Frankly, Jo-Ann, the selection upon my last visit was shameful. Oyster white was abundant as was cocoa brown, but that was about it. Okay, so I know I can make my own bias tape and I even bought a Clover bias tape maker from you last month. But, really, who has the time? I can see using it for a special project that you plan out in advance, but this was a "do it in my sleep" kind of project that didn't warrant any extra effort. So I'd very much appreciate if you stocked up on as many colors as the folks at Wright's are willing to make (look for polka dot bias tape coming soon!).
So back to my story. I have a wide selection of bias tape, all the best that Wrights and Jo-Anns has to offer, but so often I can't find anything that even closely matches or pleasantly contrasts with what I'm making. I had picked out this yellow apple print (so sweet) and solid to make a kimono top, but the yellow bias tape I had was weak and wan rather than bold and beautiful. Oh wait, I can check the lot of vintage bias tape I bought last year on Ebay. Lo and behold there was a goldy yellow one that would be perfect. But when I opened it up it was not the usual cotton I'm accustomed to and was instead a slippery polyester. After ironing the 1/2" single fold into a 1/4" double fold, I was feeling brave so I painstakingly pinned it around the edge of the kimono (which took forever) only to find that the slipperyness prevented any kind of straight line. And when you're only dealing with a 1/4", it really has to be straight or else it won't catch the fabric inside. After several aborted attempts, I swore a few times and threw the gold bias tape in the garbage (I might have spat on it, I can't remember). Defeated, I decided to go with this green which is cute, but not what I wanted. Waah! I also tried making shirt ties with this green tape by just sewing up the sides, but it continually got sucked into my machine and I, stubbornly and stupidly, kept repeating the process unsuccessfully (having to use tweezers to extract it each time) until my husband threatened to call the local sanitarium.
So I think I really will give my bias tape maker a go soon. Maybe it's not as time consuming as I think. And if anyone has a secret source for colorful bias tape, please let me know. My sanity relies on it.