Awhile back I bought two Ohhh Lulu sewing patterns so I could make myself some lovely vintage inspired undergarments. I was so excited the day I bought the first one, Sarah’s high waist Ava panties, that I went straight out and bought supplies at Fabricland, printed the pattern, prepped the pattern and fabric and got right to work. Everything went beautifully (don’t worry, I will be reviewing the patterns as well very soon!) minus the horrible fold over elastic I’d bought.
That fold over elastic ended up being an absolute nightmare because it was way too thick and tried to murder my sewing machine. Not only that, but it started pilling almost immediately, to the point where photographing my first pair would be shameful because they look like they’ve been battered around for about ten years due to the epic level of pilling that has occurred in such a short period of time even after the most gentle care possible. I could have wept, but I didn’t. Instead, I went looking for another resource so I could make my dream of pretty, professional looking undergarments come true.
Over a year ago, when I first started wanting to make a serious attempt to try my hand at lingerie making, I found a Canadian craft supply shop called In The Pink Room on Etsy with great prices and a wonderful, colourful selection of fold over elastic. At the time I didn’t have a nice enough pattern to justify placing an order (in my mind at least) and had a bunch of other sewing projects on the go that were clamoring for my attention, but I made a mental note to go back when the time arose to get some supplies. When this mess with the fold over elastic happened, I thought of that shop right away and tracked it down again. Boy do I ever wish I’d thought of buying online first and had the patience to do so instead of tempting fate with that horrible, thick elastic! I probably could have saved myself time, money, fabric and frustration if I had just been patient enough to wait.
Note to self: if this fold over elastic ends up sewing (and wearing) as nicely as it seems like it will, stock up in a variety of colours the next chance you get! You know it will all get used eventually, Emily. Do yourself a favor!
I purchased ten yards each of two colours, Military Blue and Tornado Blue (both in 5/8″ widths). At 69 cents (Canadian) a yard, the price alone was already much better than the $4+ a yard, sewing machine murdering fold over elastic I bought from Fabricland and the variety of colours was even more amazing than I remembered!
Shipping took a little longer than Etsy predicted, but only because Canada Post is still undergoing rotating strikes that are really effecting mail delivery, especially as we get closer to the holidays and the backlog of packages gets even more out of control, so the fact that my package arrived a few days later than it normally would have was to be expected and was not a reflection on the shop at all. Besides, this gorgeous elastic was well worth the wait.
Though I haven’t gotten to sew with it just yet* I can already see the difference between it and the elastic that gave my sewing machine fits – it’s nowhere near as thick, for one thing! The colours are really beautiful and the elastic looks more professional and better suited to the job of lingerie making than the sad, sad, elastic I was struggling with before!
Once I’ve been able to make a new pair of Ava or Betty panties I’ll be doing a double review of both the pattern (whichever one I choose first!) and the fold over elastic itself, so I can properly share my impressions of it, but as far as ordering the shop goes, I’m already very happy with my purchase!
Customer service was excellent. Noha, who runs the shop, was incredibly helpful and great to talk to, even suggesting a sewing machine foot that would help once I mentioned my previous bad experience with fold over elastic! The sewing machine foot suggested, for anyone who may be interested, is an adjustable bias binder foot, which is definitely now on my list of Must Have sewing notions to buy once I have a bit of extra money and can track one down for my machine, since I plan on sewing my own undergarments as much as possible, especially now I have replaced the one frustrating pattern I had been using with two really good ones, and anything that can help the sewing process and potentially stop my machine from dying will definitely be worth it!
Everything was packaged safely, securely and beautifully (I love the In The Pink Room packaging on the elastic and the lovely business card!), the sample of I ❤ (or should I say, I Maple Leaf? 😉 ) Canada fold over elastic was a really sweet gift and a very nice surprise, the prices (including the cost of shipping, which came to $4.88 Canadian) were fantastic (being able to buy ten yards of beautiful, high quality elastic for roughly the same price as one yard of that awful, thick, pill-y elastic at Fabricland is jaw droppingly AMAZING) and as I keep saying, the fold over elastics themselves are really gorgeous – the photo doesn’t do them justice!
I can’t wait to give the elastic a try and write up a proper review of it and the lovely sewing patterns! I’m already having to seriously restrain myself from ordering more in an absolute rainbow of colours – a purchase that will sadly have to wait until after the holidays!
In The Pink Room is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia but ships Internationally and offers a wonderful variety of crafting supplies aside from their amazing selection of fold over elastic, including zippers, ribbons, buttons, buckles, fabric and all sorts of other sewing and craft related items, all at incredible prices. I highly recommend checking them out!
*I need to make sure my sewing machine is in good working order first, because by the time I was done the first ill-fated pair of Ava panties, thread was bunching up on the underside of the fabric after struggling to sew through the fold over elastic once it was doubled and my poor sewing machine was seriously protesting so much that I’ve been kind of scared to check and see if it’s all right to be honest! I’m hoping something as simple as replacing the needle will help. It’s the first thing I plan on doing since it has helped in the past when my machine has protested sewing too many thick layers of fabric. Hopefully I won’t need to fiddle with anything on the machine itself other than that, because although I’m decent at tinkering around with my vintage machines and their manuals actually instruct you on how to fix little issues like this one, I have no idea how to do any of this on a modern machine and it’s manual definitely doesn’t tell you how to fix problems! If all else fails, I’ll put that machine on the back burner until I figure out how to fix it and give the sewing project a try on Emma Peel, my Singer 403A with her lovely zigzag stitch cam. If anyone has any suggestions for what to try doing if changing the needle on my Janome doesn’t help, please let me know in the comments, I’d really appreciate it!