Sunday, September 20, 2009

On tenterhooks ?

Do you ever wonder where certain phrases originated? I do - often! So I was delighted to find out where the phrase 'being on tenterhooks' comes from. You may already know this....but if not I will explain in due course - first of all I need to tell you about something I re-discovered in my sewing library. I have owned this for years and have looked at it on and off over th3 years, but I have never really read it seriously. With all the Chanel style jackets on the scene at the moment I already knew I would make myself a tailored jacket at some stage which has made me think more about this item.

I am talking about the 'Terry Fox Speed Tailoring Workshop'. It consists of a box which contains a ring binder of information and a plastic storage box for all your samples you make, allowing you to store them for future reference. Sadly I discovered that Terry Fox isn't involved in teaching/writing about sewing any longer, although her company 'The English Couture Company' is still being run by others and her books and dvd's are still available on their website.

In addition to the folder (which has 131 pages of instruction and information!!) is a pattern for a classic jacket...........

.......and the neccessary fusible interfacings, tapes, shoulder pads, hair canvas etc to enable you to complete a jacket using her methods. She also includes a length of calico (muslin) to make a test jacket out of, although I don't think I would make a test jacket using all the interfacings etc as that would seem a waste, I would use it to make a basic fitting muslin and then use a wearable fabric for my first one.

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to research different methods of inserting a lining in a coat/jacket (for my silver trench, I am using a BWOF pattern and their instructions for lining are very basic!!) and so I started reading through the folder...........several hours later, I am about half way through and am already planning a jacket in the not too distant future :-)
So.........this very long winded explanation brings me to how I discovered the meaning of the phrase 'being on tenterhooks' - get this, it comes from fabric!! On page 10, Terry talks about 'Preparation of Fabric' and starts off with how to determine the right side of your fabric. She explains that some fabrics have tiny holes running along the selvedge edge, the smooth side of the holes denotes the right side of the fabric (this was in my memory banks somewhere but I was never sure which side of the holes was the right side!). She goes on to explain that the holes are caused by the tenterhook pulling the fabric smoothly into shape - hence the expression 'being on tenterhooks' !!! :-) Well, I never knew that!
Just thought some of you might like to know that useless piece of information as much as I did Lol!
I am 'home alone' this morning so am making the most of it in the sewing room. I am working on the lining for my silver trench and hope to make some good progress today. I will update you during the week - a whole week off, yippee!! Can't remember the last time that happened, that's what comes from being self employed I guess, but I love my work and wouldn't want to do anything else!

1 comment:

toy said...

well good luck, i love sewing books with a passion and I try to soak up the ones on tailoring because that is my achilles heal in sewing