I was supply-hunting and found a few useful things which Mistress Rosalind thought I should probably put here so I can find it again later and others might too.
Accordingly, for silk fabric that is already dyed (as opposed to getting it from Dharma Trading and dyeing it yourself): Fabric Mart – 45″ charmeuse is $20/yd. Their stock rotates, so what they have now and what they have in a year won’t be the same.
And for silk buttonhole twist, I learned that Gütermann, everyone’s favorite thread, had buttonhole twist available. It’s product number R753. All of their silk colors are available in 400m lengths, and a subset are available in 30m lengths. They have a downloadable color card, but I also found a physical sample card for sale for $20. Bay Tailor Supply sells 400m spools of R753 for $14.
Why do I care about buttonhole twist?
I sew a lot of eyelets. No, really, a lot. I wear Italian Ren ordinarily, which means at least two, possibly three, rows of eyelets per dress. I’ve also been bribed to do the hand-finishing on 4 or 5 fitted cotehardies, which means one long row of eyelets per dress. At the end of the current dress, I will have done over 200 eyelets in only 3 years in the SCA.
On two of my dresses, I used, I think it was 3 strands out of the 6 strands of DMC embrodery floss. On one, I used linen thread of a decently heavy weight. With the heavier linen thread, and having had lots of practice, I could do an eyelet in 5-10 minutes. Great!
On the dresses for a friend, though, I was using regular old sewing thread. It’s very thin, so to get better coverage I doubled it. That introduces the fun of ensuring even tension on both strands while working, which isn’t the hardest thing ever, but it does slow me down. It still didn’t cover well, so I still needed to do more stitching than when I had that linen thread that was so well-suited to the task.
So, I want to use buttonhole twist, the right tool for the job, in the future. It’s not sold in stores, as far as I can tell, so having a sample card to color match (or coordinate) fabric will save a huge headache.