smarty pants


Can I sneak this in before The Monthly Stitch‘s September Amnesty Month ends here in the Northern Hemisphere? Gonna try!

An easy make using Butterick’s 5432, View A. Am already planning to do a knit version, as this cotton is fine, but I’d like more give for wearing whilst exercising.  Only altered the pattern a tad, with an extra seam allowance on the outside of the 2 pieces to make them extra roomy!

Happy October sewing, everyone!

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the butler’s guide

my library's copy but might need to have me own

my library’s copy
but might need to have me own
(click to go to listing)


The weather’s turning cooler, so I’ve been busy getting out and sorting through last autumn’s clothes.  And considering what’s still needed, what’s in stash… You know how it goes.  Time-consuming, but in a nice way.  :-)

There’s some lovely washable rayon and wool jerseys in there, but there’s also at least 1 piece of woven wool.  And I don’t know if it should be washed…

I was trying to remember what former butler, now author Stanley Agar, wrote about caring for wools in the book he co-wrote (above), but had to get it out of the library to review.  Am glad I did, as there’s plenty of detail I’d forgotten.

He stresses airing out clothes before putting them away, and brushing down coats, suits, and jackets.  He details what kind of brushes to use on each type of fabric, and how to brush so fibres aren’t damaged.

Agar also stresses getting rid of dust.  Which leaves me feeling guilty for leaving fabrics out on the sewing table far too long, but doesn’t stop my habit.  Other things he recommends for fabrics include ~

Clothing Care and Packing

  • “Dust is abrasive” and in time will wear on cloth (and stash has plenty of time, doesn’t it!)
  • There used to be special brushing rooms
  • Velvet – rub gently with nap; steam in a hot shower to “liven up”
  • Tweed (wool) – can take “especially strong treatment”; brush up and down with a regular clothes brush
  • Suits – dust doesn’t adhere closely to synthetics; wool or tweed suits should be brushed every time they’re worn

Although I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, I thought there was useful information.  Clearly Downton Abbey leaves this level of detail alone!

weekly photo challenge: nighttime


Nothing says nighttime better than bling!

Night (?), n. [OE. night, niht... L. nox...] 1. That part of the natural day… when there is no light of the sun, but only moonlight, starlight, or artificial light.


Original WordPress post is here.

More piccies over here and here.

crocheted hearts

crocheted hearts

for some reason that white wool just refused to look right but the blue went smoothly

Whilst watching a DVD Monday I decided to drag out the crochet box and see if there was anything I could use to make up some of those dishy hearts Samantha has been making.  (Thank you, Gawjus One!)

Yep!  Found a few yarns going begging . . .  Here’s the super-simple instructions.


sort of a caftan


a quick couple of seams & a neckline finished this caftan
rayon stashed since california days
not certain i like this form – rayon is heavier & textured
possibly another iteration to come!

Things have been quiet on the blog!  Am working on my annual October (non-sewing) projects more & more, but keeping up with blog reading & writing so far.  Expect that will shift in another week …     :-)

Last week I read the library’s copy of Elegance, by Kathleen Tessaro, as recommended by The Vintage Traveler Lizzie here.

After reading about half the Tessaro book, I became more interested in reading the original volume, A Guide to Elegance, by Dariaux* , which Tessaro quotes at the beginning of every chapter.  So I ordered the Dariaux today.

Sure hope it arrives whilst there’s time to look through it!

*   “A complete guide for every woman who wants to be well and properly dressed on all occasions” Genevieve Antoine Dariaux (1964)

weekly photo challenge: endurance


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Gotta admit this flummoxed me.

Then linen floated into my head, then wool, and I thought about clothing, designs, the why of sewing.

How quickly did it become more than something just to stay warm?  How was weaving cloth discovered, and by whom?

Thinking about endurance and sewing can take one all sorts of place, from bone needles and mummies to toxic chemicals, clean water, and how high is too high for a platform shoe.

ENDU”RANCE, n. [See Endure.  v.i. … [F. endurer; pref. en- (L. in) + durer to last...]] Continuance; a state of lasting or duration; lastingness.


Original WordPress post is here.


weekly photo challenge: humanity


tapestry from collection
Art Institute of Chicago
taken in extreme low light conditions
please forgive blurriness

I don’t write much about humanity, in regard to sewing, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about the state of the world, and my own clothing’s place in it.

The conditions of people actually making the textiles, as well as the clothing, have rightly received publicity, but there’s not been too much yet about up-cycling.

Sewers from other parts of the world regularly report on fabric, patterns, and haberdashery they’ve found in thrift shops, but I’ve not had that experience.

Is it only because I’ve been so close to large cities, in metropolitan areas?  But shouldn’t that mean I should find more, rather than less?

As I get my own wardrobe increasingly under control and re-suited to current environments, I can’t help contemplating sewing, fabric and clothing in much broader terms.

As in what’s the impact on the environments from whence these materials come from?

And the impact on the world’ environment of all the fast fashion currently so popular?

HUMAN”ITY, n. [L. humanitas.] 1. The peculiar nature of man… 2. Mankind collectively; the human race.

These 2 articles, from Lizzie at The Vintage Traveler, might shed more light on these areas.


Original WordPress post is here.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme is Noise.

Anothr posting for WordPress here.

from the weekend . . .


Click a pic to begin slide show

Did a bit of sewing, but not too much.  Hit a bit of a puzzle:  How to use the crochet bits from these two ancient pillowcases?

Do note the scalloped edge and how thoroughly it’s sewn into place… would love not to have to un-pick that.