Hello, 😲 it’s Friday!

And it’s been long time no blog! But I’ve been keeping up by reading everyone else’s, even if commenting has been minimal.

Must admit to being a bit excited about an upcoming event that’s not sewing related. My nevvie is gradating this month with his Masters. However, there’s a wee fly in the ointment, so to speak, and that’s where this sewing peep comes in…

The wrinkled post-consumer plastic bottles need ironing. Photo by Sis2 & used with permission

It’s the robe, that august symbol of graduation. But this one also has another agenda: recycle & reuse. The tag inside the gown reads, “Made in USA from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”.

When cloth gets wrinkled it can be ironed in some fashion. But what about “… 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”? And that’s the prob.

Sis2 is at her wits’ end. She’s tried hanging it in the shower – no change. She’s repeatedly used a garment steamer, alternately spritzing with hot and cold water. Nothing. “Even dry cleaners in town won’t touch it,” she noted.

Earlier on she tried ironing what she now thinks was a similar material masquerading as a dress shirt. She said it “shredded.”

I’ve asked on IG and so far, no one’s written that they know just what to do. Any ideas you lovelies might have will be very warmly appreciated. Sis2, the one who felts & knits, sends her appreciation & thanks to all. And so do I!!

It’s been a trying last 10 days or so, attempting to get a decent bottle of milk. Sounds simple – right? But no . . .

First there was the totally wrong grocery order, followed by a same-day correct order. So far, so good – phew! But then I happened to look at email after dinner and discovered there was another identical order practically on its’ way.

Frantically I got it cancelled. Running low on milk a few days later I manufactured yet another grocery order for those special things only one store carried. That bottle of milk got squished and leaked all over the bottom of the bag.

Click a pic to enlarge

By this time I had used enough pantry items to make yet another grocery order, and that large bottle of milk arrived with no intact safety seal. So it got poured down the drain.

Today I finally received bottles of milk with intact safety seals, un-squished, and no leaks in sight.

Alleluia.

books
What else have I been doing, if not sewing up a storm?

Reading!

Yep, the itch to read the latest from Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series (The Spotted Dog) has been thoroughly scratched, and I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. All the usual cast of characters are around, although Meroe was a bit quieter than in other volumes. (Was it you, Kate, who’s also a fan & recommended it? Thank you!)

Also tackled and enjoyed Erik Larson’s very lengthy but riveting The Splendid and the Vile — a practically minute-by-minute account of the first couple years of WW II as it unfolded for Great Britain. Must admit I hadn’t realised how quickly everything escalated against Britain, and how horribly long it took to get FDR to understand what was at stake. It reminded me of how precarious liberty still is.

I also did a second installment of Barak Obama’s Promised Land, and am about half way through the 800 pages. I borrow the version that he reads, as there’s so much nuance added by his inflections. Very enjoyable, but extremely detailed; enlightening, but with moments of dread, knowing what happened after his presidency. Am still very much in recovery mode from the last 4 years, and the gradually abating (🤞🤞) pandemic.

All for now — time to start relaxing as the weekend is here! What have you planned? I’ve already ordered pizza and salad so I don’t have to cook Sunday. Yippee! Might even have time for a stitch or two . . . 😆

Whatever your plans, be safe!

❤️ 💕 ❤️

awwww, beans !

Uhhh … mmm … so long as you soak them overnight and don’t re-use the water you soaked ’em in you’ll remove some of the etceteras that make them… er, let’s just say, hard to digest, okay? 😉

I’m chiming in with Deb and Donna’s INAUGURAL What’s On Your Plate Blog Challenge, and looking forward to collecting some exciting new recipes!

My sis#2, J, mentioned making another pot of bean soup during a cold spell this winter, and I asked for deets. I vaguely remembered some kind of bean soup being available, and had tried various over the years, but hadn’t connected with the above munificent collection of 15. Nor had I read a recipe, or had anyone telling me the soup was good for using up leftovers.

Wonder of wonders! The 15 bean soup mix is available at several grocers in my area, so I immediately started experimenting. Mind you, I did read their recipe off the back of the packet first. (Here it is on online.) My versions can vary considerably.

Basic bean soup, leftover veggie beef, & a hunk of bread.

I’ve recently been cutting up a bit of Canadian bacon and tossing into the basic soup, for when I don’t add the last of a chicken or beef dish. I’ll ladle out half a serving of soup and add in the last of whatever else, knowing the beans will make a full meal. A couple minutes in the microwave and I’m eating.

With J’s advice, I don’t use the included flavour packet, mostly because I use about ½ cup of the beans at a time, not the whole bag. (Makes more sense as I’m cooking for one.) There are plenty of online variations, and I’ve a hunch the crock pot’s coming out for summer versions. You can check out some variations here.

Basic bean soup, Canadian bacon, & scrambled egg.

My Basic: Soak about ½ cup of beans overnight. Next day, drain the beans. I’ve always got chicken broth around for the base, along with no- or low-sodium canned tomatoes. Sometimes I’ve some onion or garlic to throw in, and I really love the slightly sweet tang of balsamic vinegar, so a good dollop of that goes in, and lots of ground black pepper. Oh, and a bay leaf!

This is the sort of soup that can include anything but the kitchen sink, and I can honestly say I haven’t made a bad batch yet.

So go forth and bean away!

Easter, a not-so-silent Sunday

I almost never use a feature image, but as this is a hol that I had a photo for, and the rest of this is about my LB Pullover test wearing, it seemed appropriate. Not getting fancy, mind, just making do.

Back story: Back last winter, when I was waiting for a load of fleece from Vogue Fabrics to arrive, I downloaded a copy of the Talvikki Sweater pattern by Named. But when the fleece arrived and I had it in hand, I realised there might be some problems with that neckline and my thick fleece. (There’s fleece and there’s thick fleece – I had the latter, which is great for damp, cold weather.) So I messaged someone I knew had made several Talvikki’s: Anne, of Compulsive Seamstress.

Anne suggested the LB Pullover instead, noting it could also be used with woven fabrics. After doing a bit more reading up on it, I was taping the pages together. (Incidentally, she makes the case for making multiples of any pattern you like – so why do we feel guilty when we do?!)

Here’s the front . . .

Friday was a chilly day so I test wore this second iteration to see how it worked in real life. As usual when I’m test wearing a make, I did not finish the sleeves or the hem. In addition, I’d left one side open about 4 inches for a vent. (I forgot when sewing the first side seam, and didn’t want to get out the seam ripper. 🙄 There will be a single vent in this version. )

I’d wanted to try cutting the sleeves with the most stretch going around the arm rather than running the length of the arm, but as this was a relatively small remnant I didn’t have that option. Rest assured, there’s a third version in the planning stage, and that one has enough fabric. Maybe I’d better make a little note . . . . . . .

My other question was using two different weight knit fabrics (the orange being slightly weightier). Would they play nicely together, or start fighting from the get-go? Seaming the sides, from wrist through under-arm and down to the waist was a good test. So far, both are doing okay, with not much detectable – as in wavy seams, missing stitches, and so forth. (Will be back with a single fabric for the next version.)

I did notice, when looking in the bathroom mirror, the sizing on this version – although the same as the first fleece version – looks about 2 sizes too big on both sides. While wearing I didn’t notice any problems. Except I got the dreaded purpley side facing wrong way round when I first pulled it on. 🙈

And the back – where I don’t have to see it – hehehee!

My non-stretchy-for-the-washing-up wrist problem with the first fleece version continues with this, but I’m not beating m’self up over it. Needs must, or not enough fabric in this case.

This is a quick pattern to cut and sew up, provided you don’t misread directions, as I did with this version.

Attaching the neck facing is done a bit differently than I’m used to and I managed to make it a multi-step process, with many trimmings necessary, as well as a real fudgey bit. BIG note on the PDF instructions page to remind myself not to do that again.

But really, we can finish off necks and arms and waists any d##* way we choose these days. It’s called freedom. And we sewists, or people who sew, are free to do it any way we choose!

One facet of this pattern is you can also use woven fabric for it. And that’s something I’m also going to be trying. We’ve already had days in the 80’s, and it’s only a matter of time before those higher numbers become “normal.”

And I run screaming into the AC and dig out all my cotton lawn and light-weight challis . . . . . 🥵

LB Pullover #2

1st Try – Front & back from orange? Nope.
2nd try – Front & sleeves? YES, they fit!

Enter a second knit fabric, purchased three or four years ago specifically to be used with this leftover piece of medium weight cotton knit from Vogue Fabrics almost 10 years ago (yikes 🙈).

Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing purple, but this has the perfect orange match for the cotton knit.

Ta-dah! Another LB Pullover ready for a test wear — just in time for our two frosty days right before Easter!

Here’s the front . . .
And the back – where I don’t have to see it – hehehee!

bridges . . .

Was reminded of this just now over at bushboys world, written by Brian, who lives in Australia. It led me back to another time, not necessarily calmer, but seemingly safer.

The above isn’t the song that Brian chose, but after listening to the story behind how this one came to be written and recorded, it just seemed appropriate.

Thank you, Brian!

del's sewing stuff