changing times

colour from 2015

The Time Change came over this side the pond last weekend, ushering in a week of rain, fog, and general gloom. Nights didn’t draw in, they slammed shut.

However, this weekend promises to be sunny, if distinctly cooler, which will hopefully encourage more Autumn colour. Now if they can just manage to keep 80’s outta the forecast. . .

After goofing off for a week, I’ve been trying Karen Ball’s suggestions (Did You Make That?), with further encouragement from Jen’s post (Let the Sewing Begin).

All of which means my two started & abandoned tops (UnFinished Objects, a.k.a. UFOs) from last winter might get finished.

click to go to pattern

The Renfrew is short sleeved, so might not get worn much. On the other hand, if this winter is anything like last winter, it will.

Am curious how the McCall’s 6992 in dark green will turn out. I used light weight knit, but Suggested Fabrics list sweatshirt fleece and double knit.

What was I thinking???

Toile. That’s what it was.

Just don’t tell the fabric police. 😉

click to go to pattern

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two more bold caftans

What can I say…

Once I got started and was encouraged by Sheila’s comments on the first caftan, I decided to go for it.

that first caftan, 45″ wide cotton flannel, is floor length

That first one (left), being  very special colours plus yummy flannel, got a little extra time because it has a nap. Said nap almost didn’t all go downward, as I almost forgot and sewed one piece upside down. Phew!  Black is not a good colour to have to unpick.

Then I finally got my other two caftans with bold designs made up as well.

The huge brown & salmon pattern (scroll down if you click the link) is from deep stash, whilst the other, possibly my oldest piece, is a buttery soft rayon bought in California sometime ‘twixt 1985 and ’95.

Both caftans were made with the self-drafted pattern I used for the flannel caftan.

An exception: For the rayon stripe’s neck facing I decided to use rayon bias tape. Although it took more sewing time, it’s a better match for the fabric’s weight, which is very light.

For some reason I’ve never thought of removing the fringe on that rayon. It’s always been part of “the overall concept” and once sewn on it’s stayed on.

The moral of this is if you’ve got some large-patterned fabric in your stash, drag it out and make it up.

Then have fun wearing it!

stash-busting

view d

Finally getting back into a routine here, with sewing definitely in the mix.

In June I’d pulled from stash (after at least 3 years), cut out and finished the edges on a lovely cotton lawn ( White Tree Fabrics, U.K.).  Got it completed this past week (below left).

Used view D from this inspiredly (is that a word?) gifted pattern (thanks again to you know who), which I love to wear for sleep or lounging because it’s so comfortable.

Also just completed a gorgeously autumnal patterned cotton flannel caftan. That fabric I’d ordered whilst living in Chicago and is from fairly deep stash.

Originally, I’d thought I’d wear it a lot, but worried about the so-large pattern. Finally decided no one will see it but me, so why worry?

Am using a “pattern” from my head. Something I sewed up quickly one day in Northern California in the 90’s when I didn’t have time/money/whatever to go hunt for a pattern.

There the evenings used to get very cool in summer, unless El Niño was blowing all the cool Pacific air away. Residents called it Nature’s air conditioning. Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Fog,” expresses that summertime phenomenon perfectly.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Coming back to current East Coast to say the 2011 photo on the right is that summer fog rolling in over the Santa Cruz Mountains and across Silicon Valley, round about 3 one afternoon.

No leaves turning pretty colours round this lower East Coast. They just die, are brown, and fall off. Sigh.

Meanwhile, hope you Lovely Readers are comfy & cosy whichever side of the equator you’re on.

 

mid-week hodgepodge

sewing hang tabs on tea towels – pedestrian, but necessary!

Love this quote (thanks to Prof. Pski’s blog) from Poirot in Christie’s 1947 short story, “The Capture of Cerberus” (The Labours of Hercules):

“All these young women who surrounded him- so alike, so devoid of charm, so lacking in rich alluring femininity! He demanded a more flamboyant appeal. Ah! To see a femme du monde, chic, sympathetic, spirituelle – a woman with ample curves, a woman ridiculously and extravagantly dressed!”

But, wait . . . Searching for a better link to this story after declining to use the official Christie page (“BUY” written everywhere), I found the excerpted story and a newsy bit: Christie’s Poirot, hints of “s*x,” and why this story went unpublished for 60 years. U.K. readers & Christie aficionados may know all about this, but it was news to me.

So take a break from today’s “reality” and escape into Poirot’s world, where method and order prevail.

~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~

last fabric order
Got my fabrics from Vogue Fabrics and immediately checked to see if they were on-grain before serging the raw edges and tossing into the washer. Of the 3 pieces of cotton, one of the six edges was cut properly.

behold the pile from ripping the other five edges.

turquoise cotton batik “pegged out” over the shower rail – it does feel a bit better…

Perhaps because I got the end of the bolt, the touch was rougher than the swatches, and I was disappointed when it came out of the dryer. Have just washed it again and am air-drying over the shower rail. (Noticed the fabric is translucent both wet and dry.)

So, am re-thinking the turquoise/teal group of fabrics…  Perhaps the turquoise would make a better Victoria blazer (By Hand London, or BHL)  but I’d have to try squeezing out the cropped version. And find a lining. So am still very much in planning stages for that group.

The orangey batik is lovely and light weight, but I’m wondering how badly the off-grain printing is going to affect my plan for a duster with an opening straight down the front (like this one).

bottom edge is selvedge; left edge is serged after ripping

Check out the lower selvedge and the left serged edge in the photo. Do please tell me what you think. Am I being too nit-picky?

Had thought an asymmetrical front instead, but am afraid it might look a lopsided mistake rather than planned.

gotta have me greens!

Lastly, the neutrally-dotted lawn’s texture is good and should pair with a lot of the greens I already have (as shown). It will be another duster to blend over the greens and the few browns in stash.

Lastly, from Lizzie’s latest Vintage Traveler Miscellany is a 20-minute film I found utterly charming, scenic and informative. Thank you, Lizzie!

TWEED: From Hill to Hill, a Rural Tradition