renfrew: done

renfrew: done

decided to add the bottom band after discovering there was enough fabric for it.

Delighted to have this completed, and ready to cut out a batch more, with & without a back centre seam, determined by how much of each fabric there is.

Won’t give this a proper wear test for a few months. Temp’s a bit too high right now for an almost fleece weight cotton. . .    .    .

just wish I could find those directions. . . . . . .

 🔦    👀     🔦

wherefore art thou, renfrew….

wherefore art thou, renfrew….

Last night’s efforts ~

After much reading, research, soul-searching, cutting, re-cutting, and a bit lots of procrastination, this first renfrew is aaaalmost done.

Not that the pattern was difficult. No way! Getting my head around how to fit me was the bump in the road.

Several times I searched & read everything I could find on renfrews & FBAs, then just renfrews. Finally decided, as this was a re-cut from a different pattern, to think of it as a muslin, and get on with it.

I’ve read about making a horizontal FBA and easing the extra in on the sides, but decided not to go there because I didn’t have enough fabric. Instead, I cut the existing shoulder smaller, and merged out into the larger size. Turned out that decreasing around the upper shoulders was enough to ease out the underarm creases. Also helped a lot with the too-large neck.

Thank goodness for Sewaholic’s great online tutorials! Reading through them I realized I’d originally wanted to eliminate the bottom band & just cut the additional length as part of the front & back… but then forgot to cut the front longer.  :-(

Luckily I did have enough to cut new bands for back & front. My remaining task for tonight is attaching them, and doing the hem.

Then I’ll look up sleeveless renfrews … I’ve a couple of 1-yd knit fabrics. . . .

subtle reincarnations

subtle reincarnations

subtle luv ~ ickle hang loop!


subtle luvin ~ skinny elastic waist & oh-so-easy, no-sew “hem”!

“a photo that feels understated, suggestive, subtle in its use of colour”     Ailsa’s travel theme

Maybe I’m straying a bit from Ailsa’s original challenge, which was all about colour. This is more about texture and detail, other  details that can make or break an item of clothing.

Last year’s subtle green flowered dress has held up well. And for me, the paler green is subtle!

As to texture – the rayon hasn’t pilled or stiffened, and is still buttery soft. Time to use that extra fabric for the shorts I’d thought about making last summer.

But, wait. There’s enough fabric for trousers. Why not? If they don’t get worn, I can always chop them off.

So I made the long version, and have been wearing them ever since.

Just as the subtle drape and texture of the fabric & style makes the dress so easy to wear, they continue with the trousers.

And there’s still a bit of the fabric left… a cami?

about the pattern
They’re a front and a back from a pair of old flannel pjs from L.L. Bean, bought years ago whilst living n a very windy, cold city. Last winter I realized I wasn’t wearing them because they were so worn. Bit how to reincarnate??

After much debate with self (why is it so hard to cut into RTW???), I carefully cut out a front piece & a back piece. And used them as the pattern for the darker green flannel pj bottoms sewn earlier this year. (Being worn as I edit.) And used again for these comfy summer pj bottoms. How’s that for reincarnation!

creativity as a force of nature

creativity as a force of nature

Na”ture, n. [F., fr. L. natura, fr. natus born, produced, p.p. of nasci to be born…] 5. The sum of qualities and attributes which make a person or thing what it is…; native character…

fabric haul from june 2011 chicago had 4 stores in my area

fabric haul from june 2011
chicago had 4 stores in my area
this is the haul from visiting 3 of them

the culoutte-now-skirt got hemmed and i guess the stretch caused it to ripple. looks kinda flirty!

the culoutte-now-skirt got hemmed and i guess the stretch caused it to ripple. looks kinda flirty!

Is creativity a force of nature?

I think so! We could go all metaphysical and talk about the creation of the universe, but let’s go somewhere else instead, okay?

Using the above definition,  couldn’t sewing be a creative force? (You knew I’d go there, didn’t you,he-he-he!)  :-)

Some people are creative with math (Einstein), some with music (Mozart), or painting (Picasso), or sculpture (Brancusi), or management (Drucker). And some of us do it with sewing.

Now, take a closer look at that upper photo. Don’t some of those fabrics look familiar?!

The green stripe is currently a dress, and the red on the far right is now a skirt. And plans are afoot for that other red, too…

Creative solutions are part of everyone’s nature. Appreciate & exercise yours!


Original WordPress post

happy mother’s day!

Exhibit number one (A). Crépe silk rayé

Exhibit number one (A). Crépe silk rayé

The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections have revamped their web site, and made it easier to search.

Exhibit number one (B). Crépe nouveauté

Exhibit number one (B). Crépe nouveauté

After seeing this lovely exhibit from 1904, I knew it had to get used, and what better time than today.

Click either to go to the NYPL source, and scroll down for details.

At my best guess, Exhibit B (left) relates to the girl’s blue dress fabric, with texture of woven fabric at the top, and colour on the bottom.

Having looked all thru the Collection, the dress fabric on the left in each Exhibit A is at the top of the Exhibit B page; the dress on the right (Ex. A) refers to the sample at  the bottom (Ex. B). As for why the colours are so different: fading? not concerned with matching? Anybody know?

If you move on down the page, you’ll see a clickable reference to “wash dress fabrics.”

That takes you to all the exhibits in this Collection, which appears to be of washable fabrics. I wonder if this one was actually a very early rayon….

If anyone has time, and discovers more, please share!

Hope you enjoy 💝

quick knit-pilling question

quick knit-pilling question
see all the ickle balls of fluff-that-aren't-so-fluffy?

see all the ickle balls of fluff-that-aren’t-so-fluffy? (click to go to original post)

I think that’s the correct term, “pilling.”

As in all those teensy balls of fluff that have covered this knit dress over its 2-years of summer wearing.

It’s too much to shave off, even with my little electric fluff shaver.

Definitely can’t face trashing this after only a couple years wear.

And besides, it’s green! ! ! ! ! ! !

intricacies of re-use

intricacies of re-use

IN”TRICATE, a. [L. intricatus, from intrico, to fold; in and tricor.] Entangled, involved; perplexed; complicated; obscure. (1824)

Remember this, from 2 years ago? The stretch cotton has a lot of body & I love those pockets, but the culottes didn’t get worn last summer, the Summer of Dresses. The fabric hadn’t faded. They were too good to bin. What to do?

Taking a good look, I remembered how unflattering I’d felt they looked, but they hadn’t been uncomfortable to wear. I decided to do some chopping and try the fabric as a skirt instead.

Haven’t had time to wear the skirt. Yet. One reuse project done. :-)


2 "new" skirts

2 “new” skirts

Meanwhile, 2 RTW (ready to wear) dresses also hadn’t been worn in several years; their slinky knit-type fabrics seem indestructible. What to do?

The bodices were the uncomfortable bits, in summer humidity. Those got slashed and binned.  Presto! A couple more skirts.

No, I wasn’t about to try ripping out those factory stitches to make side seam  pockets from the tops. Ripping the culotte/skirt hem took long enough.

Will this summer be a summer of dresses and skirts?

(Note to self’s Never-Ending List: make tops to go with skirts?)

WordPress photo challenge

mental motions

mental motions

Mo”tion, n. [F., fr. L. motio, fr. movere, motum, to move…] 5. Movement of the mind, desires, or passions; mental act, or impulse to any action; internal activity.

screen photos from dvd, Ancient Lives: unlocking the mysteries of daily life in ancient Egypt, 1984 telly
click for amazon’s listing, or check a local library

Imagine, if you will, the motions of turning flax into linen fabric, weaving the fabric, the motions of designing and printing a pattern on that linen fabric, designing a garment and making it with that linen.

Now imagine that being done in ancient Egypt for a tunic to be placed in a pyramid, or painted on a pyramid wall. That’s where these items were found.

Look at the design of the dress fabric, and the colours. They could be in worn today. Look at the neatness and detail of that small cording around the neck of an ‘everyday’ tunic, the care taken for the ‘fancy dress’ tunic.

These people, and we’re talking about the scribes & tomb-builders, not pharaohs, appreciated care and detail in every aspect of their lives, and spent the time and made all the motions necessary to create it.

Their skill and love of beauty has lasted for thousands of years, giving us vital clues about their lives.

What arts will our civilization leave behind for far distant peoples to discover and appreciate?

What will it tell them about our skills? Our concepts of art and beauty?


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